Sharing The Love...

By Paul S.

In 2006 my then thirteen year old son and only child, Joshua, came to me and said he wanted a mustang as his first car. Knowing I have been a lifelong Ford fan he felt asking for a mustang would help sell me on the idea. Having personally learned the value of sweat equity, in appreciating things in life, I decided we needed to find an older mustang to rebuild. We settled on a 1972 mustang Grande Coupe, 351 C cobra jet. We spent the next three years rebuilding the car working countless hours to complete the restoration. When we started the project Josh didn’t know the difference between a common or Phillips screw driver. Working on his own car had made the thought of mechanical work much more appealing than just helping dad on his stuff.

We stripped the car to bare metal, replaced the left rear quarter panel, and completely rebuilt the left roof tie to the trunk and tail light panel. We spent hundreds of hours filling and sanding the body to remove the slightest imperfection. We freshened up the motor and rebuilt the suspension with the help of friends and co-workers. Mom, my wife Cassie, became our interior specialist and quality control inspector.

By the end of the project my son’s knowledge and mechanical abilities had increased tenfold. He was very proud of his knowledge and he could tell anyone interested whatever they wanted to know about his mustang. His love for Fords became well known among his friends and our family. As a father seeing my son grow, learn and become confident in his own abilities was the greatest reward of all. His entire personality changed, he became confident he could do anything he wanted if he applied himself. Our family bound had grown to a level I had not dreamed possible.

Josh became an honor student and had plans to graduate at the end of his Junior year of high school to pursue a career in aeronautical engineering. Unfortunately God had other plans for Josh. Joshua died on March 26, 2010 of a very rare autoimmune disease called Wegner’s, which he was diagnosed with in January 2010, he was seventeen. His 1972 Mustang helps his mother and me remember to focus on the love, time and many blessings we shared with our son. Our love for him and our appreciation of Ford vehicles continues to grow. Thanks for your time.
Daniel N 03/20/2012
I am an only child also. And i have a father who taught me everything I needed to know about cars and trucks and a mother that babies me and I thank God I have them everyday. I am very sure Joshua loved every minute hanging out with both of you, because when I get those chances with my parents I never hesitate to be there for them. Dad has a 89 F 150, and a few months ago I got my 2011 Mustang (used but new to me) dont get me wrong, I know the value of sweat equity also, espacially after an accident or 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and lucky 7. I was 16, 17,18 years old, and Dad tought me how to fix what was broken, but man the VW Rabbit GTI could take a beating and keep on ticking! Your story hits hard on me, Life is too short, Never enough time, Things you always wanted to say but never did. You 2 are Loving parents, and your in my prayers.
Karri Thurrma 02/20/2012
Sometimes love stories are seldom told. Most love stories are seldom told this well.
Glen Starks 02/15/2012
Car people will understand what seeing that Mustang in the garage means to us now that Josh is no longer with us. It represents his hard work, his determination, and his joyful youth. It helps us to remember him that way; at the best, most carefree and promise-filled part of life. I am so proud to have been his Uncle...and his father's big brother.
Drew 02/15/2012
Nailed it uncle Paul! Not trying to undermine the car, but it will never do justice to the hands that built it and the bright, witty, and unconditional love of the young man who drove it. ~ D
Linda Copeland Conway 02/14/2012
This is a true love story of three wonderful Ford loving people. Two are still with us in this world but the third is watching over us on his heavenly Ford throne...awaiting our arrival. We were all so lucky to have had Josh in our lives...but now even luckier to have him as an angel!