My History With Fords

By Paul L.

What an awesome opportunity: to be entered as a finalist for Ford's Grand Prize and learn the proper way to drive our Ford Raptor. I have been a Ford fan as long as I can remember. I've read many books on the history of Ford Motor Company, their various types of vehicles, especially the Mustang, and the designers who made the company so successful, like Carroll Shelby. As a family, we also visited the Ford Museum at Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. That was a great experience for a young boy who loved cars and trucks. When I graduated from high school in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, my Dad told me I could get whichever car I wanted as my graduation gift. I wanted a Ford Mustang. After reading all about them, I knew the differences between each year's Mustang, mostly because of the front of the car and where the Mustang symbol was located. For six months my Dad and I searched for that special car and finally found it: a 1970 Ford Mustang C code, 302 V8, 2 barrel. I still have it! Then we started getting Ford trucks. First, a 1992 F150 Northland edition, then a 1999 Ford F150 regular cab, and finally a 2002 F250 Super Crew, which we still own. It is perfect for plowing our long driveway, pulling our boats or camper and hauling whatever we need to haul. We have had great success with every Ford truck we've purchased. When my wife Heather and I recently moved to Goodland, Kansas, and wanted a truck, we immediately started checking out Fords. Heather wanted a crew cab, and we both wanted a rugged vehicle we could use for hunting and for navigating the rural Kansas roads. We needed a reliable truck that could go anywhere and do most anything. It took us eight months to locate the right one. We found a 2011 Ford Raptor, svt, 411 horsepower, off-roading machine, in Moltan orange. We are extremely pleased with how it operates on all terrains, and from the attention it gets from everyone who sees it, it is immediately recognizable. If I were to become the Grand Prize winner, Heather and I will take that opportunity to learn how to drive our new truck correctly. Having the right training and given the experience of discovering how our truck handles in different environments in a confined area would help us as drivers and enable us to get the most out of our Ford Raptor! Thank you for considering me as a finalist and giving me a chance to relate my many memorable Ford experiences.