Jim Smart
April 5, 2017
Contributers: Kyue M. Johns

There are times when we are called upon to fulfill a need greater than our own. Nowhere was this more apparent than when Roddy Rauls, President of the Orange County Mustang Club in Southern California, was contacted by the Make A Wish Foundation to make a young man’s dreams come true.

“I was contacted by a guy who was interested in helping the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He wanted the wish to be car related,” Roddy tells Mustang Monthly, “When this idea was presented to him, he quickly realized he didn’t know a thing about classic Mustangs.” Roddy tells us the gentleman’s research led him to the Orange County Mustang Club. “He wanted to know if we would be interested in participating in this project and helping a young man, Daniel Bueno, suffering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, to achieve the dream of getting his 1965 Mustang project completed.”

Mustangs & Fast Fords OC’s committed team, with help from the Orange County Mustang Club and Stadium Automotive, went to work getting the freshly painted body ready for Daniel.

Daniel had spent considerable time in the hospital struggling with round after round of chemotherapy and the rigors of cancer treatment. Daniel and his father, Sergio, who gave him the Mustang, had been working on the car for a couple of years. When Daniel was diagnosed with this disease, all attention turned to treating Daniel and the Mustang sat for a long time. After doing some research and gathering dedicated sponsors to help on this project, Daryl Kessler took charge of this project and Daniel’s Mustang began to unfold, beginning with a trip to Mustangs & Fast Fords OC in Santa Ana, California. Paul Gammerino of Mustangs & Fast Fords OC rounded up his staff and went to work determining what the Mustang needed.

As you might imagine, there was a lot of work to be done beginning with the body work at Riteway Auto Paint & Body Works in Fountain Valley. Max Kusnetz and his people went to work massaging steel and laying the rich Raven Black finish. Once the car was clad in black, Mustangs & Fast Fords OC got down to business with help from Stadium Automotive in nearby Anaheim. Stadium Automotive was instrumental in getting the engine running and the car drivable.

It is remarkable the amount of detail that went into Daniel Bueno’s 1965 fastback in a short amount of time. Call it a calling greater than one’s self. This thing went down quickly.

It is heartwarming when you consider the outpouring of effort, energy, and talent from members of the Orange County Mustang Club, Roddy tells Mustang Monthly. On top of that, the support from a number of businesses tells us giving and caring is still alive and well. Custom Autosound, Bristol Sound, the Scott Drake Automotive Group, Sherwin Williams Paint & Supply, American Racing Wheels, Mother’s Car Care Products, Teen Road to Safety, Superior Detailing, Alan and Sherry Reece, Santa Margarita Ford, and Ford Motor Company all pitched in to make this project happen.

It wasn’t just what you see on the surface, but the close attention to detail in areas you cannot see that not only made Daniel’s Mustang aesthetically pleasing, but also ready to drive.

The Orange County Mustang Club, Mustangs & Fast Fords OC, Make-A-Wish, Santa Margarita Ford, and Ford Motor Company turned out to present Daniel with the greatest surprise of his lifetime—a Raven Black 1965 Mustang fastback he and his father had tirelessly been working on before Daniel’s health began to decline.

We learn best by example—the example set by the Orange County Mustang Club, Make-A-Wish, and key players who donated their time and materials to bring a young man’s dream to fruition.

Daniel Bueno was understandably overwhelmed with emotion when the car cover was removed and he was presented with the car. And now, Daniel can rest easy knowing his long-awaited project is complete.
Paul Gammerino of Mustangs & Fast Fords OC presents Daniel with the Mustang after weeks of quick work getting the car ready. The outpouring of kindness from businesses and the Orange County Mustang Club was overwhelming.

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