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Youth Mentoring Program Builds a Killer 1965 Restomod Mustang
The story of this 1965 Mustang fastback is about much more than just a car. It is about two groups of people: Blair Anglin and his father, and Kevin Keep and his Rebuilding Generations mentorship program. The latter group is an example of this month’s cover theme of getting the younger generation into the automotive scene, so we’ll start the story there.
In 2013, dismayed at the state of the younger generation’s seeming lack of interest in cars and the automotive world in general, and fearing that cell phones and social media were replacing interpersonal contact and the foundation of life values and interests that the older generation had experienced, Kevin Keep was looking for a way to unite younger and older generations to work together side by side, hand in hand to accomplish a task. Classic cars, he thought, would be a perfect way to bridge the age gap, because the older generation remembers them growing up and the young kids think they’re cool. From his own experiences as a child he remembers how important it was to have strong mentors and role models, so he formed Rebuilding Generations. And since he’s a man of faith, he also incorporated a Bible study into the program to hopefully keep the kids on the straight and narrow.
Kevin said, “I wanted to create a program that could do the same thing for this next generation. Too many times we get busy in life and we need to stop sometimes and not just tell our younger generation what to do, but instead show them what to do and how to do it right. At Rebuilding Generations we want to help bridge the gap between the young and older generations and the respect they have for one another. Too many young people these days look at the ‘older generation’ and think that they don’t know anything and don’t understand today’s generation and modern technologies. Then there is the ‘older generation’ that looks at the youth and sees a lack of respect and personalization with always having their phone in their hands, texting, Facebooking, and Tweeting. With this program we are hoping that with the opportunity that the youth get to work side by side with the ‘Old Guys,’ they will come to realize what a wealth of knowledge and wisdom they have to offer not only in the automotive world, but in just plain old life experience. In addition, we are excited to have the youth teach the ‘Old Guys’ about social media and its significant importance in today’s marketing, and how fast news of things both great and bad can reach so many.”
When trying to come up with ideas of how to get the two together, it hit Kevin that rebuilding a car together would be an effective and exciting way to get both groups to participate in the program. The idea of restoring and modifying a car gives both of them a chance to learn and teach one another as well as trust one another and hopefully build some relationships that can last for years to come.
Kevin said, “Our hope is that those involved with this program will take away from it a newfound respect and care for one another, share their experience with their peers, and continue to help them understand the passion they will now have.”
Enter Blair Anglin to the picture. Blair works for Centerforce Clutches in Prescott, Arizona, and after talking to Kevin felt his program would be a great way to build his ’65, which he got from his father. Blair said, “My Dad, Shelman Anglin, was a three-war veteran—WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. He was awarded two Purple Hearts, three Bronze Stars, Air Medals, and many other medals and accommodations throughout his military career. He also taught ROTC at Santa Barbara High School and UC Santa Barbara.
“Dad enjoyed working on and restoring old cars and was partial to 1965 Mustangs. He had several of them when I was growing up. I always wanted a 1965 Mustang GT fastback, and in the early ’90s while working at Southern Cal Edison in Santa Barbara, I spotted this Mustang in a driveway where it had been sitting for quite a few years. I made many attempts to catch the owner at home and after the better part of a year I caught him at home one day. I told him I would love to buy that car to fix up and eventually pass on to my son (who was a year old at the time and is now 26). I wrote my first name and number on a Post-it and handed it to the guy.
“Four years later after leaving Edison and starting a new job, I received a call from this man. He said he kept that Post-it on his fridge all these years and when he decided to part with the Mustang he wanted it to go to me. I asked him why he chose me and kept my number all these years. He said, ‘You were sincere when you said you wanted to fix it up and keep it in the family, and you come from a Mustang family. I guess it was just meant to be.’ He said he would hold it for me for one week.
“I did not have the money at the time to purchase the car, since I just started a new job and had two young kids. I told my dad the story and that I hated to see the car go to someone else. My dad went over to the house and bought the Mustang without telling me until the end of the week. He said he would fix the car up since I could not afford it at the time and one day it would be mine. Over the next 20 years, my dad enjoyed driving that car into town nearly every day. When dad passed away in 2012, the Mustang became mine. In talking with Kevin Keep from Rebuilding Generations, we decided that rebuilding the Mustang in honor of my Dad would be a great tribute to him and would fall directly in line with Rebuilding Generations’ theme of ‘the old with the new.’ And so, Project Sarge began.”
The Mustang made its way up to Boise, Idaho, to begin its transformation into a nice restomod. Over the course of 13 months, the youth group, with members ranging in age from 7 to 20 years old, built it into the highly functional show car you see here. To make more room for the planned 5.0L Coyote and TKO six-speed transmission, under the direction of mentor Don Hipple they set the firewall back two inches and raised the trans tunnel two inches, then modified the pedal assembly for the Coyote swap.
Chassis-wise, Detroit Speed (DS) got the nod for its Aluma-Frame, shock tower delete kit, subframe connectors, DS/JRi shocks, and sway bars, and Baer 6S six-piston brake calipers with 14-inch rotors on all four corners were used.
After some body modifications and smoothing all the sheetmetal, Neil Ramey at Neil’s Rod & Customs of Emmitt, ID sprayed the Checkered Red paint by PPG, which was recommended by Kevin Keep and PPG’s Charley Hutton. About the color, Blair said, “I looked for something between to the original color and a Candyapple Red, which is my favorite color.” Once the car was all done, it was displayed in the Centerforce booth at the 2016 SEMA Show, and then participated in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational in the exhibition (non-competitive) class.
Sarge, named after Blair’s father Shelman, is the second Mustang built by the Rebuilding Generations crew in the last five years (the other one is a blue ’71 convertible), and they are currently about to start on a ’64½, in addition to a Plymouth Duster, a Dodge Charger, and a handful of early Camaros.
Kevin is hoping to expand the program nationwide, saying, “Our dream is that we would be able to take this model of a program and help implement it in other youth programs across the nation. It is exciting to think that in a couple of years we could have four to five other youth ministries doing the same style program with cars and ultimately have a ‘Rebuilding Generations’ build-off that could be judged at SEMA by industry icons. We feel that this program can positively impact the automotive industry by getting these youth interested in the field and creating not only industry consumers, but hopefully industry professionals as well.
“One of our most exciting things to see is what God has in store for everyone involved. The mentoring of the youth by the ‘Old Guys’ is already starting to have its effect. We have a father and stepson that are involved in the program and through this they are now talking and starting to repair a relationship that otherwise might not have taken place. We have another young man that has had no father figure in his life for many years, and just the other day he said that he got chills when he was chosen for the program and can’t wait to have some real men in his life. There are so many great things that this program has to offer and we can’t wait to see the lives it is going to touch.”
As the ’64½ Mustang project progresses, we hope to bring you updates on it and how the kids are doing. If you’re interested in learning more about Rebuilding Generations and maybe want to help start something similar in your area, check out their website rebuildinggenerations.com.