October 25, 2006

Guillermo (Willie) Rivas picked up his '65 Mustang hardtop back in 2002 in rough but driveable condition. Originally powered by a 289 with a two-barrel carb and single exhaust and backed by a C4 trans, the engine's oil consumption was a problem Willie wanted to remedy. He rebuilt the engine, adding an Edelbrock intake, MSD distributor, Flowmaster-based dual-exhaust system, and a Demon four-barrel carb, then topped it off with a Ford Racing Performance Parts engine dress-up kit. A new front suspension found its way under the car about the same time.

"My grandfather reupholstered the interior for me the first Christmas I had it," Willie tells us. "From there, it started coming together." Fresh paint was the most recent upgrade. Willie chose Twilight Blue with white Le Mans stripes to go with the Shelby-style hoodscoop.

"It was purchased by my father, whose first car was also a '65 Mustang," Willie says. "We've got a picture of my dad as a teenager with his red '65 Mustang. He is leaning on the car, and we took one mimicking that with me and my car.

"I believe this car not only looks good and runs like a dream, but is what I believe a Ford Mustang should be all about: tradition, hard work, and a lot of fun. This car is a legacy in our family, which I will cherish for many years to come."

Willie is just getting started in college, and he's already talking to other car owners about starting their own car club in the area. Now you're talking, Willie!

As this month's YO Club winner, Willie will have a hard time deciding what to purchase from the vast National Parts Depot catalog with his $400 gift certificate. NPD, with four locations around the country (California, 800/235-3445; Florida, 800/874-7595; Michigan, 800/521-6104; and North Carolina, 800/368-6451), is able to ship parts quickly to any location in the continental U.S. Offering a full line of restoration and restomod parts for '65-'73 Mustangs, NPD is also committed to reproducing many of the parts that are hard to find in restorable condition. NPD's promise states, "We're committed to selling only the best restoration products available while maintaining the lowest overall pricing. It takes a little work, but the reward has been outstanding growth for our company, and that means still-lower prices and faster delivery to our customers." For more information, visit the Web site at www.npdlink.com.