Jim Smart
May 30, 2007

Phoenix, Arizona's history dates back 1,300 years, long before settlers landed at Plymouth Rock. In those days, it wasn't known as Phoenix. In fact, it didn't become Phoenix until the Civil War in 1865 when the Confederacy began settling the area. Philip Darrel Duppa named the city for its irrigation system, derived from the Hohokam Indian ruins. The city rose from the ashes of another civilization.

Webb McHardy's '69 Mustang convertible is a Phoenix metaphor as an automobile risen from the ashes. Webb's Mustang story dates back to when he was 15 and living in upstate New York. He and his father began looking for a Mustang. There were a lot of them in the classifieds, but none befitting of Webb's dream. It wasn't until a friend of his father decided to sell his '69 convertible that Webb found his dream machine.

The Mustang was what you would expect from the mid '80s: cosmetically restored with fresh upholstery and a set of Cragar SS mag wheels. Webb drove the Mustang throughout high school and had a ball with it. In 1988, he took the car off the road and garaged it for 17 years as he waited for the time and money to rebuild it.

In 2001, Webb's parents decided to pull up stakes and move to Arizona. Webb and his Mustang followed. Not long after settling in Phoenix, his father passed away after battling cancer. That's when Webb decided it was time to restore the car as a tribute. He turned the convertible over to The Mustang Shop and gave them carte blanche to build something extraordinary.

"The car went from a basic restoration to a stunning restomod," Webb says. "John Dinger and Randy Tinsley's eye for detail is amazing."

The Mustang now has a Smeding Performance Extreme 351W small-block, an FMX transmission, a 3.25:1 Traction-Lok in a 9-inch housing, Baer disc brakes, 18-inch Magnum 500 wheels and Nitto tires, blazing Viper Red paint, Procar Elite bucket seats, and more. The Mustang Shop built Webb a weekend warrior to be envied and appreciated.