November 1, 2008

Owner: Amanda Sanders
Location: Millersville, MD
Vehicle: '67 Mustang fastback
Engine: 306ci V-8
Length of Ownership: 7 years
Primary Use: Weekend driver

Currently Amanda's pride and joy, this '65 was given to her when she was 15. "My dad has been restoring cars for years and we had planned to get a Mustang for me as my first car. Then one day, he said that he hadn't been able to get the car, but to my surprise, that afternoon, there it was in the driveway." The '65 in question had been dragged out of a wheat field. When it arrived in the Johnson driveway, it was held together with chicken wire and suffered from the Fred Flintstone syndrome. "It was dilapidated," Amanda says. "For the bodywork, we ended up replacing everything except the roof." The day the car came home was the day Amanda started working on it. "My dad said to me, 'You can crawl under the car and start taking it apart'-so I did." Although the project took longer than initially anticipated-close to four years by the time everything was done, including sourcing and rebuilding a 289 and C4-the car was completed just a few days shy of Amanda's 19th birthday. "It was originally supposed to be my high school graduation present. I guess you could say it ended up being my college one instead," she laughs. Still, the end result was worth it. "It was a big project to bring this car back to life, and it sure opened my eyes-but I learned so much, and it was great to work with my dad on it."

As is the case with many classic Ford projects, there's always something else that can be done; Amanda's '65 isn't finished yet. "My dad and I are planning to put in an automatic overdrive trans and change the rear gears." She takes the car to cruise nights and the big show, Neon Nights, when it comes to town. Also, her friends have been itching to go for a ride ever since the car was put back on the road. "I have a list," she says, "of which friends can go with me and in what order, though I think all of them have now been in the car at least once." It's tough being popular, isn't it?

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