The Widespread Mustang Epidemic - My Mustang Experience
How Readers Caught The Fever
The Mustang is one of the only collector vehicles that is multigenerational on such a mammoth scale. Few cars have ever been able to lay claim to such a boast. People from seemingly every age group and economical and racial background populate our hobby. But what seems to galvanize us is not just the car. The relational stories that have brought us where we are seem to be what make us who we are. There are stories of triumph and woe, good parts, bad installs, Sunday drives, and last requests. Stories-thousands of them-are out there. And every day we receive letters from proud owners telling us about their car and, more importantly, about themselves. Some of these have moved us, some have made us laugh, and others have made us shake our heads in disbelief. But all of them are special to us.
What we have here are some of the stories sent in by your fellow readers. These aren't professionally written, though you'd never know it by reading them. Everyone has a story about how he or she caught the fever-how it either pulled them in a twinkling of an eye or slowly drew them in. Some are funny, some are sad, and some share a ray of hope about what is and what will be. All of them are great because all of them come from the heart of an enthusiast.
There are many things that can come into a young boy's life to change him-particularly if he is around the age of 6. There are things that, at the time, seemingly have little importance, but which can grow into strange and wonderful consequences as the boy matures into manhood. I am like so many enthusiasts for whom that galvanizing moment revolved around a Mustang. What is most stunning is that until I looked at a photo taken in the winter of '68, I didn't have a recollection of the car.
That photo was of my cousin Janet's new Mustang hardtop buried up to the wheels in snow. Though this is not unusual for say New York, in South Carolina it is profoundly traffic-stopping. I remembered the snow and suddenly that car. I was thunderstruck. Here was the original car that began my obsession, and through the years, I had pushed the obsession into a back corner of my mind like any 6-year-old would, but it obviously had its impact on me.
Of course, were it not for Janet, I might still be working in the ad biz designing brochures and print ads. My fondness for Mustangs might only be a passing fancy rather than an all-consuming passion. She drove the wheels off that car, and brought it over to our house so often the Mustang spent as much time in front of our house as it did hers. I now remember being fascinated by the glovebox door on the console and the trick blinkers in the hood. I also remember the gleam of the white top and that the car was painted my favorite color-blue.
All of that would have meant nothing if a mean old man had owned the car. Instead, it was owned by a pretty teenager who took time out of her day for a 6-year-old boy. That really meant something to a kid with no siblings to emulate. I can't say that there are memories of the hardtop's blazing speed or nimble handling. All I can say is that I was young, and she and that hardtop made an impression. That impression grew into the fever I have today-a fever that makes me do what I do. If this is a sickness, then let me never recover.
I have been a fan of Mustangs since around the age of 5, even though I can't remember what exactly caught my attention. I like all things automotive, but Mustangs are the most appealing to me. It's safe to say my fondness for these cars only gets stronger with time.
My first Mustang was an '8511/42 SVO. It was purchased when I was 15 from a local used car lot that had no idea what it was, which translates to a low, low, low asking price. I'm the second owner of the car, and after a successful search for the original owner, I found out the entire history.