Jeff Ford
March 1, 2000
Contributers: Dave Bruno, Michael Digrazia, Greg Flessante, Marcelino,, Jim Reminga

My second Mustang, an '85 five-speed GT hatchback (pictured in Mustang Monthly's Sept. '98 Readers' Best issue, p. 26) was purchased mainly because I needed a car for college, which was a year away at the time, and I have always liked the last of the carbureted H.O. models. So with my very limited funds in hand, I went out on my search.

After about four months of looking, I found a two-owner Bright Red GT hatch with 46,000 miles on it that had spent the past five years sitting in a barn. The reason was the second owner did some kind of heavy work and when it came time to drive home after a long hard day, operating a clutch and shifting did not appeal to him. So after a few weeks of daily driving, the car was parked and a Thunderbird took its place.

After making the seller an offer, and then waiting two weeks for him to make up his mind, the car became mine. We brought it home on September 21, 1996, which was about seven hours round- trip. I was 17 at the time. Fortunately or unfortunately-depending on how you look at it-the GT never became my daily driver. I just could not bring myself to put it in snow, slush, and salt. At present, the car still sports its original Bright Red paint and has about 52,600 miles on the odometer.

I try to take this car to as many shows as I can fit into my schedule. So far, I've attended the '97, '98, and '99 Carlisle All-Ford Nationals, and have won a Third, First, and Third Place, respectively. I've recently begun to participate in MCA regional judged Mustang shows and of the three events I have gone to so far, I picked up a First, Second, and First Place in their street-driven classes.

I liked Editor Ford's Hoofbeats column "Viva La Revolution, Baby!" (Aug. '99, p. 4) about younger Mustang owners. Also, I enjoyed reading about 17-year-old Joshua Green and his '66 hardtop featured in the July '99 issue (p. 63), and I wouldn't mind seeing more cars owned by younger enthusiasts in your magazine. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink! At any rate, keep up the good work.

I used to think I came into this world with a passion for Mustangs. Then one day, I came across this photograph. I felt as if I'd stepped back in time. I remember it was a bright, sunny day. My family and I were at an automobile auction in Chicago (I am front right in the picture. I was about 8 years old). We walked leisurely through the auction previewing the cars, when suddenly something caught my eye. The car of my dreams! It was a bright red '65 Mustang convertible go-cart. The Pony sported a single-wheel disc brake, 8hp Briggs and Stratton engine, bench front seat (for one) and radio delete. We went home that day without the car, but I never forgot about it. I wanted that car so badly that I can still "taste" it today. Thinking back, I know this is the point at which my Mustang journey began.

Automobiles have always been a big part of my life. While I was growing up, my father owned several automotive businesses in Chicago. I enjoyed going to work with him every chance I got. I loved being with my father and seeing all the cars. He taught me many things about automobiles. It seemed as though every type of car went through his shop at one time or another. I saw several Mustangs come into the shop, but I still did not have one I could call my own.

When I was fast approaching age 16, I couldn't wait to drive, but even more, I couldn't wait to own a Mustang. After lengthy negotiation, my father agreed to purchase a car if we found the right one. I came close to owning a '65 Vintage Burgundy hardtop, but the deal fell through. I read the classifieds more than my schoolbooks at that time in my life, and my father and I went to look at countless Mustangs. The more cars I looked at, the more I knew what I wanted in a Mustang. My thoughts kept going back to the little go-cart from years ago. It had to be red, and it had to be a convertible.