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

Then one day, I came across an ad for a '70 red Mustang convertible. Well it wasn't a '65, but it was red and it was a convertible, so we went to see it. When I saw the car, I knew this was it. My father and I checked it out. The car had a 302ci engine backed by a C4 automatic, power steering, power brakes, red exterior, white interior, and a white power top. My dad offered him a little less than he was asking, but the owner held firm to his price. We drove away, and I couldn't believe I'd come so close to my dream.

A few days later, the owner called and agreed to the price my dad offered. My dad did not tell me right away. He wrote out a message on his desk stating, "The owner of the Mustang called and agreed to price. Come get the car." My dad sent me to his desk to retrieve an item underneath this message. He intended for me to read the message, but I dutifully brought the item without reading the message. My dad couldn't believe it. He sent me back to read the message. You could say that was one of the happier days of my life. I drove it home with the top down all the way.

Hangin'

I drove this car throughout high school and college. During that time, I met and married my high school sweetheart. We went on many dates in the 'Stang. Of course, the "Just Married" sign looked real good on the back of the Mustang. We took this car on our honeymoon to Sanibel Island, Florida. Our first apartment was in Florida. I took a job at Sitton's Towing and Repair. Although I had tinkered with cars nearly all my life, it was Steve Sitton who took me under his wing and taught me much more about auto repair. Steve was a Ford man. He liked the big-block Fairlanes. However, since I left, I have found several Mustangs in his stable.

I am now 27 years old. I am married with one son. I am employed as a machinist. I have since added a white '65 Mustang hardtop to my corral. I have retired the convertible for sunny weekends. I use the '65 as my daily driver. Trying to find time to work on my cars is not as easy as it used to be. However, the other day I was outside working under one of my cars, and I heard my 3-year-old suddenly become very excited. He said, "Daddy, Daddy, look! Look! A Mustang convertible- a red one!"

I stood up next to him as we watched a '67 red convertible cruise by. We waved to them, and I was struck by the excitement in my son's voice. I remembered the excitement I felt about the little red go-cart a long time ago, and I am glad I can pass this dream on to my son.

Editor's Note: When we received this story, the original envelope and accompanying letter were misplaced. If you are responsible for this fun trip to Charlotte, please write us so that we can give credit where credit is due.

I had no idea he was going to Charlotte, but then how would I? I'd met him only twice briefly-this 21-year-old son of a legendary Mustang suspension and fiberglass wizard-yet I recognized his lanky build, youthful looks, and apple-red dyed hair as I sat one row in front of him on the eastbound jet. I reintroduced myself as the buddy of one of his open-track Shelby customers. We chatted a bit, and the person next to me offered to switch seats.

Geez, I thought, other than the word Mustang, what could we have in common? I was more than twice his age, and into the concours restoration of a '70 Boss 302. He was into custom suspensions on 5.0s and SN-95s. Charlotte-to me-meant hard-to-find bits and pieces, a sea of '65-'73 cars, and scribbling notes on the finer points of undercarriage detailing. His Charlotte must surely be something very different. Our common denominator was my open-track buddy, who had nicknamed him Q-Tip for unknown reasons.