May 30, 2007

Owner: Cole Blaise
Location: Kansas City, MO
Vehicle: '68 Ford Mustang Hardtop
Color: Blue
Engine: 289ci V-8
Length Of Ownership: 5 years
Primary Use: Daily Driver

The first winner in our '07 YO Club contest is Cole Blaise of Kansas City, Missouri. When we asked for some information on his fine-looking '68 hardtop, he wrote us quite an e-mail. Since Cole took the time to write such a nice story, we'll publish his words here:

"The story behind the car is actually really cool. It was my dad's car before it became mine, and he took my mom on their first date in it. After a while, my dad parked it because of some problems, and it pretty much rusted away. The floorpan was almost completely gone. On the passenger side, you could put your feet through the pan and touch the ground.

About seven or eight years ago, my dad gave it to a guy from his work who wanted to restore it. The guy replaced the floorpan and the interior and got it to pass state inspection, but there was still a lot of rust on the body. The guy couldn't keep up with the repairs and all the time it took to restore it, so he decided to sell it. Luckily, he came to my dad first, who--without a second thought--paid the $2,000 to get his old baby back.

Just getting the Mustang past inspection wasn't good enough. We started taking apart the front fenders, remove the windshield and glass, and other small stuff. Neither of us could weld or paint. We didn't have the tools to even attempt it and didn't have the money to have a professional do it.

So there it sat in our garage for four to five years.

Slowly but surely, we got the new front fenders, rear quarters, trunk lid, and a lot more. We found a guy who would paint and put everything back together for a relatively good price. While he was working on it, even more parts had to be replaced, and the price went up. It seemed like forever. When it was finally done, we didn't have the money to pay for it all, so we had to wait another couple of weeks, which was torture, but we eventually got it home.

By then it was winter, so I went out in our freezing-cold garage and put all the interior back in. That was at the end of February, and ever since then I've loved every minute with my Mustang.

Last week, I pulled out of a parking garage on campus. As I turned left, there were two guys in suits walking down the sidewalk. As soon as they saw me and the Mustang, they both stopped. The first guy gave me a thumbs-up, and the second just started clapping and nodding his head. I was laughing the whole way home."

Our YO Club winner this month will have a hard time deciding what to purchase from the vast NPD catalog with his $400 gift certificate, that's for sure. NPD, with four locations around the country--Florida, (800) 874-7595; Michigan, (800) 521-6104; North Carolina, (800) 368-6451; and California, (800) 235-3445--is able to ship parts quickly to any location in the continental United States. Offering a full line of restoration and restomod parts for the '65-'73 Mustangs, NPD is also committed to reproducing many of the parts that are hard to find in restorable condition. NPD's promise states: "We're committed to selling only the best restoration products available while maintaining the lowest overall pricing. It takes a little work, but the reward has been outstanding growth for our company, and that means still-lower prices and faster delivery to our customer." For more information, visit the National Parts Depot Web site at www.npdlink.com.