20 August 2008

The Mustang Itch

It was 1982. I was 5 years old living in Bedford, Indiana. My mother had remarried and my stepfather had this awesome white 1969 Boss 429. I remember one night my mom took my two stepbrothers and me out for a drive around town. At one of the few stoplights in town, a couple of guys pulled next to us in a Plymouth Road Runner and asked my mom if she wanted to race to the next light. Four blocks later, the tires were still smoking and the guys finally caught up to us. The early morning call came in from my grandfather because the police log recorded two incidents of a speeding white Mustang that couldn’t be caught. Although I’m not sure that my mom ever confessed to him that it was her, my grandfather knew who was stirring up trouble. At this point my obsession with Mustangs – especially ’69 Boss 429 Mustangs – had begun.

After my mom used the Boss as a daily driver for nearly two years, my stepfather decided it was time to sell it. My passion for Mustangs never died. At age 16, I purchased a white ’89 GT 5.0 with the help of my grandparents. After stirring up some trouble of my own with this car throughout high school, I sold it following my freshman year of college to buy a truck; the 5.0 wasn’t exactly the best means of transportation to school in the snow and ice.

By the time I was a senior in college, I had the itch to own another Mustang and, thus, bought a black ’93 GT convertible, which I sold after six short months to buy a black ’95 GT convertible. Neither of these cars did much to quench my thirst for speed and performance. So three months after buying the ’95, I convinced my grandfather that I needed something with more power. We drove around Indiana looking for the right car and ended up with a 1997 Rio Red Cobra. I drove the Cobra every day for about six months until I got out of college. I then put it away as something I would enjoy on weekends and sunny days.

This was the first Mustang that my wife Jaime had ever spent any time around. We enjoyed a few cruises and car shows including a 140 mph jaunt down I-65 trying to chase down a 1969 Mach 1 CJ in the Cobra, but our priorities in life were changing and we decided to let the Cobra go. We then moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, got married, started new jobs and began the search to fulfill my dream of owning a Boss 429. After many hours of searching, losing and negotiating on many cars, we ended up buying “Delores,” a Grabber Blue ’70 Boss 302 that was built on my birthday seven years before I was born.

I still had the dream of owning a Boss 429, and six months later we added a Grabber Blue ’70 Boss 429 to the stable. Although I loved these two cars, my heart was in love with the styling of the white ’69 Boss we had when I was a kid. After selling the two Grabber Blue Bosses, the search continued.

On February 19, 2006, I acquired the Mustang I had dreamed about all these years. KK1692, a Royal Maroon ’69 Boss 429 was then parked in our garage. With only 34,000 original miles, KK1692 still retains its matching numbers, drivetrain and about 60-70 percent of its original paint. The void has now been filled, and I feel blessed to own my dream Mustang. The next step is to give KK1692 the restoration it deserves…

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