John F 1967 Ford Mustang GT 2dr Coupe

A Good Decision

Life is often about choices. There are good decisions and bad decisions that are a result of choices. As a child I was either the oldest or the youngest. I gravitated toward older persons especially spending a lot of time with my father who was a "car guy." I remember many of the adults saying, "I wish I had my first car." For some reason that phrase stuck with me.

Before my wife and I married, I remember being asked by her to help her buy a new car. She wanted an Oldsmobile Cutlass but did not want to pay the purchase price. She kept asking me what was I interested in and I keep saying that that was not as important. She had to be happy with what she wanted to drive not me. Her persistence led us to Richmond Ford and on the showroom floor was this 1967 Mustang with the Sprint Package. The price was $2,929. I was beautiful but did not have a manual transmission. That was all that I was interested in at that time. I wanted "4 in the floor." The salesman saw that she was interested and asked if she wanted to take it for a test drive. We did and to my surprise she liked the car. The payments per month were $93.73-somewhat steep for a single woman just out of college preparing for her first job as a teacher. To make that monthly commitment, she needed a down payment. Her father promised to support but he and her mother lived 90 miles away in Hampton, Virginia. The salesman said that she could drive the car for the weekend without any deposit or identification! We drove to Hampton, received her father's approval and down payment, and returned to Richmond. She chose to buy the Mustang. She made a good decision on July 22, 1967.

We married in 1968 and the Mustang became our first family member. I returned from Vietnam in 1971 and with a second child on the way we considered getting a bigger car. Do we trade for a larger or keep the Mustang and get a second car? We chose to get another car and keep the Mustang. We made a good decision.

In 1979 we thought it was time to sell the Mustang. It had 141,000+ miles. Several military moves and trips across the country created a situation that the more fuel efficient cars-gas crisis-had to be considered. Do we trade the Mustang for a fuel efficient car? We chose to keep it and buy new Hondas. We made a good decision. The Mustang sat in the garage for the next next 7 years.

Time arrived for our older daughter to drive. Do we fix the Mustang for her? We did but bought her another car that was smaller and safer. Then we have an opportunity to move to California. Do we take it with us? We did and it continued to sit and take up garage space? We had an on-frame restoration in 1991 but it sat another 19 years before finally restarting in 2010. Since then, it has become my "weekend driver" in good weather. Life is about choices; we made several good decisions especially listening to others say, "I wish I had kept my first car." We did. I am glad the phrase stuck.


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