Stephan V 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 2dr SportsRoof

Family Traditions

In 1970 my father was turning 16 and in high school at Lyman Ward Military Academy near Auburn Alabama. It was a Saturday in September when my Grandparents drove down from a city in the farthest corner of the state, Muscle Shoals, to deliver my father his 16th birthday present. His present was a new 1970 Mustang Mach 1 351C. My grandparents picked up my father and took him to my grandfather's Alma Mater, Auburn University, to see a football game. Due to my father being sick that day they sat in the parking lot in the car and listened to the game on the a.m. radio, but nonetheless it was an experience that he would never forget. Years past and eventually after being driven 80,000 miles the Mach 1 was put into storage.

After I was born it was immediately said that it would eventually be my car, but by then it was in disrepair from sitting in a barn for almost 20 years. When I was 10 years old we rolled the car out and began the restoration("we" is a lose term because it was really my dad). As a child I "helped" my dad during visits on the weekends and by the time I was a senior in High School it was largely finished. So after some convincing on my part that I wouldn't wreck the family heirloom I was off to my Senior Prom.

Later on my dad became interested in his new Mustang GT and track racing, and noticed that I was still deeply in love with the Mach 1. I finally took possession of the car almost on my 30th birthday, which I guess is a good age to trust a gear head speed hungry child such as myself with such an important piece of history. I just can't stop cleaning, polishing, and staring at the car since the day I got it home. Lately I've realized that this is more than a car, Mustang, or Mach 1. It's a story of our family that I don't own, but instead a caretaker of to keep and add to with my own soon to be son that is due this January. If you get a chance to hold on to a piece of history that can pass on the essence of your family, do it. I promise no matter what the trouble it's worth it!

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