If a man is defined by the company he keeps, then a lot can be said about the car he drives. While the political views of our family are all personal and individual, we are, without a doubt, a Ford family. While you won't find any of those annoying stickers of little boys peeing on a Chevy 'bow tie,' you won't find a GM product permanently parked in our driveway either.
From the time I met Al, he has driven a Mustang. He tells me that it was 'love at first sight.' Not necessarily making a reference to his future wife, but certainly to the moment he first laid eyes on a Ford Mustang.
Park Falls, Wisconsin during the mid-1960s was just like any other Midwest small town; the latest news and gossip made the rounds quickly. April 17, 1964, was like any other spring day with the exception of the arrival of a Mustang at Vincent and Vincent Ford Dealership; a white convertible with red interior. Even at 12-years of age, Al remembers it was a six-cylinder, 3-speed on the floor. It would be another five years before he would slip behind the wheel of his own Mustang - a 1968 Mustang coupe; Wimbelton white with red interior. Later, the car underwent a radical upgrade when Al and his brother-in-law, built a racing motor that transformed the car from a pedestrian vehicle into a muscle car.
Volunteering for the draft in the early 1970s, marriage and a tour of Viet Nam made it impractical to keep the car and brought to the end an important part of Al's youth. His love for the classic Mustang's continued and at various times in our life, we have had other pony's parked in our garage. They were all very nice cars but never held a special place until 1994 when Al found an ad for a 1965 2+2 Fastback for sale in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. A California car (no rust) and a check of the VIN showed it to be a true San Jose assembled vehicle with the rare Champagne Beige paint. The drive home made it clear that a lot of work would be needed on the engine.
The car is known simple as "The Sixty-Five" - it has since undergone a transmission transformation and engine upgrades that makes it one quick pony. We drove it to Charolette, NC, for the 35th anniversary of the Mustang and again to Nashville five years later. She will never be a trailer queen; it is my favorite vehicle to go out for ice cream and long drives along the backroads during Autumn, when the fall colors are best enjoyed with the windows rolled down.
Every year Al threatens to take it out to the Iola Car Show and see how much someone would pay to own The Sixty-Five. I'm not too worried. We've been down that road of watching someone else drive away in our car and don't think that we're about to have history repeat itself.
Copyright © 2008 by Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski