From Adults to Teens and Everything In Between

From Adults to Teens and Everything In Between

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Education of a Mustang

If you know me this next line comes as no surprise.  I am a Daddy's girl.  My earliest memories are of following my Dad around 'helping' him.  As a parent of a three and five year old now I know that it was through the greatest act of love and patience that I was allowed to 'help' my father do anything. But that isn't the topic of this post.  Today, I want to tell you about an evolution.

You see, my Dad, he is a Ford man.  Yes I know, most of you reading this right now are women and probably not car people and even less of you are motorcycle people.  But, stay with me. I'm not sure of the exact year my Dad bought one of the most collectible mustangs of all time but I do know those few years we owned it I begged him almost daily for rides in it.  I learned the value of hard work each weekend when we shined her up for car shows.  How to be careful and gentle when I was anywhere near her glossy black paint or pony stitched leather seats.  Believe it or not.  In the early 1980s we owned a 1968 Shelby Cobra GT500KR Fastback.  A what?


Only a few hundred were made and each one was numbered.  There are only a very few left in existence and they sell for more than most houses do.  At the time we owned them they weren't worth a fraction of what they are today.  And I cried like a baby the day my Dad sold it.  Watching it leave our drive way was pure torture. Complete with all the drama a pre-teen could muster. My sincere apologies Dad.

For Dad, that car was one of many in a long line of Mustangs.  Albeit the most special of the breed.  So, when I was fifteen and car hunting I did what every young lady dreams of.  I bought my own 1966 Mustang Coupe.  It was only a little inline six-cylinder.  Not the hefty 289.  Though my uncle did have a 350 Windsor in his garage he said he'd help me install when he was teaching me how to solder my leaking radiator. Dad, however, was a firm No. Not because I wasn't capable of learning and doing the job, but because he was worried about all the illegal racing I'd probably do.  Frankly, he was right!

I spent hours working on that car with my dad. Again, he demonstrated his bottomless well of patience as we rebuilt the carburetor.  Too many little parts and pieces to name and describe for you here, but amazing that things smaller than your finger nail can keep a car from running properly.  Then there was the day we changed the valve cover gaskets.  Inside these covers are the most mesmerizing moving parts, that when the engine is running, squirt oil everywhere!  Yes, Dad knew my fascination so, he did rev that engine for just a few seconds.  It was worth the hour of clean up.

A few years later I went off to college and fell in love with a 1989 Mustang GT 5.0 five speed and traded up in the world.  Don't get too excited though this was in 1996.  So, still a cheap car.

This is the era where I learned to drive. I was already well trained in the art of changing oil, spark plugs and fan belts.  Though the battery still terrified me.  I've seen a few of those spark. No Thank You. I'll let someone else handle that.

This leads me to the next evolutionary step of car buying.  By this time I was married.  My amazing husband is into motorcycles.  I am also a lover of all things two wheeled, be they road worthy or off road ferocity. He actually bought me my first motorcycle and much hilarity ensued as I learned to ride that top heavy beast. But, I'm off track.  In his infinite wisdom since we were newly married, I'd just graduated from college and had my first real job, we did NOT, I repeat, did not buy a newer mustang like I wanted.  Oh no.  He bought me a Saturn Vue.  I almost died the first day I drove that car.  Not from humiliation as you might believe, though that was a close second.  I was simply used to the power of a mustang, the speed and handling.  A Vue did not have those features and I learned that quickly the first time I pulled into rush hour traffic and the four cylinder could barely get out of its own way.

Needless to say that car did not last in my life very long.  Which leads me to my current vehicle. Much to my husband's continuing torture.  About nine months after purchasing the Vue I begged him to go to the grocery store with me.  Not something he normally did, but he was eventually persuaded.  Upon arriving at the establishment I parked in the side lot which was conveniently located right beside the same dealer who sold us the Vue. "Oh look honey!" I said pointing to the gorgeous Ford Explorer Sportrac that was climbing the gigantic rock pile that just happened to be in the middle of their parking lot. "Let's go look."

I did not buy groceries that day.  To quote Charlie Sheen, "Winning."

And now, we've made it to my current dilemma.  Ten years later I am ready to purchase a new car.  I keep drifting towards my beloved mustang.  Especially since there is a new body style release in 2013.  I can start educating my boys on the proper care and maintenance of a muscle car.  Each time I go to our local Ford dealer I take a trip through the showroom and drool over their 1968 Hertz Rent-A-Racer.  I have pointed our many features to both of my little ones, surprising the salesmen is also a small reward in and of itself.

This is also how I feel about my writing, its an evolution.  See, I did get back to the roots of this blog. I wrote my first novel and a short story.  I joined a critique group and a professional RWA group.  I'm entering my work in contests now so I can get feed back from professionals in the industry.  I keep learning and practicing, growing. I didn't give up even when others told me it was hopeless. I did what made my heart sing. Even if you didn't understand all the technical aspects of my analogy I hope you came away with the understanding that no matter what you are tackling patience and perseverance payoff.

Back to my dilemma.  Do I be the responsible parent and get the Soccer Mom SUV?  Or do I indulge my passion and buy the 2013 Mustang GT? Did I mention my Dad's newest purchase? A Cobra Kit Car...

I know what twelve-year-old me would do.


  1. Your dad bought my dream car, which coincidentally is the dream car I wrote into my novel for my MC...


    There's actually a restored one in the next town over - candy apple red and gorgeous, but the *idiot* who restored it evidently did it for someone's birthday and airbrushed their happy birthday greeting onto the panel of the passenger's side.

    We must have a small group of collectors because there's a beautiful pre-stingray Corvette and a *real* charger that could eat most of the rereleases for after dinner mints.

  2. Josin,
    Wow! What a shame to deface such a beautiful car. And a strange thing to have permanently put onto the side of an automobile... Sounds like you do have a car club in the area.

    I write historical romance right now so no way for me to incorporate into any of my WIPs. But, I do have a contemporary in mind, a few projects down the road. The Shelby just might put in a cameo.

  3. Oooh! With that Cobra, I can tell that your dad has a fine taste for cars. Hmmm... That's a tough decision to make. But I guess, by now, you already bought your car. What did you get? BTW, that Kit Car is just so flossy, and your dad is definitely 'the man' when it comes to cars. :)

  4. That is a very meaningful post. While reading your entry, I clearly see the bond that you and your father share. Both of you have a passion for good vehicles. And your dad, in his own little ways, imparts his knowledge and love for cars to you. Now that you are a parent, you can also share this to your kids!

  5. You’re so lucky to have a father who knows a lot about car repairs! Your burning passion for cars is what keeps the bond between the two of you strong. Now, that’s what I call SWEET! By the way, do you have your own car now?

    -Sara Anthony

  6. Wow! A Cobra Kit car! That’s awesome! This reminds me of my grandpa. He used you to have a green Cobra Kit back then. It’s old, but it can still be restored. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have time for that, so he just decided to give it to my uncle who’s a car enthusiast. And he really did a lot to customize that classic!


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