My dad is a great guy; he brings what’s leftover of a kick back to family reunions, he will tell me to take out the thermostat when a car overheats and leave it like that, he will tell you to not spend money on fixing a car when you can just clean it up, sell it and buy something else that needs lots more work.

He’s also a pretty nice guy, giving one of his coworkers loan after loan (I think the guy owes my pops around 5K.) To make sure that my dad has collateral, the guy gives my dad a V6 mustang with a 5-speed manual. I no longer live in california, but when I went to pack the rest of my things to move to michigan, instead of renting a car, my dad told me I could drive this Mustang around town. I picked up a gallon of coolant and had it ride shotgun with me wherever I went as the thing would spill its guts everywhere in the South Bay region.

I recently watched “A Faster Horse,” Ford Motor Company’s story behind the newest Mustang as well as some of the history behind America’s favorite Sports Car. Driving this thing around LA’s streets made me feel pride, to be an American, knowing that this thing is a part of history (yes, even though it’s the anemic 3.8L.) I drove this thing to the Petersen Museum, leaving a small coolant puddle to mark my parking spot. I went over to a couple friends places, smiles coming from their faces, not because they haven’t seen me in a long time, but because they know the ratchet life I live, and this thing was proof I wasn’t letting go anytime soon.

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Fast forward to a few weekends ago, and I told my dad I missed the mustang, and he said he’d help me ship it out (and by help, he meant he’d give my uncle the keys and that’s about it.) I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I knew that having a new car is nice, but having a project to keep my hands busy is what I wanted most. I was happy, my fiancee was happy I stopped shopping on craigslist for rust buckets, and the internet is happy because I don’t have enough power to plow into a crowd of spectators...yet.

There’s quite a long laundry list of things this thing desperately needs in order for me to enjoy what little summer I have left, including fixing that radiator leak, checking what’s going on with the driver side window so I can feel wind through my hair, trouble-shooting vacuum lines for the climate control, replacing the front windshield that is so badly scraped I can barely see...