Mine started when I was about 15 or 16. I remember starting to think about getting my license, what I wanted, what I was able to get and what was realistic. I started shopping for some older 4x4 jeeps or trucks. Since I lived in the woods, I had access lots of trails and open woods areas to drive around in. I also lived in Connecticut, so winter was something I had to be prepared for.
Around this same time the new S197(2005) body style mustangs were being released and my neighbor's mom down the road had just picked up a yellow convertible GT. She would drive us places and pick us up from football practice so I spent some time in the car and really liked it. It looked cool, had a nice interior and what's cooler than having a Mustang at 16?
Anyways, I had my license for about 3 months now and was content taking my mom's vehicle when I could and she always let me drive when we went somewhere together. I wasn't allowed to drive to school yet due to limited parking so I really wasn't in a huge rush to have my own vehicle, nor could I afford anything I really really wanted. I had done some shopping around online and looked at market value of some vehicles I had liked on e-bay, but hadn't really come to a decision.
One weekend in March my mom wanted to go shopping. I immediately jumped up and volunteered to drive. We took some back roads off the highway since there was some traffic on the way and drove by a Ford dealership. Without asking I turned in and said I wanted to look at some cars, after a few "whys" and "how did this happen?" by my mom, I parked the car out front, looked over at her, smiled, turned the car off and got out. I wandered a bit and was looking at trucks and wandered over to the line of new Mustangs. Two in particular had stood out, one was red with with stripes, aftermarket wheels and a few other cosmetic mods. The other black with silver stripes, aftermarket wheels and same cosmetic goodies. After drooling for a bit my mom rounded me up and we finished up her shopping trip. But after that day I started looking into used 2005 mustangs online and asking my dad question about them since he had a 1966 Chevelle he always worked on, and my dad, he was my go to car question guy. We had also taken a look at some late 60s and early 70s Chevelles but my mom ended up ending that with a veto claiming they weren't safe enough. I was a bit disappointed but kept searching.
Fast forward a few weeks to April, I start talking more and more about my own vehicle, asking for some help getting something a little nicer since summer was coming up and I was going to be a senior and able to drive to school next year. My parents must have taken notice because one afternoon after football practice my dad said he was going to pick me up, but was running a little late. I sat waiting outside the school gym on the steps waiting for my ride to show up and bring me home to stuff my face with food after a long day. Every car that comes around the corner my head pops up waiting for his forrest green work truck or my mom's bronzeish Nissan Pathfinder to turn the corner. One after another they come and go but nothing catches my eye until I hear a slight rumble around the corner and the flash of a red front end come out from behind the corner. I look down again knowing my family doesn't own any red vehicles, but then I hear the exhaust rumble again and look up to see a red mustang with white stripes driving down thinking "dang that's cool wonder who that is" then slowly coming to the realization that was the same exact car I saw at the dealership a few weeks ago, and that dark figure in the drivers seat was my dad. I jumped up and said "holy shit that's my car!!"
So not only was this my first car but it was my first manual vehicle. I had an ATV that was manual and had ridden dirt bikes before so was used to the concept of shifting and changing gear but had never actually done it in a car before. My dad's 1966 Chevelle was an all original, numbers matching, no power steering/brakes car, so he wasn't comfortable letting me drive that nor would I have wanted to probably. But it took a day or so of practicing in a lot and driving around before I was comfortable driving on the street and starting/stopping on hills. From then on it was an obsession. If the car got dirty, it was washed within a day or two, if there was bird crap on there, it was removed swiftly and paint properly taken care of. Was lucky enough to have a garage at home to keep it in so it was constantly spotless.
Two weeks later he stuffed me into his 1969 Chevelle SS and we drove a hundred miles or so up to a car show together with both of his cars. It was a really cool experience being able to cruise to a show with my dad in two badass cars, definitely the first of many shows we would go to together in his cars.
Over the next few months/years my love for my car and Mustangs had grown immensely! I was active on many forums (Shout-out to anyone reading this who remembers MFOT/O-Tards!!), attended many shows and had taken a trip out to Arizona to start College at ASU. Which took away my much appreciated and convenient garage parking with outdoor parking.
Bringing my car out here allowed me to attend shows here in Arizona. Once again I was being exposed to all kinds of new cars, I was used to more older muscle cars, or mid 90s early 00s cars that are well taken care of or custom. But now I was seeing more exotic cars, old and new. Ferraris, Lamborghini, Porsche, Bugatti, Mercedes, McLaren, among others. Performance, luxury and style all in one package with the price tag to accompany. But being exposed to these types of vehicles and fusing it with my love for older muscle cars and mustangs; I had this fantasy of taking the performance & luxury characteristics of these cars and putting them under a Mustang which once again was out of the question for myself due to the cost.
As the Mustang evolved year after year I always liked the changes but never loved a body style more than the original S197 style that I had on my 2007. Until I saw the release of the 2015s. Instantly I fell in love and set out to make it my goal to get a new car. Mine was pushing the age limit of being able to make any money from it and I managed to keep the miles low over an 8 year span (43,xxx miles) so I was confident I could get a decent price for it still. I was always building a new one on the Ford site and would stare as I drove by dealerships when they were lined up out front. The power and style increase was HUGE along with the quality of the car. More power, IRS, updated interior with some luxury options, close to the high end brands I had mentioned but came at a price I was more comfortable with. Then the commercials were slapping me in the face telling me "IT'S TIME!!!!"...
So with my eye on a new car, a few months away from getting ready to take the dive, my car starts making an awful grinding/clanking noise. I try and diagnose the problem and come to my conclusion that it's something to do with the differential/rear end. I take it to the closest dealership to have them look at it and they tell me they think it's the bushing and partly the a-arms making the noise I disagree but trust them to do their work. They call me back later saying they replaced the A-arms and bushings but now the rear end blew out. They tried to charge me for the parts they already replaced (A-arms/bushings) and new parts to replace the transmission that I told them was having some issues but they ignored. I wasn't happy, so I spoke with a few people at the dealer and got someone who agreed to replace the broken parts they found in the rear end, but not everything. So rather than drop some money into it, I decided to sell it as is and pick up something new. Two days later I manage to find almost the exact car that I had been building online, close by on a lot. I drove out there and picked her up two days later! After selling the 07 and closing the deal on the new 2016 Magnetic Premium GT with the Performance Package I couldn't be happier. I can't wait for my next Mustang :)
Where does your passion come from?