Michael has had his own 1969 Mustang Convertible for 27 years and he always wanted his son to have his own. The day before Bradley was born, Michael purchased his son’s Mustang Pedal Car! Bradley would take it to car shows with his father with the license plate that said “Bradley’s Mustang”.
When Bradley was 14 he asked his Father the very serious question, “what is my Mustang going to be Dad?” Michael made a deal with him; Bradley had to agree to pay half of the money and he had to do as much of the work as possible. He agreed! He chose a 65 Fastback! That made Michael smile because he had a 65 fastback in college and loved the car! Bradley took a job at a local ice cream store and he also did odd jobs for people in church and raked leaves to make the money.
They started looking for cars and on October 26th, 2012 they bought the shell! As costs continued, Bradley was hired at a local golf course to be in the bag room where he still works today. They were very fortunate to be able to find a few locals who were excited about a kid wanting to build a car and were excited to help. Jack Ball, retired from General Motors, agreed to help Bradley rebuild the engine. Jack became a Grandpa figure to Bradley and the each earned mutual respect for the other. What an amazing experience for a 14 year old kid to tear the engine down to the bare block, have it bored and then rebuild it!
After the engine was rebuilt he had earned more money and was ready to start the body work. They were fortunate to find Mike Holderman who agreed to paint the car with Bradley. The “paint job” turned into a full body restoration. Finally the car went from gray primer to Black! That was a magical time in the car build. It was starting to look like “his car”. Mike Reed agreed to do the “weekend project” of wiring the car and Mike’s Garage was the first place Bradley was able to sit in the driver’s seat and turn the key to fire the engine!
Michael told his son at age 14 that he wanted his blood sweat and tears in this car and he has all of them! When Bradley was getting ready to take the Mustang to his first car show, The Kunkel Cruise in Wabash , IN. he started reminiscing and thinking about the journey, the relationships he built, all he learned and how much that meant to him when originally it had been about the end goal-the finished Mustang. During the process Michael continually said, this was about the journey and having the opportunity to have a son who wants to learn and work hard and invest his hard earned money into the project. As a dad, this continues to be, an amazing journey. The highlight of the build was the Saturday night after the Kunkel show when emotions and tears of joy and accomplishment flowed freely between a Dad and Son.