In this new blog entry, we continue the story of Conrad, his love of the Mustang and his life after the destruction of his beloved 1967 bronze, black vinyl top, 289 Mustang.
Image Info: Olympus OMD-EM5, Zuiko 12-40 @ 15mm, 1/250 sec @ f22, Lighting: Dynalite Baja B4, Cheetah 12x36 Stripbox
"Following on from that fateful night and the destruction of my beloved 1967 289, I attended two years of college, married the “church choir girl,” enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1975, attended seminary after the Corps, pastored a church, and commissioned in the Air Force as a chaplain. In May of 2016 after forty-and-one-half-years in military service, my “church-choir girl” said, “OK, it’s your turn. You’ve always been in love with the “other girl of your life…the mustang,” and you’ve always bought family cars since we started a family. For your retirement gift I want you to get your mustang!” I hesitated at first.
Image Info: Olympus OMD-EM5, Zuiko 12-40 @ 17mm, 1/250 sec @ f22, Lighting: Dynalite Baja B4, Cheetah 12x36 Stripbox
At 61, I asked myself, did I really want to drive a 2016 Mustang California Special, 5.0, putting out 425 horsepower, with 400 pounds of torque ?.... I’m a chaplain so I’ll just say…YES! The deal was done and I am the proud owner of a 2016 beauty and I drive it almost every day. She is my daily driver. We take her on road trips and for the first time since 1973, I again have that feeling of “I can’t believe I own this car.”
Image Info: Nikon D7100, Nikkor 17-55 @ 55mm, 1/50 sec @ f8, Lighting: Dynalite Baja B4, CheetahStand V850 x2
It was so obvious to see throughout the day we spent with Conrad and Nilda, the love these two people had for each other ....and for the Mustang. As Conrad talked so enthusiastically about his Mustang, Nilda's face was equally as expressive, filled with happiness that her husband was once again able to fulfill his wish to own his dream car. As Conrad and I talked he told me:
"Here's another true cliché, “I feel I’m on vacation every time I get in it.” Since its purchase, I’ve modified it a little but nothing that takes away from the “Mustang curves". I’ve upgraded the exhaust and installed the Ford Performance Pack 2 with tune. Next, is installing the Ford Track Pack suspension system with 4.09 gears…and that’s it…I think!
Image Info: Olympus OMD-EM5, Zuiko 12-40 @ 23mm, 1/250 sec @ f22, Lighting: Dynalite Baja B4, Cheetah 12x36 Stripbox
Nilda and I want to thank Graham and Brenda for taking such good care in taking the best pictures of my beauty. The large collage photograph they created from the images is hanging on my office wall and the pictures rotate on my computer laptop. “It looks like it’s moving standing still!”
As a photographer and a self confessed gear head, it is always satisfying to meet and interact with others who share my passion for all things automotive. It is also very humbling to be in the presence of those who selflessly give so much to others without a thought for themselves and in turn see them rightfully rewarded.
Conrad my friend, enjoy your beautiful Mustang.....drive her as often as you can. It was an honor to meet you and your beautiful wife Nilda. We thank you for your service to your country. May Nilda and you cherish every moment spent looking back over your incredible journey together......and embrace the road ahead to many more.