The irony is strong in this story, but so are the smiles.
Consider this an up-front warning – the short story that follows could have some of you rolling your eyes, but stick with us because it also happens to be undeniably charming. That’s because we have a family with the last name of Speed, whose father literally traded a pony for America’s original Pony Car, a Ford Mustang. That was many years ago, but the gesture stuck because the family now boasts eight classic Mustangs and a few more recent models to boot.
The story begins with one Gilbert Speed, who decided that the family’s real-life pony was a bit small for his seven children to ride. So he did what any good father would do – he traded the pony for a car. In this instance the pony was swapped for a 1965 Ford Mustang. Yes, a pony for a Pony Car. We told you some of this might be worthy of an eye roll, but the story gets much better.
As is often the case with families that appreciate cars, the passion for owning, fixing, and restoring them trickled down through the ranks. The bias certainly fell to Fords – the family had experience driving and wrenching on them through Gilbert Speed’s trucking company. The youngest son Chester bought and restored a 1965 Mustang of his own back in 1980, and that opened the floodgates for him and brother Daniel – who now works in the aerospace industry – to start restoring them.
Speed family's original 1965 Ford Mustang, before and after restoration.
All total, four of Gilbert Speed’s children now have eight classic Mustangs. It’s an enviable list of cars that, considering the family name, is also quite appropriate. The fleet includes three 1969 Mach 1s, two 1970 Mach1s, two 1971 Mach 1s, and a 1973 convertible. Get it? Speed … Mach 1? More eye rolling?
Go ahead and eye roll, because this family is spread out across Florida and Georgia but it regularly honours its father’s memory by hitting the road with Mustangs at least twice a year. When Gilbert Speed passed away, the children turned the family’s Mustang legacy into something of a memorial for him, meeting up to cruise the shows while reminiscing about days gone by.
And that, friends, is the best legacy any of us car-crazy people could hope for. This is a Ford story, and frankly, we can’t blame the manufacturer one tiny bit for wanting to share it. But the heart of the message transcends make or model. It’s why you read about cars, and talk about them, and take such pride in whatever you drive. It’s certainly why we write about them, and it’s why we strive to not only find the news on the latest supercars, but also the feel-good stories like these. It’s what being a car enthusiast is all about.
Well done, Speed family.