While we’ve visited other Mustang owners in previous features on these pages, this one has a pedigree the others can’t match. In fact, none of the classic car stories I’ve told before has a provenance of ownership such as this one.
This 1966 Fastback, K code with a Cobra package belongs to 18-year-old Caden Blake that he received as a gift from his late grandfather, David Lindsay, who had purchased it new from Caden’s great-grandfather at a Ford dealership in North Carolina.
That makes Caden his family’s fourth-generation owner of this 55-year-old Pony car that has just been restored, from the frame up, to its original condition via a process that took three years to complete.
All that work was funded by Caden’s grandfather as part of the inheritance the latter left for him.
Caden’s mom, Michelle – that’s her standing in the pictures here – shares her memories of the family’s journey with the car that launched the Ford Motor Company’s huge success with the Mustang:
“As the first grandchild, I spent many weeks during the summer and holiday seasons playing at my grandfather’s dealership. He would give me a clip board, emphasize the importance of the inventory, and send me to the lot to count the cars, usually by color and size. I spoke to customers and helped them locate the Ford they were interested in, and he always told me I was an excellent salesman – the best in the business.
“This ’66 Mustang was my 22-year-old father’s first new car. It took us everywhere as we traveled the Southern U. S. and eventually moved to Texas. At age 5, I remember standing in the back floorboard, straddling the hump, and peering over my mom’s shoulder as we brought my sister, Christy, home from the hospital when she was born.
“The back seat folds down, so on road trips, she and I would lie back there and look up at the stars through that big, fastback window. Both she and I learned to drive the Mustang.”
But there’s more that leaves this family committed to David’s admonition that this special car would never be sold even though there’s been many offers from those who wanted to buy it.
“My father frequently sat in the car with Caden and let him pretend to drive it. He would show him the Cobra engine and medallion on the glove box and explain how fast and special the car was to him,” Michelle says. As my son admired the pony interior, he told him that someday the car would be his. He wanted him to enjoy it and treasure the car always.
“He made good on that promise and when he passed, he left it to Caden, only nine years old at the time. Now he’s the proud owner who truly appreciates PaPa David’s special gift of his rare fastback with a Cobra package.”
Lee Iacocca, Ford’s general manager at the time, would be pleased with the love this family has for his concept of the first-generation Mustang. In 1964 he gave the design teams five goals as reported by Wikipedia: It would seat four, have bucket seats and a floor-mounted shifter, weigh no more than 2,500 pounds and be no more than 180 inches in length, sell for less than $2,500, and have multiple power, comfort and luxury options.
That Caden’s Tahoe Turquoise car is a perfect reflection of the achievement of those goals makes it a standout destined to win some trophies as he proudly presents it in upcoming car shows. He will also be sharing his story to his generation upon whom depends the enlargement of the American love affair with the automobiles that changed our country.
There was one more family heirloom discovered with the car – some of David’s old cigars that have now been sealed in the soundproofing.
“This way,” as described by Caden’s father, Robert, “a small part of Caden’s grandpa will always be with him and his cherished Mustang.”