A FRIENDS GIFT

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The story of my 66 Sprint goes way back actually to the 6th grade, that is where Rick and I became friends. We went to the same small Oregon college, Willamette University in Salem, and after we both entered the military. I was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army and Rick became as Ensign in the Navy. Rick spent 20 yrs. in the Navy in Naval Intelligence and I spent my time in the National Guard. Once Rick retired his retirement “passion” became collector/antique cars.

Rick had found a 1966 Sprint convertible in Tukwilla WA and wanted to buy, but he already had five antique cars and no room for number six, so he told me about it and said “go north.. With cash”. I went to look at the car and liked it, but my wife was reluctant and asked me how I was planning to come up with the cash to buy the Mustang.  About that time a light bulb went off in my head and I came up with an idea that I knew would appeal to her. I told her that I would not touch our savings, but there was some stock that I owned in a oil company that I had bought years before, the dividends and reinvestments had caused the stock to grow to an amount that was even more than I needed. My wife liked that idea and gave me the go ahead to purchase the car. It seemed that my timing was very good with selling the stock for just weeks later oil prices plummeted  along with stocks and I would have lost that money if I had not used it to by my Sprint.

So while Rick was flying around following Russian submarines, I was selling stock and bonds to get the money to buy my Sprint. The Sprint’s build date was Jan. 18th 1966. IThe car was being sold by a retired school teacher who wanted to have funds to finish up a 1926 Studebaker President that he was restoring. The car had been in a heated garage for almost forty years and only was driven for an occasional trip around the neighborhood. I found out that the owner had bought it from another school teacher who had used it as a daily driver for three years.  The person I bought it from had driven it for one year and garaged it after that, the car had 85,000 original miles.

After some minor tinkering by some local mechanics who knew about Mustangs the Mustang runs like it was brand new and my wife loves riding around in it. Of course I do as well, and I no longer hear from her “why would you want a decades old car”. I am a firm believer that a good running Mustang will never loose it’s original charm.

Don Olson

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