WWII Veteran’s 1967 Ford Mustang Restored
At the 2017 World of Wheels in Indianapolis, we hear the story of the classic car community coming together to right a wrong and bring joy back to 95-year-old WWII veteran Harry Donovan. An amazing group of people come together to not only restore Harry’s 1967 Ford Mustang, they renew our faith in each other. Our video captures only a slice of this effort. Invite your fellow car enthusiasts to take a look and share in this great experience.
Down but Not Out
Harry’s story begins with his beloved Mustang, a gift to his wife 50 years ago. As is the case for many of us, time goes by and we put things like restoring our cars on the back burner. When Harry finally decides to hire someone to do the work, the outcome is not a happy one. The man he hires does nothing but take his money, strip his car of valuable parts and leaves him helpless. Things look bleak, until the IndyStar decides to write a story.
Help from a Local Car Restorer
When Ken Mosier of Finer Details Automotive Restoration in Danville, IN reads about Harry’s plight, he knows he can help. Like all gearheads, Ken jumps at the chance to roll up his sleeves and correct the wrong done to Harry and his Mustang. Ken has been restoring classic cars into show-quality works of art for 30 years. If ever there is a team that could tackle this job, it is the one at Finer Details.
Harry’s Friends Come to His Rescue
A full restoration like the one Harry’s Mustang needs usually costs around $50,000. Once veteran’s groups, businesses and plain old folks hear about Harry, offer of money and parts start rolling in. A GoFundMe page is set up to help defer costs. The generosity of the people of Indiana and beyond quickly becomes evident. Harry has friends and they all are happy to help.
Nothing Worthwhile is Ever Easy
Harry’s car is in bad shape. The engine, transmission and hood are all missing. The body has extensive rust due to being abandoned outside by the scammer. This isn’t going to be an easy restoration. When Ken brings the Mustang to the World of Wheels event, the car is still unfinished. A team of volunteers spend over 800 hours working on the exterior just to get it ready. The shiny new paint job and vinyl top is enough to bring tears to Harry’s eyes.
Dreams of Best in Show
There is still a lot of work to be done. Even though money has been raised, more is needed. The Finer Details team has the engine, transmission and interior yet to tackle. They are determined to turn this Mustang into a Concours-quality gem, because Harry deserves that. All our vets deserve that and much more for their service.
Genuine Comradery of the Classic Car Community
For this former B-17 bomber pilot, the miracle is not that his Mustang is being restored; it’s that his faith in the goodness of people is renewed. It speaks volumes about the genuine comradery of the classic car community. We applaud the Finer Details team and all the volunteers who continue to work on Harry’s Mustang, and we congratulate Harry on the beautiful classic he now owns. We have to ask one favor – can we have a ride when she’s done?! Looking forward to seeing you at the next car show, Harry!
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