By age four, Laura Ballance already knew what a Ford Mustang was and, as she approached 16, she wanted to own and drive one…
Everybody remembers their first car but very few people hold onto that set of wheels long into adult life.
Surrey resident Laura Ballance still has her 1967 Ford Mustang T5 but it has not turned a tire in years and has fallen into a state of disrepair.
The public relations executive’s passion for automobiles began at an early age growing up in a household with a father who was very interested in cars and particularly the Ford marque. By age four, she already knew what a Ford Mustang was and, as she approached 16, she wanted to own and drive one.
“In the mid-80s my father and I started looking for a Mustang to restore together and in 1986 I found a 1967 Mustang in the local paper,” explains Laura, the president of the Laura Ballance Media Group.
“The next day we went to Surrey to look at the 67 notchback that was for sale for $600. My dad negotiated it for $450 and we began working nights and weekends restoring it. My dad was not a body man or mechanic and was self-trained but was handy, so we figured it out as we went along.
“I spent many hours passing tools to my dad as he worked on the car. It is some of the best hours of my life, true quality time with my dad. I officially received the car as a graduation present.”
Laura drove the car throughout grade 11 and 12 and during her early years as a journalist.
“Eventually I purchased a new car and my Mustang went into storage as old cars often do. I got married, had children and a 1967 Mustang wasn’t conducive to car seats and strollers.
“The 50th anniversary of the Mustang coincides with my oldest daughter receiving her driving license in 2014, so for the past five years I’ve been looking for someone or a company to restore my Mustang.”
One of her clients, Jason Heard, of the Vancouver Classic Car Show and Sale, recommended 360 Fabrication in Abbotsford. The boys at 360 are now working their magic on this rare car and Laura will get her wish to parade the beauty at upcoming Mustang 50th anniversary celebrations.
The car will have its grand unveiling at the Vancouver Collector Car Show and Auction at the Pacific National Exhibition grounds in June.
Over the next few weeks, we will reveal that this is not just any Mustang (one of only 453 built in 1967) and walk you through its restoration process. One that is a daunting experience for many seasoned car collectors let alone a proud mother with a passion for her old car. The world of automotive restoration is fraught with problems; the one that comes to mind is the final invoice. An old rule of thumb for the realists has been to get an estimate and then double or triple it!
We will see how this exciting project plays out between now and mid-June.
Nigel Matthews is the director of sales and marketing for Hagerty Insurance Canada. nmatthews [at] hagerty [dot] com