Mustang Restoration Project Completed by Auto Collision

The Auto Collision program recently showcased their brand new refurbished 1966 Ford Mustang convertible. This car was donated to Bridgerland Technical College by Kris Dobson.

She willingly shared the history of the car below.

This is the first car I ever chose for myself, though I will admit to being heavily influenced by my then boyfriend- the proud owner of a 1968 GT 500 – and my brother, who owned a 1969 electric blue Mach 1.

She wasn’t always blue; I got her when she was eight years old (1973), and at that point, she was still white. Little by little, as my boyfriend and I had the time and some money for parts, my little mustang ragtop was transformed into a “fake snake;” (Shelby). He worked tirelessly and was on constant alert for possible parts and pieces to enhance the look. Against his best advice, I insisted on painting the car baby blue; not an original color, but my favorite. I still think it complements the GT 350 blue stripes beautifully.

That boyfriend became my husband in 1975. He continued to come home with Mustang parts – either for me or for the 1965 fastback fake snake he was building for himself. I got some beautiful new wheels for a birthday, a Rally Pac for Christmas, and so many other parts and pieces that I sometimes wondered what was left of the original. I drove that car everywhere I went until around 1981; it really became part of my identity for a time – as my former students will attest! I have many fond memories of driving with good friends – and various kids in the “pretend back seat” (no seat belts in the early days, let alone airbags) – with the top down and the wind blowing everyone’s ‘do’s apart.

I was divorced in 1982. My Mustang-loving husband, who had worked so hard to bring my “Baby Blue” to life (it was, we often quipped, our only child), had only one request regarding my Mustang. He wanted to swap out the hypo 189 engine he had re-built for a 302, and that’s what her engine is to this day.

Fast forward to 1982. I had remarried, but this time to a guy who knew next to nothing about cars. I seldom drove my Baby Blue. We lived in Park City, Utah, and as anyone who has driven a Mustang in the snow can attest, they’re pretty much “Pigs on ice”. Our home had a deep garage, and the car spent most of the time parallel-parked against the back wall. And besides, I had a new Shelby… My sweet baby girl was born in July that year.

In 1989, after a second divorce, I became a foster mom. One of my older foster daughters had her own car. One snowy evening she slid too far into her space in the garage and left a dent above the driver’s side wheel of the Mustang. After all these years, that dent is still there.

By 1995, maintaining a home by myself in the mountains had lost its appeal. I had a job that required some travel, and I decided that building a house close to my parents in Cache Valley (northern Utah) would offer many benefits. Shelby and I drove my Baby Blue up to my parents’ home, and my dad made room for it in a 3- sided shed where it sat, sadly neglected. For the year it took to build my home next door. But my Baby Blue was the first to move into the new house – that is, to the warm and dry garage of the new house.

Though the move to Cache Valley was positive in so many ways, Baby Blue had been largely ignored since 1995. There were so many competing demands on my resources (time and money) that bodywork, a new top, or any mechanical repair fell to the bottom of the list. I was “comforted” by the fact that at least she was comfortable – tucked safe and sound in the cozy garage.   

In 2013, my mother passed, and I decided it was the year of “letting go”. I brought the car to Bridgerland Technical College in 2013. I felt confident that the car could be brought back to life by the extraordinary staff and students at Bridgerland Technical College.

An estimated 60 students were able to work on this unique car over the years. It has now been completely restored and will be showcased in events around the valley. Take a look at the pictures below!