It wasn’t a new one, but the 1993 Ford Mustang GT he’d sold 17 years earlier to help pay for his wife Laura’s ovarian cancer treatment.
She survived, and the family made it through the tough times, but not without a lot of hard work and sacrifice. When his son Jake, saw the car listed for sale, he knew they had to get it back, even if it was in rough shape. He, his sister Jeni and her boyfriend all chipped in to buy it and filmed the moment they surprised their father, posting it to Facebook.
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"Shows where they are: they are balanced human beings. My wife and I have succeeded, we've raised productive adults, it's the strongest, most powerful feeling that a parent can have." Wesley told the Express-News at the time that his children presented the car to him.
When the video went viral and made national news, it caught the attention of Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford. A Ford spokesman said that he was so moved by what he saw that he decided to help the Ryans fix the car up.
Ford enlisted the help of Hennessey Performance owner, John Hennessey, who said he read about the family on Fox News Autos and was glad to take on the job. Hennessey picked up the car this winter and brought it back to his shop in Sealy, Texas, where they did much more than a tune-up, because it needed it.
Hennessey also dipped into the Ford Performance catalog for a flywheel, clutch, limited-slip differential and other driveline components. A coilover suspension, bigger brakes and 2003 Mustang SVT Cobra wheels rounded out the performance upgrades, while the interior was brought back to factory-fresh condition.
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