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Dad Surprised With Ford Mustang 17 Years After Selling It to Pay for Wife’s Cancer Treatments

Better yet, Ford even paid to have it restored and tuned by Hennessey Performance after hearing his family's story.

Nearly two decades ago, Wesley Ryan sold his 1993 Ford Mustang GT to help cover the cost of his wife’s cancer treatment. Earlier this week, he was reunited with his car, thanks to help from Ford Motor Company and Texas-based tuning specialist Hennessey Performance.

His wife Laura survived her bout with the disease, thanks in part to the sacrifice of the Mustang GT. The Detroit News reports that Ryan sold the car 17 years ago and assumed it was gone forever, but the couple’s two kids tracked it down and negotiated a price to buy the car back.

The Foxbody was in bad shape and needed thousands in repairs, but Wesley’s son Jake was ready to do all the work himself. Ford caught wind of the heartwarming story before he could start and offered to restore the car for the family.

The Mustang’s last owner unsuccessfully attempted a rally car conversion that killed the engine, so Ford donated a new 5.0-liter V-8 as well as a gearbox before footing the bill to have the car completely overhauled by Hennessey Performance. The team took the car down to the studs and rebuilt it nearly from scratch, completely replacing the interior and restoring the exterior that had seen more than its fair share of dents and dings. There’s no word on what the work actually cost, but Hennessey is far from a budget shop.

The repair work took nine months but, after 17 years apart, the family wasn’t going to rush the process. Ford shipped the Ryan family and their Mustang to Dearborn, Michigan where the company is headquartered for a handoff. Wesley knew who was working on his car but had no idea how it would turn out. Henry Ford III was on hand for the presentation to turn over the keys to a tearful Mr. Ryan. 

As a self-proclaimed Ford fanatic, he was overwhelmed, saying, “You guys did more than you had to.”