A 1967 Ford Mustang With a Rooftop Tent Is All You Need to Travel the Country
After surviving a near-death experience, a young family sold their home and hit the road in the vintage ‘Stang.
The same forces that have crushed dreams for the past 18 months have also spurred a handful into fruition. An intrepid few are out answering the call of the road, living out of JDM vans, and tackling breakdowns with a lot of grit and a little bondage equipment. Others are journeying America in a 1967 Ford Mustang stuffed to the gills with their family and camping gear, ticking off bucket list items after realizing how near their feet the bucket sits.
As outlined in the description of a YouTube video, Washingtonian-turned-wanderer Drew McCullough "decided to start living" after suffering a spinal injury that nearly took his life. To him and his family, that meant roaming the country in a classic Mustang. So, they acquired one, topped it with a gutter-mount Yakima roof rack from a Jeep, and prepared to become blacktop nomads. They donated or sold most of their property, moved what remained to a storage unit, and rerouted their mail to a family member's address. By Christmas 2020, they were ready to hit the road.
"We always wanted to road trip a classic Mustang, and we always wanted to road-trip the country," Drew McCullough told The Drive. "We got the Mustang, that just left going on the adventure!"
The McCulloughs have been transients since, driving where they want, and collecting more unique sunsets than most see in a lifetime. They sleep in the Mustang's rooftop tent, keep their clothes in a duffel bag, and eat from a small stock of provisions. Every day becomes what they choose to make of it, be that a day at the beach or a visit to a National Park.
"We are truly letting our intuitions and desires guide us," Drew said. "We have had no plan this whole time except to see things we wanted to see and make memories."
Living on the road doesn't mean that every day of the McCulloughs' lives is a vacation, though. Not being billionaires, they actually work to support themselves, which Drew does by managing construction projects remotely. There's also the matter of raising a needy toddler, not to mention taking care of their more than half-century-old pony car.
"The biggest challenge is keeping Turner (our two-year-old) happy but with toys and snacks and movies, he is usually pretty happy," continued Drew. "The other big challenge is dealing with things going wrong on the car."
"I've done a lot of work on it, but it's still a 54-year-old car," he added. "The radiator went out in Miami, power steering went out in Orlando, the heads were replaced in L.A. and then we replaced the whole engine in Pennsylvania. Our joke is that we're leaving broken parts all over the country. But with the full power of the Mustang community behind us, we keep rolling!"
Recently, the McCulloughs have roosted in the San Diego area, where Drew is wrenching at a Mustang specialist shop while he helps get a couple of businesses off the ground. Their travels won't end there—they'll be in Bowling Green, Kentucky next month for Holley Ford Fest—but even if they did, Drew would still be left with a deep understanding of some of life's most important lessons.
"Treat others how you want to be treated and you can make so many friends. Don't believe everything you're taught, there are a lot more important things than work," he said. "Life really is short, it can end in a second when you least expect it. Take the time to enjoy it with your family."
"You will never regret making memories with your family."
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