Wesley Ryan–a Texas father of two children, was so overcome with emotion when his children walked him–blindfolded, to the first love car he sold 18 years ago to pay for his wife’s cancer treatment.
“How dare you be keeping this from me,” Wesley Ryan told his children and wife. He was unable to even touch the car and cried after realized it was real.
His story began in 2001 when Ryan’s wife, Laura, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. As the medical bills started to mount, he had no choice but to sell his 1993 white Ford Mustang GT, which he named “Christine,” to pay for her treatment.
Laura Ryan beat her cancer. Family members knew it was hard for Wesley to give up his car, and none of them ever forgot it.
To compensate him, his children, Jake and Jeni, foster a dream of bringing the car back. Over the years, they began saving their money and searching for the car.
Eventually, they found “Christine” on Craig’s list—the VIN matched—and bought the car.
But the story didn’t end there for the Ryans. When the executive chairman of Ford Motor Co. learned of the family’s story, he wanted to restore Wesley Ryan’s Mustang to its former glory.
After a joint effort on the part of Ford and Hennessey Performance—a high-end custom shop for car lovers, the car was clothed with a new 2018 Coyote 5L engine, transmission, suspension, brakes as well as bodywork.
On Thursday morning, at Ford World Headquarters in Detroit, Wesley Ryan and his family met the refurbished 1993 Mustang.
“We heard about your story and we heard about what a passionate and tight-knit family you guys are and we kind of feel the same way around here at Ford,” said Henry Ford III, manager of Ford corporate strategy at Ford Motor Co. “Wes, I know you made a pretty big sacrifice to take care of your family. … So, this is your car. … We’re so happy to be a part of it and to be able to return it to you with, I think, some improvements that you’ll like.”
In the video shared by Ford, Ryan was seen tearing up as he sat in the car.
“I never thought I’d be in this situation again,” Ryan said. “This (is) my first love, you know, car-wise. … For her to be back like this, is crazy.”
“It’s still her but it’s got a new heart,” he said. “I don’t know. … I’m lost for words. It’s beautiful.”