This is a tear-jerker about a distraught little girl who lost her father right after he sold the family’s beloved Mustang fastback. Ella holds a lot of memories shared with her dad from the car that made it more than just a car to her. We also have video of the reunion so if you’re prone to tearing up don’t watch it at work.
When Ella’s dad Joe graduated from the steamfitter apprenticeship school in 2012 the family celebrated by purchasing a 2012 Mustang fastback. The Mustang became part of his identity. He would work on it all day and then take all of the neighborhood kids for rides or to the drag strip.
Ella and her father would take drives in his silver Mustang. He was proud of it and the modifications he made to make it uniquely his and Ella’s. Joe did more with it than just driving out in the country.
Ella’s father made a lot of mods to the Mustang to make it uniquely his
One of the first thing’s Ella’s dad did was replace the rear end gears with 4:10s. He wanted a big punch off the line at drag strips and 4:10 gears will do that. He also modified the exhaust and added a custom air intake to allow the engine to breathe better. You know; more air in and more air out makes for a quicker engine. And he tuned the engine for peak performance.
Besides his drag racing intentions, Joe wanted a looker. He chose Cervini’s Auto Designs “Stalker” Mustang body kit along with one of their glass hoods. These kits include a new front bumper, side skirts, rear spoiler and valance, and side-window scoop.
These changes would always identify the fastback as Joe’s Mustang. That would come in handy more recently, but we digress.
The Mustang became a bonding tool for Ella and Joe
Ella’s mom Chrissy and her dad were divorced, so the Mustang became a bonding tool. Ella and Joe would take long drives. He would go fast down country roads and she would roll down the windows and blast country music to the delight of her dad. As Chrissy said, “Our daughter loved his Mustang and had so many good memories with her dad in it.”
There came a point where Joe needed a truck, and so he sold the car to someone out of state. Then, two weeks later he died. In the ensuing years, Ella would bring up stories about riding around with Joe in the Mustang. Chrissy held a fantasy she could someday find it and give it to Ella to help her hold those wonderful times she shared with Joe.
‘I just had a feeling I should look for it.’
A couple of years passed before the idea of Chrissy finding the Mustang prompted her to give it a shot last May. “I just had a feeling I should look for it and within a few minutes I found it,” she said. “It wasn’t just a car that looked like his, it was his.”
The Mustang was four hours from their home in Virginia outside of DC. Chrissy decided to buy it and surprise Ella. See the video for the reunion.
For now, the Mustang is used for weekend shows with the local Beltway Mustangs group. Ella calls them her “Mustang peeps.” Her mom and stepdad take her to cars and coffee events. “We just kinda lay low and let her enjoy herself,” says Chrissy. “We do drive it to shows so it does get driven some.”
Ella wants to preserve the Mustang as-is
Ella wants to wait until she’s a good driver before she begins driving her Mustang. Since she’s only 11 she’ll have a few years of anticipation. “She helps take care of it and keeps it clean as much as an 11-year-old can,” Chrissy says. “Ella’s car has racing gears in it and it’s not appropriate for a young person. Fortunately, she wants to preserve it at all costs and doesn’t even plan to try to drive it until she is in her 20s.”
An Instagram account called Mustang From Heaven has been established for Ella and her Mustang. There are lots of pictures of the Mustang, Ella and her dad, and related info. “I can’t even put into words how it feels to do this for her and her dad,” says Chrissy. “I really believe he (Joe) led me to it. He wanted her to have his car so she could continue the memories they shared.”