February 23, 2009

May Favorite Car: 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe

Name: Rochelle Sise

City: Modesto

The car: 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe

What sparked the interest: My uncle owned a car lot on Crows Landing in 1981 and brought my 15-year-old son home in it one evening and I knew I wanted that car instantly. I just liked the look of the car.

Road to ownership: After my uncle brought my son home, I could not get the car out of my mind, so when I took my son to work for him the next day, I asked what he would sell it to me for. I bought the car for $1,250 that very day. It ran very well for about five or six years, then the engine needed to be fixed. I got a ticket for blowing smoke. So my stepfather put a bandage on it for about four years.

Under the hood: The engine is the original 289 Ford. Around 2002, I had the engine completely overhauled by Bill Chilton at Scenic Auto and he is the only person who I let touch the Mustang.

Body of work: Around 2003, I decided I wanted the Mustang to be show quality, so I found someone to totally take charge of the body of the car. I found Tim Suniga, who took on the project and completely took the car down to the bottom and brought her back. The work was fantastic. We put all new carpet, seat covers, bumpers, etc. It is a beautiful color of laser red. I have kept everything on the car a Ford product.

The worst memory: A woman turned left on College Avenue and smashed my whole driver's side about 15 years ago. Starn's fixed it and I drove it with a gray fender for years.

A favorite memory: The best memories are since I had it restored, driving in the Graffiti parade and showing at the Kiwanis weekend at MJC in June. I just like taking the Mustang to small car shows locally.

Compiled by Jillian Hanks, Bee Newsroom Assistant

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