By Israel Acosta
Ari Manoogian, a freshman in the Automotive Restoration Program from Florida, has quite a touching story to share with us on Cars Corner this month. He shared with me a story of passion and dedication that I feel many restorationists of all ages feel when approaching the idea of never letting go of their first car.
Ari started looking for his first car when he was 14 years old, and he was dead set on his first car being a classic. He wasn’t particular about the make and model, so when a good deal came around he was ready to jump on it. Ari’s mom, who manages a shop, knew an auto technician who was selling a low-mileage ‘69 Mustang, so after a thorough inspection, Ari took the car home. Having never driven a manual car before, Ari had to learn on the spot, but he managed well enough and became comfortable within a couple of days.
His Mustang served him well throughout high school, never leaving him stranded or needing dire repairs. This allowed him to enjoy the car simply, so he’s driven his Mustang in all weather conditions and all regular car activities. Every set of groceries he had to get, road trip he took, and sights he wanted to see were reached by driving his beloved ‘69 Mustang, and he is dead set on driving it forever. He shared with me that he wants to take it to every corner of the United States, and eventually pass it on to his future children.
During his time at McPherson College, Ari’s car has been a bit more problematic, but his positivity was unshaken. He claimed, “It’s not always gonna go your way, but that’s the reward of dedication.” Although the seamless fun was nice for a while, he now exercises his grit and determination to keep his ‘69 Mustang as his heirloom.