Most of us take for granted the ability to enjoy driving cars. Whether it's with a clunker or a supercar, there is a wonderful freedom that comes with getting behind the wheel of an automobile. No one knows that more than Roger Keeney, a man from Athens, GA who lost his sight twenty years ago. As we reported earlier, Keeney caught Ford's attention with his application for the '10 Unleashed' program, and decided to fulfill his dream of driving a Mustang. Ford had the cameras rolling during the whole thing, and will be posting a series of videos on the 2010 Mustang web site. Both the trailer and chapter one have already been released, and we've embedded them after the jump
DEARBORN, Mich., June 23, 2009 – With the warm Arizona wind pelting his forehead and his entire body vibrating from the mighty roar of the engine, Roger Keeney took a brand new 2010 Ford Mustang convertible on an amazing ride, doing donuts on the pavement and amassing speeds of up to 90 mph.
This would be a thrill for anybody but what makes this truly remarkable is that fact that Keeney has been blind for the past 20 years.
Sixty-two-year-old Keeney, who lives in Athens, Ga., won the chance to drive the new 2010 Mustang by participating in "The '10 Unleashed" promotion, which asked people to describe their ultimate Mustang dream experience in 250 words or less. A video diary chronicling his extraordinary ride will be featured starting today at www.the2010mustang.com.
"When I got the phone call from Ford saying that I had won, I thought someone was playing a joke on me," said Keeney, who lost his sight in a farming accident.
It was definitely not a joke, says Ford Car Communications Manager Patricia Piedrahita.
"Without a doubt, his essay caught our attention," she said. "His submission hinted that he may be blind, so we had to talk to him to learn more. Upon speaking to him we knew he would help us see the Mustang from a different point of view."
On May 7, 2009, Ford flew Keeney down to the expansive Ford Proving Grounds just outside of Phoenix, Ariz. With safety their number one concern, the Mustang team arranged for former professional racer Tommy Kendall to ride shotgun in the car.
"Tommy said, 'When you were a teenager, did you ever do donuts?' And I said, 'Yeah.' So I got it rolling a bit in first gear, cranked it hard to the left and revved it up and popped it and did three donuts before we stopped. When we stopped, we could hear the camera crew cheering from clear across the field. I was in awe of both the car and the experience, it was truly a dream come true."
"The most life-changing thing you can do for folks with disabilities is put them in a situation that everyone else has told them is impossible. The experience for me in the Mustang with Tommy Kendall next to me and driving that wonderful automobile was really great," Keeney added.
The rush and exhilaration of Keeney's dream come true is brought to life through the video chapters available for viewing at www.the2010mustang.com.