The Ryan family of San Antonio, Texas, briefly became famous in 2018 when kids Jake and Jeni found and bought their father's 1993 Ford Mustang GT that he was forced to sell in the early 2000s. Dad Wesley was reunited with his cherished automobile,and the story went viral. Texas-based Hennessey Performance took notice of the feel-good moment and brought the idea of a restoration project to the Ford Motor Company. Ford was in, and the two companies created a 500-horsepower restomod that makes the original seem wimpy.
The beginning of this story dates back more than 15 years ago. After his wife Laura was diagnosed with cancer (she is now cancer-free), Wesley sold "Christine" to help pay for bills and keep his family stable. At the time, he thought that was goodbye forever, but a little website called Craigslist flipped the script.
Jake, who inherited the car gene from his pops, was perusing used cars in 2016 when he found the exact VIN of the car his father owned. The seller would not agree on a price, so hope was temporarily lost until Jake again found the same listing from the same owner in 2018. This time, with some extra help and more money, the deal was completed, and the Ryans were able to give their dad one of the greatest moments of his life when the two were reunited.
After purchasing the classic muscle car, the Ryans planned to slowly restore it to its original form. Lucky for them, Hennessey and Ford offered to do exactly that, and then some, for no cost at all. The frame was completely restored, the interior and paint were brought back to life, and a new 500-horsepower powertrain was dropped in. So, it looks close to the original, but now has more oomph than a modern Mustang GT. According to Hennessey, the restoration was valued at about $200,000 and roughly 500 hours of labor.
Read more about the family and see more photos at MySA.com, where the story was originally reported.