Project Sarge: A dream build that took over 26 years

1965 Mustang GT Fastback

My Dad Shelman Anglin was a 3 war veteran. WW2, Korea, Vietnam. He was awarded two purple hearts, 3 bronze stars, air medals and many other medals and accommodations throughout his military career. He also taught ROTC at Santa Barbara High School and UC Santa Barbara.

Dad enjoyed working on and restoring old cars. He was partial to 1965 Mustangs. He had several of them when I was growing up.

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I always wanted a 1965 Mustang GT Fastback. In the early 90’s while working at Southern Cal Edison in Santa Barbara, I spotted this Mustang in a driveway where it had been sitting for quite a few years. I made many attempts to catch the owner at home. And after the better part of a year I caught him at home one day. I told him I would love to buy that car to fix up and eventually pass on to my son (who was a year old at the time and now 23). I wrote my first name and number on a post-it and handed it to the guy. Four years later after leaving Edison and starting a new job, I received a call from this man. He said he kept that post-it on his fridge all these years and when he decided to part with the Mustang he wanted it to go to me. I asked him why he chose me and kept my number all these years. He said, “You were sincere when you said you wanted to fix it up and keep it in the family, and you come from a Mustang family. I guess it was just meant to be”. He said he would hold it for me for one week. I did not have the money at the time to purchase the car, since I just started a new job and now have two young kids. I told my Dad the story and I hated to see the car go to someone else. My Dad went over to the house and bought the Mustang without telling me until the end of the week. He said he would fix the car up since I could not afford it at the time and one day it would be mine. Over the next 20 years, my Dad enjoyed driving that car into town nearly every day. He never locked the car or rolled the window up. Everybody around town new that was “Sarges Mustang” and would not dare touch it.

Front right 1965 Mustang GT Fastback

I grew up a couple blocks from the Foose family. Back then we were just kids hanging out around the neighborhood and at each other’s houses. Dad loved to watch the show “OverHaulin” and watched every episode. He loved the old cars and story lines. Dad got a kick out of seeing Chip on TV. He would say, “It doesn’t seem that long ago that you kids were riding bikes around the neighborhood. Remember when Sam had his shop, Project Design down the street. They sure did nice work. That Chip sure is talented. Wouldn’t it be something if Chip could paint that Mustang someday”. I would say, “Yes Dad, It sure would”.

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The last 2 years of Dad’s life was pretty rough as his health declined. It was hard to see the toughest man I have ever known become so week. My Dad was a fighter his whole life and fought to the very end. My Dad and my Step-Mom (Delores Anglin) were married for 35 years. She was a true angel and never left his side. March of 2012 my Step-Mom suddenly died of a massive stroke. No one saw that coming. That sweet little thing should have had many more years on earth. For the first time in my Dad’s life, his will to live had left him and he died a month later. Whenever I see that Mustang, I don’t just see a cool car, I see my Dad. Sometimes I feel like he is in the car with me when I am driving it. Like the car, Dad was the epitome of American Muscle. The ol’ Mustang is getting pretty worn out. I know my Dad would be happy to see that the Mustang was running “strong” again. Dad said, “Drive that car. It’s no fun if it just sits”. When I can no longer drive the Mustang, my son Jake will proudly take the wheel. As will future generations.
Sincerely,

Blair Anglin