The Speed family has quite a collection of Mustangs these days. “We’ve owned Ford vehicles throughout our lives and had good experiences with them,” Daniel Speed said. “So we gravitate to what keeps us going.”

The Speed family has quite a collection of Mustangs these days. “We’ve owned Ford vehicles throughout our lives and had good experiences with them,” Daniel Speed said. “So we gravitate to what keeps us going.” (Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company)

We all come into our automotive passions in different ways, but for the Speed family it was equine fate as the late Gilbert Speed decided that a pet pony wasn’t quite up to the task of giving all of his children rides, but a 1965 Mustang might just fit the bill.

Then he came back with that car. — Daniel Speed

“One Saturday, Dad said, ‘If you guys won’t ride him, I know what I’ll do with him,’” Daniel Speed, a rocket engineer who once worked as a mechanic at this father’s Valdosta, Georgia, trucking company, said of the day his dad traded their pony for a Mustang. “Then he came back with that car.”

That fateful day turned the Speed family into a Ford family. A clan that not only buys and restores Mustangs, but uses Ford trucks to transport the finished restorations to car show. In fact, it was learning to repair the company’s Ford trucks that led eldest son Daniel and his siblings to start restoring Mustangs.

The family tradition started when Gilbert Speed traded the family pony for a 1965 Mustang. Years later his youngest son would restore a 1965 Mustang of his own and inspire his siblings to get in on the act.

Eventually the youngest of seven Speed siblings, Chester, picked up his own 1965 Mustang in 1980 and restored it, which inspired four of the other Speeds to buy Mustangs and revive them. The family collection now includes three 1969 Mach 1s, two 1970 Mach 1s, two 1971 Mach 1s and a 1973 Mustang convertible.

Since Gilbert passed away the family reunites for road trips to car shows a couple times a year, which is like an automotive family reunion. Often they reflect on their dad’s Blue Oval passion, which he passed on to them.

“We really enjoy getting the Mustangs out on I-75 and just kind of have our own little parade — our own rolling car show,” Daniel added.

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