There are few things in life that are more important than a fun car to drive. One of those things, though, is family.

A ten-year old girl named Ella learned that lesson firsthand not long ago, when she lost her father on July 1, 2017.

According to Ella’s mom, Chrissy, Ella’s dad Joe graduated from a steamfitter apprenticeship school in 2012, and a brand-new Mustang was bought to celebrate the occasion.

“This car became part of his identity,” she explained in the now viral Facebook post. “If you knew him, you knew his Mustang.”

Ella told us that her favorite memories of her dad and the Mustang include days at the drag strip watching him race. She also recalls the times that Joe would drive her to her baseball games and pick her up from school.

Over the years, a lot of time and money was spent making the Mustang into his perfect vision, and he spent a lot of time taking his children to the racetrack in it, even after Ella’s parents divorced. According to Chrissy, just a few weeks before he passed away, Joe asked that Chrissy sign the title to the car over so that he could sell it. She didn’t ask any questions and signed her name on the line.

As to be expected, Ella has struggled with the loss of her dad, so her mom and stepfather decided they had to do something to help.

“When he passed away, I felt it in my heart that if the opportunity presented itself and I was able to find the car, I would buy it back to hold onto it for her,” she said. “But what were the chances of ever finding it?”

Photos courtesy of Chrissy Hicks.

As fate would have it, last week, Chrissy got the sneaking suspicion that she should look for the car, and within minutes she had found it. It had been recently listed for sale.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes,” she said. “It wasn’t just a car that looked like his. It was actually his car four hours away, and it had just been listed for sale!”

Chrissy and her husband bought the Mustang and brought it home. Cameras were rolling when they brought Ella outside to see her surprise, and what followed was truly heartbreaking. Little Ella’s raw emotional reaction to seeing the car in the driveway proved her unending love for her dad, and the wonderful memories she made with him in that Mustang.

“I can’t even put into words how it feels to do this for her and her dad,” Chrissy wrote. “He wanted her to have his car so she could continue the memories they started. I really believe he led me to it. Of all of the 2012 silver Mustang GTs around, to find his actual car listed for sale is a miracle, and I’m so happy our little girl gets this blessing. She deserves this happiness.”

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Ella said that when she first sat in the car, it was “like a big hug.” After the camera stopped rolling, Ella climbed into the passenger seat and her mom drove her around for about 20 minutes while she listened to the Mustang’s exhaust and looked out the window.

“It was a good moment for her,” Chrissy said.

Chrissy tells us that the Mustang had been modified for drag racing, but she doesn’t have all of the details. Currently, the car is with Ella’s grandfather who is a mechanic. He is running through the car to find out more about it, and to do maintenance work.

Since Chrissy’s original post has swept across the internet, Ella has been invited to join a few local and national Mustang clubs, and she is looking forward to the Ford Nationals in Carlisle in a few weeks. She also plans on attending several local car shows this summer. She can’t wait to show everyone her dad’s car, and is looking forward to learning more about other cars in attendance.

We think this mom and stepfather are definitely in the running for parents of the year, and we wish Ella a lifetime of happiness with her dad’s treasured Mustang.

Posted by Chrissy Hicks on Monday, May 6, 2019

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