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DEARBORN - One of the great things about buying a Ford is that cars and trucks wearing the Blue Oval tend to make personal connections with their owners that can sometimes border on the spiritual. That’s the case with Ron Acord of Hartsville, SC, whose time with a 1972 Thunderbird and a 1971 Mustang Mach 1 has been forever etched into his memory. To hear what happened to his beloved Ford duo, read his email to us below:

“Hello, Ford Performance! Reading about all the car stories featured in your Fan Spotlight every week in the Fast News email really brings back memories! I have two Fords that I would like to tell you about, both of which I still miss to this day. My missing cars are a 1971 Mustang Mach 1 and a 1972 Thunderbird.

“The T-Bird was my first car. It had the four-barrel 429 V-8. It was originally my mother’s car. When I was getting ready to graduate from high school, my father said he was going to get me a car. We shopped around for one but I never could find anything I liked as good as mom’s Thunderbird. So on graduation day he said if I was sure I wanted it, he would give the T-Bird to me and get my mom another car.

“I loved that Thunderbird and drove it for several years. Then a friend convinced me to get something different. I had been looking for a Mustang. Late one night I was coming home in the T-Bird and my lights illuminated a 1971 Mach 1 on a used car lot. I hit the brakes and backed up in the middle of the road. I was in love! The T-Bird was needing to have some work done on it so I parked it and went to the used car dealer the next day. Just $2,500 in cash and it was mine.

“I had the best times of my life in that Mach 1. I met a lady with that car who became the love of my life.  We spent many days and nights riding around Beckley, West Virginia, in that Mustang. That was 29 years ago and … well, things happen. I don't know if I miss her or the car more.

“Yes, I ended up getting married to here and money is always tight for a new couple. Then I had to move from West Virginia to South Carolina. I left the Mach 1 in West Virginia. I had a friend there who was down on his luck and needed a car. So I told him he could use it for free if he’d just keep it running and in decent shape. My friend eventually has a run of good luck, and I have not seen him nor my car in many years.

“The T-Bird is still parked at my parents’ house. It has not weathered well and has been vandalized and is now far too gone for my budget to repair and restore. I have had several other Mustangs and even a Thunderbird since -- but none have ever replaced these first two in my heart. Thanks for letting me share my story!”

Editor’s Note: One of the most popular features on FordPerformance.com and in our Fast News e-newsletter continues to be "Ford Fan Spotlight," where readers can send in their own reasons why they're fans of Ford Motor Company. You know who they are: Ford "superfans;" grassroots Ford racers; unique Ford vehicle owners; loyal Ford enthusiasts; notable Ford club people; special Ford families; and/or any avid supporter of Ford, Ford vehicles, Ford motorsports or Ford Performance who deserves a little bit of special recognition.

All you need to do to get you, your car or candidate considered is to send in a brief description (200-500 words or less) and a few photos (in .jpeg format, preferably 300 dpi) of a person (full name and hometown, please) and vehicle that you think Ford Performance should feature (and why) in the "Ford Fan Spotlight" for an upcoming installment of Fast News and posting on FordPerformance.com. Then email it to: AskTFR@Ford.com. Should you wish to send a video, you simply need to post it on www.YouTube.com (preferably 1-2 minutes long) and send in the link, along with a brief description, to that same AskTFR@Ford.com email address. We'll choose one submission each week.