Speed Channel TV host called “one of the nicest 1966 Mustangs we have seen at Barrett Jackson.” When the gavel finally fell, $42,000 was raised for the East Texas Crisis Center (a shelter for battered women), and a charitable quest that began back in April of 2009 came to a fulfilling close.
It started with a desire by Scott Drake Enterprises to give back to Mustang enthusiasts, in thanks for the company’s success as the world’s largest manufacturer of classic Mustang parts. So they went directly to the grass roots heart of the pony car world — the Mustang Club of America — and offered to help their members do what they enjoy most. Giving back to their local communities.
“We called it the ‘Pay it Forward’ charity,” said company founder Scott Drake. “It was an opportunity for us to share the joy of helping others in need while doing something we all love,” he said.
The program started with a contest, and the rules were simple. Scott Drake would donate a ’66 convertible project Mustang and $10,000 in parts to the club that submitted the best proposal for a charity restoration. The finished car would be auctioned off by none other than the famed Barrett Jackson organization, who offered to donate all fees to the cause. The entries were phenomenal, and the judging excruciating. The winner was the Mustang Club of East Texas, who put 30 volunteers to work for an intensive 100-day Mustang makeover.
The club aimed high for additional sponsors, and got them. A motor from Quantum Performance. Audio components from Kicker Stereo. A transmission from Performance Automatic. Sandblasting, paint, and a variety of donations and services from local companies with big hearts. It all went to a happy new owner, and to a great cause. Just ask Lana Peacock, executive director of the East Texas Crisis Center.
“Like all non-profits, we’re really hurting right now, but the people who need our help are still coming through the door every day,” Peacock said. “This donation saved an important job position that was slated for elimination, and will be a tremendous help with our educational programs for women, which teach them how to become self-sufficient so they can support themselves and their children,” she added.
Proposing the Crisis Center as their charity for the Pay it Forward project was an easy decision for the Mustang Club of East Texas. “They’re our charity of choice,” said Project Chair Craig Chesley. “We put on a car show every year, and they’re always the main beneficiary.”
The club created a special website to document the entire project, which can be viewed at http://www.payitforwardcar.com/ This web site is a choronological history of the entire project with over 240 photographs