The Welcome family of Springfield, Missouri awoke early last Thursday morning to find that the rare, 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 in their driveway had been lit on fire by unscrupulous arsonists, reports the Springfield News-Leader. The worst part of this heinous act: the car belongs to 7-year-old Nino Welcome – a boy with a rare disorder known as “Lesch–Nyhan syndrome”.
Lesch-Nyhan syndrome causes an excess of uric acid in the body, resulting in kidney and bladder stones, and gouty arthritis. Sufferers also experience frequent involuntary muscle movements and engage in self-mutilating behavior.
Nino Welcome was given the orange-and-black Ford Mustang Mach 1 by his grandfather, Fred Welcome, last May, and Nino is quite attached to it. “It occupies his mind day and night,” Nino’s father Brett told News-Leader. “When I get home from work he asks me if we need to go to the store. He asks, ‘Can we take the Mustang?'”
Nino has even taken to calling his wheelchair “Mach II”, having had it painted orange and black like the Mustang.
The car was reportedly started on fire by someone opening a small vent window and tossing lit fireworks inside. It’s unknown as of now whether the 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 can be restored, or its 351-cubic-inch V8 at least salvaged. It’s not even certain how much of the car’s $30,000 to $40,000 estimated value will be covered by insurance.
If you would like to help the Welcome family repair or replace Nino’s beloved 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1, a GoFundMe campaign can be found here. If you have any information that could lead to the prosecution of the jerk (or jerks) who destroyed a 7-year-old disabled boy’s car, we urge you to contact the authorities in Springfield.