Nothing is certain but death and taxes – or so says conventional wisdom. Indeed, a world as vast and chaotic as ours leaves precious little room for fate or destiny, and very few events in a lifetime could reasonably be said to be “written in the stars.”
Here’s one of the odd occasions where the rules appear to have been bent: several years back, a 61-year-old man named Tab Lagow bought back his old 1966 Ford Mustang convertible purely by accident, happening to select a car that was formerly his from the countless multitude of examples listed for sale across the US.
Hagerty shared Tab’s story just last week, writing that the longtime Mustang fan made a side business of restoring and flipping the cars after an upbringing that included plenty of time spent in body shops. One of them – a 1966 convertible purchased for $1,000 on eBay – is a car that Tab describes as “a total rust bucket.”
“I bought all-new sheet metal and I was half-way—or maybe three-quarters of the way—through the sheet metal welding when I went through a divorce, and I had to sell it.”
So, Tab sold it in pieces to an older man seeking a fun restoration project. Years passed, Tab remarried, and he and his wife Dana acquired a 1964.5 Ford Mustang coupe. It’s an iconic design from a very desirable year, but as Tab and Dana did plenty of driving in the desert, where daytime temperatures could reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit, they decided a convertible Mustang might be a better option. (Factory air-conditioning wasn’t available on the Mustang until the 1967 model year, although prior to that, an under-the-dash A/C system was offered as a “dealer-installed” option.)
Tab Lagow started his search for the right early Mustang convertible, eventually finding a red example with a clean body, an installed 5.0L V8 that hadn’t been hooked up, and boxes full of parts. He bought it, and as he went through the boxes full of parts, he was amazed to discover bags full of fasteners marked with his own handwriting. Eventually, he even came across a note that he’d written for his daughter “Rooskie” years prior, while she was in high school; he’d reused the paper to label parts before selling the car upon his divorce.
Now, three years later, Tab’s 1966 Ford Mustang convertible is fully-restored, and he intends to hold onto it for as long as possible. “It’s kind of a member of the family now,” he says, saying that the car was “meant to be” his. According to Hagerty, it’s a sentiment that’s succinctly expressed by his customized license plate: “66MNT2B”.