When Eric found it on the Internet, the '73 was the property of its sixth owner, a recreational vehicle dealer. During the first 30 years of its life, the white fastback seldom ventured more than 50 miles from Wyman Ford.
Strangely, none of the previous owners had submitted the unrestored, nearly perfect fastback for judging by Mustang Club of America competition rules. With the guidance of Carolinas Regional Mustang Club member Larry Stein, Eric gave the car a thorough cleaning and drove it to MCA's national show in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where its debut was rewarded with a Gold Award.
"When I got to the show," Eric remembers, "someone told me the Mustang could not be considered unrestored because he thought it had been repainted. After restarting my heart, I figured he had mistaken some wax residue on the mirror gasket for paint overspray. When the judge finished going over the car, he only dinged me for 22 points out of a possible 700!"
After the show, as Eric was packing up for the trip home, the MCA head judge for the '71-'73 division, Frank Diebert, gave the proud owner some good advice about caring for a low-mileage, unrestored car.
"Frank pointed out how rare it is to have a 30-year-old car that still looks and drives just like Ford intended," Eric recalls. "He suggested I consider trailering it to events, driving it only on occasions when it will give my family and me some real joy. That fits in with my plan to have my nine-year-old son, Caleb, be the eighth owner of this car.
"I've told him he can have it . . . just as soon as I'm safely tucked away in the nursing home."