"Being involved in running my local club's show (Mustangs Northwest's Roundup in Bellevue, Washington), I'd spoken with Steve and Liz Saleen on a number of occasions. When I was contemplating buying this car, I called Liz and asked her for some specific information," explains Smallwood. It turns out the car was one of two Montgomery Ward sweepstakes giveaway cars for 1989, a promotion designed to celebrate and draw attention to Saleen's racing successes under Montgomery Ward sponsorship, including the 1987 Escort Endurance Championship. Knowledge that this Saleen was something a little different seemed to seal the deal for Smallwood, and it has been a long and enjoyable ride ever since.
The years of daily driving his '89 were out of necessity for Smallwood, reporting typical car-nut preservation techniques such as parking at the outer edges of parking lots. Such efforts were rewarded in that the owner says his car has 100 percent original paint, the only real flaws being some mild sandblast effect on the front end and behind the wheels.
The driving hasn't stopped since commuter retirement, however, as Smallwood reports consistent participation in major shows throughout the western U.S., including three trips to the Fabulous Fords Forever show at Knott's Berry Farm in Southern California. We like the sentiment and commitment to use his car as Ford and Saleen intended. We'd venture to say that the smiles which occur behind the wheel are unlike any he's had with the car on static display.
In the end, we'd encourage others to take a cue from Bill Smallwood. Have you driven your Mustang lately?