DONNA CHAPMAN

MORNINGTON PENINSULA, VIC

STORY CARLY DALE PHOTOS GREG FORSTER

DONNA Chapmanís tasty í69 Mach 1 Mustang first grabbed our attention at the Fatherís Day Classic Car & Bike Show in St Kilda, yet it was before its owner became known to us. Once we tracked Donna down, it turned out that she has a massive sentimental attachment to this Mach 1.

Howíd you come to own this gorgeous í69 Mustang?

It was my dad Grahamís car Ė he passed away recently and left it to me. So, to me itís worth more than any amount of money in the world. Itís my baby, as my dad restored it. Dad and I have always liked cars, and he always liked Mustangs.

I FEEL THAT DADíS WITH ME WHEN IíM DRIVING THE MUSTANG, AND ITíS NOW UP TO ME TO GET IT BACK OUT INTO THE WORLD AGAIN

Tell us about the resto.

Dad imported the genuine Winter Blue Mach 1 about 15 years ago, but only began rebuilding it around 2011-12. He finished it about a year before melanoma took his life in July 2015. It was a ground-up resto; he stripped it to a bare shell before respraying it in a bright blue. He was a spray painter and panel beater, yet he did it all, including the rewire and bolting in the rebuilt factory Mach 1 driveline. I canít tell you what that is as Iím yet to learn. The only mod is an ICE ignition.

And he also designed the decals?

Dad spent months sketching the stripes and mocking them up on miniature cars. It had become his passion after working at a panel shop that laid the factory striping on Porsches by hand, with stencils and paint. So when I was a kid, heíd hand-paint pinstriping and decals on all of our cars Ė it was something that he liked to do.

Did you have a hand in the build?

Partly; I loved spending time with Dad in the shed and I documented the resto with photos. I was right there beside him, watching and passing tools. Iím glad that he got to enjoy the Mach 1 for a short while, though Easter 2015 was his last attempt at driving it Ė he couldnít because of the pain that he was in. At his funeral we had the Mach 1 parked out the front, and the ribbon from that day is kept in the car. feel that heís with me when Iím driving it, and I know that itís now up to me to get the Mustang back out into the world again.

What do you get up to in the Mach 1?

I take it out as much as I can, at least every weekend. Iíll go for a drive down the coast and to a few local car shows. I donít yet have the confidence to properly show it as Iím still learning about the car, but Iím slowly getting there. Thankfully everyone in the scene is super-friendly and helpful. Some people tell me that Iím lucky to have inherited the Mach 1, but Iíd rather have my dad. Often, I just sit in the shed with the Mustang and I feel Dad there Ė Iíll never sell it! My middle son wants it when I go, but I donít plan on dying! He figures that heís the only one with any interest in it, like I was with my dad.

Girls - wanna be famous? Send pics, car details and contact details to: Iron Maiden, Street Machine, Locked Bag 12, Oakleigh, Vic 3166. Or email: streetmachine@ bauer-media.com.au.