The winner of the December Ride of the Month is Travis and Shannon Trogdon (FEP Username: TravisT
) and their 1984 Ford Mustang GT. Many of you know that unfortunately that we lost Travis to cancer earlier this year. Due to the unique situation we felt the best way to tell the story of this month’s winner was to have Travis tell his story in his own words. Below you will find a paper that Travis wrote back on 10/07/93 about his beloved 1984 Mustang GT. Travis was taking a creative writing class at UNCC during his freshman year in college, and was required to keep a journal. Travis’ loving wife Shannon painstakingly transcribed the paper word for word to help us put this month’s feature together. Last we also need to thank Rich (FEP Username: Fearnot
) for all his help with putting this together.
"Well, another day of working on my car. Sometimes I don't know why I want this particular car. But even though it isn't perfect, I really like it, and it has some special value to me.
Two and a half years ago, someone from school told me they saw it at a local dealership. I looked at it and told my parents about it knowing that it would probably mean nothing. But, to my surprise, my dad said he looked at a similar car somewhere else, and he actually called to check on the price of the car I saw. I didn't think we'd get it because at the time we had six cars. (We now have eight: '30 and '31 Model A Fords, '50 and '72 Ford Trucks, a '67 Ford Galaxie, and two '79 Mustangs.)
This was Tuesday, on the last week of my sophomore year in high school. On Friday of that week, we went out to eat to celebrate the end of school. We drove by that dealership and dad said to stop. We were looking at the car and the dealer offered us the keys. My dad drove it first, and was soon cruising along at twenty miles over the speed limit, even though he thought he was going well under it. He let me drive it next, and right then I knew I had to have it.
That night I heard my parents having a talk about buying that car, but I thought it was just talk. Saturday, we got up and there was no mention of the car. About 2:00 that afternoon, dad said, "Let's go buy a car." I couldn't believe it. We agreed on a price for the car, and the salesman said it would be ready for me on Monday. Two days. Practically an eternity.
On Monday, I was suppose to (go) get a check from dad while he was at work, and he didn't call until 3:00. I hurried to pick up the check, and head to the dealership. By 4:00, I was putting the first tank of gas into my car. My '84 Mustang 5.0 GT, black with a sunroof, five speed, lots of options, and 95,000 miles.
Today, it has over 126,000 on it, and it's still going now, even better than when I got it. The most expensive things I've bought for it were a new clutch and interior. It's not officially mine yet. It's going to be my college graduation present, but I get to drive it now. I really appreciate it because my parents couldn't really afford it, and we didn't really need it. I didn't ask for it because I was perfectly happy with my dad's '79 Mustang. Parents can be great people if everybody gave them a chance."
Shannon added that the "local dealership" was "Confederate Chevrolet" in Albemarle. Travis was the second owner. He drove that car as his primary transportation until he parked it about six years ago. (He even drove it on their first date in January 26, 2002.) He planned on doing some improvements to it, and getting it back on the road as his daily driver, but life kept getting in the way. Then FEP and others stepped in and generously restored it for him to lift his spirits and give him something to look forward to post cancer. And you know the rest.
Shannon also stated that Travis used to auto cross his Mustang for several years with the SCCA. But that was before they met, so she doesn't have much information. Shannon also wanted to say, "Thanks Rich. I do appreciate the nomination and I'm so glad he won. I know he would be so proud!"
Travis the day FEP hauled his car to Out To Pasture for restoration to commence. It was hot that day, and he was very weak. But in true Travis fashion, he pushed through the pain and fatigue, and worked with Ronald and his father to get things in order and send the 84 on it's way. Even though he felt horrible, he has a big (and I'm sure, genuine) smile on his face.
As our final Fair Well to Travis we thank him for his friendship, his passion, and his ability to always want to help all those that he could both in his personal life and here on FEP. He will be surely missed, but never forgotten. Rest in Peace Travis.