We’ve all had the dream of finding our favorite car stored in some old barn or garage; just waiting for us to come to save it. There’s a small group of people given such a chance, and then there’s is the rest. Somewhere between those two groups are a certain few. These “certain few” discover a car, and although it may not be their favorite – it used to belong to someone who favored that very machine over all others. These people are the luckiest. Inheritance teaches virtue and dedication to those who no longer have the ability to enjoy life. Bruce and Linda are the owners of a 1968 Ford Mustang with a story from a family war veteran that makes them some of these “certain few”.
Imagine being this 22-year-old handsome chap in 1968… and you want nothing more than to get your hands on the steering wheel of an all-new Ford Mustang Sprinter Pack. A real dream right? Well, for Ronnie Sipka it wasn’t a dream. It was real. On May 3rd of 1968, Ronnie walked into the Allegra Ford Dealer and bought his very own Mustang for just $2,915! The car was outfitted with all of the look-alike Shelby gear. All of those exquisite design features like GT foglamps and the pop-open gas cap.
When Ronnie bought the car, he had a 4 barrel 500cfm carb installed to beef up the car. That was it for Ronnie: he purchased a limited-option Mustang with 3 miles, now all he needed to find was the open roads to drive on with his fiance.
Not long after the car was bought, Ronnie faced an even greater phase of his life. He had been drafted for Vietnam. There was a lot of tension at this time during the war, as many Americans were being sent over and not coming back. This was the war that many Americans at the time called “the war we do not need to fight”. Regardless of the family’s feelings, he had to ship off and fight.
Ronnie spent time at three forts, receiving infantry and officer training before being shipped overseas. Despite training and his company’s best efforts, things turned south quickly in the foreign land. Unfortunately, Ronnie ended up only spending 38 days in Vietnam, fighting in Da Nang against the Vietcong, where he drew his last breath fighting for the heart of his own country and for his brothers in the Army.
Back home, the family was devastated but needed to move on. Ronnie’s father inherited his Mustang and drove it in honor of his son until he passed just a few years later. Upon his father’s death, Ronnie’s mother would become the driver who put a lot of miles on the Mustang. In the 15 years she owned the car, she collected 57,400 city miles on the odometer. Eventually, Ronnie’s mother passed as well, leaving the Mustang in the hands of Ronnie’s brother Emil.
From 1990 on, the car sat in a garage in Chicago, being regularly checked in on and driven occasionally. It wasn’t until 2015 when Ronnie’s sister Linda received the vehicle that the car was maintained and driven regularly again. Linda and her husband Bruce are the current owners of the car, and they have an indebted duty they want to fulfill. “In honor of Ronnie, we are taking on the task of keeping the car just the way Ronnie and my family left it,” says Linda.
The couple has yet to visit many shows, however, they cruise the car through the downtown area of Naperville all the time. “The car turns a crazy amount of heads,” says Bruce “And to this day we still get a ton of offers on the car, even though we’re far from selling it.”
While Bruce and Linda are fans of the previous car era; when cars like the Impala and Thunderbird were full-size cruisers. They still consider the Mustang as important as their dream cars because of its meaning in the family, and that’s what matters most.