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''Originally, my mate bought it but by the end of the trip we'd done a deal and I'd bought it from him. I did some of the mechanical work to get it going and we used it for awhile - it was in pretty average condition,'' Mr Thomson said.
He never liked the colour it had been painted - white with a tan roof - and knew there was an issue with rust in a back guard, so in 2006, he got to work fully restoring the vehicle.
''Before I knew, I had it fully dismantled. I sent it to the panel beaters who found it was a mess - it had more holes that a slice of swiss cheese. There was rust everywhere.
''I could either throw it away or fix it - we decided to fix it. Rob Douglas [of Dunedin] did the panel beating. He did a fantastic job,'' he said.
Mr Thomson then had the car painted black which was close to its original colour.
''Apart from the upholstery, I pretty much did the rest myself. I freshened up the engine and put in a new transmission, suspension, brakes, steering. A lot of it was new parts.
''I got some in New Zealand and a lot of the body panels came from the States. There's a couple of good suppliers of Mustang parts in New Zealand, so I try to support them.''
He had owned Triumph vehicles in the past and when he went to the United States of America he had been thinking about buying a Triumph TR6.
''The two-seater car didn't make a lot of sense. I had young kids at the time so the four-seater Mustang was more suitable. Other than that, I had just always liked Ford Mustangs. It's a really nice car to drive, it drives really well and I'm very pleased with it.''
- David Beck