Family’s pet pony turned into pony car collection

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Gilbert Speed decided to exchange the family pet for a 1965 Mustang | Ford Photos
Gilbert Speed decided to exchange the family pet for a 1965 Mustang | Ford Photos

Daniel Speed remembers the moment his dad, the late Gilbert Speed, traded the family’s real-life pony for a 1965 Ford Mustang: “One Saturday, Dad said, ‘If you guys won’t ride him, I know what I’ll do with him,’ then he came back with that car.”

That trade ultimately led to the Speed family’s deep-rooted passion for the iconic pony car and a family tradition of buying and restoring classic Mustangs.

Located in Valdosta, Georgia,  Speed said his father was in the trucking business and each vehicle brought home was a Ford. The exposure led him and his six  siblings to learn Ford mechanics inside and out.

One day in 1980, Daniel’s youngest brother, Chester, bought and restored a 1965 Mustang of his own, inspiring four of the Speed siblings to follow suit. According to Daniel, he and Chester put their knowledge to work and restored each of the Speed family’s pony cars.

The family collection includes three 1969 Mach 1s, two 1970 Mach 1s (one with an engine their dad built), two 1971 Mach 1s and a 1973 Mustang convertible.

As the Speed siblings grew up, they spread across Georgia and Florida. After their father passed away, they began taking their fleet of vintage Mustangs out on the road at least twice a year to attend car shows.

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“We really enjoy getting the Mustangs out on I-75 and just kind of have our own little parade –- our own rolling car show,” said Daniel.

When the cars need to be transported, the Speed family relies on Ford F-Series trucks as tow vehicles. Daniel uses a 2009 F-150 while others used include a F-250 and F-350 Super Duty.

“We’ve owned Ford vehicles throughout our lives and had good experiences with them,” says Daniel. “So we gravitate to what keeps us going.”

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Nicole James has been involved in the automotive world her entire life. Her dream car is a 1965 Shelby Daytona Coupe. She currently drives a 2005 Mustang affectionately known as Marilyn and uses the car to participate in track events, car shows, and explore the world around her. Nicole joined the ClassicCars.com Content and Marketing team in 2014. Nicole is an automotive journalist and the creator of Pretty Driven - an online source for car culture and news for millennials, as well as a contributor for ClassicCars.com. Follow Nicole on Instagram and Facebook - @Nicoleeellan