Father surprised with Ford Mustang 17 years after selling it to pay for wife's cancer treatments

Nearly two decades ago, Wesley Ryan sold his 1993 Ford Mustang GT to cover the costs of his wife's cancer treatment. Earlier this week, he was reunited with his car, thanks to the help of Ford Motor Company and Texas-based tuning specialist Hennessey Performance.

His wife Laura survived her battle with the disease, in part thanks to the Mustang GT victim. Detroit News reports that Ryan sold the car 17 years ago and assumed it was gone forever, but the couple's two children discovered it and negotiated a price to buy the car back.

The Foxbody was in bad shape and needed thousands of repairs, but Wesley's son Jake was ready to do all the work himself. Ford captured the heartwarming story before he could start and offered to restore the car for the family.

Mustang's latest owner unsuccessfully attempted a rally car conversion that killed the engine, so Ford donated a new 5.0-liter V-8 as well as a gearbox before adding the bill to get the car completely overhauled by Hennessey Performance. The team took the car down to the spikes and rebuilt it almost from scratch, completely replacing the interior and restoring the exterior that had seen more than its share of dents and dives. There is no word on what the work actually costs, but Hennessey is far from a budget house.

The repair work took nine months, but after 1[ads1]7 years apart, the family did not intend to rush the process. Ford sent the Ryan family and their Mustang to Dearborn, Michigan, where the company is headquartered for a handover. Wesley knew who was working on his car, but had no idea how it would turn out. Henry Ford III was ready for the presentation to turn the keys to a tearful Mr. Ryan.

As a self-proclaimed Ford fanatic, he was overwhelmed and said, "You did more than you had to do."

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