Real Wheels: Mom’s Mustang on the road again

WAPAKONETA – Christina Byer never knew her mother and father.

Jeffrey McCaslin and Judy Malueg each passed away as a result of an auto accident in 1969 when Christina was 1 year old.

That is why the 1967 Mustang Coupe that Christina and her husband Todd Byer restored is so special to them.

It is the car that once belonged to Christina’s mother.

Christina and her 2-year-old brother, Dennis McCaslin, were raised by her aunt and uncle, Violet and Stanley Maxson. When Christina graduated from the University of Findlay in 1991 with a degree in accounting, her uncle presented her with a surprising choice.

“He told me that since I was the first one to graduate from college, he would either buy me a new car or give me mom’s Mustang. I laughed at first, saying that I would take a new BMW. When I saw he was serious, the choice was easy. I picked the Mustang.”

The car came with a lot of work. It was tore up in an accident in 1986 and for years sat in a garage waiting to be fixed. That time came when COVID-19 swept across the country. Her husband, Todd, found himself out of work for three weeks. With time on his hands, he made the restoration of the Mustang his project.

“My goal was to return it to its original condition,” Todd said.

Family members and others stepped in to help.

Todd and Christina pulled the engine out and took it to Kalvinator Engines in Wapakoneta. He noted, “A guy in Lima, Gary Coon, helped us with the interior. Gary Steinke of Waynesfield did the body work.”

When they finished, “it looked like a new car … just beautiful,” Christina said.

The car received what Christina calls “a lime-gold” paint job, which was its original color but one you don’t see very often.

“It looks like a shiny olive,” Christina says. “We get a lot of thumbs up or honking horns when we drive it.”

She knows that one day they’ll turn over the car keys to one of their children, Chadd, 39, or Kalene, 31.

For now, she and Todd are enjoying driving it.

Christina noted, “This isn’t a car we save for car shows. We fixed it up to drive it, just as my mom would have done.”


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