Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Muscle cars: A father-son tradition

Austen Moser and his father, Myron Moser, both loved cars long before either of them could drive. This love has brought them to numerous car shows, including Roddin’ Round the Lake in Osakis. It has also endowed them with a 1954 GMC 100 pickup truck, a 1979 Cadillac Sedan deVille and two Mustangs, which will be shown at this year’s Roddin’ Round the Lake show on Saturday, July 14.

The Mosers’ passion for car shows started long before attending Roddin’ Round the Lake.
Myron has been taking Austen to the “Back to the ‘50s” car show in St. Paul since Austen was 4 years old.

“At a very early age, Austen showed that he had mechanical talent and interest, and he loved old cars, trucks and tractors,” said Myron.

Eventually, simply seeing cars wasn’t enough to satiate this hunger for muscle cars.

With the help of Austen’s uncle, Terry Seter, Myron tracked down and purchased Austen’s dream car: A 1969 Mustang Mach 1.

However, at the time of the purchase, this car was not quite a “dream.”
“The car was in fairly decent shape for its age, but did need a restoration,” said Myron.
With the local help of Kris Lanus, Todd Blankenship, John Chlian and Dick Klug, the restoration began and the father-son duo threw themselves into the restoration.

“For one-and-a-half years, Austen and I spent most of our weekends and vacation time in the shop working on his Mustang with Kris and Todd. We learned a lot,” Myron said.

During restoration, the car was pulled apart to a bare body shell. The engine was pulled out and re-assembled, the transmission was pulled out, a new speed manual was installed and the car was repainted Meadowlark Yellow.

Austen now scrutinizes restorations with a discerning, experienced eye.
Myron gave praise to all those who helped with the restoration. “Alexandria truly has some great experts!” Myron acknowledged.
Along with playing an integral role in the restoration of his Mustang, Austen paid for his car, which he has dubbed his “Pony.”

Myron implemented a system that kept Austen’s grades up and helped him pay for his Mustang. School became Austen’s “job” and he was paid for good grades. This money went toward paying for his Mustang. As a result, Austen learned to be responsible and became a much better student.
“He is a smart young man who works hard to get good grades,” Myron said of his son.

Austen has paid for the entirety of his 1969 Mustang Mach 1, and looks forward to showing it this Saturday at the Roddin’ Round the Lake show.
Myron also has his own muscle car.

In July of 2011, Myron purchased a Grabber Orange 1970 Mustang Mach 1 Twister Special. His car required no restorations.

The Twister Special is rare. It was made for the Ford Kansas City District to commemorate the “Tornado Alley” that Kansas is known for. The license plate reads: “C U IN OZ.”

Myron’s Mustang was restored in 2008 by its previous owner and was even invited to the Top Mustangs Invitational Car Show at the OshKosh Air Show in Wisconsin. There, it won Best of Show and was signed by Carroll Shelby, former automotive designer, racing driver and entrepreneur.

The Mustangs have earned Myron multiple “thumbs-up” and “nice car” comments. One of his favorite remarks was from a young boy: “Goodbye, best car in the world!”

The Mosers have interests beyond Mustangs. Besides other classic and modern cars, Austen is interested in the world of medicine, and has thought about becoming a doctor or going into engineering or medical science.

When taking a break from cars, Myron reads and plays drums. He is in a band called “Mid-Life Crisis.”

Myron dreams of finding and restoring the first car he owned, a 1968 Chevy Bel Air. He also would like to restore a first generation Ford Bronco.

“Both have sentimental value to me,” Myron said.

Myron has seen his fair share of car shows; he has been attending them for more than 20 years. “What makes Roddin’ Round the Lake one of my favorites is that the local merchants do the voting…The show is usually well attended by many interesting owners with excellent cars.”

He looks forward to walking around and seeing all of the great cars. “I will be thoroughly enjoying every minute of it,” he said.