Mustang Girl: Lauren Tkacz and Sandy Stang, her 1968 Mustang Hardtop

Mustang Girl Monday: Lauren Tkacz and Sandy Stang

Lauren Tkacz’s first experience with Mustangs was bittersweet. Her father bought a restored 1966 Mustang with a red interior, just like his first car, and would take Lauren to car shows and drive-ins in the car and she fell in love with the sounds and overall feel of the car.

Unfortunately, Lauren’s mother got cancer and they had to sell the car to pay for her medical bills, so she didn’t get into a Mustang until later, when she met her husband who still owned his first car, a ’68 Mustang. Lauren told us, “We worked many late nights together getting her ready for Hot Rod Power Tour 2015, even taking advantage of the large amount of rain that year and wet-sanded in the driveway. On Power Tour 2016 my husband proposed on the first day. To start us off with a bang the car broke down four days in a row, each time less than 20 miles from the venue. Since we didn’t know the exact cause of the break downs we took everyone’s advice, including Courtney Barber’s. We put 40 pounds of ice in the trunk to try and prevent overheating, much to the horror of a concerned family on summer vacation, who followed us for about a mile, honking and yelling at us thinking we were leaking gas and about to explode! After the tour we landed, or stranded rather, in Colorado Springs where we were ecstatic to find Lanier’s Speed Shop owned by local racing legend Lanier Henry. He was able to order the new Edelbrock fuel pump we needed and we headed home.”

For a wedding present, Lauren got a 1968 Mustang that was named Sandy Stang by the previous owner, and a stipulation of the sale was that she keep her name. Lauren said, “I thought that the restoration would be a nightmare because the previous owner had said there was a knock in the motor. As it turned out the knock was a fan just clipping an oversized radiator. I replaced it and started work on the rebuild. So far Sandy Stang has a suspension package from Open Tracker Racing, the Shelby 1-inch drop, 1-inch lowering springs with a half coil cut, and a slotted front disc brake conversion. The idea behind this build is to make it a rustic Trans Am series racer tribute. I designed the cut-out on the front valence as another personal touch to make Sandy unique. I want it to be functional, more than fancy. I believe the classics should be driven and not afraid to get a little messy rather than sit pristine in a garage. Currently my interior console, back seats, paint, and various other parts are sitting lonely in the living room waiting to be appreciated. It makes for a cluttered house but I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s nothing better than driving a piece of history and knowing that you worked to make it what it is today.”