With the warm Arizona wind pelting his forehead and his entire body vibrating from the mighty roar of the engine, Roger Keeney took a brand-new 2010 Ford Mustang convertible on an amazing ride, doing donuts on the pavement and amassing speeds of up to 90 mph.
This would be a thrill for anybody, but what makes this truly remarkable is the fact that Keeney has been blind for the past 20 years.
Sixty-two-year-old Keeney, who lives in Athens, Georgia, won the chance to drive the new 2010 Mustang by participating in "The '10 Unleashed" promotion, which asked people to describe their ultimate Mustang dream experience in 250 words or less. A video diary chronicling his extraordinary ride is live now at www.the2010mustang.com.
It was definitely not a joke, says Ford Car Communications Manager Patricia Piedrahita.
"Without a doubt, his essay caught our attention," she said. "His submission hinted that he may be blind, so we had to talk to him to learn more. Upon speaking to him we knew he would help us see the Mustang from a different point of view."
In early May, Ford flew Keeney down to the expansive Ford Proving Grounds just outside of Phoenix, Arizona. With safety their number one concern, the Mustang team arranged for former professional racer Tommy Kendall to ride shotgun in the car.
"Tommy said, 'When you were a teenager, did you ever do donuts?' And I said, 'Yeah.' So I got it rolling a bit in first gear, cranked it hard to the left and revved it up and popped it and did three donuts before we stopped. When we stopped, we could hear the camera crew cheering from clear across the field. I was in awe of both the car and the experience, it was truly a dream come true."
"The most life-changing thing you can do for folks with disabilities is put them in a situation that everyone else has told them is impossible. The experience for me in the Mustang with Tommy Kendall next to me and driving that wonderful automobile was really great," Keeney added.
The rush and exhilaration of Keeney's dream come true is brought to life through the video chapters available for viewing at www.the2010mustang.com.
Through August 15, consumers will have the opportunity to live out their ultimate experience behind the wheel of a 2010 Ford Mustang - whether drifting in Japan like world champion Vaughn Gittin, Jr. or customizing a new Mustang using Ford Racing Performance Parts.
Consumers are asked to submit their own Mustang dream experience by answering the following question "if you could unleash your Mustang side, how would you do it?" in 250 words or less via Ford's "The '10 Unleashed" site at www.the2010mustang.com. Written submissions will be judged based on creativity, uniqueness, and execution of idea. Winning submissions will be selected every few weeks, and winners will be able to turn their Mustang experience into reality.
In all, Ford will provide ten once-in-a-lifetime experiences, with four created by Ford and six created by consumers. It's not too late for you to submit your own ultimate Mustang dream experience!!