KIMBERLY, Wis. (WBAY) – It’s a special bond between a father, a son and a car. It’s a car that was part of the family, then sold, then bought back years later.
This week in small towns, we travel to Kimberly for the story of a Mustang’s homecoming trip.
“The throttle body, that was pretty fun, the intake, and the biggest challenge was getting to the exhaust,” says Ethan Meidam, looking under the hood in pride and joy.
You almost wonder if Ethan has a little oil and gas in his blood, thanks to his dad’s obsession with cars.
“Matchbox cars, anything that had wheels on them, cars, you name it, I got it, got the license at 16 and roamed the cars like crazy, bought one , sell one, buy one, sell one, buy one, sell one, drove my parents crazy,” says Bob Meidam, Ethan’s father.
This trend continued into adulthood, and somewhere around the 50th car Bob bought, a 1998 Mustang.
“And I thought it was so cool, it was black, all blacked out, I thought the front bumper was cool, I loved the look,” Ethan recalled.
Unfortunately for Ethan, the Mustang didn’t last long.
Dad has his eye on a Trans Am, and three months later it was gone.
“Needless to say my son Ethan was 7 at the time, he was really upset, he didn’t want me to sell it, told my wife Lisa and I, one day I’m going to get that car back dad, and we were just like, okay whatever, this is a 7-year-old talking,” Bob recalled.
Bob sold the Mustang to a guy from Lake Geneva who told him he had big plans for the car.
So Bob, of course, followed the fate of the car.
“I’m always looking at cars, whether they’re for sale or not, on Craigslist, Marketplace, I’m always looking and it drives my wife crazy,” Bob says with a chuckle.
About a year later, now with a different paint job, the car was sold to someone in Waukesha.
A few years later it was on sale again.
This time a man from Stevens Point bought the Mustang.
And then, just as Ethan was entering high school, the car was back on the market.
“So Ethan started reaching out to the individual and he’s like it’s my dad’s old car, you want that much, it’s not worth that much, I’ll pay you that for it, no, no, no, spring came, car went, went further north to Black River Falls,” says Bob.
Ethan, still dreaming of buying the car back with his own money, tracked down the new owner and pleaded again.
“The kid said absolutely, said I’m going to sell it to you,” Bob said.
“I was actually at work and the first thing I did was take a screenshot of it and send it to my dad, I figure he’s the guy who owns the Mustang , I think we have to get it,” Ethan recalled.
“You gotta be kidding me, he’s gonna sell you this car, he’s like dad, he’s gonna sell me the car and I’m like, let’s get it,” Bob says of his conversation with Ethan.
Last fall, Bob and Ethan made the trip to Black River Falls to retrieve the Mustang, ten years after Bob sold it.
“He was grinning from ear to ear, he’s going daddy, this car is coming home,” Bob says of the road trip up north.
The years however had taken their toll and the Mustang needed a lot of work.
Ethan had a plan.
“He really wanted to do a father-son project, he wanted to do a father-son project, I’m like, I’m down,” Bob says with a smile.
Last year, father and son kept themselves busy, doing work on the engine, installing that new exhaust system and making sure the Mustang returned to its original color.
Last month, it was finally time for Ethan to get behind the wheel.
“Wow like now I can drive it, I was sitting next to my dad in the passenger seat while he was driving it, that was kinda weird because it was now me driving and he was on the passenger seat,” Ethan said with a big smile.
And now, as the car’s current owner, Ethan will remain in the driver’s seat when it comes to his future, with special consideration for his happy car dad.
“I told him if you sell it, I want to crack it first, I’ll buy it back,” Bob says.
“He’ll be the first to do it, I’ll let him buy it back if I ever sell it,” Ethan says. To be determined ? “, I ask. “Yeah, TBD,” Ethan said with a chuckle.
Now that he has his Mustang, Ethan says he would like to buy another one in a few years, this time a Shelby.
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Jeff Alexander introduces us to dad Kimberly, his son and their car
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