Wrecked hopes / Fond Memories


Founding Member
Dec 3, 2001
Found this article in Sunday's SJ Mercury News. Those of you in N Cal, you may have heard about this gentleman's unfortunate prized Mustang. I hope this doesn't happen to me. I wish him the best in getting up and running again.
Couldn't paste the URL 'cause of some quirk with the paper's web page.

For S.J. man, dream car's theft results in nightmare

By Karl Fischer

Contra Costa Times

Roy Kelsey's dream car looks more like a crumpled beer can than a 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback.
The car came home to San Jose from an East Bay tow yard with its radiator wrapped around the engine, which Kelsey imagines saved the engine. There are other disturbing reminders of a crash: A blood-caked hat on the seat, a cell phone, blood on the ceiling.
Kelsey, a 66-year-old out-of-work tech engineer, sank about $30,000 into his vintage hot rod in fatter times, before he lost his job, before those kids slammed it into the side of a Richmond motor home. The car lacked insurance when it was ******ed in March. Kelsey has bills to pay. He and his wife are renovating their home.
Add to that repairing his dream car.
``I'm trying to scrape it together, piece by piece. It's going to take a long time,'' Kelsey said. ``It's something I did with my spare time and money when I was working.''
The insurance company won't pay. Unfortunately for Kelsey, he inadvertently let his comprehensive coverage lapse while working on the car for an extended period at his home. He never finished, as one of the alleged car thieves found out.
San Leandro resident Deshon Julian Laimont, 24, was driving the car when he got into an accident. A less-than-secure racing harness detached on impact, police said.
A spoke from the steering wheel punctured Laimont beneath his chin and pushed up into his face, police said. Laimont is recovering and may soon face criminal charges. The California Highway Patrol's Major Accident Investigation Team has completed its report and will forward it to Contra Costa County prosecutors next week, CHP Sgt. Wayne Ziese said.
A Richmond police officer spotted the Mustang racing with another car in excess of 100 mph on Carlson Boulevard about 8 p.m. March 16. Officers caught up near 23rd Street and Broadway Avenue, where the drivers stopped to spin doughnuts in the intersection.
Laimont made eye contact and smiled at the officer before zooming away, according to police reports. A few blocks up the road, at Carlson and Cutting boulevards, the car broadsided a motor home at 90 mph to 100 mph.
Laimont and 22-year-old Oakland resident Alonzo Moore went to the hospital with critical injuries. Both survived.
``It's basically a street-legal race car. Basically, those guys must not have known how to drive it,'' Kelsey said. ``Because if they did, there's no way the cops could have kept up with it.''
At considerable expense, Kelsey modified the Mustang to make it a Shelby Cobra, installing vintage and faux-vintage parts and a roll cage, racing harnesses and racing dials in the dashboard. The car's top speed was about 150 mph, he said.
Somebody rolled the car out of his McKendrie Street driveway the night of March 6, hot-wired it and stole it. Kelsey's wife noticed it missing the next afternoon.
Few people want their cars back after the Major Accident Investigation Team finishes with them, which may account for the surprise Kelsey encountered as he badgered various police agencies about his car in March and April. He readied his garage and finally got the car back last month.
Repairing his car will be expensive, and Kelsey cannot pay. He lives on a fixed income, and can only buy parts occasionally and one at a time.
But there's an emotional investment, he admits. He has invested so much money and time. And maybe the car helps him remember his younger days. And maybe it's just a blast to drive.
Whatever the reason, Kelsey remains quietly committed to driving his 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback again, no matter how long it takes.
``This was what I ended up with after 40 years of working in high-tech in the valley. I used to drive down to Big Sur all the time. The kids all just absolutely drool on it,'' Kelsey said. ``I just really, really enjoy it.''
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Ugh, didn't hear about that, but thats horrible. Poor old guy probably spent more time on that car than he can remember. Definately would not like to crash a classic...I'm pretty sure I'd be impailed on my steering column. That guy deserved what he got, although I'd hate to see it, up the chin and through the face..eeww.
What's up with the "he MAY be charged"? Lock him up! He should be in jail for 5+ years, IMO. I think the crash should become a minor issue to him compared to being forced to be Bubba's girlfriend.

Here's to wishing that crook all the worst. :mad:
Messing with a persons car is just about the lowest thing you can do. It's almost as bad as messing with someones wife/girlfriend. It's one step below messing with someone's beer.

The penalty for stealing a classic mustang should be that he has to buy every single damn part the man put into it. And then serve jail time making money to pay for the parts. That's just ashame.

Is there any way you could contact the paper and find out if we can somehow forward correspondence through the paper to this gentleman? Maybe we could get him to register here. I would like to contact him and see if there are any of the many parts I have just laying around that he could use to help rebuild his car. Since he is on a fixed income he may never get his car back on the road and if I have something that isn't worth much to me it could be a treasure to him so I would not mind donating things I could ship there. Maybe all the people on this forum in Cali could get together and help this guy out......this is what this hobby is all about. I realize that I may not have anything he can use but if I do I would like to see it go to a good cause.
No I haven't....but I am also leaving tomorrow for 10 days and will be totally out of pocket. I can call him tomorrow but there is not much I can do till I get back. Please get in touch with this gentleman and see if there is something we can get going to help the guy out.
Since I just bought my car (and its a 67), I'm still buying parts...so not many spares. But, the first thing I thought of when reading it was setting up a "Save My Ride" fund :D

So if anyone does make contact, I'd be willing to donate to help the guy out.
There should be an extra law that if you steal a car and wreck it, and its a classic, adds extra time to your sentance. :nonono:

It's like watching a movie and seeing them crash a perfectly good muscle car, makes my cringe like I'd been kicked between the legs.
Crashed Mustang

Hi Ron,
Thanks for the call, I really appreciate it.
I am working on getting it back together but it's a major major job!
I kind of glanced over the previous posts and I should clarify one thing. The harness did NOT fail. From the position of the belt it looked like it wasn't fastened. Whoever stole it failed to steal the cross-bar and shoulder harness anyway so the belt wouldn't have helped much.
Here is a link to the page I put up while building it, and one to my guestbook where you can read some details not in the article.

If anyone has parts laying around they can pass on, I'll be overjoyed.
As anyone who has seen any of the pics can testify, I have to replace the entire front of the car, about 50% actually. Suspension is totally trashed, only things left are the Springs and Konis. I'm going to have to rebuild the tranny, the tailshaft housing is broken and the tailshaft bent. Rear end seems ok.

I have managed to come up with a front clip but it's totally bare.

Here are a couple of pics, engine going in, and engine coming out.

My Son is giving my a hand getting it out.