Jack Haden of Moore, Okla., survived last month's EF5 tornado with his pregnant wife in a storm cellar, and emerged to find his 2003 Ford Mustang flung across the road into a tree, coated with debris. But instead of leaving it where it lay and adding to the insurance claim, Haden climbed inside — and found it still ran. Since then, his Mustang has become a bit of comic relief for a town that desperately needs it.
Haden, an aircraft mechanic, told KSBI-TV that people started taking pictures of the car almost immediately after he put it back on the road. That gave him the idea to make it slightly more roadworthy, and after two hours of tearing away the mangled fenders, roof and broken windshield, he took it for a ride around town last weekend, telling the TV station: "We decided just to chop it up and take it out for everyone to see."
And since three of the tires had punctures, what better time to practice their burnout skills?
The few pictures of him cruising in the 'Stang have since blown up on social media far beyond what Haden ever thought they would, as locals and strangers alike call it a welcome sign of resilience after one of the deadliest tornados in U.S. history. The car isn't technically street legal — what with the missing seat belts and holes poked throughout the exhaust — but Haden will likely get a pass around that part of Oklahoma as long as people need a laugh.