NEW CANEY, Texas — A group of friends spent a year working on a special gift for a man they’ve known since high school who was diagnosed with ALS several years ago. It was his dream to have his prized ride restored.
A lineup of classic cars parked at the Valley Ranch Town Center on Saturday in New Caney. However, there was one in particular people showed up to see.
In front of a crowd of several dozen people, Richard Watson and Brett McMath revealed a newly restored ‘73 Ford Mustang Mach 1 for Craig Reagan, his wife Nancy Reagan and their kids.
The classic Mustang has belonged to Craig Reagan since he was 17 years old. It’s been sitting in his garage for more than 20 years.
In 2016, Reagan was diagnosed with ALS, a progressive disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
A year ago, a group of Reagan's friends, including Watson and McMath, who all graduated from New Caney High School more than 35 years ago began working on Reagan’s ‘73 Mustang.
“We're car guys. We all drove classic cars, well, then they weren't so classic,” McMarth said.
The idea came to Richard Watson after a high school reunion they had last year.
“I thought, man, I have a shop, I can do this. It'll be nice. It should be done," Watson said.
Watson got a group of friends together and they all decided to do that as a gesture for him and to raise awareness for ALS and raise money to help Reagan’s family. They got together a few times a week for a year at Watson’s shop Rusty Nuts Garage.
“Craig is such a special guy,” McMath said.
“I just want him to be happy. None of us know how long we have on this earth and I just hope he's happy with it,” Watson said.
They left the car as good as new.
“It's like a new car to him just with all the memories,” Nancy Reagan said.
She said her husband Reagan was told he’d only live about 20 months past his diagnosis, but now he’s at month 85 surrounded and loved by many.
“It touches our heart and our family that we've had so much support and, you know, the continued friendships,” Nancy Reagan said.
“Words can’t express the happiness that I feel,” Craig Reagan said.
On Sunday, his friends will drive up Reagan’s ‘73 Mustang to College Station where he now lives.
When asked if he will allow his kids to drive his newly restored ride, Reagan said no and laughed.
He created a website to share his story and raise awareness about ALS and research and treatment.
His friends also created a Gofundme account for Reagan to help pay for his care.