If you happen to get passed by 85-year-old Eydie Machado and daughter Diane Wyant cruising in their original, Candy Apple Red 1969 Ford Mach 1, you may want to think twice about blipping the throttle at the next traffic light. No you are not seeing things. No you are not getting punked. And, no, the car is absolutely not for sale!
“My mom actually got into (cars) when she married my father back in 1958,” Diane explained. “He was a car guy growing up and a year before they were married he had taken a job with Ford Motor Company in Milpitas, California. During the 36-plus years my father worked for Ford, he was primarily a service training engineer responsible for training all the Ford technicians on the western part of the United States.”
Her first car, which she drove after she got her first license at the age of 35, was a 1966 Poppy Red Mustang convertible with white interior. — Diane Wyant
Perhaps it was the rural California homestead filled with horses of the four-legged variety that fueled Eydie’s automotive passion or quite possibly, wait for it gearheads, the Pantera she wishes was still in the driveway! Either way, Diane says there is plenty her mom still wants to do.
“Last year 2016, I decided to fulfill an item off my mom’s bucket list and I registered the Mach 1 for Hot August Nights,” she said. “We did, in fact, attend and I took my Mom on a cruise in the Mach on Friday night right through the center of downtown Reno. Every time we stopped, she would ask spectators on the sidewalk, ‘Hey, do you like my car?'”
As you might imagine, the answer was usually, ‘Yes.’
“My mom is literally the best mom in the entire world. She is super funny and has some great interests for an 85-year-old,” Diane enthused. “She loves pro football and NASCAR and is totally up on her stats. She knows more about the sport than anyone I know.”
Obviously, she knows plenty about her cars too!
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Diane Machado-Wyant says she first got into the hobby when, “I purchased my mother’s Mach 1 Mustang for one dollar back in 2012.”
The youngest of a family of five kids from rural Morgan Hill, California, says “riding horses, getting involved with cars and the high school marching band” was pretty much all there was to do at the time.
My first car was a 1970 Ford Maverick with a 302 V8. — Diane Wyant
“I didn’t really have a significant hobby, other than music, until I became the caretaker of my mother’s Mach” Diane explained. “Today I am a mom to son Ray and daughter Lindsey, as well as the proud owner of a new 2017 California special Mustang convertible.”
True to her musical roots, Diane is also Branham High School band director and a professional musician for the past 27 years.
“This year our high school marching band I teach in San Jose, California, will be sponsoring a car show fundraiser.” she said. “Hopefully, I will inspire my students to want to learn more about the old cars. Our car show is scheduled for the day before Mother’s Day and it will definitely be the first of many more shows to come!”
Like her mother, Diane would love to have a favorite car or two in her garage.
“I absolutely love the Cougar XR7 and I think I would want Mustang number one,” she said. “That car changed the future of the automobile world and has created a whole community/network of car lovers.”
Diane is quick to point out the importance finding a dedicated mechanic that is willing to teach you how to work on your car.
“It is a fun hobby but becomes even more enjoyable when you know how to turn wrenches on the car yourself,” she added.
That certainly is music to our ears. Happy Mother’s day.
Is there someone you think the Ford world needs to know about? Send us an email at Gallop66@aol.com for a chance to share their story.