Zachary Ailes drives a blue 1967 Mustang Con­vertible. Courtesy | Zachary Ailes

Driving down Hillsdale Street, you may have noticed a striking red mustang, a blue Ford truck, a bat­mobile, or a spunky white dodge charger. These are just a few of the many cool cars on the Hillsdale’s campus, many of which have been made even more special by their owner’s hard work.

Junior Zachary Ailes drives a blue 1967 Mustang Con­vertible restomod he calls “Bandit.”

“I picked it up in Texas almost three years ago. I have com­pletely redone the sus­pension myself,” he said. 

Ailes bought it with an upgraded four-speed auto­matic per­for­mance trans­mission, a 347 stroker crate engine, a Holley four barrel car­bu­retor, an alu­minum billet radiator, and a number of other upgrades. 

“It’s a joy to drive, and I am so happy to be able to have it out here to take to class on nice days,” he said. 

Freshman Joseph Sturdy proudly parks his 1987 Porsche 944 in the Nied­feldt parking lot.

“I was raised around cars and always wanted a sports car of my own. I grew up working on my dad’s mustang as a hobby and it’s nice to have my own. Also there’s nothing better than a manual trans­mission,” Sturdy said. “Although the car isn’t incredibly fast, it’s tons of fun.”

Hillsdale College freshman Owen Gardner drives a blue 2012 Ford F‑150. Once, par­takers in Galloway’s “Feast” put several bathroom doors in the bed of his truck. 

Michael Sweeney, an accounting pro­fessor at Hillsdale, is proud of his silver 2009 Mustang with black trim and a five-speed stick. He bought it new and enjoys driving a shift, par­tic­u­larly when he drives home to Jonesville and can down­shift into the curves rather than using the brakes, he said.

“It is the only cool car that I have ever owned,” Sweeney said. “A bit chal­lenging driving it in the winter but I had some fun doing doughnuts in an empty parking lot a few months ago.”

Freshman Morgan Iverson drives a white 2012 Dodge Charger named “Sammy.” Her parents passed it down to her for her six­teenth birthday. Though the car has to be retired over the summer, Iverson is enjoying her last moments with her “fun and fast” dodge.

Some of the cool cars on campus hold great meaning to their owners beyond their speed or driving fea­tures. 

Junior Micheal Lee drives a red 2017 Ford Mustang in honor of his grand­father, David Car­raway. “He knew how much I absolutely love Mus­tangs, and during my high school years, he battled cancer for the seventh time in his life,” Lee said.” He always wanted to get me a newer Mustang because he was an incredibly selfless man, and he saw how obsessed I was with them.”

After Car­raway passed away in Lee’s senior year of high­school, his grand­mother, Joanne Car­raway, used some of the money she had set aside from his life insurance to buy her grandson the car. 

“In a way, he was able to get me the car that I loved so much, and now, I have a stuffed flamingo that rides in my cup holder at all times in memory of him,” Lee said.