Despite suffering through an incident that would bring a tear to the eye of even the most cold-hearted petrolhead, seven year-old Nino Welcome hopes that his beloved car can, one day, be fixed.
You see, Nino is no ordinary boy, and his car was no ordinary car. The car in question was a stunning orange 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1. A beautiful car which, on the morning of July 13, was incinerated in the driveway of Brett Welcome, Nino’s dad. Despite his best efforts, Brett could not put out the blaze before firefighters arrived to douse the flames. Sadly, by that time, the entire midsection of the car was obliterated.
Perhaps the most disgusting part about the whole incident is the fact that this was no accident. The fire was started by a jerk who lobbed some fireworks into the cab through the open flap window. Authorities in Springfield have yet to catch the jackwagon that did this, but there are hopes that the massive exposure on social media will pressure the arsonists to turn themselves in.
It’s bad enough to destroy a classic muscle car for no reason, but it’s even worse when that car means the whole world to a young boy. That was the kind of bond formed between Nino and his Mustang. The seven-year old boy suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Lesch-Nyhan syndrome. This metabolic disorder causes excessive levels of uric acid to build up in Nino’s bodily systems. The disease severely impacts Nino’s ability to control his muscles, leaving him confined to a wheelchair.
For Nino, his Mustang was more than just four wheels and a steering wheel. His car truly meant everything to him. Although his disability will likely prevent him from driving a car in the future, he had his power wheelchair (nicknamed “Mach 2”) painted to match the colour scheme of his car. If little Nino Welcome were to introduce himself to you, the first thing he would tell you is that he has an orange 1970 Mustang Mach 1.
No, this wasn’t simply a case of some pyromaniac merely setting fire to random property. This random act of stupidity has taken away a major part of a bright little boy’s identity.
As devastating as the ordeal has been, Nico has taken it “like a brave boy”, says his father. Although Brett Welcome holds out hope that the 351 CID ‘Cleveland’ V8 can be salvaged, he admits that the rest of the car is likely a total loss. Whether or not it can be rebuilt remains to be seen, but Nino’s parents are going to do everything they can to bring their son’s dream car back to life.
Fortunately, the Welcome family won’t be alone. Someone has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for the expenses not covered by the Welcomes’ insurance. Although nothing will ever truly replace Nino’s Mach 1, the outpouring of support from around the world helps to restore a little bit of our faith in humanity.
All pictures courtesy of Brett Welcome.