To promote the upcoming 2010 Ford Mustang and create some new buzz before its arrival, Ford asked Mustang enthusiasts to send in their own stories about the iconic car and how it affected their lives. Out of a long list of entries, a winner has been picked and for their efforts they will receive a 2010 Ford Mustang and an all-expenses paid trip to the Los Angeles Auto Show in November to witness the car's reveal.

The winning entry was sent in by United States Army Specialist Kory Chesher, a member of the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division serving in Iraq. Chesher, aged 22, now hopes he will be able to return in time to see the car unveiled.

“Kory’s story perfectly captures the passion and enthusiasm that Mustang has created for more than 40 years,” said Mustang brand manager Fritz Wilke. “We’re pleased to award him his first Mustang and hope it brings him many years of enjoyment.

Some of the other stories were astonishing in their frankness, and all of them revealed a tremendous depth of passion for the Ford Mustang - of which Ford has sold over 9 million units over the car's lifetime. Some even read like movie plots - one entrant wrote about how he had to sell his beloved 1970 Mustang Boss 302 to pay off his brother's gambling debt, but hoped to save enough to eventually get another one. Unfortunately, he broke his back a couple of years later and was no longer able to work to buy another Mustang.

Another entrant talked about the bond he created with his father while restoring a 1960's Mustang, a bond which was apparently so strong that he managed to purchase the original car that he and his father had restored over 30 years after it had been sold.

To read the other stories and check out the photos, head on over to the 2010 Mustang website. Transcribed below is Chesher’s winning story:

A Life Obsession

It started when I was about six years old. I was in the truck with my father and we were at a stoplight. Across the road at the other light was this “car.” It drew my attention away from everything else in the world. I asked my dad what it was and he simply said, “Oh, that’s a Mustang.”
I remember it like it was yesterday. I now know that it was a 1968 black Fastback. That was almost 20 years ago. Twenty years of love, addiction, obsession. Twenty years of longing and desire.

Now I’m a soldier in the United States Army deployed to Iraq. I spend my spare time tearing through Mustang magazines that my family and total strangers are kind-hearted enough to send to me. Every opportunity I get I’m online poring through forums and pictures; studying every little tidbit of knowledge I can get my hands on; meticulously memorizing seemingly insignificant trivia. Names, dates, specs, colors, paint codes, production numbers, costs, anything, everything.

A Mustang of my own wouldn’t quell this life I live – I would supercharge it. The only thing greater than a life loving Mustangs is a life with a Mustang. With a Mustang to call my own I could finally experience the pride and freedom that I’ve only been watching from afar. It will ignite a passion like nothing I have ever experienced. Mustangs are my one true love.

2010 Ford Mustang teaser