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Brent Peabody saved this 1969 Ford Mustang from the crusher, only second away, at a junkyard in 2000. Now, fully restored, it's a show car. Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY

LAS VEGAS -- Today, this 1969 Ford Mustang is a showpiece, especially when decked out with American flags for the big 50th anniversary rally here last month. It's hard to imagine the rare car was seconds away from being crushed for scrap metal -- when one man stepped in to save it.

Brent Peabody, 54, of Frazier Park, Calif., arrived in the black '69 Mustang GT convertible that he saved from the crusher. He was at a junk yard in 2000 when he spotted the car, a victim of an engine fire, about to be loaded into a crushing machine. He intervened to stop the destruction, paid the junk yard owner $200 and towed the car home, where its seven-year restoration became a labor of love for himself and sons Kevin and Gary.

"It took us seven years to get it all together," he said of the restoration. Peabody's first car was a 1971 Mustang Boss and he's had; had 22 Mustangs total. He once had 14 at one time, but he's pared it down to five.

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