Hero's T-bird undergoes free restoration - Old Cars Weekly

Hero's T-bird undergoes free restoration

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PINE ISLAND, N.Y. - Classic Restoration Enterprises, with help from the automotive industry, has begun restoring a 1955 Ford Thunderbird for New York Port Authority Police Sergeant John McLoughlin. McLoughlin was one of the first rescue officers on scene when the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks hit New York City.

McLoughlin barely survived being buried under 30 feet of rubble from Tower Two for 22 hours. Once rescued, he was put in a medically induced coma for six weeks and underwent 27 surgeries. To date, he has also endured 25 additional surgeries. Rather than allow doctors to amputate his legs, McLoughlin fought to walk.

"When McLoughlin came in and I heard his stories, it truly touched my heart," said Melvin Benzaquen, owner of Classic Restoration Enterprises. "Then I took one look at the car of his dreams and the condition it was in and realized, not only had he been swindled, but it was a driving time bomb. I knew right then and there that we should get involved, free of charge, and make his dream come true, and that?s just what we intend to do, especially with help from the industry!"

McLoughlin's dream Thunderbird will be presented to him at the 2007 SEMA Show. For more on McLoughlin's story, watch "World Trade Center," the Oliver Stone film which features McLoughlin as a central character.

For more information on Classic Restoration Enterprises, go to www.classicresto.com, or contact Melvin Benzaquen at 845-258-2050.

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