It’s June 15, 2007, and thousands of eagerly expectant faces have gathered around the Tulsa County Courthouse. The good citizens of the city are there to witness an event that would celebrate 100 years of Oklahoman statehood. Officials are set to reveal a car that had been entombed in a concrete bunker back in 1957. But when they do, the onlookers’ spirits rapidly change from delight to dismay.
Speaking to the local newspaper, Tulsa World, in 2012, Sharon King Davis remembered watching the vehicle’s original burial when she was just ten years old. She recalled, “It had…these great big, long fins that came to a sharp point. It had all this chrome and snazzy-looking detail. And here, they took this brand-new car off this truck, put it on a crane and lowered it into a hole. Nobody had ever seen anything like that.”
The automobile in question was a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere decked out in a gleaming two-tone livery of sand-dune white and desert gold. It had been lowered into what was allegedly a nuclear-attack-resistant concrete bunker to mark the milestone of half a century since Oklahoma became a fully-fledged state of the Union in 1907. The idea was that the car, along with a variety of other artifacts, would be retrieved 50 years later at the centenary of Oklahoma’s statehood.
The burial, which saw the automobile drop into a concrete bunker measuring 12 by 20 feet, caused something of a sensation and the vehicle even gained its own name: Miss Belvedere. The stunt was part of an event verbosely titled “Golden Jubilee Week: Tulsa’s celebration of Oklahoma’s semi-centennial.” And the reinforced concrete bunker certainly speaks volumes about U.S. attitudes towards a potential nuclear attack during the 1950s – the height of the Cold War.
In his 1964 book, Plymouth 1946-1959, author Jim Benjaminson recorded the words of one local worthy who was present at the car’s interment. Lewis Roberts Jr. said that officials had “decided on the event after looking for a method of acquainting the citizens of the 21st century with a suitable representation of 1957 civilization.” Before adding, “This is the sort of thing that could happen only in Tulsa.”
And the chairman of the Jubilee organizing committee W.A. Anderson observed, “In our judgment [the] Plymouth is a true representative of automobiles of this century – with the kind of lasting appeal that should still be in style 50 years from now…Tulsans think big. And we feel we can overcome any technical difficulties we encounter [burying the Plymouth] including the possibility of striking oil in our excavation!”
So, what was it that the people of Tulsa were celebrating at Miss Belvedere’s grand burial in 1957? In 1803 what is now the state of Oklahoma became part of the United States under the terms of the Louisiana Purchase. Over the course of the 19th century, more than 30 Native American peoples were given land there after being moved from the south-east of the nation.
Before long, land-hungry settlers started – sometimes legally and sometimes not – taking chunks of space from those regions that were known as the Indian Territories. Soon, the settlers outnumbered the Native Americans, and the U.S. government eventually legitimized these land-grabs. Then, on November 16, 1907, after pressure from the settlers for representation in Congress, President Teddy Roosevelt took an eagle-feathered quill pen and signed the papers. And the 46th state of the Union was born.
As Roosevelt signed the papers, there was no exultant crowd to cheer him on. Indeed, according to the Oklahoma Senate website, only some minor officials and a few representatives of the press were there to witness this momentous occasion. But it seems that when the 50th anniversary of statehood came around in 1957, the people of Tulsa were determined to mark the occasion with pomp and circumstance. That, of course, included burying a car.
So that was what kindled the burial of Miss Belvedere in 1957 and, in turn, the subsequent unpleasant surprise that appeared before the crowds who had gathered to witness her re-emergence in 2007. But it wasn’t just the Plymouth Belvedere that was stashed in the concrete bunker; the car was accompanied by an intriguing range of other items.
Keepsakes submerged with the car included statements from the Tulsa Board of Education, the local council of churches, the chamber of commerce and the mayor. The education officials added copies of Tulsa’s high school magazine, while the religious contingent offered prayers for the following 50 years and a history of city’s churches.
Alongside the statements and documents donated by local groups, a selection of Tulsa souvenirs were also interred with the car. This mixed bag of doodads included 15 cents in wooden nickels, tiny barrels that were filled with crude from the Sunray Mid-Continent Oil Company and novelty neckties, playing cards and ashtrays. The cherry on the cake was a recording of “Riding into Tulsa” written by Ralph Blane, perhaps better known for his contributions to the 1944 film musical Meet Me In St. Louis.
Officials also included a collection of objects that were purported to be the typical contents of a 1957 woman’s purse. The list included 14 bobby pins, lipstick, tissues and precisely $2.73 in cash. Being the 1950s, there was also a pack of cigarettes and matches, of course. Bizarrely, an unpaid parking ticket and a bottle of tranquilizers also found their way into the hoard. All of the items were stashed in the Belvedere’s glove compartment.
So Miss Belvedere was a comprehensive time capsule of life in late 1950s Tulsa. But the Jubilee committee had yet another gimmick in store for the Plymouth. It was offered as first prize in a competition, with the lucky victor being able to claim the car after it was plucked from the bunker in 50 years’ time. The new owner of Miss Belvedere would be the person who had made the closest guess to the total population of Tulsa in 2007.
And there was yet another tempting prize tagged onto the auto. The Jubilee sponsors put $100 into a trust fund that the car’s winner could also claim in 2007. Of course, there was always the risk that whoever correctly guessed Tulsa’s population might not be around 50 years later to collect their prize. In that case, Miss Belvedere would go to a surviving relative.
Another item that was regarded as essential was also added to the time capsule. Just a couple of days before Miss Belvedere was lowered into her concrete-lined hole, Lewis Roberts Jr. had told Tulsa World, “Maybe we ought to put a can of gasoline in with the car. Who knows – maybe cars of that time will run on solar power or uranium or something.”
So ten gallons of leaded gasoline was put into the bunker. Although the Jubilee committee could hardly have anticipated it, leaded gas was actually illegal by 2007, having been officially banned in 1996. Indeed, putting leaded gas in your car today makes you liable to a fine of up to $10,000. Meanwhile, back in the bunker, five quarts of oil were also provided – and, just for good measure, a case of Schlitz beer.
It seems that one part of the Oklahoma Jubilee automobile story has been buried almost without a trace. For there was, in fact, not one but two Plymouth Belvederes involved in the tale. Both had been donated by various local motor companies for the Jubilee celebrations, but only one was placed in the concrete bunker. The other was actually raffled off in 1957, with the results announced just a couple of days before the notorious Miss Belvedere was buried.
Fred and Lucille Trompeter – the car’s two lucky winners – were not quite as thrilled as you might imagine, though. Indeed, Lucille hadn’t even realized that she was signing up for a competition that offered a Plymouth Belvedere as its prize. Speaking to Tulsa World in 2007 Lucille, by then 83 years of age, explained, “At the time we didn’t have any air conditioning, only a window unit. The (contest) table was under an air conditioning unit, and I thought I was signed up for that.”
In the competition, the couple indeed won the Plymouth – not the air conditioner. And they were, it seems, more than ready to look a gift horse in the mouth. Fred, aged 85 by the time 2007 had come around, said, “It was a nice vehicle, but it just wasn’t for us. We are Ford people.” Fred’s low opinion of the Plymouth was confirmed when he said it “rode like a truck.”
Lucille remembered that a friend had heard the results of the contest announced on a radio show and called her with the news. “When we got that, the two kids were tickled to death that we won something. They didn’t care what it was – just that we won.” A couple of years later Fred sold the Plymouth and, using the proceeds, bought a brand new Ford with “all the bells and whistles.”
But let’s get back to the star of our story: Miss Belvedere. As the great day of her entombing approached, workforces were fiercely preparing behind the scenes. Tulsa World reported that workers from the True Gun-All Equipment Corporation were fitting reinforced steel. The hole then had to be lined with concrete before it would be ready for its distinguished occupant.
A Cleveland, Ohio, company Dobeckmun was charged with encasing the car in a special preservative substance. It was said to be the same material that the U.S. Army used on military vehicles and equipment during World War Two. Before long, it was June 15, 1957 – time for Miss Belvedere to disappear into her bunker.
The McMichael Concrete Company had excavated the hole for Miss Belvedere and now its workers were to operate the crane that would lower Miss Belvedere into her crypt. The Plymouth was mounted on a specially-built sled, slung from a spreader girder and hauled down on a harness into the maw of the concrete dugout. The hole was then covered with concrete beams and sealed.
In fact, it wasn’t the first time that Miss Belvedere had been dropped down into the hole. With an apparently keen eye for publicity, the Jubilee committee had arranged for her to be lowered into the bunker several times before June 15 so the press could get pictures. They were rewarded with a shot that was later published in Life magazine as well as lots of other uninterrupted photographs and film footage.
Now, the only evidence of Miss Belvedere’s existence was a bronze plaque. It proclaimed, “Golden Jubilee Inc. Time Capsule With 1957 Plymouth Sealed June 15 1957 To Be Opened 2007.” The plaque was donated by one Earle Davenport of Tulsa’s Memorial Cemetery. It’s surely apt that a graveyard proprietor had donated this bronze tablet for the buried auto.
And that was that. No one would see Miss Belvedere for another 50 years. But out of sight was not entirely out of mind. You see, certain people were giving serious thought to the car’s welfare during that period. And, some 20 years after the Plymouth’s burial, anxieties began to grow around the car’s condition underground. Among those concerned was Buck Rudd, the County Court House’s building operations deputy chief.
In his book Plymouth 1946-1959, Jim Benjaminson reported Rudd’s words. He said, “There’s a lot of traffic going by only 15 or 20 feet from that thing. We’ve been curious to know if vibrations from the heavy traffic might have caused it to crack. If moisture starts getting in there, it’s going to cause things to deteriorate over 50 years’ time.”
And, as we’ll see in a moment, Rudd’s words proved to be uncannily prophetic. Let’s move on now to the momentous date of June 15, 2007 – the day that Miss Belvedere was to be revealed to an enthusiastic public. The large crowd was whipped to a crescendo of excitement by a drum roll, and the 1957 Plymouth was hauled from her concrete bunker.
At first sight, Miss Belvedere was not exactly prepossessing; she was covered in her protective layer that was now filthy with cloying red mud. But worse was to come. As the car’s preservative coat was torn away, it became clear that she had fallen victim to water that had entered the concrete vault.
In short, Miss Belvedere was a complete rust heap. Her once-luxurious upholstery lay in tatters, the V8 engine looked to be solid with rust and the fancy white-walled tires were as flat as pancakes. The car’s paint job hadn’t been spared, either; her once-glorious golden finish had fallen prey to decades of oxidation. All in all, then, she was a dismal sight.
And Miss Belvedere’s deterioration didn’t go unnoticed. Famous hot-rodder Boyd Coddington was on hand to try and start the car, but it was quickly apparent that there was no chance of that happening. A dispirited Coddington told The Washington Post newspaper, “I’ll tell you what, she’s a mess. Look at her.”
But the event organizers had realized a few days earlier that there might be a problem. They’d taken a peek into the vault and were dismayed to see that Miss Belvedere was, in fact, swimming in some four feet of muddy water. Whether or not the bunker had been truly nuclear-bomb-proof, then, it certainly hadn’t been waterproof over the 50 years of its existence.
We previously met King Davis and relived her childhood memory watching Miss Belvedere being hauled down into her hole. But when the grand reveal came around, King Davis – a senior citizen by 2007 – was co-chairwoman of the centennial event. The Reuters press agency quoted her as saying, “When we saw the water in there we were completely devastated. We had such hopes.”
Despite all that, people were keen to view the 1957 Plymouth – even if it was a complete wreck. So Miss Belvedere – or what was left of her – was eventually put on display at the Tulsa Convention Center, and crowds soon flocked to see the forlorn vehicle. Speaking to Tulsa World, King Davis described the process of transporting the car to East Tulsa Dodge after its stint at the Convention Center.
King Davis said, “Sunday night at 6:30, we started out with a sheriff’s department escort, a Storey wrecker and me. By the time we got to East Tulsa Dodge, we had 40 cars following us. People were pulling over and waving – waving at a car!” So despite her stricken condition, Miss Belvedere was still able to turn heads.
And the fans kept on coming once Miss Belvedere had been safely ensconced inside East Tulsa’s Dodge dealership. Heather Cody at Dodge told Tulsa World, “Tons of people have been in today to see it. People are calling from Kansas and Arkansas wanting to know if they can come down and see it.” Somehow, under all the mud and rust, the decrepit 1957 Plymouth Belvedere had managed to retain its allure.
But there’s still a loose end within this tale. To wit: who won the car? You’ll recall the competition that involved guessing what the population of Tulsa would be in 2007 with the prize of Miss Belvedere herself. There was also the $100 trust fund, which would, by then, actually be worth around $1,200. Well, the lucky winner of each of these was a certain Raymond Humbertson. Sadly, Mr. Humbertson had died in 1979, and his wife had also passed away before the Plymouth was disinterred.
So Miss Belvedere’s rusting hulk was passed on to Humbertson’s two sisters, 93-year-old Catherine Johnson and Levada Carney, 85. But, as they, too, had died, Johnson’s nephew and niece, Robert Carney and M.C. Kesner, ended up owning the rotting wreck: perhaps not the most enviable of possessions. However, there was some good news.
Dwight Foster, the proprietor of a specialist rust-removal company called Ultra One, soon came to Miss Belvedere’s rescue. He explained his plans to website NJ.com in 2008 saying, “I’m not going to restore the car, I’m only going to preserve it. We can literally wash the aging process away.” And King Davis added, “I’m hoping he is able to get her as clean as possible so she can be taken on the road and people can see her.”
Eventually, in 2017, Foster handed Miss Belvedere over to Wayne Lensing, owner of the Historic Auto Attractions museum in Roscoe, Illinois. And that’s where her journey seems to end, as, for the moment, the Plymouth has disappeared from public view. However, Tulsa is still in the buried car market. Believe it or not, in 1998 the city buried a Plymouth Prowler to mark the city’s incorporation centenary. Let’s hope that when it’s disinterred in 2048 the Prowler is in better shape than Miss Belvedere turned out to be.
And it seems the Plymouth is not the only classic car that has had people gasping with disbelief. Car nut Zach Taylor had always wanted a 1968 Fastback Mustang. So after seeing one advertised on Craigslist in summer 2017, the Mustang superfan naturally arranged a viewing. But when Taylor arrived in North Carolina to see the car, he noted many unique quirks. The auto was resting inside a chicken shed, for one thing – and, like the much-loved Miss Belvedere, it had certainly seen better days. Yet Taylor’s biggest surprise came when he spotted human remains on the passenger seat.
This insane story could, of course, have happened to anyone, as the appeal of the Ford Mustang has endured for decades. When the first so-called “pony car” was launched in 1964, in fact, it shot out of the starting gate to become one of America’s most-loved automobiles. There’s even a National Mustang Day – celebrated each year on April 17.
Ford reportedly failed to predict the popularity that the Mustang would acquire too. As a result, the company apparently only projected yearly sales of 100,000 vehicles. But Ford went on to garner 22,000 orders for the car on the day that it launched alone. The company therefore had to expand its production to three plants in order to satisfy demand.
The Mustang was actually the brainchild of Lee Iacocca – Ford’s general manager at the time. Iacocca had wanted to add a new subcompact car to the company’s repertoire, but there were five strict parameters that the vehicle needed to adhere to. So it was through this framework that the pony car we know and love was born.
First and foremost, then, the new Ford subcompact needed to seat four people. The car also had to contain bucket seats and a floor shifter – yet tip the scales at less than 2,500 pounds. The vehicle’s price point, too, had to be no more than $2,500. And customers needed to be able to add performance and comfort upgrades if they so desired.
So, soon after its launch, the Mustang was seen as a practical alternative to a sports car. Its relatively affordable price made it accessible, after all, and its European-influenced design oozed style. In fact, the vehicle was mostly aimed at young drivers – and, boy, did it capture the imaginations of America’s teens.
Ford officially launched the Mustang at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. And in 1965 alone, the company sold an impressive 559,500 units. The vehicle’s popularity was, no doubt, bolstered by the media attention it received. And the car’s exposure even included appearances in two James Bond films: Goldfinger and Thunderball.
The Mustang therefore became an icon of the 1960s. Today, in fact, the decade is known as an exciting time for film, music, art and social progression in America. It was a time when youth culture and pop culture collided – and the Mustang was part of the revolution. The car even takes pride of place in the Smithsonian Museum’s Transportation Collection.
In any case, the so-called first generation of Mustangs went on sale between 1965 and 1973. And while the car has remained in production to this day, it’s these formative models that garner the most appeal from car fanatics. In fact, the 1965 Mustang is reportedly the most popular vintage vehicle in the United States. But other first-generation models are also favorites among gear heads.
And one person who seemingly succumbed to the appeal of a first-generation Mustang was a man named James. James’ story first appeared in a 2018 post on a website called Mustang Fan Club – though it’s not clear when exactly James purchased his 1968 GT model. But what is known, according to the article, is that James’ Fastback Mustang was subsequently neglected. Indeed, James left the vehicle out to rot under a Floridian tree for 40 years – until he sadly passed away.
Following James’ passing, though, a good friend named Bruce reportedly reached out to James’ family and asked if he could take the Mustang off their hands. The family then agreed to sell Bruce the car, and Bruce subsequently moved it from Florida to his home in Franklin, N.C. According to the Mustang Fan Club article, Bruce had intended to restore the vehicle – but things didn’t quite work out.
Consequently, Bruce eventually decided to sell the Fastback Mustang and posted an advert for it on Craigslist. And that’s how Zach Taylor, from Georgia, reportedly came to learn of the collectible car. Taylor was no stranger to Mustangs, though, having been obsessed with the iconic vehicles since he was a teenager.
It seems that motor oil runs in Zach’s blood too. That’s because his family owns auto-part stores in his native Georgia. He himself, though, reportedly earns a living working in the Atlanta school system. But in his spare time, Taylor is seemingly a complete gear head – with a Lexus, three Mustangs, a Subaru and a Honda to his name.
Taylor bought his 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback shortly after he finished college, in fact. And he subsequently spent three long years disassembling and rebuilding the classic model. He had apparently wanted to retain the car’s iconic look while modernizing the vehicle at the same time. And the end result was – according to another piece on Mustang Fan Club – pretty impressive.
Yet while Taylor had apparently enjoyed the experience of restoring that Mustang, he was now on the look out for a ’67 or ’68 Fastback in need of some TLC. And after years of searching for the perfect project, he finally stumbled across James’ old ride on Craigslist in the summer of 2017. And despite some initial reservations, the gear head seemingly decided that it was the car for him.
What were those reservations? Well, primarily, it was that the parts for a rare Mustang Fastback are expensive and hard to find. But after coming across James’ unique “S” code, four-speed car with a 390 V8 engine and special paint job, Taylor apparently decided that he’d simply take the risk. And soon he was on his way to the North Carolina town of Franklin to view the vehicle in person.
Reportedly, though, Bruce didn’t have the internet and had enlisted the help of a friend to advertise the Mustang on Craigslist. Yet when Taylor arrived in Franklin, it was the owner who showed him the car. And according to Mustang Fan Club, Bruce then explained how he’d bought the vehicle after James’ death and took the gear head into the chicken barn for a viewing.
Given that Taylor had been a Mustang enthusiast for some years prior to his visit to Franklin, we’re sure he probably knew exactly what he was looking at. But little did he suspect that the car that Bruce was selling him actually came with a rather unusual component. And it was something that the gear head had likely never seen in any of his other classic vehicles.
As Taylor was checking the Mustang over inside the barn, then, he reportedly noticed a jar full of sandy-colored powder resting in the passenger seat. It was in a container with a golden lid, on which the name “James” had been written in purple block capitals. And as the prospective buyer stared at the receptacle, he understandably struggled to process what he was seeing.
What happened next was documented in the 2018 Mustang Fan Club article. Taylor reportedly turned to Bruce and asked, “What’s up with the jar on the inside?” And to his surprise, the seller simply replied, “That’s James!” What? Yet after the Mustang enthusiast composed himself, all he could ask was, “Well, does James come with the car?”
Taylor later told car news site Jalopnik that Bruce was somewhat of an eccentric individual. But when it came to the jar, he was reportedly deadly serious. He even apparently spoke about James as if he were still with them. And as a result, the gear head was in little doubt that the Mustang contained the remains of its former owner.
It’s not known if the human remains swayed Taylor’s decision, but the car nut originally decided against purchasing the Mustang. However, it appears that Bruce wasn’t willing to let him simply drive off into the sunset. Instead, then, Bruce reportedly struck up a kind of friendship with the stranger. The eccentric owner even apparently called the gear head in the dead of night just to relay stories of his adventures in Florida with James.
So between July 2017 – when Taylor went to see the Mustang – and November 2018, Bruce reportedly persisted in contacting the potential buyer over and over again. Taylor said that Bruce called and texted repeatedly – estimating that he’d been contacted between 30 and 50 times over the course of 12 months. The car nut was supposedly a little weirded out, but he went along with it anyway.
And it seems that Taylor’s patience paid off. Because in November 2018 Bruce finally agreed to accept $7,000 in exchange for James’ old Mustang. Consequently, Taylor found himself back on the road to Franklin to collect his dream car. He also apparently decided that James – or at least his ashes – could come along for the return journey as well.
But the story didn’t end there. After getting the Mustang home, Taylor reportedly decided that its restoration was beyond his expertise. So he simply cleaned up the car’s dirty interior and added new hubcaps before advertising the vehicle on eBay. And to honor the history of the Mustang, Taylor listed it alongside its original title and keys – as well as James’ remains.
While the unusual extra of human remains probably wasn’t on every car collector’s wish list, the Mustang was snapped up nonetheless. It was actually bought by an individual in the U.K. for a cool $23,300. And following its journey across the Atlantic, the vehicle ended up at Corner Classics – where it would undergo restoration.
Based on the Isle of Wight – an island located off England’s south coast – Corner Classics is a vintage car repair center that specializes in Fords. The business is owned by Colin Budden, who is himself somewhat of a Mustang enthusiast. Over the years, in fact, he’s possessed 25 of the iconic cars – and in June 2019 still owned five.
So Budden was probably excited to get to work on the ’68 Fastback Mustang. A post later shared to the Corner Classics Facebook page announced that the repair center was upgrading the car with a replacement body shell that had been made in California. The post read, “Exciting time for this project. It’s going to be a brand new car.”
The update on the ’68 Mustang proved popular on the Corner Classics Facebook page too. Over time, in fact, it clocked up a hundred reactions and a number of comments. And some of the responses the post received even suggested novel ways of keeping James and his beloved car together forever.
One user wrote, “A friend of mine mixed his father’s ashes in to [the] paint he used on his custom motorcycle so he could always ride with his dad.” Similarly, another person suggested, “Why not add the ashes to the new paint job? That way the old owner can always be with his lovely machine.”
More out-there ideas suggesting how Corner Cars could incorporate James’ ashes into the Mustang renovation were also put forward. Seemingly referring to the vehicle’s iconic emblem, one user said, “I’ve got it! Turn his ashes into a diamond and embed it in the eye of the Mustang.”
But what becomes of James’ ashes is ultimately up to Budden, who appears to be spearheading the Mustang renovation. And in June 2019 he told Fox News that he was still mulling over his options. One technique he did outline, however, was working the original owner’s remains into the framework of the car so that James could ride with his Mustang forever.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the story of James’ Mustang was soon picked up by the mainstream media. And the guys at Corner Classics seemed to revel in the attention that their latest renovation project received. Budden, for one, couldn’t resist sharing the write-ups on both his personal and business Facebook accounts.
In June 2019, then, Budden took to his own Facebook page to announce that he was “feeling proud.” Revealing what had stirred up his emotions, the repair shop owner revealed it was James’ old car. He wrote, “WOW! Just had a call from a reporter in the States, and he told me our ’68 Mustang restoration story is bouncing around the motoring press [there].”
And the guys at Corner Classics were clearly bowled over again when a major U.S. media outlet ran the Mustang’s unique story. In June 2019, you see, the business posted the article in question on Facebook, announcing, “We’ve made FOX NEWS!!” And once again, the Facebook community lapped up the tale of James’ Mustang.
Corner Classics then received a number of other messages regarding the vintage car. One of the comments that the repair shop received read, “I love this story! I have a Mustang myself [that] my dad and I rebuilt together! I am following this journey of James and the car! Coming from a young widow, I think it is cool how you would do something with ashes into the car. My late husband would love that.”
One Facebook user also informed Corner Classics that they’d actually discovered the business thanks to the attention James’ Mustang had garnered. They wrote, “It’s how I just found you. I hope you do keep us updated and are able to work his ashes in with the design. It’ll be pretty awesome.”
So, following the social media storm surrounding the Mustang, Budden vowed to keep Corner Classics’ followers updated with the car’s progress. He also revealed that he had finally decided how he was going to incorporate James into the renovation. In a comment, he revealed, “He’s going into the chassis somewhere.”
At first, though, some seemingly felt that Budden was pretty blasé about the process of integrating James’ ashes into the Mustang. Budden later vowed, however, that he was taking his responsibility of honoring the man’s memory seriously. As he said in a Facebook post, “It’s taking very careful consideration and [is] to be done as respectfully as possible.”