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Herb Chambers to help raffle Iacocca Mustang for Joslin Diabetes

Posted by Bill Griffith  September 16, 2010 04:56 PM

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(All photos: Bill Griffith for Boston.com)

Most anyone reading this realizes Herb Chambers and Lee Iacocca know how to market cars. Not so many know both men's lives have been affected deeply by diabetes.

The disease claimed Iacocca's wife Mary in 1983 and was a major factor in his establishing the Iacocca Family Foundation for diabetes research. Chambers deals daily with Type 1 diabetes, even as he runs his 47 dealerships.

When they have lunch together as they did over the July 4 holiday, something is bound to happen. In this case, it's a benefit for the Joslin Diabetes Center. The men decided to raffle a car as a benefit, but not just any car.

This will be one of the 45 limited edition Mustangs built last year to honor the 45th anniversary of the car's introduction at the 1964 New York World's Fair.

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While many people remember Iacocca as the organizer of the Chrysler bailout in the late 1970s and for bringing the successful minivans and K-cars to market, others know him as the patron who brought the Mustang to life during his career at Ford.

One of the 45 Iacocca Mustangs — a special high-performance version — sold for $352,000 (plus fees) last fall at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Las Vegas.

The Mustang, a fastback that features custom coachwork and recessed headlamps, was designed by Mark Leone and built by the acclaimed Gaffoglio Family Metalcrafters. It's powered by a 4.6-liter V-8 and five-speed manual transmission and has a Ford racing suspension package. There's also an Iacocca "I" on the steering wheel, gas cap, and doorsill plates.

The Iacocca Foundation donated Mustang No. 23 to Joslin Diabetes Center to support work "to improve the lives of people with diabetes and its complications through innovative care, education, and research."

Raffle tickets can be purchased for $100 each at www.joslin.org/iacocca. The drawing will take place at the Joslin's High Hopes Gala on Nov. 20 where Joslin will honor members of the Iacocca family.

Chambers will be supporting the raffle and showcasing the Mustang at several of his 47 dealerships. Ticket sales will be capped at 2,500, meaning Joslin should realize $250,000 from the raffle.

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
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