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Sights set high for Saskatchewan’s Pegasus at Barrett-Jackson auction

Click to play video: 'Sights set high for Saskatchewan’s Pegasus at Barrett-Jackson auction'
Sights set high for Saskatchewan’s Pegasus at Barrett-Jackson auction
WATCH: The roots of the Pegasus Project trace back to April 6, 2018, when 16 people were killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash – Jan 27, 2022

A one-of-a-kind 1968 Ford Mustang 427 Fastback from Saskatchewan is set to hit the auction block at the annual Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“It’s a monster of a car. It is so stunningly beautiful,” said Kim Coates, one of the ambassadors of the Pegasus Project.

The multi-year project started in 2019 to raise funds for STARS’s fleet renewal campaign, but the roots of the campaign trace back to April 6, 2018, when 16 people were killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

“The Humboldt Broncos bus incident inspired us, and the stories of so many others whose lives have been saved by STARS propelled us forward to this exciting conclusion with absolute enthusiasm,” said Vaughn Wyant, co-chair of the project.

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Kaleb Dahlgren first learned about STARS on that fateful April evening.

“They saved my friend’s lives on April 6, 2018, and they also save lives every day,” said Dahlgren, one of 13 survivors of the crash.

The former assistant captain of the Broncos is donating all proceeds from his memoir Crossroads to the Pegasus Project.

“I want to know that my work is going to have an impact and save people’s lives,” said Dahlgren, another Pegasus Project ambassador.

“I think for me to donate all my proceeds of my book to their cause means the world because I learned throughout my time that having a second chance at life is so valuable.”

Click to play video: 'Kaleb Dahlgren is a hero to Kim Coates'
Kaleb Dahlgren is a hero to Kim Coates

Coates became involved in the project after talking with Wyant and his partner, Lori Leach, two and a half years ago.

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He knows the importance of STARS to the province.

“How did we live without them? For the farmers getting hurt on the field or car crashes or whatever it may be?” Coates asked.

“We need them so much to keep people safe, safer and alive. And that’s what they do.”

The heart of the STARS program is providing a small link to the main health care system, said STARS president and CEO Andrea Robertson.

Click to play video: 'The importance of STARS to the community'
The importance of STARS to the community

She said STARS is a beacon of hope for people on a very bad day.

“We come with very highly specialized crews … and make sure that we’ve got the right equipment and ability to save your life, and that being the second chance at life,” Robertson said.

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“Kaleb’s very fortunate to tell his story, and we’re so fortunate that he’s become such an integral part of our lives.”

When Pegasus rolls out Friday on the auction block at Barrett-Jackson, it will be the fruition of a dream.

Coates says he is lucky to have been involved with Pegasus from when it was scrap metal to being one of the first to turn the ignition on the completed Mustang.

A Ford racing 427 cubic inch V8 engine producing over 500 horsepower powers Pegasus.

The car is equipped with numerous customizations including one-off billet wheels, one-off custom taillights and a full custom interior.

Click to play video: 'From scrap metal to turning the ignition, Kim Coates describes Pegasus’ journey'
From scrap metal to turning the ignition, Kim Coates describes Pegasus’ journey

Pegasus was unveiled in Humboldt, Sask., on June 3, 2021, and Coates introduced it to the world at the SEMA convention in Las Vegas in November 2021.

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“What the boys did in building this thing is stunning and to hear it and turn it over, it’s so loud. It’s so beautiful,” he said.

“For me to be there … put the white gloves on and pull the sheet off and people were just like, ‘Ohhhh,’”, he recalled.

Pegasus is reminiscent of another charity project vehicle from Saskatchewan.

Snakebit, a 1956 Ford F-100 pickup truck, raised US$450,000 toward a new children’s hospital in Saskatchewan when it went up for auction at Barrett-Jackson eight years ago.

Coates saw Snakebit when the Pegasus Project launched and said the sights are high to match or beat what Snakebit raised.

“I got to sit inside (Snakebit) and I thought to myself, ‘It’s a one-off. There’s not another vehicle like it in the world,” he said.

“Vaughn, his sights are always set really high, and we’ve already raised this bar so high. So, I don’t know what it’s going to go for, but I think we’re going to beat that.”

All proceeds from the sale of the custom-built 1968 Ford Mustang 427 Fastback will go toward STARS fleet renewal.

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Robertson said this is important for the organization’s sustainability as in some cases, STARS is flying original aircraft from when they launched 37 years ago.

“And as it turns out, they do come to an end of life,” she said.

The Pegasus Project has been instrumental for STARS to reach its fundraising goal of $3 million.

The project has raised $1.6 million to date and Robertson is hopeful Pegasus can push them over the top.

“Everybody really came together to make this a success. It has been massive regardless of what happens on Friday,” she said.

“But yes, fingers crossed, that if it goes over our expectations.”

Coates, Dahlgren, Wyant and others from the province are expected to be in Scottsdale when Pegasus hits the auction block at 3 p.m. CT Friday.

CORRECTION: The auction will be streamed on the Barrett-Jackson website on Friday. Incorrect information about how to view the auction appeared in a previous version of this story.

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