Car raffles and giveaways exploded into a major industry over the past few years, perhaps most notably thanks to the celebrity endorsements and experiences offered by Omaze with a little help from the likes of Patrick Dempsey, George Clooney, and more. But amazing cars have long been used as a means for raising awareness and funds for philanthropic ventures, especially when a few famous people can come together in support of a worthy cause.

This year, Angela and Mark Babala of the reality show Angel's Garage will contribute an incredibly rare Ford Mustang Mach 1 to a raffle put on by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) in partnership with Wendy's. Anyone who donates to buy tickets HERE puts themselves in the running to win when Breaking Bad star RJ Mitte pulls the winner on June 30 at a reception in Dublin, Ohio. But first, Angel's Garage needs to put the finishing touches on the build. Ahead of the raffle's close, I spoke with Angela Babala to learn more about how much work goes into the full restoration of such a historically significant muscle car.

Angela Babala Of Angel's Garage

Angel's Garage Charity Mustang Mach 1 2
via Angel's Garage

The Babalas moved from Michigan to the desert outside of Los Angeles after developing a relationship with Deadwood actor Ralph Richeson. On Angel's Garage, which airs on their local TV station KVVB, the duo shows the good, the bad, and the ugly of restoring cars, usually with a few celebrity guests to add to the fun. But contributing the results of all their blood, sweat, and tears to charities always fit into the mix, too.

"Mark and I were in the Midwest, in Michigan," Angela explained, "It was like, 'Let's do something to help people.' So we had started with Ronald McDonald House and then each year it was like, 'Let's just do one.' And each year, it got bigger."

Back in 2015, a 1965 Ford Mustang GT donated to the Pirate Toy Fund raised $194,000 that supported the charity's mission of distributing new toys to kids around the Rochester, New York, region. I asked Angela how the plan to work with DTFA for 2022 developed.

"This year, we chose the children," she revealed. "I had issues growing up and I had foster care, so this was something personal that I could touch back to."

FOLLOW HERE: HotCars Official On Twitter

Changing Gears Due To Covid

Angel's Garage Charity Mustang Mach 1 4
via Angel's Garage

Originally, the Babalas planned to build a 1941 Ford pickup truck with a 302ci V8 for the raffle, but parts problems due to the pandemic forced a change.

"Because of Covid and the shipping," Angela said, "We couldn't complete that."

Instead, a 1970 Mach 1 that originally left the factory with a Super Cobra Jet package became the only option that Angel's Garage could hope to finish in time. But as rare as a Mach 1 Super Cobra Jet sounds, Angela explained that this one is even more special.

"We've got all the paperwork, all the build sheets, the Marti Elite report, all that," she told me. "It's one of 11 show introductory units that debuted in 1970."

RELATED: This Is The Best Feature Of The 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

From Grabber Green To Glow-In-The-Dark

Angel's Garage Charity Mustang Mach 1 7
via Angel's Garage

Even a documented one-of-11 Mach 1 sounded a little tame to Angela Babala, it appears. Originally, the car left the factory in eye-catching Grabber Green paint.

"I was sitting there and I said, 'Mark, I wanna play with the paint," Angela laughed. "I wanted it neon green and glow-in-the-dark. He bucked at it at first and then he said, 'Okay!' So I called John Kosmoski of House of Kolor. And he told me that the glow-in-the-dark is only meant for pinstriping!"

Still, Mark and Angela decided to try painting the entire Mach 1 in glow-in-the-dark, turning an eye-catching car into something perfectly doubletake-worthy, perfect for attracting charitable donations.

RELATED: Here's How The 1969 Ford Mach 1 Mustang Compares With Its Rivals

Challenges Cropping Up

Angel's Garage Charity Mustang Mach 1 5
via Angel's Garage

Painting an entire car in a pinstripe color at the last minute might sound a bit complex, but I asked Angela how much other work the Mach 1 needed before they shipped it off to DTFA raffle. She laughed, because when we spoke in mid-March with only months to go before the raffle, the car sat about ten feet away and still needed a good amount of work.

"When this car was bought," she revealed, "It was bought in Alabama and there were boxes with driveshafts in and all this stuff. I wasn't there—it was 20 years ago!"

Mark bought the car based on rarity and provenance, assuming that all the spare parts included surely must belong to it. Guess again.

"One drive shaft went to a sedan," Angela chuckled. "It was three feet longer than what we needed!"

Plus, rust and rot from the Alabama humidity had taken a toll over the years.

"He had to change all the engine bay panels," she said. "He had to put in new frame rails, all the metal's been replaced, the floor pan, and then I had to redo all the seats. We had to get the seats, it was just a mess."

RELATED: Here's What We Now Know About The Mustang Mach 1

Pandemic Parts Problems

Angel's Garage Charity Mustang Mach 1
via Angel's Garage

Pandemic parts problems only compounded that mess.

"Right now, we're waiting on a new driveshaft," Angela said, "And the shaker assembly. They sold us one and it was all fiberglass. So, out with that, we're waiting on a new metal shaker assembly."

She proceeded to count off a laundry list of problems that needed solving, from receiving the wrong exhaust setup to buying a brand-new intake manifold that arrived with a massive piece of welding slag caught inside. She held up the fist-sized pieces of slag for me to see.

"This was in the brand-new thousand-dollar pair of intake manifolds! Mark had to literally go in with this torch, in a port, heat it, and then he banged it right there. You see, it cracked so we could get it out."

RELATED: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1: Costs, Facts, And Figures

Over 1,000 Hours For Charity

Angel's Garage Charity Mustang Mach 1 3
via Angel's Garage

Angela explained how a typical restoration TV show might not reveal all the struggles that go on behind the scenes.

"This is the kind of stuff that a lot of shops don't want to talk about," she explained, "And I understand. But I'm loyal to nobody but my shop. It sucks when you open new stuff and you have to refurb it. If I just had the original sitting there, I could have refurbished it myself and been a lot better off!"

I asked how many hours the Mach 1 took to complete—or would, in her estimation, once the job is done. Angela laughed.

"I would say over a thousand hours! The car was a basket case, the floor pans were rotted, the engine bay was rotted. The only thing that made this car valuable was its birth certificate. I mean, it is a one-of-11 show introductory unit, and I got the paperwork!"

With a bit of luck to go along with so much frustration and effort, Angel's Garage will ship the Mach 1 to Ohio in time for it to appear onstage with Mitte when he pulls the winning ticket. But beneath the brilliant glow-in-the-dark exterior, somewhere nestled around the 428ci Super Cobra Jet and the (hopefully) new driveshaft, will hide an imperceptible spirit imbued by the unbelievable effort required to bring such a rare car back to life, all in the name of charity.

Sources:,,,, and

Ford Mustang Mach 1 - Front Quarter
8 Ways The Mustang Mach 1 Stands Out From Its Siblings
Read Next
About The Author