For Loveland, Ohio lawyer Doug Nienaber, Ford has always been a family name. “We’ve had Fords in my family for as long as I can remember,” says the 38-year-old father of two. “My dad was a business manager at a Ford dealership, and he was always bringing home demo vehicles. We got a lot of attention. One time he brought home an early Taurus. Sometimes he’d bring something even more exotic.”
He brought home a Mustang in 1979, the year it was the pace car at the Indy 500. “That was amazing,” Nienaber says. “The car had a graphic logo on the side, and everybody wanted to know more about it.”
And while Nienaber loved the glitz and glamor that rolled into the driveway with each new Ford his dad brought home, he always felt a deeper connection to the Blue Oval.
“We’ve always been attracted to the quality,” he explains. “The first car I ever had was an Escort that I bought from my dad back when I was in college. It wasn’t a muscle car by any stretch, but it served me well for a long time, gave me a lot of great memories—I dated my [now] wife, Jennifer, in that car—and it never let me down.”
That Escort carried Nienaber to the purchase of his first Focus in 2002—a car that, he says, became a trusted member of his family. “I bought it the year I graduated from law school, and it was the first time I bought a new car with my own money. It endured 130,000 miles and took me through everything my twenties had to offer. I brought my daughter home from the hospital in that car!”
In fact, he loved that Focus so much that he didn’t want to part with it. “I cared for it like it was one of my kids. I changed the oil, did the repairs. I didn’t want it to leave the family, so I sold it to my cousin. It still rides like it’s brand new.”
What’s new in his garage is a 2013 Focus ST. He wanted something that he could depend on, but that would also be exciting to drive. “It’s a lot more powerful and a lot faster [than my 2002 Focus], but it’s got a similar feel and the same reliability,” Nienaber says. “It’s reminiscent of the old car, but it’s modern. My kids love it.”
“It’s also great for hauling around all the kids’ stuff and friends,” he explains. “I coach my son’s T-ball team, and we can fit all the equipment in the back.” The five-door hatchback makes loading and unloading the kids easy.
No matter the task at hand, the Focus ST always adds a little Ford fun for the Nienaber family.