Mustang Love

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I  was fourteen when I bought the book Mustang Does It, the comprehensive guide to all things Mustang. Within weeks I knew every detail of every model ever made up to that year. So, when I was given the opportunity to attend the recent Grand National Mustang Show organized by the National Capital Region Mustang Club at Regency Stadium, the question was not whether I would go, but how I would ever bring myself to leave.

Well, one sunburn, two sore legs, and three hundred photos later I did leave. But in the time I was there I had the opportunity to walk among some of the finest examples of every model and generation of Mustang ever made. I’ve seen such rare cars as the Boss 429 in magazines, but I’ve never had the chance to stand next to one and peer into its engine compartment. I’ve seen road test videos of the Shelby GT500 Super Snake, but standing next to one allowed me to feel the raw power better than any video ever could. And all the others were there, too: the Cobra Jet, the California Special, the Mach 1, the GT500KR. Was I like a kid in a candy store? Yes, I was.

I’ve always been impressed by the dedication Mustang owners have to these cars. Some folks fall in love with the newer high performance models tuned for the track. Some fall in love with an older model and go on a restoration journey. And then there are those who roll up with a pristine 1966 model they bought in 1966 and have lovingly kept in showroom condition for over forty years.  Whichever it is, there is a mutual respect among these people that draws them together, and despite decades of participating in such shows, they still wander among the rows of cars, oohing and ahing at each marvelous machine. It was a joy to walk among both the cars and the owners, to speak with other enthusiasts, to experience such an event. I look forward to the next one (there had better be a next one!).

by guest blogger Mike Billard