37th Na­tional Mus­tang Con­ven­tion

Words and pho­tos:

New Zealand Classic Car - - Contents -

TTodd Wylie

he Auck­land water­front precinct is of­ten found packed with crowds of peo­ple, es­pe­cially when the sun is out. Usu­ally, they’re ad­mir­ing the view, check­ing out su­pery­achts, or tak­ing in the of­fer­ings from the many lo­cal ea­ter­ies.

Labour Week­end 2016 (Oc­to­ber 22–24) saw a dif­fer­ent crowd, though — a stam­pede of Mus­tangs cor­ralled for the an­nual Mus­tang Con­ven­tion, which was held at the ANZ Viaduct Events Cen­tre.

It was the first time that the rel­a­tively new build­ing had been used for a car show, and it couldn’t have gone any bet­ter, with three lev­els host­ing a dis­play of over 100 Mus­tangs of all types and ages, and even more ve­hi­cles out­side in an ever-ro­tat­ing carpark dis­play.

Most of the ve­hi­cles were on the ground floor, and they ranged from amaz­ingly re­stored or pre­served clas­sics, such as Chris Fitz­patrick’s 1968 GT/CS Cal­i­for­nia Spe­cial, through to more mod­ern mod­i­fied vari­ants, such as a su­per­charged 2013 Shelby GT.

Other out­stand­ing cars in­cluded Frazer Macken­zie’s hand-built all-steel Eleanor that looked as if the paint was still wet, de­spite hav­ing been on the road for a few years, plus the 1971 Mach 1 of Nathan and Colin Reed. This was the Mach’s first pub­lic out­ing since be­ing pulled off the road for restora­tion in 1987.

While Mus­tang con­ven­tions have his­tor­i­cally been more about the clas­sics, this year saw a more even split of late mod­els and clas­sics on dis­play, with more late mod­els than not ap­pear­ing to have been su­per­charged.

The top floor was where jaws re­ally dropped, and that was mainly due to the un­veil­ing of Ian Neary’s mind-blow­ing Ply­mouth GTX. Sure, it’s not a Mus­tang, but even the staunch­est Mus­tang lovers were blown away by the work­man­ship on the car. Not far away was lo­cal cir­cuit-rac­ing leg­end Paul Fa­hey, along­side a se­lec­tion of his­toric race cars such as Dale Mathers’ Boss 302.

From this floor you could also gain a great view over the city, as well as the cars on dis­play below. Where else in the world could you find a car show with a view like this?

Full credit must go to the Auck­land Mus­tang Club for tak­ing a risk with an un­proven venue. It’s a risk which paid off, and re­ally set the event apart from any pre­vi­ous Mus­tang con­ven­tions we’ve at­tended.

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