37th National Mustang Convention
Words and photos:
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.