2017 FORD MUSTANG NA­TIONAL CON­VEN­TION

Words and pho­tos: Quin­ton Tay­lor

New Zealand Classic Car - - CONTENTS -

The 38th Ford Mustang Na­tional Con­ven­tion event was held on Labour week­end in In­ver­cargill, with just over 330 peo­ple reg­is­tered for what turned out to be a mem­o­rable and suc­cess­ful week­end of events and cruises.

Or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee mem­ber and South­ern Mustang Club pres­i­dent John Lyons said that the south now had many more at­trac­tions to wow en­trants than it had when the area last hosted the Na­tion­als in 2011.

“Those who went were just blown away by the Richard­son truck mu­seum, and all the other venues in In­ver­cargill and South­land to see while they were here,” he said.

Clas­sic mo­tor­ing has en­joyed a huge leap in pop­u­lar­ity in the south in re­cent months. The Na­tion­als sig­nalled a num­ber of firsts for the South­ern Mustang Club, with en­trants en­joy­ing an ar­ray of venues to sam­ple in a South­land rather dif­fer­ent to that of 2011.

Many en­trants also took the op­por­tu­nity to take in other at­trac­tions by driv­ing down through scenic Cen­tral Otago, and stop­ping for some fun, food, and a cir­cuit cruise at High­lands Mo­tor­sport Park in Cromwell.

Fri­day night was a chance to catch up with old friends, and, on Satur­day morn­ing, it was time to pol­ish up and show off those eye­catch­ing cars to the pub­lic in the dis­play at ILT Sta­dium South­land.

The de­ci­sion to shift from the usual venue of the neigh­bour­ing cy­cling velo­drome into the main arena of ILT Sta­dium South­land was ap­plauded and added to the at­mos­phere for the Na­tion­als.

Some 175 cars made an im­pres­sive col­lec­tion of pol­ished Amer­i­can metal, with many peo­ple of all ages com­ment­ing on them and tak­ing the op­por­tu­nity to see them close up. Given how many came from the 1960s era, it was pleas­ing to not only see the num­bers of young peo­ple view­ing but also hear their of­ten-favourable com­ments. It was cer­tainly a crowd-puller, en­abling or­ga­niz­ers to dis­play the cars with plenty of space to view them.

Satur­day evening was an­other first, with the evening din­ner and dance held at the Main Hall of Bill Richard­son Trans­port World, ap­pro­pri­ately among the im­pres­sive back­drop of Fords from var­i­ous gen­er­a­tions.

Sun­day morn­ing pre­sented an im­pres­sive sight as groups of Mus­tangs set off north through Eastern South­land back roads for the Bal­four Rugby Club in North­ern South­land and lunch. The re­gion abounds with ve­hi­cle and ma­chin­ery col­lec­tions, and quite a few took the op­por­tu­nity to stop off along the way at at­trac­tions such as the Croy­don Avi­a­tion Her­itage Cen­tre in Man­dev­ille. Then, in the evening, it was the event din­ner and awards pre­sen­ta­tion at the As­cot Park Ho­tel, In­ver­cargill.

It was an im­pres­sive in­tro­duc­tion to the south for many, and a lot more to see for reg­u­lars. Manawatu Mustang Own­ers Club is the host for the next Na­tion­als, in 2018.

Es­cape: the largest col­lec­tion of Mus­tangs ever seen cruis­ing the high­way north of Gore Cool cruis­ing: Mur­ray and Marie Topp’s 1965 con­vert­ible from the South­ern Mustang Club Good sup­port: South­ern Mustang Club mem­bers turned out in force Cor­ralled: part of the large dis­play of some 150-plus Mus­tangs Checked over: the judges in­spect David and Vanessa Thom­son’s 1971 Mach 1 from Bay of Plenty club High­lands Mo­tor­sport Park, Cromwell (photo: Ky­nan) In­fa­mous Hertz: what was that ru­mour – hired and raced on Sun­day and re­turned on Mon­day?! Food on the run: just about ev­ery model in this stop-for-lunch at the Bal­four Rugby Club Rac­ers: two well-known cars on New Zealand race cir­cuits — the Ron Wade ex­am­ple (right) with Roy Mcdon­ald’s car along­side (blue), and (left) the 1967–’68 Notch­back/ Coupe class–win­ning 1967 Mustang of Taranaki’s Wayne Fabish Hosts: Tony and Mar­i­lyn Forde’s 1983 GT 3-door Mustang from the South­ern Mustang Club

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