Nashville Hosts Mustang's 40th Birthday Party
By: Brad Nevin | Ford Communications Network
Mustang’s 40th Anniversary part will be held in Nashville from April 16-18. More than 3,000 Mustang models will be on display, including the all-new 2005 model.
DEARBORN, April 13, 2004 -- In one of the largest gatherings of its kind, Mustangs of all types of years and models will fill the streets of Nashville the weekend of April 16-18 as the Opryland Hotel Complex hosts the Mustang Club of America’s 40th Anniversary event.
At the show, more than 3,000 Mustang models representing every year from 1964 to 2005 will be on display. Mustang will be judged in over 140 classes with awards going to each class winner. Events will include on-track driving at the Nashville Motor Speedway and cruise events throughout the Nashville area. On Sunday the event will conclude with an awards presentation and concert by country music legend Charlie Daniels. Anywhere from 50,000-100,000 people are expected to attend. Visit Mustang.org for more info.
The first day of activities will feature autograph sessions with Mustang race legend Carroll Shelby and the winningest NHRA drag racer ever, John Force. The legends then will be joined by members of the 1964½ and 2005 Mustang engineering teams, as well as Ford marketing representatives, for a unique panel discussion about the development of the original and modern versions of an American icon. Mustang #1 will be flanked by a new 2005 Mustang prototype in the "Heritage Tent" as a backdrop for these discussions.
(Photo)The original Mustang stole the publicity limelight, and the hearts of Americans, the day it arrived April 17 at the 1964 World's Fair in New York.
Mustang club members will soak in the car’s rich history, swap stories and learn about the 2005 Mustang from Ford engineers throughout the weekend. The event culminates on Sunday, April 18 as representatives from the Dearborn Assembly Plant (Mustang’s current home) and the AutoAlliance International plant (2005 Mustang’s new home) participate in a "passing of the torch" event during the Closing Ceremonies.
Another rolling celebration of Mustang’s 40th Anniversary, this one called, "The Great American Pony Drive II," begins on April 19. Some Mustang fans may recall "The Great American Pony Drive I," which was organized in 1989 by John Manners, a Mustang owner from Switzerland. In that event, almost 100 Europeans and some 37 Mustangs made the trip across the Atlantic to tour the United States for seven weeks.
The Great American Pony Drive II starts in Nashville and for seven weeks will make nearly 50 stops around the country. Local Mustang clubs and Ford dealers along the route will host lunch/dinner stops and special events for the participants. Ford is supporting the tour with a custom trailer that will display a 2005 Mustang GT and the 3-Millionth Ford built -- a red Mustang GT Convertible.
Leading up to the party in Nashville, on April 11 Mustangs Across America started a six-day cross-country convoy drive from Los Angeles to Nashville. More than 300 Mustang models of all vintages from 1964-2004 will join the group along the route, creating a parade of heritage. This weeklong road trip stops along the way for special events planned in Flagstaff, AZ; Santa Rosa, NM; Mustang, OK; and Little Rock, AR. In addition to the west-to-east route, Mustangs Across America convoys will also head towards Nashville from the Great Lakes and New England regions.
Of course, there are many more Mustang events planned by various local Mustang clubs across the country this summer. No matter where you live, there's sure to be some sort of car show honoring the Ford Mustang as America's favorite sporty car and looking forward to another generation of Mustang excitement in 2005 and beyond.