Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
January 19, 2014

Standing in the shadows of Ford’s World Headquarters, Mike Rey was ecstatic when he got the news. As president of the Mustang Owners Club of Southeastern Michigan, Rey had set a milestone attendance of 1,000 cars for the club’s annual Mustang Memories show. By mid morning, someone relayed the report that 1,020 Mustangs and Fords had entered the parking lots at WHQ.

“And they were still coming in after registration closed,” Rey exclaimed. “That makes Mustang Memories one of the largest single-day Mustang and Ford shows, possibly number two behind Fabulous Fords Forever in California.”

A bird’s-eye view from the 12th floor of Ford World Headquarters shows only a portion of the 1,020 cars at Mustang Memories. These are mostly Mustangs, with other Fords out of view to the left in one of WHQ’s west parking lots.

Held at Ford’s iconic “Glass House” since 2010, Mustang Memories has grown each year since, mostly due to the dedication of MOCSEM members and no doubt also attributable to the hard work put in by the personable Rey, who was presented with the Lee Iacocca Award during this year’s show as recognition of his tireless contributions.

The first Mustang to grab our attention when we first strolled into the WHQ parking lot was Bill McClelland’s ’88 GT. How could we miss it with the bright orange paint and super-detailed engine compartment? Factory T-tops are icing on the cake.

Of course, for the 2013 show, held on Sunday, August 11, it didn’t hurt that the weather cooperated to the tune of a gorgeous, sunny Michigan summer day. There was no excuse for Mustang and Ford owners not to attend.

Ford Racing’s Mike Laney, who recently purchased a Bullitt GT for himself, organized a grouping of 44 Bullitt Mustangs, including both the ’01 and ’08-’09 models.

Thanks to its location in the heart of Ford country, Mustang Memories not only attracts special vehicles, like Henry Ford II’s special ’64½ Mustang hardtop and the “Boss 429” ’94 Mustang concept, you can also expect to find current and retired Ford employees roaming the aisles. As MOCSEM members, Ford Racing’s John Clor and Mike Laney were both involved with the show. We had a chance to talk with Gale Halderman, who was part of the team that won Lee Iacocca’s design competition for the ’65 Mustang, and ran into Nick Terzes and Sean Carney, current engineers who have been heavily involved in the creation of today’s Mustangs.

Ford Racing’s John Clor (center) convinced Gale Halderman (left), who was part of the original Mustang design team, to come out to see what his creation has wrought. Here, Clor introduces Halderman to Ford engineer Nick Terzes, who has worked on numerous Mustang programs, including the ’12-’13 Boss 302.

Other events were wrapped around Mustang Memories, including an SVT Homecoming hosted by the SVT Owners Association that incorporated a Friday night dinner attended by SVT engineers. Also, over 40 Ford GTs roared into Dearborn for a Ford GT Reunion at the Automotive Hall of Fame adjacent to The Henry Ford.

Kevin Marti made the trek from Arizona to Dearborn with his laptop so attendees could order a coveted Marti Report for their ’67-’93 Mustangs.

And speaking of other events held in conjunction with Mustang Memories, we’re hearing rumors that Ford may be making plans for a hometown Mustang 50th anniversary party in 2014, with activities taking place in the days prior to and during Mustang Memories. We can’t think of a better venue, event, or club for such a memorable occasion.

The trunk of Fran Cosentino’s ’67 “Branded” hardtop (see “Brand Marketing” in the December 2012 issue) was filled with interesting items, including samples of the unique Branded vinyl roof material and memorabilia from the National Council of Mustang Clubs. Here, Cosentino shows some of his Mustang special-edition collection to National Parts Depot’s Detroit-based marketing director Scott Halseth.

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John and Nate Miller from Thoroughbred International have been making the show rounds this year to show off their new ’65-’66 fastback body. Wife and mom Kathy was also there recruiting original owners for her 50th anniversary original owner group.

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James and Susan Shelton displayed their ’13 Boss 302 Laguna Seca, a one-of-one that was specially built by Ford and the Woodward Dream Cruise Mustang Alley team as a raffle car to raise funds for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The Sheltons held the winning ticket for the drawing, which raised $265,000 for MS research.