Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsEvents
Mustang Week 2015: The Largest Gathering of Mustangs in the World
The largest gathering of the iconic pony car in the world
If you’ve never been to Mustang Week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, you’re really missing out on all the latest and greatest in the Mustang world. Mustang Week is to Mustang enthusiasts what Sturgis is to Harley riders; it’s the biggest and baddest show of the year. Each year the event seems to grow in popularity and size, as was evident this year right from the kickoff of the weeklong festivities. The meet-and-greet in the parking lot of the Palace Theater is the icebreaker of the week, where enthusiasts get a chance to show off their pride and joy.
Before we knew it, over 750 cars had poured into the parking lot representing every generation of the iconic pony car, from jaw-dropping four-eyed Fox-bodies to slick-looking S550s and everything in between. And of course you can’t forget a healthy dose of vintage Blue Oval iron. Despite the heat and humidity, Mustang enthusiasts came out by the droves and the roar of Ford performance thundered over the streets of Myrtle Beach. The meet-and-greet offered car clubs and extended Mustang families alike a chance to get together and check out their old and new friends’ latest project cars. It really is amazing to see people from all across the country come together to share their love of Mustangs with like-minded folks.
High-Octane Action at Myrtle Beach Speedway
Day 2 of Mustang Week started just as the sun poked over the horizon. We made our way to Myrtle Beach Speedway just a few miles from the official meet-and-greet location of the day before. More than 400 Mustangs gathered at the track for the opportunity to hit the high banks of the oval track for some legitimate hot laps at the Stiffler’s Speedway Fun Runs.
The infield, on the other hand, was filled with vendors offering patrons the full scoop on the latest and greatest performance upgrades, styling products, and accessories for their specific Mustang. Gateway Classic partnered with BFGoodrich to offer an all-Mustang autocross with demonstration rides at the opposite end of the infield from the vendor area. Besides the Gateway Classic staff driving several of the demo Mustangs through the autocross, Gary Patterson from Shelby American was behind the wheel of a red S197 wide-body Mustang that was an absolute beast through the corners.
As if that weren’t enough excitement for one day, Formula Drift champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. was in the house signing countless autographs and taking hundreds of photos with his fans. A few lucky fans even got to ride along with him in his fully prepped S550 Mustang RTR Stage 5 concept drift car during drift demonstrations for the crowd. We were pretty excited to see Gittin cut loose with a whole lot of tire smoke and sideways action on the high banks of Myrtle Beach Speedway.
Battle at the Beach Pro Dyno Shootout
Day 3 of Mustang Week started with our Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords Battle at the Beach Pro Dyno Shootout, where 10 competitors came out to battle the gauntlet and spin the rollers with some serious horsepower. The competitors braved the early morning humidity for their chance to showcase the raw horsepower of their killer street-driven combos, and we can honestly say they did not disappoint.
Pro Dyno owner Dan Desio got the shootout rolling with a few words of wisdom as well as the layout of the challenge. Each contender received two chassis dyno pulls with a five-minute break between each run; if needed, each competitor was also allowed to make necessary adjustments during that time.
After the field of menacing steeds had run through the rollers, it was Craig Partridge’s 2012 Shelby GT500 that took the top honors, pumping out 817 rwhp and 729 lb-ft of torque.
Mickey Thompson Drag Night at Darlington Dragway
The action moved from the Myrtle Beach Mall to the dragstrip at Darlington Dragway, where the Mickey Thompson Drag Night made for some good old-fashioned door-to-door racing action for the 2,500 Mustang Week fans in attendance to enjoy. With just over 300 cars mixing it up at the strip, it was definitely a spectacle!
Mustang Week Car Show at Myrtle Beach Mall
The world’s largest all-Mustang car show was hosted once again right outside of the Myrtle Beach Mall. This year’s sold-out show was clearly bigger than previous years. Even the sticky and muggy early morning weather could not stop fans from piling onto the Mustang-filled blacktop. With over 500 cars and 12,000 attendees, the Mustang Week show has certainly snowballed into one of the largest, if not the largest, gathering of Mustangs in the world.
This year’s show definitely had everything and anything imaginable for Mustang enthusiast to drool over, from drag cars to Restomod Fox-bodies and even clean and classic old iron Mustangs. Suffice it to say there was plenty of horsepower and eye candy for any true gearhead to appreciate. Walking a car show of this magnitude will leave you lusting over your next project build, and we could certainly feel the symptoms kicking in while we walked down the rows of inspiration.
LateModel Restoration was the title sponsor at this year’s car show, so it’s no surprise that the fans took shelter under the company’s booth when the clouds finally opened up and showered onto the sea of pony pride. Of course, rain was not enough to keep the crowds away. Some owners even took it as an opportunity to give their car a quick once-over to make it look its best for the judges.
Mustang Week Cruise-In
The last day of Mustang Week saw us back at the Myrtle Beach mall to check out the final day’s action. Along with the incredible Stangs we laid our eyes on throughout the week, Saturday proved to be even bigger with additional Mustangs scrambling to get on site as the sea of asphalt was replaced with 3,000 prime and polished Mustang specimens of every generation.
With over 11,000 people in attendance, we made our way around the parking lot until we spotted 4-year-old Caleb Cook. Caleb was out at Mustang Week thanks to the Make-A-Wish foundation. His dream of attending Mustang Week was coming true. Caleb’s love for Mustangs inspired many over the week, and we are sure he got a kick out of Vaughn Gittin Jr. autographing the hood of his Power Wheels Mustang.
We asked the founder of Mustang Week, Rodney Melton, what his favorite part of the event was this year. He said, “This year’s show was the biggest we have had, and the best thing to me was seeing the Make-A-Wish foundation help Caleb’s dream come true and have fun like a kid should, along with all the people that enjoyed it too.”
We cannot thank the Mustang Week staff enough for putting on one heck of a show each and every year. The hard work they pour into the event is surely born from the passion they have for Mustangs.
Later that afternoon, the Mustang Week staff held the car show awards and the annual Mustang Week raffle to mark the end of the weeklong party that rolled through Myrtle Beach.
Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords Editor’s Choice Winner
Of course, the Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords staff also got together and named the winner of our Editor’s Choice Award. Bobby Scherker of Waterbury, Connecticut, impressed us with his lean and mean Grabber Green 2004 Mustang Mach 1, which featured a single turbo 4V mod motor under the shaker hood. The car was stripped and rebuilt and received a fresh coat of paint shortly before making the trek out to Myrtle Beach. As if that weren’t enough, the transmission in the Mach 1 decided to give up the ghost, but Scherker didn’t let that stop him from having a great time. After a quick tranny swap in the hotel parking lot, the Grabber Green Mach 1 was back on the road making everyone green with envy.
We thoroughly enjoyed Mustang Week 2015. We’re already planning for next year’s big show, which will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the event. It would be a safe bet to assume that next year’s show will be a monumental one, so be sure to mark your calendars for the week of July 18-24, 2016, for the ultimate Mustang experience!