Richard Truesdell
March 19, 2018

The Los Angeles Convention Center held host to the second annual Classic Auto Show from March 2-4, 2018. held on two floors of the South Hall, and the main (second) floor was dominated by….Mustangs. On hand was a Chip Foose-designed-and-built Mustang Mach 1, ABC Channel 7’s automotive reporter Dave Kuntz’ Bullett Tribute, and a great selection of Mustangs from the Orange County (California) Mustang Club.

The main floor stage presented seminars and book signings from a variety of celebrities including Linda Vaughn in the Autobooks Aerobooks booth on Saturday, who signed copies of her book, Linda Vaughn: First Lady of Motorsports co-edited by Mustang Monthly’s Editor Rob Kinnan. It also hosted many clubs, including the Ford-related Lincoln Club. But the Orange County Mustang Club was easily the biggest and best display at this year’s event. First-generation Mustangs from the 1965-1966 era seemed to be most numerous.

The show’s best Mustang story was told by Richard Strayer of Yorba Linda, California, and his well-presented red 1964½ ragtop. It seems that Strayer was the Editor-In-Chief of the Michigan State News daily newspaper 54 years ago and was one of 44 collegiate editors given a new Mustang for a year. All he had to do was put gas in the tank and drive it.

With 44,000 prospective buyers on the Michigan State campus, Ford’s Lee Iacocca knew this was the perfect promotional opportunity for America’s first Pony Car. The rest, as they say, was history. For many years Strayer wondered what happened to “his” 260 convertible and in 2006 he was contacted by the car’s second owner Gary Woodruff as Strayer’s name and the Michigan State News was on a key document. Now, as the car’s third owner, he proudly displays this important part of Mustang’s early history.

While rain that weekend might have held down attendance, it certainly did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the Mustang community, especially the Orange County Mustang Club, who certainly flew the flag for America’s first Pony Car.

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