Daniel Lee Maas
August 2, 2019
Contributers: Daniel Lee Maas

The 25th annual Mustang "Speed Week" event hosted by Norway's National Mustang Club, was a spectacular three-day event for 2019. The car show, timed road course, and drag race competition were organized by Marit Rotterud and Trond Host as an annual event. This marks the 17th year it has been held in Elverum, Norway.

Team- Shelby-Scandinavia, led by Director Trond Host, transported four impressive Super Snakes to blend with the wide spectrum of Ford Mustangs attending this year's event. Visual impact upon arrival immediately brought attention to four SS Shelby specialty vehicles. A black 2007 "Official Pace Car" from the Vegas Motor Speedway; a yellow 2016 Carbon edition (a 1 of 2); a black 2007 "427" Special Edition convertible; and insane blue, 965hp "Wide Body" were a site to behold. Three days, great displays, and perfect organization allowed ample opportunity for a close look at the best Ford and Shelby had to offer. Two hundred and twenty American Mustangs in the small city of Elverum was amazing.

Friday night was much more than we expected, and we were particularly impressed to see how much variety was on display at this picture-perfect location. Many events take place all over Scandinavia during the summer, so our impressions change. Brands can many times fragment collectors into groups, but the fact that this was all Ford added a sense of togetherness, and everything seemed perfectly organized and as one.

Craftsmanship and quality were abundant, so choosing a favorite was difficult if not impossible. A blue 1967 GTA stood out from the first walk down main street with its injected 8-pack under the hood, the car was freshly restored and simply stunning. We did not sense a divide between Shelby or the Mustang ownership anywhere during this event and were amazed with the equal attention each car seemed to be getting. Everything from a '66 six-cylinder hardtop to the wide- body Super Snake made for a great show. The conversations seemed endless, and level of knowledge expert, especially regarding attention to detail, made us think of how similar this event was to shows in the USA. Norwegians certainly will go to extremes, especially when it comes to authenticity, so parallels to the US when it comes to American car collecting is a compliment, but anyone visiting from abroad would surely be impressed. A great credit to Scandinavia's Ford preservation efforts, the National Mustang Club and history enthusiasts.

Friday evening prompted a trip to Elverum Airport for the evening's road course competition. Each year the Elverum airport allows club access to compete. The burnout marks immediately greet everyone upon arrival, so it became obvious to everyone that the night would be something special. The area behind the barricades grew quickly. We were impressed with the way the club was able to add a physical aspect to their Speed Week event. Setting up cones made for what would be a technical challenge, and it was nice that the event started smoothly and on time. A bit of muscle flexing from the "Burning" movie Mustang wowed the crowd immediately. A third film is in progress, so the crowd was very pleased to see something with this great magnitude come out first. A mix of competing against the clock, and those with little regard for the price of rubber, added an extra bit of showmanship for the spectators. The competition, smoke, and great weather took in record attendance. The food, drink, and the enthusiastic atmosphere added up to a spectacular evening. The winner-takes-all crown went to a well deserving Boss 302.

On Saturday morning the weather was grey and bit damp, but surprisingly the lot and airstrip were filled, grills fired for the day's burgers and morning coffee was in the air by 8 am. About 9:00 am the drizzle delayed, but after some track drying the competition was getting ready. Three classes of Legal Street, Bad Boys, and Bracket insured everyone could participate in some way. Impressive was the willingness here to compete in weather conditions that would end most events. By 10:00 am, the line seamed to extend beyond the horizon as competition began. There were moments of sunshine and then cool damp drizzle overcast, so strategy played a big part in navigating the strip. Street tread, skilled driving and excellent track safety translated into a perfect day of competition. Six winners emerged from the many entrants with two in each class claiming victory. The Gardemoen timing teem could not have done a better job during the event.

Saturday evening brought everyone back to the downtown, with the focus at the hotel for the awards and music. As at any event, the best shine, and certainly this event had much to be proud of. There is something much deeper with this type of gathering. The brotherhood certainly, but perhaps the respect for each other is what impacted me most, especially when it came time to recognize the victors. The event certainly sets a tone for its members, and anyone attending could sense that extra ingredient.

Most agree what began in 1964 was carried to a level of brilliance by Ford, and over the top by Carroll Shelby. The club is committed to carrying on the legacy of Ford and Shelby and from our impressions we would say the future is perfectly on target, and the cars were spectacular.

As we left Elverum our thoughts focused on Trond Host's commitment to Shelby Scandinavia and the work he is doing with Garry Patterson of Shelby America. Equally impressive to me was the fantastic job and commitment of the club's organizers and the efforts of the Mustang club members. The city of Elverum could have not been more inviting and the Scandic Hotels were over the top in accommodating so many Ford Mustang enthusiasts.

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photography by Daniel Lee Maas