5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
Mustang Week 2011 - Perfect 10
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Mustang Fun in the Sun
If you ever needed to reaffirm your faith in the power of the Mustang, just take a trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, in mid-July. If you were an unsuspecting tourist, you might believe the world was as readers of this magazine believe it should be. The streets are peppered with Mustang after Mustang, and the growling and burbling of exhausts echoes off the buildings. Mustang congregate at meet-ups, both impromptu and organized. In short, the Mustang rules the streets of this beach vacation spot.
The occasion for this gathering of horsepower is a little event called Mustang Week. Put together by Rodney Melton, Mike Clay, Scott Morgan, and Brad Worley, this event has grown from a small cruise-in at the Myrtle Beach Hard Rock Cafe to a week-long party for our favorite ponycar that celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2011. Obviously, this bunch of guys are Mustang enthusiast, but more importantly, they are fans of people having a great time at their events.
It's that sort of passion that permeates the entire Mustang Week experience. People are simply up and happy, no matter how hot it is outside.
Be it the location near the beach, or the numerous Mustang events, or all of the above, it is certainly a happy combination. It's also one that reminds your author that Mustangs aren't just work. They really are something that makes a lot of people happy, whether they own Mustangs or just like to check them out.
If you aren't familiar with Mustang Week, it is not a full seven days, but five days of official events, which are often augmented by numerous unofficial events. Things kick off with a Meet 'n' Greet at Planet Hollywood on Tuesday afternoon, and the hardcore participants show up early in the morning to grab a prime parking spot. On Wednesday, things move from static displays to active participation, as the event moves to the Myrtle Beach Speedway for autocrossing and fun runs around the oval. Thursday it's time to commute out to Darlington Dragway for a little dragstrip action, but before that there's a little meet-up and Hooters.
Friday is where the quick detailer starts spraying, as it's time for the judged car show. This is the event at Mustang Week, and cars fill up the Myrtle Beach Mall parking lot, both inside the official car show lot limited to 650 rides, and outside in the standard mall lot. On Saturday the same area is completely overrun by the final event, the cruise-in at the mall.
To put the scope of the event into perspective, the Bass Pro Shops adjacent to the car show lot typically sees around 7,000 people or so customers through its turnstiles on a Friday. With its doors as the nearest gateway to air condition, those numbers swelled to 16,900 people moving through the door on Mustang Week Friday. On Saturday, it wasn't quite as big as 10,000 more bodies, but the numbers did jump up from an average of 8,000 on a normal Saturday to 14,810 on Cruise In Saturday. If you aren't into numbers, suffice it to say this is a big event.
For now, here are some of the sights of Mustang Week 2011 to hold you over until next year.
Day 1: Meet 'N' Greet
Day 2: Autocross & Fun Runs
Day 3: Drag Night
Day 4: Car Show
Boss For A WeekIf you're a regular reader, you may have spotted my little write-up on spending a week in a '12 Boss 302 as my daily car. If you will recall, I came away not quite as excited about the car as I had been on the track. Don't get me wrong, it's an awesome car, but I missed having some of the toys like Sync and nav.
Well, I fell in love with the Boss all over again during Mustang Week.
I was fortunate enough to borrow another Boss for The Week. If you're going to attend this event, you have to bring a Mustang. Bringing the latest and greatest Mustang makes it all the more fun. Besides sharing a look at the latest 'Stang with Mustang Weekers, it gives me a chance to spend some quality time in the car.
The events are spread out quite a bit from the Speedway to the mall to the dragstrip, there is a lot of driving in and around the events. With so much wheel time in the car, I was quickly reminded how exhilarating it is to wind the Boss up pass 7,000 rpm. Moreover, tossing the Boss into turns is a total blast. From big on- and off-ramps to the Speedway oval to the Mustang Week Autocross, the Boss proved worth its salt cutting up the corners.
Naturally, the Autocross is where the car shines. It was so much fun that I had to shirk my duties behind the camera and make a few laps. People asked me if I made any adjustments to the suspension to get it to work out there. I didn't. All I did was switch the AdvanceTrac to Sport mode and had a blast.
The Boss straddles the ideal middle ground between the likewise stellar Mustang GT and Shelby GT500. However, if turning corners is your thing, the Boss is the move.