Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
August 1, 2009
Ford had an awesome display of historical Mustangs, from Trans-Am racers, drag racers, and more, to this multi-level display with all three model years of Cobra R's ('93, '95, '00) situated on the top level.

The sheer fact that Mustang enthusiasts world wide came together for one April weekend in Birmingham, Alabama, sharing a celebration with thousands of like minded owners past, present, and future, is a testament to the Mustang's strength. Owners from as far away as Australia came to share their love for Ford's perennial Pony car. If you're talking pure, hard numbers then try these on for size-more than 2,300 Mustangs and 52,000 spectators converged upon Barber Motorsports Park for the Mustang's 45th anniversary celebration this past April. Sponsored by the Mustang Club of America, Ford Motor Company, Ford Racing, Classic Design Concepts, Mustangs Plus, CJ Pony Parts, Kicker Audio, Heacock Classic Insurance, National Parts Depot, and several others, the event certainly took us by surprise. We've got five years until we hit 50 years of the Mustang and we can only imagine what the MCA and Ford will have in store for us then. The one thing we know for sure is that we'll be there, no matter where it's held, and you should be too.

We spent three days covering every inch of the Barber Motorsports facility, talking to many friends we've met over the years at other events, shows, and photo shoots. We also had the pleasure of meeting new Mustang owners (both classic and late-model) who were just getting started in the hobby. Suffice to say, we're sure we've missed a car or two with so many in attendance. We hope you enjoyed the celebration if you were there, and if you weren't there let our photo walk-through put you there virtually. Don't forget to check out our website for even more photos from the event that we simply didn't have room for here in our print story.

On the bottom of the multi-level display was Ford Special Vehicle Engineering's Super Stallion. Built in 1998 as a concept of possible future Mustang performance technology, it sports a supercharged 5.4L Four-Valve modular with twin throttle bodies, is bi-fuel capable, and makes 545 horsepower. It's been a long time since we've seen it in person and it was nice to see it out on display.

For A Good Cause
In celebration of Drake Automotive Group's 30th anniversary, as well as the Mustang's 45th, Scott Drake and the Mustang Club of America sponsored the ultimate Mustang restoration project, dubbed Pay it Forward. Dozens of MCA regional clubs submitted applications for the chance to win the '66 Mustang convertible project car and $10,000 in donated parts from Scott Drake to build the Mustang, which will debut at the 2009 SEMA show and subsequently auctioned off for the winning club's charity of choice. The winning club, announced at the 45th celebration, was the Mustangs of East Texas (www.mustangsofeasttexas.com) for its charity the East Texas Crisis Center (www.etcc.org). So far, Performance Automatic, Quantum Performance, and Kicker Audio have stepped in to help provide a transmission, an engine, and audio gear respectively. Pictured along with members of the Mustangs of East Texas are Mary Jean Wesche of the MCA (back row, fourth from left), Scott Drake (back row, fifth from left), Kenny Northum of Quantum Performance (back row, third from right), Craig Chesley of Mustangs of East Texas (back row, second from right), and Kevin Campbell of Kicker Audio (front row, far right).

45 Years From Dearborn
We'd made it 700 miles with only about 40 to go. It was dark out but we didn't have a full tank of gas or a half-pack of cigarettes, nor were we wearing sunglasses (which wouldn't have made a difference anyway because it happened too quickly). The highway gator that had been rejected from its semi-tire core was taking up residence in the left lane. By the time the headlamps reached it (no brights on here, as it was a well-used highway) it was only a second later before the '10 Mustang's fascia kissed it full face. A morning inspection revealed the lower leading edge had been severed, a likely gluable fix that would need to be done back in Dearborn. The motel's masking tape would hold the edge up until then so it wouldn't break off completely.