Jim Smart
November 1, 2010

There's something about the spirit of Oklahomans with their attitude of survival and determination to overcome all odds. Oklahoma epitomizes American history where settlers trekked across the Great Plains in search of a better life more than a century ago. Oklahomans you meet today are the latest generation of determined individuals who've made the state what it is today.

Mustang, Oklahoma, is a product of the great land rush, founded by E.M. Maxwell in 1895. Named for its location on Mustang Creek, which flows into the Canadian River, Mustang is one of Oklahoma's best-kept secrets because it is a charming community-home to 13,000 people just west of Oklahoma City.

It seems logical to host a Mustang show in a place called Mustang. It can be written off to coincidence. Or perhaps it can be attributed to the wisdom of the Oklahoma Mustang Club, a Mustang Club of America regional group that hangs its spurs in Oklahoma City. On the cusp of the new millennium, Mustang designed and built a new Town Center and City Hall on the north side of town. That's where the Oklahoma Mustang Club staged its Chisholm Trail National Show.

In retrospect, the Chisholm Trail National was an easy show thanks to Oklahoma hospitality. Oklahoma Mustang Club president Chris McGregor welcomed the masses on Friday evening followed by a chuck wagon dinner cooked by real cowboys over an open fire. Imagine your favorite beverage from a tin cup served from a century-old chuck wagon. Genuine Bluegrass music made the evening authentic.

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Although Mustang 2010 didn't witness the expected 500-car turnout due to today's tough economic climate, over 300 Mustangs filled the lot and made it worth the drive. There were Mustangs from both coasts and all across America. Mike and Joyce Epperson roared in from Salt Lake City with their '641/2 Indy 500 Pace Car hardtop. John Kelsey and family arrived from Texas with their original-owner '66 convertible. Horace Collum threw us a curve ball from Houston with his Playboy Pink '67 hardtop, loaded with 390 power. Bob Winland idled up in his original owner '79 Mustang six-cylinder coupe. John and Janice Murphy drove down from Central Illinois in their '68 California Special with 302-4V power and AOD transmission, which makes it an outstanding cruiser.

If you're excited by MCA caliber concours restorations and low-mileage originals, Mustang had them all, including a 1,000-mile '86 SVO and a super-low mileage, original paint, base sticker price '68 six-cylinder hardtop with Thermactor emission and three on the floor. It can easily be said that the Mustang Club of America has set the benchmark for judging standards for more than three decades. This means you can expect to see the finest restorations in the world at any MCA National Show. Oklahoma was no exception.

Of particular interest was the large turnout of '79-'04 Fox-body Mustangs, which took a hit when Ford introduced the new '05 Mustang. Values declined and show turnout suffered. However, as evidenced by the cars at the Chisholm Trail National, Fox Mustangs are turning out in great numbers.

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A new award from the Mustang Club of America is the Lark Bragg Award, created to recognize those who make extraordinary contributions to our hobby and to honor our good friend who passed away last year after a long battle with cancer. At Oklahoma, Mark Tittel of Andale, Kansas, was presented the award.

Because the Oklahoma Mustang Club believes in giving back to the community, it held 50/50 pots each day to support ABLE (Able Bodies Learning to Excel), a non-profit organization committed to helping those with developmental disabilities.

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