KJ Jones Brand Manager, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
April 19, 2014
Photos By: KJ Jones

While Mother Nature may have dealt the MCA’s Mustang 50th birthday celebration a bad hand in Charlotte, North Carolina (by sending cold temps, wind and rain to Charlotte Motor Speedway and effectively putting the squelch on Saturday’s party activities), She certainly left the Mustang Nation holding aces in Las Vegas, as 50th celebrants enjoyed the third day of the big bash under a sunny, clear, Ford-blue sky, and temps that ranged near 90 degrees.

“This is just awesome,” said Ross Anderson, of Santa Clarita, California. “I’ve been a Mustang fan for the entire 50 years that it has been around. It’s great to be able to be a part of this; there’s no way I was going to miss it,” he adds.

That seemed to be the sentiment shared by all of the enthusiasts we talked with at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, on the third day of what has shaped up to be a very cool “gathering” of ‘Stangfolk and their cars. And when you talk about the cars? We’ve seen some amazing Mustangs here in Las Vegas. And, more importantly, we’ve heard some amazing stories about those cars, and we’ll be sharing details about many of them right here in 5.0's space on Mustang-360.com.

With the pomp and fanfare of the opening ceremony, introduction of the Kona Blue, anniversary-edition ’15 GT, and Shelby American’s open house/party behind us, the third day of the 50th birthday celebration really clarified the idea that this event is different. It's definitely not a traditional car show, as there's a relaxed come-and-go-as-you-please privilege for registered attendees, no judging is happening, and there's 'Stangbanger camaraderie everywhere you turn.

In addition to the display, which again was just as robust as it was on Thursday and Friday, Day 3 kicked off with a 13-mile “half marathon,” held throughout the speedway property. Runners who completed the trek (among them was our buddy, NMRA racer Tony McDonnell of Chicago—good job, Tony) received an awesome, commemorative medal for making it all the way; a piece that we’re sure will be treasured by everyone, as this particular half marathon will only happen once.

As we noted in Friday’s update, celebration activities in Las Vegas were not limited to just showing off a Mustang. There’s plenty of on-track action happening, too. Unfortunately (but, somewhat understandably), the LVMS drag strip remained idle at the 50th. However, ‘Stangs running with Track Guys continued to bomb around the road course, and enthusiasts who aren't as hard core as Track Guys were treated to a very special opportunity; being permitted to make laps around the 1.5 super speedway in their Ponies!

The party comes to a close Sunday, with a final round of displaying, a last chance to score event memorabilia, and a closing ceremony at the speedway. If you missed the 50th events in Las Vegas or in Charlotte, hopefully you’re doing something with or for your ‘Stang, to celebrate 50 fantastic years of the Ford Mustang!

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