Mustangs, Mustangs and more Mustangs

POLK CITY, Fla. — On Saturday, April 2, Fantasy of Flight will play host once again to the 14th Annual Mustangs & Mustangs: Legends Havin’ Fun show, the largest single day Mustang automobile show on the East Coast and the only event that showcases both the restored P-51 Mustang aircraftand Ford Mustang autos of all eras, ages and styles.

Guests with a shared passion for the restoration of aircraft and automobiles can marvel as Mustang show cars compete for first, second and third place trophies, as well as a “People’s Choice” award.  Meanwhile, rare, restored P-51 fighters perform live aerial demonstrations.  As well as watching the hot rods and fighter planes in action, guests also can take advantage of children’s activities, enjoy live entertainment and snap photos with the classic cars and vintage airplanes. 

The show is open to all Ford-powered vehicles. More than 400 cars are already registered for the show, with another 150 expected to register the day of the event.

Participating Mustang clubs include Imperial Mustangs of Polk County, Mid Florida Mustang Club, Mustang Club of Tampa and the Stang-Gang. 

A portion of the proceeds from car show registration will go to VISTE of Lakeland, Fla., an organization that provides services enabling the elderly to live independently in their own homes.            

This year’s show will also celebrate the Mustangs & Mustangs show chair of more than a dozen years and treasurer of the Imperial Mustangs of Polk County, Pat Rego, who was awarded the Lee Iococca Foundation Award at the Silver Springs Car Show last January 2010. According to the Lee Iococca Foundation, the award was designed to recognize outstanding classic car enthusiasts, “on multiple levels, including character, community involvement, integrity and a level of excellent presentation of their vehicle.”  The award is bestowed at only 25 of the most prestigious automobile shows in the nation.

Rick Schmidt, CEO of National Parts Depot, nominated Rego. “The award is intended to recognize people who have given of themselves and their time generously to the automotive hobby,” Schmidt commented. “Pat certainly qualifies – she’s worked her tail off for the club down there and in putting on the event.” 

Of the Iococca award, Rego said, “For the first time I was speechless. It was an overwhelming honor. I never would’ve thought it would be given to a small individual.” Yet those at Fantasy of Flight know that Rego is no small individual but instead, a tireless Mustang devotee, whose passion for the vehicle and the airplane are evident in the production of the show each year. 

“Fantasy of Flight (combines the best) of the P-51 airplane and the Mustang car,” said Rego. “The P-51 draws so many people… And the mass appeal of the Mustang is phenomenal…  Ford keeps making (them) better and better.” 

Cost of 14th Annual Mustangs & Mustangs is included with Fantasy of Flight admission, which is $28.95 for adults, $14.95 for children ages 6-15, plus 7 percent sales tax. Children 5 and younger are free. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Annual passes are available for $69.95 for adults, $39.95 for children ages 6-15, plus 7 percent sales tax, and are good for one year from the date of purchase. Parking for the event is $5. 

For more information, call 863-984-3500 or visit www.fantasyofflight.com.

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