Celebrating 45 Years of Mustangs Up North

What do you do when the party is more than 1000 miles away and you cannot be there?  You throw your own!
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Never let it be said that cold weather stands in the way of a good party in the Northwoods. 50 Mustang owners lined up with their Mustangs, ranging from 1965 to 2009 models. 

What do you do when the party is more than 1000 miles away and you cannot be there? Well, you throw your own party! And that is just what members of Twin Ports Mustang and Ford Club in Duluth, Minn. and Superior, Wis. did to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Mustang. They teamed up with a local Ford dealer and the Salvation Army and held an All-Mustang car show and food shelf drive on April 18 just one day after the official anniversary date.

Being the first outdoor car show of the season in northern Wisconsin especially in April is a risk. The forecasts during the week had predicted a rain/snow mix, but the day turned out mostly sunny and the temperature held to around 49 degrees during the show. However, immediately after the show the temperature dropped 20 degrees in less than an hour and it snowed the next day. Shane Salo of Superior said it was the first time this year he took his 1990 Mustang GT out.

“In spite of a recession and the "iffy" weather forecasts, a lot of people came out and attended this event and also donated to the local food shelf,” said Scott Post, club member from Maplewood, Minn. who entered a 1966 Mustang coupe in the show.

Dick Orlowski who is originally from Superior hadn’t planned on celebrating the Mustang’s anniversary, but brought his 2005 Roush Mustang to the show from Anoka, Minn. when he heard about it from his sister. “I saw the ad and sent it to him,” said Virginia Orlowski.

More than 50 Mustang owners lined their coupes, fastbacks, convertibles, GTs, Machs, Cobras, and Roushs ranging from 1965 to 2009 models in front and along side Benna Ford Roush Saleen in Superior. The dealership even had two 2010 Mustangs there.

“It was a great turn-out,” said Jim Gerdes, the club’s vice-president. “I like to mingle with others who have similar interests, and to see what special things people do to their cars that I can adapt.” Gerdes won best of class with his 1978 Mustang Ghia.

Spectators and entrants were asked to bring non-perishable food items for the Salvation Army food shelf. Their efforts resulted in nearly a full laundry bin. All proceeds from the entry fee were also donated to the food shelf.

Awards were given in the eight different categories along with club members and Benna’s employees each selecting their choice of “best of show”. Ed Eliason of Superior won both “best of show” plaques as well as “best in class” with his red 1965 Mustang Fastback GT.

“I was impressed with the quality of the vehicles people displayed,” said club member Kim Culp of Superior. “There were a lot of really nice cars there.”

Fellow club member Glen Milani from Keewatin, Minn. agreed. “It was well worth the drive to the show,” he said. “We had a good time, met some nice people and saw some pretty cool cars.” He entered his 2003 Mustang GT convertible.

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It was too nippy for golf, so a custom 1965 Ford Mustang golf cart showed up at the event.

There was even a custom 1965 Ford Mustang golf cart on display that drew a lot of attention. Kevin Johnson of Esko, Minn. owns the golf cart and had heard about the club putting on the car show for the local food shelf and thought it is was a great cause. He also said his two boys who are 12 and 14 years old are starting to take an interest in classic cars, so he wanted to be there.

“I thought it would be a nice vehicle to have at the show and contacted the Twin Ports Mustang Club about bringing the cart,” said Johnson. “They were more than happy to have us there. This was our first car show and the boys and I had a great time. Everyone we talked to and met were great. We even joined the club. Now we are even talking about looking for a Mustang for my wife, so we can enjoy some of the cruises with the club,” he added.

Post summed up the day’s event best by saying “I cannot wait for the 50th Anniversary of the Mustang.”

Car shows like this one not only promote a car club and draw attention to the hobby, but in economic times like this provide free or low cost family entertainment and to help a local charity as well as help bring people into the dealership to see the new vehicles. During the show, sales staff at Benna Ford sold six Mustangs including a King of the Road Mustang. - Contributed by Judy Aunet

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