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MUSTANGS CROSS THE BORDER

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Tue, Aug 5, 2008

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

MUSTANGS CROSS THE BORDER Words by Brian Kennedy Pictures by Daniel Reimer Almost 430 Mustangs turned up at the Ford of Canada headquarters in Oakville, Ontario (near Toronto) for the No Borders Mustang InterNationals August 1st-3rd. It was the first time that a Mustang Club of America National Show has ever been held outside of the borders of the United States.

Sponsored and organized by the Golden Horseshoe Mustang Association, the show drew vehicles from Ontario and Quebec as might be expected, but also from nearby US states including Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virginia. Cars came from as far away as British Columbia and North Dakota, as well. The planning of the event took three years. According to GHMA President Bruce Parratt, the club sent some representatives to an MCA show in the US four years ago, and then made their petition to the MCA. It was accepted in 2005, and the race was on to get the event organized. The Golden Horseshoe Mustang Club has about 135 members. Their usual focus is on driving. "We're a driving club" President Bruce Parratt told LA Car. "We don't judge cars to the MCA standard at most of our shows. We have a popular vote." Members had about fifty or sixty cars in this event, he added. He himself was showing off a 1967 Fastback along with a couple of newer cars. Judging was done to the strict standards of the Mustang Club of America.

All the vintages of Mustangs were represented, including many from the first years, four or five from the (dreaded by some, but not me) 1974-78 era, a good smattering of 1979 and up cars like Indy Pace Car specials and SVOs, and modern cars as well including Bullitts and SVT Cobras. The feeling overall was that the hobby has successfully expanded and that in all eras, there are fascinating cars which might command a hobbyists' attention and love. For Canadians as well as US folks, the show was an excuse to get their cars out and drive them to a prestige show, something that might not have happened for them otherwise. The MCA has shows in Pensacola, FL; Dublin, OH; Oakville; Park City, UT; and Phoenix, AZ over the course of 2008.

Jon Clarke, for example, drove his black 1966 C-code coupe from Cooperstown, ND, a distance of 1200 miles. He has owned the car ten years, and previously long-hauled it to Charlotte, NC for the Mustang 35th anniversary in 1999. He drives the car about 2000 miles most years, but this year that number will hit around 5000 miles given the distance to this show. "We just wouldn't get to " he said. "This one's the closest for us." Peter Bak also drove his Mustang in, from Rhode Island. "It's not unusual for me to drive it - look at my display board" he said. In front of his car was the story of his surviving an encounter with a lumber truck on the way to Carlisle PA for the All-Ford Nationals. Considerable damage on the driver's side has not deterred him from putting his baby on the road once more (all fixed, of course).

Like at any show of this quality, there were a number of perfect cars in attendance. One which caught my eye was the 1966 GT Fastback of Ken and Nish Peters. They'd trailered it from Murfreesboro, TN, to earn points toward eventually retiring the car from the concours trailered class and driving it on the street. As of now, every nut and bolt is factory correct, and the underneath shows the overspray patterns that would have been there from the factory. It was one of those cars you read about in magazines, but don't actually see except at an event like this. Then there were the "Wow, that's cool" cars. In this group - a 5200-mile K-code fastback owned by the original family. It originally came from Elkins, WV. Another one, this one for sale, was the 1965 K-code coupe of Dave Street. He got it in Calgary, he said, and restored it. The car has Honey Gold paint and sports its window sticker. The price now? 30K. But as they say - go find another one! It was at least nice to look at, whether one was in the market for something new and rare or not.

The show benefited a number of charities, including the Trillium Foundation, which supports hospitals, the Lion's Fund, and the St. John's Ambulance. Ford also used the event to unveil the Shelby GT500 KR to the Canadian market. That happened mid-day Saturday in the lobby of the corporate headquarters, a spot also used to house seminars running in the afternoon. Even a brief but fierce rainstorm Saturday afternoon didn't bring down anyone's spirits. They just got out and dried off the cars and went on with things. Half an hour after it had poured, the skies were blue once again and the world of Mustangs was alive to the people of Southern Ontario, who had turned out in multitudes to see their favourite cars.

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