Next year the Mustang can definitely drive 55 as the calendar rolls around to its double-nickel birthday. Enthusiasts around the globe will celebrate the original pony car on April 17, 2019, but around that day one really special party will take place. The Mustang Owner’s Museum is set to have its grand opening and host a companion event commemorating the Mustang’s five and a half decades on the planet.
“When we learned the Mustang Club of America was not going to host a 55th anniversary event, as it has in the past, and once we had the April 17-20, 2019 date set for the opening of the Museum, we believed it would be a natural fit to include the 55 Years of Mustang event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, since the track is one mile away from the museum,” Steve Hall, Executive Director of the Mustang Owner’s Museum, explained.
The opening of a Mustang-dedicated Museum is the first and only time such an event will take place. — Steve Hall, Mustang Owner’s Museum
Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, served as the site for the big 40th and 50th anniversary celebrations, so it is, indeed a natural site, for what Steve says promises to be four days of Mustang overload, which sounds like just the right amount of Mustang to us.
“Actually, we look at the grand opening of the Mustang Owner’s Museum to be just as important, if not more so than the 55 years of Mustang. The opening of a Mustang-dedicated Museum is the first and only time such an event will take place. This will be a new experience to the Mustang world,” Steve said. “We hope the hobby will also attend the 55 Years of Mustang with the activities planned for the event. These will include open-track runs, seminars, parade laps, guest speakers, autograph sessions, drifting exhibitions, dinners, banquets, and a world-record parade lap attempt to celebrate the grand opening of the Mustang Owner’s Museum and the 55 years of Mustang.”
If you aren’t familiar with the Mustang Owner’s Museum, don’t feel bad, as it hasn’t opened yet, but construction is ongoing, and the people behind this Mustang sanctuary were actually inspired to create the museum at the last Mustang anniversary show in the Charlotte area.
“During the Mustang 50th, Ron Bramlett, Executive event director, and I, the Deputy Director of the 50th, thought part of the event should include the 50 years of Mustang history — a display of collectibles and memorabilia. As we looked into the possibility, Ford provided us details of the their exhibit at both locations ‘Timeline Garage,’ a 50-vehicle display with a lifestyle timeline,” Steve said. “Ron and I felt the idea was covered by Ford for the show, but felt is was missing for the Mustang world — a museum dedicated to the Mustang. The following year Ron and I put together a checklist of items needed we felt were necessary to make a successful museum. If the checklist was completed, we would move forward.”
With the concept of the creating a bastion of Mustang history in place, the MOM group had to decide on a location. After reviewing all the possibilities, it only seemed natural that the building reside where the concept began.
“We reviewed all the other museum sites discussed by other museum attempts, evaluating each location. We found those locations did not meet our needs, but with the Charlotte area coming off of a very successful 50th Mustang event — plus the amount of car activity with the NASCAR and NHRA tracks, and two large Auto Fairs held at the track and the number of racing Museums in the area — we believe the Mustang Owner’s Museum would be a perfect fit for the area. There are also a large number of Mustang clubs within a 100-mile radius, making this area a perfect fit for the Museum.”
When it opens in conjunction with the big 55th anniversary show next year, the Mustang Owner’s Museum will present a comprehensive look at the Mustang’s rich history.
“The goal of almost any museum is the preservation of their art, history or such. The Mustang Owner’s Museum’s goal is to provide the preservation of the Mustang history through vehicle displays, memorabilia, accumulation of Mustang books and Mustang cover magazines, plus videos,” Steve said. “We are also creating our own video library with the people that played an important part in the development of the Mustang. The goal is for the designers, engineers and support staff to record their part in the development of the Mustang that we can share with the hobby.”
“The Museum will include exhibits from the 1964 New York World’s Fair to Mustang Culture to Mustang Clubs, plus displays of all Mustang generations to name a few,” Steve added. “The displays will include rare Mustangs or Mustangs with stories that will connect to the Mustang enthusiasts. Whether a person is a longtime Mustang enthusiast or a casual spectator, we want to make each experience unique.”
The creators of the museum hope that it will not only serve as a drive down memory lane for longtime Mustang fans, but as an inspiration for the next generation of pony car enthusiasts.
“We also have a second goal and it is to hopefully bring more people to the hobby by showing the guests the various ways Mustang is used by the Mustang nation — racing, restoring, modifying, and just cruising,” Steve said. “We hope to include Mustang part manufacturers and service providers for guests to consider using for their Mustang projects. This, we hope, will create interest to restore, modify, race, or enjoy Mustangs.”
That is certainly a cause worth supporting. If you want to be there when the museum opens and participate in its 55th anniversary event, you can learn more here. If you are so enthused that you just want to sign up right away, you can do so right here. The Mustang’s next birthday will be here before you know it, so you want to make your plans well in advance.