Mustang 50th Birthday Celebration – Charlotte Motor Speedway


The People, and the Real Reason Why You Should Go to a Big Car Event

Perhaps the coolest part of the trip was the people.  I’m a member of the Mustang Club of Maryland, and I drove down to Charlotte with several other members on Wednesday morning.  I’ve gone to lots of car shows, autocrosses, and track days, but this is certainly the largest single-interest event I’ve ever gone to.


Taken at the Park & Ride where I met up with the first couple members of MCOM.  Project Mustang 5.0 on the left and his brother and sister.

The drive down was the part I was looking forward to the most, and it didn’t disappoint.  There’s something exhilarating about driving across the country in a group of cars.


There was basically a mini car show at every rest area on the trip down…
…And just about every place in the greater Charlotte area.  This was the parking lot of my hotel!

I met people from all over the country—and the world.  A local fellow with an almost-mint-condition ’71 Mustang Mach 1 that he purchased new.  A couple who rented a Hertz Mustang because their Mustang wasn’t running at the moment.  Another couple who drove a brand-new GT500, temporary tags and all, from Seattle.  A family from the Netherlands who flew in to the US, rented a convertible Mustang, and put racing stripes on it for the event.  A man from Italy who had his vintage Mustang shipped in over a month ago just for the event.  Two wisecracking blokes from Australia.  A family who’s original ’64 ½ Mustang had a dead battery and needed a jump start from Project Mustang 5.0.  The Mustang Club of Maryland members and I even got to meet Vaughn Gittin, Jr.


Mike Kojima himself gave me that MotoIQ shirt.  I’ve never taken it off.
The Mustang Club of Maryland goes to an old-timey drive-in diner.  Hanging out with other enthusiasts is the best part of the event. 

My point is that the camaraderie is perhaps the best part of the event.  Having so many people around who share the same automotive interests as you provides opportunities for networking, learning, and simply swapping stories.  Just about every vehicle has a group of enthusiasts who put on regular events.  You owe it to yourself as an enthusiast to go to at least one of those events once in your life, whether it be a huge car show for old Chevys, a road rally for British sports cars, an autocross for late-model Minis, or a track day for Subarus.   Even if you’re into late-‘80s turbo Mopars, there’s an event for you.

No matter what corner of the automotive hobby you call home, you should take a few days to go to a national event full of enthusiasts just like you.




Ford Motor Company

Mustang Club of America

Vaughn Gittin, Jr.

Mustang Club of Maryland

SVO Club of America

Vince Illi's Flickr Page

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