Car enthusiasts tend to have favorite brands and models, but Mustang enthusiasts are a breed apart.
To celebrate the reveal of the all-new 7th generation Mustang, Ford invited them all to come together as the Mustang Stampede in Detroit.
Like moths to a flame, they came from coast to coast. From as far away as Hillsboro, Oregon, Los Angeles, California, and Miami, Florida, and of course from right there in Detroit, the Mustang faithful made the pilgrimage to show their pride.
Mustang faithful like StangMode were joined by That1320Chick and a virtual army of Ford fanatics wearing Mustang jackets, hats, and t-shirts. They lined Jefferson Avenue between Huntington Place and Hart Plaza with every possible model of Mustang from every era. Perfectly maintained stock 1964½ “secretary car” Mustangs sat side-by-side with wildly modified racing and show cars.
Inside, the plaza was lined with food carts and Mustang merchandise. Every attendee was given a ticket good for a meal at the carts, but most focused their attention on the stage where the new Mustang would be unveiled.
Ford invited several of the enthusiasts and their cars on stage to talk about their car, and their fascination with the brand. As expected, performance came up a lot, but not as often as family or personal history.
One man had his Mustang painted in the style of a P-51 Mustang fighter plane from the second world war as a tribute to the all-black Tuskegee Airmen, who earned distinction in air combat. Several of the guests said that their shared love of Mustangs brought them together with their spouses.
Mike and Kris Campbell didn’t drive far to be at the Stampede, but they brought their baby: a 1976 Mustang II Stallion. The Stallion trim in that year came equipped with a 302 cubic inch V-8 engine and a 4-speed manual transmission, riding on chrome alloy wheels.
“I’ve been going to shows for a long time now,” Mike said. “Basically that’s what we do.”
The Campbells live in Otsego, Michigan, about two hours north of Detroit, and had the only Stallion model at the show.
“Those are the original 13-inch wheels,” Mike said, noting that the car had been on display for eight months at the Mustang Owner’s Museum in Concord, North Carolina. Mike recounted how his head was turned recently by a late-70s Fox-body Mustang and he contemplated making an offer on it. However, Kris nixed the deal.
“We dated in this car, and this is our Mustang” she declared.