Me accepting a first place award from my Mustang Club's President Michelle Worcester at our club's annual round-up, Kent WA
About two years after I purchased my Mustang I joined a local Mustang car club. It just so happens that the club I joined is the longest running Mustang club in the nation, The Pacific Cascade Mustang Club (PCMC), located in Kent, WA. I contacted the club President via email and he was so kind and welcoming that he gave me the confidence to attend a meeting and see what they were all about. Now the members of my club have become good friends and I enjoy visiting with them at club meetings, car events and other activities.
My Mustang club The Pacific Cascade Mustang Club recognized by MCA as the longest running Mustang club in the nation, Kent WA.
Joining PCMC gave me the opportunity to enter my first car event. The show and shine was being held during the vintage car races at Pacific Raceway in Auburn, WA. My club had about 15 cars signed up to park in the Car Corral area. I had a great time watching the vintage racecars fly by, visiting the pits to see the racecars up close, and buying all kinds of fun Ford themed products from the venders. As part of the day's events cars in the Car Corral were allowed to take a few parade laps around the track during a break in the racing. Even though I didn't get to drive very fast, due to a pace car and having to follow other attendee's cars, I did go fast enough to get my adrenaline going. I can honestly say I will get my Mustang on a racetrack again so I can feel the excitement of some real speed.
My first MCA Judged show Mustangs Norwest's Mustang Round-up Bellevue, WA 2012
Next I entered my Mustang in a show and shine car show at a local tire store in Renton, WA. It wasn't a very big event, which was good, I was able to stumble through the process of getting my car registered, learning as I went. Luckily, everyone was very welcoming and ready to help. I saw how people set out their chairs and displayed the awards their vehicle had won. I ended up parked next to a car show veteran and quickly made a new friend. We detailed our cars side by side chatting as we finished up the last bit of buffing. He was very kind and gave me a lot of great car show tips. To my surprise by the end of the day I left the show with a "Best Modern Mustang" award.
MCA National Show Unbridled Spirit in Reno, NV 2013
After that I entered my Mustang in the Return to Renton Car Show in Renton, WA. That show taught me when a show starts at 8am you should get there before 7am to register. There was 480 cars entered in the show and it was pretty crazy checking everyone in and getting parked. A few of my club members visiting the show as spectators stopped by my car and said hello. At this show I was parked next to a very nice older couple who had entered their older model convertible Camaro in the show (of course, I didn't hold that against them.) The day was hot and sunny and the cars were beautiful. I didn't leave with an award but I did meet some very nice people, ate great food, and saw cars well over 50 years old but in beautiful condition.
My Bullitt and myself with our first place award at the MCA National Show Unbridled Spirit Reno, NV 2013
Now that I was more comfortable entering car shows I decided to really take an adventure and drive 10 hours to Boise, Idaho for Motorfest, Idaho's biggest car event of the year. I caravanned with 6 other cars from my club. The next 4 days were filled with nothing but total car fun. If you were entered in the show you could take part in 100 foot drag races, burn out contests, a fun run, and pony trail drive. All I can say is it was the most fun I'd had in a long time. On the last day of the event my club members and I volunteered to help with the drag races. I was lining cars up on the start line for one set of races and waiving the checkered flag for another. By the end of the drag races I was covered with little black burnt rubber bits and had practically gone deaf from the cars taking off the start line. It was awesome! Unfortunately, great memories, photos, and a cool T-shirt weren't the only things I brought home from this trip. I also brought home a $250 speeding ticket, my first in 4 years of Mustang ownership... I was due.
My Bullitt at a local car show in Redmond, WA
My next show would be my first time participating in a Mustang Club of America (MCA) Regional Judged Show, Mustangs Northwest's Mustang Round-up in Bellevue, WA. This would be the first time my car would be held to MCA's high standards. I showed up early which was good because hundreds of Mustangs were entered. This would be a two day show with Saturday being the main MCA judged show and Sunday a Show & Shine People's Choice event. My Mustang was classified as a "Daily Driver" which meant I wouldn't have to worry about the cleanliness of my undercarriage or of anything under my hood. I can honestly say having your Mustang judged by MCA's standards is like going through final inspection in the military. You watch as three people look over your vehicle checking every last nook and cranny. Two of them are looking over your vehicle, sometimes on their hands and knees, while the other holds a clip board making notes about your Mustang. You look at their faces for any indications that they've found something not up to par, a small piece of dirt left on the door latch, maybe a shoe scuff on the passenger door. At this point there is nothing more you can do. You know you've done all you can, you've polished and waxed, cleaned and dusted every inch of your Mustang. Beaming with pride you stand there waiting for any questions that might come your way, hoping you can sound witty and maybe score some brownie points for personality; the whole time knowing that is not possible. Then the time you've been anxiously waiting for comes, the award ceremony. You sit with your club mates just wanting to hear your name called, validating all your hard work and saying to everyone "Yes, you do have an awesome Mustang." In the end all the aches and pains from buffing and polishing, the cuts and scrapes from the edges of bumpers and sides of wheel wells, the bruises from running into the side of an open door or hitting your head on an open truck lid, are all worth it and you can't wait to do it again. By the end of my first MCA Judged Show was over I came away with a Silver (which I later discovered should have been a Gold) award. It was such a positive experience that in 2013 I will be attending an actual MCA National show in Reno, Nevada. And just in case you're wondering, yes I'll be driving my Bullitt the whole way there.
My Bullitt Car Show sign.
I ended the 2012 car show season having entered a total of 15 events all in the span of about 4 months. Three of those events required one or more night's stay at a hotel. One event put over 1,000 miles on my odometer and I spent a good 40 plus hours in the driver's seat. I have a great start on a car show t-shirt collection and 5 awards hanging on the wall in my garage that bring back great memories when I look at them. I've become the editor of my club's newsletter and I'm now serving as an elected 1 year board member. I've made at least 15 new friends and have met more than double that in terrific people, and let's not forget the awesome cars I've been lucky enough to see. My life has taken a complete 180 and it's all because I drive a Mustang. Ford never talks about all the social benefits that come standard when purchasing a Mustang, but I'm sure glad they do.
Betty looking her shiny best.