As I write this less than a week before the Mustang’s 49th anniversary on April 17, I’m enjoying a rare break from the usual pressures of magazine travel and deadlines. So while the summer show onslaught is still a few weeks away and I’m awaiting the publisher’s green light to start on this year’s edition of our annual Shelby SIP (single issue publication), I’m taking advantage of the welcomed breather to catch up on phone calls and emails, plan out future issues, and attempt to get ahead with writing assignments because I know it won’t last. I have to think of it as the calm before the storm.
The months ahead are going to be hectic as we cruise toward next year’s Mustang 50th anniversary activities. For me, the craziness starts in a couple of weeks with a trip to ShelbyFest, followed by the usual June madness with back-to-back weekends at the Ford Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and the Mid America Ford and Shelby Nationals in Oklahoma. By then, I’ll be hot and heavy into this year’s Shelby SIP, which typically requires a summertime trek to Las Vegas to visit with John Luft, Gary Patterson, Gary Davis, and the rest of the Shelby American gang to gather photos and material. Usually, the completion of the Shelby SIP in mid September allows me to catch up on my Mustang Monthly duties before heading to the SEMA Show in November, but something tells me I’ll be involved with another SIP—with “50th Anniversary” on the cover—by fall.
In the middle of all that, my latest book project—the Ford-licensed Mustang: 50 Years—arrives in October to erase any thoughts of enjoying a little down-time before the holidays.
Then, with the drop of the New Year’s Eve ball at Times Square, we’ll ring in 2014 and start the countdown to the biggest party in Mustang history. The Mustang’s 50th Anniversary promises to be big, not only in terms of attendance at the Mustang Club of America’s 50th Mustang Birthday Celebrations in Charlotte and Las Vegas, but also in terms of exposure for our favorite car in the national (and international) news media. In fact, today’s Tampa Bay Times includes an article, picked up from the Detroit Free Press, which touts the Mustang’s 50th anniversary. And we’re still nearly a year away!
Of course, many of next year’s Mustang shows will carry a 50th anniversary theme, but this celebration will transcend the usual Mustang events. I’ve already learned that the prestigious Amelia Island Concours will feature Mustangs at its March 2014 show in Florida.
Ford has also released the official Mustang 50th Anniversary logo along with news that 50 companies have been approved to produce special apparel and merchandise for the milestone. And let’s not forget that Ford will introduce a totally new ’15 Mustang around the same time, an occasion that will spark plenty of hoopla all its own.
Something tells me that my short respite is not going to be nearly enough to prepare me for the coming months.