Society of Mustangers
While preparing a customer’s ’68 Mustang for a restoration, R&A Motorsports’ Jeff Yergovich was surprised to find an intact owner’s packet in the glove compartment. Inside, along with the owner’s manual and warranty facts booklet, he found a pamphlet and payment envelope for the Society of Mustangers, a Ford-promoted “club” for Mustang owners.
According to an article we found from the SOM’s The Mustanger magazine, the organization started as a marketing idea between Ford and its advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson. As Editor David Abodaher stated, “It is not a club in the strict sense of the word. Simply stated, it is a strongly knit clan of in people whose conviction that they owned a car that is ‘something special’ drew them together. They have no constitution or by-laws. They have no officers. They do pay $2 per year for membership.”
Abodaher goes on to say that the SOM was implemented “about the time the millionth Mustang came off the assembly line,” which would have been around February 1966. Within the first year, it had 75,000 members.
Unlike the National Council of Mustang Clubs, which promoted active organizations around the country with support by local Ford dealers, the SOM was more of a marketing program to gain more knowledge about Mustang buyers. SOM members received quarterly issues of The Mustanger magazine, membership card, discounted hotel rates, and “red carpet treatment at night spots and restaurants.”
The SOM program ran at least into the 1968 model year but we’re not sure when it was disbanded. If anyone has more information about the Society of Mustangers, we’d love to hear from you. Write us at email@example.com or 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619.
First R-Model Undergoing Restoration
Shelby American’s first G.T. 350 race car, 5R002, is being restored to its original condition in time for the Mustang’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2014. Owner John Atzbach has hired Thoroughbred Restorations in Piedmont, Oklahoma, to perform the restoration project.
5R002 was born out of a 1964 assignment from Ford that Shelby build a performance Mustang for the B/Production class in Sports Car Club of America competition. In its first year of participation, 5R002 created a name for itself as a premier race car, racking up first or second place finishes in at least 14 races, including its debut in Green Valley, Texas, on February 14, 1965, when it was driven to victory by Ken Miles. In its prime, 5R002 was featured in the film Shelby Goes Racing with Ford and graced the cover of Road & Track.
“This car was a race car with a very significant race history,” said Atzbach, who purchased 5R002 in 2010. “Its success on the racetrack not only helped Shelby sell thousands of G.T. 350s, but more importantly it helped Ford sell literally millions of Mustangs using the proven approach of “win on Sunday, sell on Monday.”
Last fall, the car arrived at Thoroughbred Restorations where owner John Brown began disassembly while painstakingly documenting every part of the car. A website has been created at www.5r002.com to document the restoration process.
Shelby American has added the Raptor truck to its line of upgraded Ford performance vehicles. Shelby announced the ’13 Shelby Raptor, with 575 horsepower, during the New York International Auto Show in March.
Mustang 50th Anniversary merchandise is already available from Ford at www.shopmustangfifty.com.
MRT near Detroit has announced they are now an authorized distributor for the full line of performance parts from Ford Racing. Contact MRT at 734/455-5807 or www.mrt-direct.com.
A 2013 Shelby GT 500 prepared by Houston’s Fastlane reached 191 mph in The Texas Mile. “We are very pleased with the speed we were able to achieve at The Texas Mile,” said Nick Field, co-owner of Fastlane. “Our modifications worked perfectly. I’d like to see what we could do with the 14,000-foot benchmark that Ford used to achieve 200 mph.”
Die-cast model manufacturer Automodello has been selected as one of the 50 licensees chosen by Ford to produce Mustang 50th anniversary merchandise. Their first product will be a die-cast of the ’62 Mustang I two-seater concept.
Mustangs Across America is restoring a ’95 Mustang GT to replicate the brand-new Laser Red ’95 Mustang GT that led the California to North Carolina caravan for the 30th Anniversary Drive in 1994. The restored car will serve as the pace car for the 50th Anniversary Drive in April 2014.
Motorbooks has a new website at www.motorbooks.com that makes it easier to search for books by make and model. With over 30 Mustang and Shelby titles listed, it’s a great place to find automotive books.
And speaking of books, Mustang Monthly Editor Donald Farr’s updated version of Mustang Boss 302: From Racing Legend to Modern Muscle Car, with the ’13 Boss 302 added, is scheduled for publication by Motorbooks in September.
We’ve also learned that Farr’s latest book, Mustang: 50 Years, will be offered in a German translation.