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By Ron Bramlett
January, 2008

MCA Approves Restomod Class

With right at 12,000 members worldwide and over 175 Regional Mustang Clubs as satellites, the Mustang Club of America (MCA) is the largest and the most respected Mustang club in the world. Since their first gathering at Stone Mountain in Atlanta, Georgia in 1976, the MCA has made it their goal to preserve the Ford Mustang and today is recognized by the Mustang community as a leading authority on all Mustangs from Classics, Late Models and Current Models. Having a Mustang win a Gold award at one of the 6 National MCA Shows that the MCA host each year let's everyone know that your Mustang is one of the best Mustangs of its type in the world. This is something that the owner of that Mustang can be very proud of and that adds a lot of additional value to that Mustang should the owner decide to sell it in the open market or at auction.

The MCA's past effort to document the Classic Mustangs as to the way they were built by Ford workers and delivered to their first owners, has given the Mustang a rich heritage that will live on for many generations to come. But, as time changes, so does the hobby. In past years, nobody could conceive exactly how the Mustang hobby would grow. So, to help make a place for every Mustang in the MCA, the MCA has added classes to give Restomod Mustangs, as well as a couple of other speciality built Mustangs, a place of their own at MCA shows.

I can remember back in the early 1980's when striving to put your 15 to 18 year old 1965 Mustang back to stock was considered the only way to go. Even if it was a 6 cylinder with no major options. Many Mustang clubs, including many of those that Cindy and I belonged to, always used "modified" MCA Judging Rules to judge the Mustangs that came to the shows. This was because the MCA had done the ground work to put down on paper what was considered correct for those "old" Mustangs. 25 years later, those findings are still being used and as new Mustangs continue to roll off the production lines, new findings, or rules for the class, are being written today. These rules will have a greater effect on the Mustang hobby in years to come when the new Mustangs of today are not new and pristine. Then they can be judged to the way the cars were when new as the Classic, and Late Model Mustangs are able to be judged at MCA shows today. It's because the MCA has gathered this information in the past, and continues to gather this information today, that the Mustang hobby will have a future tomorrow.

As I said earlier in this article, at their annual Judges Meeting, the MCA voted to add a few new classes and "Restomod" was voted in as one of the new classes. Although everything has not been committed to paper yet, the way I understand the new Restomod Class will work is as a participants choice class for 1965 to 1973 Mustangs where only the other persons who have a Mustang in the Restomod Class will be able to vote. This is in true Restomod tradition as all of the shows we hold here at Mustangs Plus and most others that I've attended all over the United States have always been voted on in this way. Participants choice. Writing rules as to what is correct and what is not correct for Restomod Mustangs would be a tough job, if not impossible. Right?

While the vast majority of us agree that to Restomod a Boss 429 would be crazy, to take a garden variety 6 cylinder or 8 cylinder stripped down Mustang and give it a new life as a cool Restomod Mustang is fantastic! This part of the Mustang hobby gives life to many such Mustangs that would once be used for nothing more than parts for another project or that would be crushed and turned into steel storage drums or some other such item. And nobody who loves Mustangs wants to see that happen! Every day, Mustang hobbyist are taking those forgotten Mustangs and giving them a new, more refined and exciting restoration! But, unlike what is usually considered a "modified" Mustang, it's not all about horsepower and going faster. It's about updating them to drive more like a Mustang of today and to be safer; more comfortable, have more conveniences and to give them a little more luxury. It's about using new products, many of which are produced especially for Restomod Mustangs, to improve your Classic Mustang. Tell your insurance salesman that you're building a modified Mustang and he won't like it; tell him you're building a Restomod Mustang that drives better and is safer then stock and he'll love it! You get the picture.

We're glad the MCA has added the Restomod Class to it's classes. My personal opinion is that once people bring their Restomod Mustangs out to an MCA show, they will be hooked! And that's good for our hobby. The Mustang hobby!

 

Thanks For Making It A Success, We'll Take Over Now!

I write this piece for Restomod News, I'm going to try hard not to let my personal feelings come through. I'm going to try to report what is happening accurately and not slant the facts one way or the other. The reason that I'm doing this is because I am wanting you to understand what is really happening and for you to go to the website I'm going to give you and read for yourself the same thing I'm reading now so you can make your own mind up as to how you feel about what is happening. So, here goes.

In a November 25, 2007 press release from SAAC, which we all have known for the past 33 years as the "Shelby American Automobile Club", Ken Eber, Rick Kopec and Howard Pardee announced that Carroll Shelby "will not be renewing SAAC's Licensing Agreement to use his name in conjunction with the operation of the club" and that, "Among other things, Shelby has demanded the handing over of all documents regarding the registry of all Shelby vehicles by SAAC since January 1, 1996". These are the exact words, in quotations, from the SAAC press release of the above date. This demand for all the SAAC documents is real as is shown by a letter sent to SAAC from Shelby's attorney which SAAC has put a link to in their press release. You can view both the press release and the letter on the SAAC website at www.saac.com. Please go and read everything for yourself while you still can as this website address may not be a good address in the near future.

Also effected will be all of the SAAC Regional Shelby clubs. The agreement between SAAC and Carroll Shelby Licensing, Inc. will expire on January 31, 2008 and with it, SAAC, as well as all of their regional Shelby clubs such as the Nor Cal Shelby Club here in northern California of which I have been a proud member for many, many years, will all have to change their names and not include "Shelby" in them.

But it doesn't end there. On November 16, 2007, Carroll Hall Shelby Trust filed an application to trademark "SAAC" as their trademark for many different items such as booklets, directories, photographic prints, beer, earthenware, glass and porcelain mugs, clothing, toys, automobile dealerships, conducting automobile trade shows, on-line retail store services, key cases and more, all in the field of Shelby automobiles. If this trademark is approved, SAAC will not be able to keep this title. Carroll Shelby will demand that his name, as well as his trademark, SAAC, be removed from all existing websites and club names. So their website, as well as all other Shelby clubs which are going to cease to be Shelby clubs, will have to remove "Shelby" and "SAAC" from their names and website addresses.

As I told you in the first paragraph, I'm trying not to let my personal feelings come through into my writing. But it's hard, very hard, not to. Only time will tell how this works out for all parties. And yes, I do feel that my title is appropriate. After all, it is exactly what is happening, isn't it?

 

Restomods In Reno 2008 Is In The Planning Stages

As I write this, we are in the planning stages for the 2008 Restomods In Reno! We've received many inquires as to whether Restomods In Reno will happen in 2008 and we are working hard to make it happen.

As you may remember, in 2005 and 2006, we held Restomods In Reno in Reno at the Reno Hilton. The Reno Hilton gave us great rates on the rooms, of which we filled almost 700 of for the show, and helped us get a reasonable price on their buffet and a very nice banquet room for our Awards Banquet on Saturday night. But, in 2007, the Reno Hilton was sold and the new owners almost doubled the cost. So, after talking to many people who had attended the past shows and finding out that they would not be attending because of the cost, we moved the 2007 show to Mustangs Plus. We had a wonderful show, but as many people said, "It's not Reno!" So we have been looking for a way to get back to Reno for 2008!

So, keep reading Restomod Magazine and we'll have all of the information, including the entry forms, in a future issue. Hopefully, we'll see you there!

 

Mini Nats 2008 a Milestone

I'm giving you early warning. Mark Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 29th, 30th and 31st, on you calendar for Mini Nats XXV! The NorCal Shelby Club (it's still OK to use "Shelby" in their name as of the date I'm writing this!) will host the event at Thunderhill Raceway Park in Willows, California. Thunderhill is a great race track that is located around 75 miles north of Sacramento on Interstate 5. Easy to get to, no traffic problems, and great people in Willows that always take good care of us. What more could you ask for, right?

Mini Nats 2008 is a milestone as it will be the 25th Mini Nats held. I know the club will be doing everything they can to make this a special event that you won't want to miss. So be sure to mark the 29th through the 31st of August on your calendar and plan to come!

 

Welcome To Our New Writers

I would like to welcome our new writers to Restomod Magazine. I have known each one personally for several years and know their passion for the Ford Mustang. They represent the future of our hobby and their insights will be of interest to us all. Be sure to read their columns on pages 26 and 27 and get to know them!

 

Until Next Time,
Happy Restomod'n! -Ron