Presidents Report April 2013

francisFirstly, I need to talk about our March General Meeting - a Meeting with a difference! Merrylands RSL is in renovation mode so the Committee were delighted to accept an offer from Covercraft and Hills Mustangs to have the Meeting at their business premises. We gathered early - many coming along in their Mustang, at Hills Mustang for a casual BBQ followed by the Meeting in a vacant warehouse within the complex. Thanks to Michael, Brian, and Mick for putting on a night with a difference together. Hills Mustang generously donated product for the raffle and Mick presented me with a specially manufactured cover to fit onto the Club’s ramp trailer. Thank you too, to Terry, Mick’s Dad who is Head Detailer for McGuires, for doing an informative presentation of his professional work skills by detailing the bonnet of Mick’s car. If any member wishes to have a very professional detailing job done on their car, I strongly recommend that you make contact with Mick or Terry.

I commenced typing this Report from Perth. Jeanette and I, together with Warwick and Brenda Elliott from Canberra, and Joe and Bronwyn Capizzi from Sydney spent six days driving our Aussie version of Route 66 across Australia in our 2002 Cobra, Warwick and Brenda’s 2008 GT, with Joe and Bronwyn towing the magnificent 1970 modified Coupe in an enclosed trailer en route to the Mustang Nationals.

One of our Members, Peter Pring-Shambler, who lives in Wagga and is the Chief Engineer at the Temora Aircraft Museum, had organised for us to visit the Vintage Racing Services workshop of Dennis O’Brien and Craig Smith. What a treat! There on the floor was Dennis’ famous XYGT (many of us will remember this car in the hands of its earlier owner, flying very dramatically into a fence backwards at Bathurst in the 70’s), a couple of awesome race Galaxies, and a number of Mustangs that race in either the Muscle Car Masters and Historic Series around the country. Some of the cars have been race cars since new - the back seat in Dennis’ XYGT has probably never been sat on. Craig showed us the race motors that he builds and maintains. He explained the attention to detail and high quality components needed to keep a V8 engine running all day at 8,000RPM. We were most impressed - especially with the billet motors Craig had built which were putting out nearly 1,000 HP.

From Wagga, our little Mustang convoy headed South West, across the Hay Plains, finally arriving at the Murray River City of Mildura in the late afternoon. This town is the home of Larry Perkins and the Kelly car racing family and it has moved with the changing times. We enjoyed a few drinks and dinner in its excellent entertainment strip. Early next morning, with the Sun a huge red ball in the mirrors we commenced the journey in earnest! A good day’s motoring had us in the middle of Australia at the SA town of Wudinna. Onward we travelled in the gathering light the following day, making it into Ceduna by mid morning. Here the Great Australia Bight and the road run side by side. Then the Nullabor! They say it only rains out there 3 times a year - we were there on one of those days. You could see the pitch black sky for miles, but none of us were ready for the inundation that awaited us under that cloud. We were blinded by the rain and spray as we passed a road train coming from the opposite direction - frightening. In country WA we met up by chance with the Mustang folk from Qld and the large group from SA who had joined forces a day or so earlier. Tony Kilvington’s famous 1970 Boss had snapped thegear off its distributor and one of the SA Members had off loaded a full Concours Mach1 from his trailer for Tony to drive the remaining 1,500 km to the Nationals and then towed the Boss on the trailer all of the remaining journey - what a fantastic thing to do!

After 6 days of driving in a westerly direction and exploring the sights of our wonderful country, we arrived safely in Joondalup for the Nationals, joining our 2 National Delegates and a considerable group of our Members who flew over to Perth especially to participate in the Event.
Top marks must go to the WA Club’s Organising Committee for putting together a superbly managed event in an exceptional location! The memory of our own Newcastle Nationals is still fresh in my mind, it is a fact, that for an event to be an exceptional success it takes months of detailed planning. The Concours took place on Saturday at the local Ford dealership -21 Thoroughbred and Original vehicles and 2 Modified Mustangs were presented before the judges. Joe’s 1969 Coupe was the only entrant from NSW, and it was rewarded with a Silver trophy in the Modified Class! Congratulations Joe! The overall winning Mustang was a 1966 K code fastback belonging to Paul Shervington from Perth - an exceptional vehicle.

The Sunday Car Show was marketed strongly in the media and by a Mustang which was sign written all over and left parked in strategic places resulted in the show being well attended by the public. Over 200 Mustangs from 1964 through to a couple of 2013 models were displayed on the oval with lots more coming and going outside the gate. Many of these WA cars are restored to an exceptionally high level. The World’s fastest car was on display - the mighty 1,500KPH jet engine car belonging to a local - Rosco McGlassion. Rosco himself was there, happy to have a chat and have his picture taken in front of his monster vehicle.

I am delighted that the new Chapters in both Newcastle and the Central Coast are being enthusiastically patronised and driven by the Members in those areas. Remember we meet for dinner on the second Wednesday of each month alternatively in Newcastle at Wests and at The Entrance at Diggers. April Meeting is at Diggers. Everyone is welcome to join us.

There is much discussion about 2014 - the 50th Birthday of the Mustang. Gradually plans and offers are taking shape for tours and adventures to either of the 2 venues - Las Vegas or Charlotte NC - more next month in this magazine.

Finally, a special welcome to the New Members! The Committee joins me in welcoming you to the Club, now in its successful 32nd year. We hope that you take every opportunity to use and enjoy your Mustang

David Francis