50th Anniversary Dinner - 12th April 2014
At the end of last year the NSW Branch of the Mustang Club was contacted, via our Events Co-ordinator Alan Vella, to be part of the worldwide reveal of the new Mustang destined to be released in 2015.
This was very special as the vehicle was flown out to Sydney under cover and revealed in the middle of the night to coincide time-wise in a simulcast with Shanghai, Barcelona, New York, Detroit and Los Angeles.
It then had a few photo ops around Sydney Harbour the following morning, then flown back to the US.
It was indeed an honour to be part of this as a club and, of course, as a member.
The unique aspect of the forthcoming model is that for the first time it will be a truly global car, being manufactured by Ford North America in right hand drive form.
The global reveal was a top secret event as Ford did not want anyone to see the car before the reveal but since then it has been plastered all over the media both here and across the world.
Adding huge interest to the new model is the golden anniversary of the marque.
Very few vehicular nameplates last 50 years in continuous production, the most recent being the Falcon but even that will be coming to an end in 2016.
Yes, the Corvette began production in 1953 but did not produce a model in 1983 breaking the continuity.
The longest running model is the Chev Suburban first being built in 1935.
Anyway, I digress.
Following the reveal our relationship was strengthened when we were contacted again to assist Ford Australia is making the 50th Birthday something special, as it should be.
Ford Australia's media management team, Imagination, were in charge of making this happen, just as they did for the Global Reveal.
If you have ever worked with a media organisation they have no idea of timeframes and their ideas are "very fluid".
They assume everyone is waiting for them snap their fingers and we would come running, or driving, and we had no details until the last minute. Having said that both events went off very well.
Their ideas of what was going to happen changed frequently as some of them were not approved by various authorities such as the Police and the RMS.
One plan was a convoy of over 100 Mustangs driving across the Sydney Harbour Bridge very early on Saturday morning, but unfortunately that was quashed.
Finally the day came and after hours of organisation by Peter, with communications assistance from Phil Preston, we had a plan.
17 Mustangs met at Fox Studios, Moore Park at 6am for breakfast, a photo op and then to be spilt into 2 groups to drive to various iconic locations around Sydney while being interviewed, filmed and photographed.
I was lucky enough to have TV and Radio presenter, Lizzie Lovett, in the Shelby for a drive over the Sydney Harbour Bridge (not in convoy!) to McMahon's Point for some photos and an interview with the SHB and Opera House as the backdrop.
The weather was good at this stage but soon turned foul.
We then drove to Bondi Beach for more interviews and a photo, unfortunately in the rain, but when you see the final video this doesn't seem to be a problem.
After 4 hours of this we drove back to Moore Park to meet over 100 other Mustanger enthusiasts for another photo shoot.
This one was a bit different with us being directed to park within string lines on the ground.
Much like crop circles, or the Nazca Lines in Peru (Google it!), they didn't make sense until you saw it from high above.
This was achieved with a very sophisticated hovering drone that took video and photos from about 100 metres.
Following this, and again in the rain, all 100 plus Mustangs headed back to Fox Studios and put on a stunning display amongst the backdrops and sets used in movie and TV shows.
The rain cleared and we were fed again and treated to a lovely chocolate cake sporting the 50th Anniversary logo.
It was a long day but a once in a lifetime experience.
Thank you to the huge effort by Peter Cooke and Phil Preston, and to all the members who attended, including some new members and some we haven't seen for a long time.