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MAA Events: 1996 Vegas to Atlanta Drive

Mustang rally draws big local crowd on way to Atlanta

By SHAE DODSON, Amarillo Globe-News Staff Writer, August 1996

They got their motors runnin' (from Las Vegas, Nev.).
They headed down the highway (Route 66). They were lookin' for adventure in whatever came their way.
No, there wasn't a Steppenwolf concert in town, but about 40 vintage Ford Mustangs stampeded into Amarillo on Sunday evening en route to the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Mustang Club of America in Atlanta.
The adventure: Mustangs Across America Tour, 1996.
Tomorrow's pit stop: Mustang, Okla. Members of the Texas Panhandle Mustang Club drove their classics to the celebration, and hundreds of local Mustang fans cruised out to the John Chandler Ford dealership to gear into the muscle-car nostalgia. Judy Chubon of Modesto, Calif., owns a Wimbledon White 1967 convertible with 309,000 miles on it. ``I chose the Mustang because it had class. It had chrome. It's fun. It's recognized,'' Chubon said. ``I looked at the new cars, and my little heart just didn't go pitter-patter. ``I drive it to work every day, and I park in a public parking lot,'' she said. ``It's my grocery-getter; it's my everything. It goes through mud; it goes through snow. It's simple to work on, and it's basic - no computers or other fancy stuff. It just keeps on going.'' Richard Gamboa, of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., said this tour is his third cross-country trek with the MCA. He is the original owner of a Twilight Turquoise 1964-1/2 six-cylinder Mustang. ``We just wanted a sports car, and this is more of a working-man's car,'' Gamboa said. Ricky Simmons, an MCA board member, said the organization was established in 1976. Today, with 12,000 members, it is the largest single one-car club in the world, Simmons said. Simmons recalled that President Clinton showed up at the 30th anniversary celebration of the Ford Mustang at Charlottesville, N.C., in 1994. ``We're probably the only club in America that's ever had the president show up at a show,'' he said. ``Clinton and (Speaker of the House) Newt Gingrich are invited to this year's show in Atlanta.'' Sam Haymart, of Sacramento, Calif., organized the event. He said the turnout at Amarillo has been the most impressive thus far. ``This is way more than we ever expected,'' he said. ``The thing about Mustang is you can go out and talk to any one of these people, and you'll find people that are very wealthy, people that aren't wealthy, people that are white-collar or blue-collar. It appeals to everybody because it's a car you can take to the country club on Friday, you can take it to the races on Saturday, and you can take it to church on Sunday, and that's the truth."



• MAA Alumni planning 2007 Caravan drive to Mustang, OK for the MCA National show in April!

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