Forecasts of rain didn't hinder spirit of the group as they gathered in Old Sacramento for the first Mustangs Across America sanctioned event since 1996. Meeting up to head south on the Knotts Drive, 12 cars arrived on the cobblestone streets amid a rumble of both vintage and late model exhaust. Long distance award goes out to Stephen Wysock from Huntsville, AL The group held a short driver's meeting discussing the immediate route to the freeway and a few of the intricacies to convoy driving. After a few pictures, the Mustangs fired up and the CB chatter began.
The drive south went smoothly as the pace car, Mustang One driven by Sam Haymart, was equipped with a GPS receiver and laptop computer to monitor progress and accurately measure speed. The pace was set at 70mph which is the speed limit on I-5. The schedule was set up loosely such that out group arrived to each rendezvous point early. Our first stop was the Westley Rest Area where we met up with Mustangs from various parts of the Bay Area. Among those were Ken Sousa, Lynette White, Gary Hanson, and Derek from www.westcoastfords.com, trailering his FOBRA R. Back on the road, our first casualty of the day was Linda Chavez who had a flat on her 2002 Roush Mustang. They already had a tow service on hand to assist when we came upon them.
The next stop was at the Santa Nella rest area south of Hwy 152 where Mustangs from the south bay joined us including Chuck Brown, Kev Ewert of www.fnsweet.com and Mario Sousa. With the group now approaching 30 cars we head south and talk on the CB….."Where are the happy California Cheese cows?"………."They are in the wine country…..these are angry California Hamburger cows"……Kettleman city comes on the heels of that conversation where most of us go to In-N-Out Burger for lunch. After eating, part of the group moves on ahead, while the rest of us stage up on the frontage road to embark once again. Mario Sousa realizes he left his show credentials at home, and calls his brother to Fed Ex them to the hotel. Headlights string on back into the horizon on a day with relatively light traffic, thus far.
At Grapevine Tony Sousa from La Verna, CA met up with us while we stopped for a quick gas and grab. We then headed up the mountain pass at a reduced pace. In Valencia a couple cars got involved in a minor fender bender in stop and go traffic. Frayed nerves and a small amount of damage, but everyone is OK. Coming down the hill Ariel Salazar from Areleta meets up with the convoy at the 405 freeway, just before all gets blurred. Traffic on I-5 from Burbank to Buena park took nearly three hours to wade through at an average speed of 5-8 mph. Luckily the ambient temperature was about 70 and the only overheating incident we had was Kev Ewert's 2001 Roush Mustang. This was a result of a loose hose which extinguished his coolant. Luckily for him a CHP rescue vehicle was right behind him to help out. Lynette White also got a flat tire in the midst of the traffic jam and was aided by fellow Mustangs to get her back on the road. By 5:30 everyone had arrived and within two hours were sitting back at a restaurant enjoying a good meal.
Saturday's activities took a group of about seven of us up to LA to tour the Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire Blvd. The event organized by allfordmustangs.com then took us on a fun run down through the beach cities or Huntington and Newport. After the drudgery of Friday's traffic, a nice top-down cruise along the beaches was a great release. The group stopped at a few locations along the way to take photos of the cars by the beach. The cruise continued through Newport Beach and back up to Buena Park, ending at an impromptu show and shine at Wild Bills Dinner Theater. Just in time for the show!
Sunday's Knotts Fab Fords Show was one of the best ever with some 1600 cars - over 1000 Mustangs. Ford, Shelby, Saleen and Roush had displays with the hottest new cars. Ford of course was rolling out the 100 Anniversary theme with a cavalcade of cars in the center pavilion which represented selected cars all throughout their history.
We are glad to say that this MAA event was very successful. Our special thanks goes to the John, Scott and Mark with the gang over at www.allfordmustangs.com for all their help and assistance, the members of Bay Area Mustang Association, www.fnsweet.com, and the Sacramento Area Mustang Club for rallying the Mustangs to attend. Our events are what they are because everyone works as a team!