Mustang Across America 2004
In memoriam Tony Sousa
© Gary Hanson, last updated on January 14th, 2005
All pictures courtesy Gary Hanson
review of T-5 registry owner Gary Hanson
A group of dedicated Mustangs drivers’ convergered on the small town of Ontario California for the long awaited trip to the Mustang Club of America’s 40th Anniversary show held at the Nashville Superspeedway. The weather was good and at exactly 8AM the group of about 70 Mustangs headed east to the first rest stop near the desert town of Barstow. They were met by another 4 early Mustangs waiting at the rest stop. The group of Mustangs headed east on I-40 stopping for the first nights stop at the town of Flagstaff Arizona. The Mustang count was now about 80 cars. This part of the trip closely follows historic Route 66.
The next day the group continued on I-40 toward the second nights stop at the town of Santa Rosa New Mexico. The weather continued to be warm and more Mustangs joined the group as we passed each big city.
day from Santa Rosa to Mustang Oklahoma featured a lunch stop at John Chandler
Ford in Amarillo Texas. They
cleared out the showroom and front lot and served a great lunch to all those
driving on the caravan. The
dealership was very cooperative in helping Mustangs in need of minor repairs.
But all good things must end and the group now about 110 cars headed
east again on I-40 to Mustang Oklahoma.
now at about 150 cars left at exactly 8AM headed to Little Rock for the last
night. This day like the others was about 425 miles.
With a caravan this large Mustangs were traveling in about 50 mile path
of I-40. Many truckers and other
cars would pass and give a big thumbs up and node their approval of so many
nice Mustangs traveling together. Even
the Highway Patrol was impressed. Upon
arrival in Little Rock the local Ford dealer hosted a very nice dinner and
show for all the special Mustangs. As
in previous citys they provided minor repair for those Mustangs that need
The last morning saw about 250 Mustangs headed to Nashville. With a special police escort we were able to connect to I-40 and were soon on our way. The group stopped in Memphis for lunch and then moved on toward our final destination of Nashville and the big show. The show was everything you would expect and more.
Mustang Across America had a final dinner for all participants on Sunday evening. The special guest speaker was Art Hyde from Ford. Art is the project manager for the 2005 Mustang and he gave many interesting insights into the development and marketing of the latest and greatest Mustang. It was an evening to remember.
The trip was a nice mix of early Mustangs and of later Mustangs. The early cars continue to have mechanical problems not encountered by the later models. Problems continue to be charging systems, dirty fuel filters, clutch failures, cooling problems and even total engine shutdowns. It is becoming very difficult to keep 40 year old cars at the level of repair required to make such a long trip.
Modified Mustangs continue to grow at the expense of the early stock
models. This is a trend started
several years ago and looks at if it will continue.
Most of these modifications are done well.
thoughts: Sam Haymart and Tony Sousa did a great job in organizing the
trip and are to be given congratulations for a job well done.
A trip of this complexity is a series of endless details and decisions.
They did everything right. The
trip was filmed by a crew of The Travel Channel and was a feature story
sometime. Car counts are
estimates only; it was difficult to get accurate counts each day.
It was a great trip!