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POSTED: May 31, 2011 2:06 p.m.

In Richmond Hill and the surrounding areas, there are several members of a Mustang Club. Although the Mustang is a commercial product, it has created hundreds of clubs across America.
These Mustang Clubs are meeting places that serve a civic purpose for families and friends to get together and enjoy the fellowship and exchange community ideas.
First, however, I believe it is fitting to share a bit of history of the Mustang legacy.
Lido Anthony Iacocca, who was an engineer and the son of an emigrant from Italy, was the general manager of the Ford division of Ford Motor Co. He is better known as the father of the Mustang. According to his autobiography, many debates took place over several months in the Ford Division before production of the new model could get under way.
The most difficult part was convincing Henry Ford to accept whole idea. A name had to be selected as well, which always is a difficult but important phase, according to Iacocca. There were several doubting toms.
Iacocca realized that there had to be a change in the automotive industry. There had to be a car to satisfy three basic requirements: great sporty styling, strong performance and a low price. The conception of the car had to represent young America, and it had to have a name that would define this young group of Americans.
And so, in the end, the name “Mustang” was chosen because it was the name of the famed World War II P51 fighter plane, not the wild horse.
Oddly enough, however, the horse was chosen as the symbol, because, as one ad agency said, “It had the excitement of wide-open spaces and was American as hell.”
On March 9, 1964, the first Mustang rolled off the assembly line at a price of $2,368.
Not long afterward, sales were so great that Mustang Clubs formed all over America. When any model of a car rates the forming of fan clubs, it proves everything positive that is said about the car.
One of these fan clubs, the Savannah Mustang Club, met April 30 on Abercorn Drive. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, a perfect day for the outing, and I was fortunate to have been there. Quietly, one by one, the members rolled in and found parking spaces until the meeting place was filled with different breeds of Mustangs. Some people lifted the hoods for interested buffs.
The earliest model I saw was a 1965 with the 289-V8 engine. It had been reconditioned and made roadworthy. The proud owner had the hood up for public viewing.
He said when he bought the vehicle, many people considered it just another used car. But to him, it had a meaning, a representation of value and it was a successful product made in America. It is a treasure trove and a collector’s item.
I talked to one person who said he had been a member since 1999. He said the location was a temporary meeting place and that from there, they would proceed to Port Wentworth, where they would have dinner at a local restaurant.
Mustang Club members usually talk, laugh, tell jokes and exchange notes. It is a fun event and a family organization that occurs about three or four times a year.

Bond lives in Richmond Hill and can be reached at fsb007@aol.com.

In addition to all the fun, enjoyment and fellowship, they travel to national events. One objective of the club is to make donations to the Ronald McDonald House and to other benevolent organizations.
Francis Bond lives in Richmond Hill and can be reached at fsb007@aol.com.

 

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