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At the risk of plagiarizing Charles

Dickens, this is the tale of two Mus-

tang meets separated by nearly 500

miles; but they are very similar in

many other respects. They were cre-

ated at almost the same time, over 30

years ago. They each cover three-day

time spans, and both featuring cruises,

special programs, vendors and the

obligatory commemorative t-shirts.

They are, however, somewhat different

in scope and target audience.

Last spring, SAAC member Mark

Hovander from Seattle began sending

out email notices to owners of early

Shelby Mustangs in the region. These

emails went to enthusiasts throughout

Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western

Canada and as far away as Bozeman,

Montana. His goal was to break a

record for the most early Shelby Mus-

tangs gathered together by the Wash-

ington SAAC region. The meet was to

celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the

introduction of the Shelby GT350.

Ironically, Hovander’s pristine and

historically significant 5S003 was

being prepped for Pebble Beach and

was unavailable to make the meet. To

his credit, however, he was able to as-

semble a number of rare and out-

standing examples of the marque.

The early Shelby gathering was

held as part of the annual Mustang

Roundup and All-Ford Picnic, which

has been billed as “The World’s

Largest Annual Gathering of Mus-

tangs.” This year the event was held

July 16th through the 19th and per-

haps naively, I was expecting three

days of associating with like-minded

early Shelby owners and swapping

stories. Unfortunately for me, for the

first two days this was not the case.

Day One of the Roundup was the

cruise but it turned out to be more like

an automotive marathon. It started

from Bellevue Community College (in

Bellevue, Washington), proceeded

through the Cascade Mountains over

the pass to Leavenworth (a replica of

a Bavarian village) and culminated in

the historical and scenic town of

Roslyn, where the opening scene of the

television show “Northern Exposure”

was filmed. In Roslyn, group photos

were taken and everyone made their

way back to Bellevue individually. The

tour was about 150 road miles and

took about three hours (not including

stops). Of the 200-plus cars involved in

the cruise the only early Shelby to par-

ticipate was Lyle Cigler (6S137).

Whether it was the heat, the length of

the cruise or some other factor, it was

disappointing not to have more early

Shelby Mustangs on the scenic cruise.


Winter 2016 67

– Text & photos by Mike Wright