Contributed by Russ Muller Photography
Spending a Saturday in St. Augustine is always fun thing to do. There are all sorts of interesting, unique, historical things to explore and experience. I’ve walked and driven across the Bridge of Lions more times than I can count, I’ve toured Flagler College and the Castillo de San Marco, and I’ve been to the top of the lighthouse several times. So when I first heard about a Mustang show in St. Augustine, going was a no-brainer. Even if the show was a dud, I could stop by Mojo Old City Barbecue for brisket and the trip would be worthwhile. Good news, this show was no dud…
The Jacksonville Mustang Club hosted their 2nd Mustang Club of America national show, The Ancient City National, April 15th-17th on the beautiful grounds of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Founded in 1883, the school is now the largest of its kind in the United States, with 47 buildings spread out across 82 picturesque acres. The legendary Ray Charles is one of their more noteworthy alumni.
I attended the Saturday car show/judging. There were over 360 pre-registered cars, and each of the six generations of Mustangs was well-represented. Much to my pleasant surprise, the often-overlooked Mustang II had a noticeable presence, with at least 4 in attendance. One of my favorites was a white and blue ’77 Cobra II, just like Farrah Fawcett used to drive on Charlie’s Angels. You don’t see many Mustang IIs anymore. Sadly, they never seemed to earn collector car status and finding nice ones is getting to be very difficult.
This seems like a good time to admit something. I’m a bit of a skeptic. Anytime I see “National” in a show title, in the back of my mind a little voice is saying “is it really a national show, or is that just a way to make the show sound bigger?” This show was the real deal. I saw cars from Florida of course, but I saw license plates from Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Ohio just to name a few. There was a gorgeous ’66 coupe with Utah plates on it. That was my choice for the long distance award…
Carroll Shelby would have had one heck of a stroll down memory lane at this show. From the stunning black ’68 GT500 KR to the orange ’08 Super Snake, his legacy was all over the show field. There were GT350s and GT500s from the ‘60’s and the 2000’s. Here’s a fun bit of trivia I learned: When the 428 Cobra Jet was installed in the 1968 GT500, it became a GT500KR, which stood for “King of the Road.”
I don’t think there was any type of Mustang missing from this show. Mach 1 hardtops and convertibles, GTs, Boss 302s, SVOs, Saleens, California Specials, Shelbys, Roushes of every stage, Bullitts, even a jaw-dropping beautiful ’70 Boss 429. New, old, and everything in between was here. This was the largest Mustang show I have attended, and my only regret is that I didn’t stay for the whole weekend.
I have to applaud the Jacksonville Mustang Club for putting on a truly first-rate show. The event was organized and well laid out. The location was fantastic. The DJ played lots of great music (one lady approached me and commented that I looked like I was having such a good time, shooting pictures and singing along to the music. I was). Finding a space for nearly 400 cars to exhibit in St. Augustine is nearly impossible, but they managed to do it and do it well. Thanks for a great event!
If you’d like to see more of my photos from the event, you can find them on Facebook HERE.