National Convention 2001
The 22nd National Mustang Convention was hosted by the Manawatu Mustang Club in Palmerston North on 19-22 Oct. There was a fabulous turn out of 115 cars and over 200 people, which made it the biggest ever NZ Mustang convention. For a press clipping click here
The convention began with registration on
although many owners had spent much of the day cleaning and polishing their
cars and delivering them to the Rainbow Stadium show venue ready for the next day.
The conference venue at the Quality Inn was booked out, and the hotel car park
was flooded with Mustangs all weekend. Registration began at the hotel at 6.30
pm, and the MMOC members were kept busy registering the 200 + delegates that
were in Palm North for the event.
Early Saturday morning the hotel car park roared into life as the remaining cars were progressively driven out to the venue. The car show was ready for the public by the 10 am open time. The car displays were fabulous, and turn out from the public very pleasing in spite of the less than optimal weather conditions; in fact the venue had to be kept open an extra half hour to cater for the demand. A total $796 was raised for the child cancer foundation from the public entry fees to the show.
On the Saturday evening an American hot dog and video evening was held, with classic Mustang movies including "Bullitt", and "Gone in 60 Seconds" proving appropriately popular ..especially the car chase scenes!!
On Sunday, the whole convention created an impressive convoy as the cars drove out to the Ohakea airbase near Bulls, for a fun day of car driving skills. The MMOC had marked out a course on the end of the runway, using red cones. The course included short and long sprints, several backing and parking sections, a slalom section, ball rolling and throwing, a figure 8 "Donut" section, and some other activities. For those members who tried out the course it was huge fun, but just on midday activities were abruptly cut short by heavy rain. After a box lunch, members drifted back to the hotel, with most stopping in for a look at the interesting Ohakea Airforce Museum.
evening was of course the prize giving and dinner/dance. The event theme was
"outer space", and all who attended were blown away by the incredible costumes on display by the various individuals and clubs. A fantastic effort.
After prize giving and the buffet dinner, an auction of goodies donated by sponsors was held, and a further amount was raised for the Child Cancer Foundation. A live band played popular music till well into the night as members enjoyed dancing with all manner of aliens, trekies, robots, and other amazing outer space creations.
On Monday the car park roared into life again at 10 am, as the convention cars drove out in convoy to the town of Rongotea. It may be a tiny rural town, but it sports a flash new (and huge) sports stadium. The 100 odd cars that attended made an impressive sight parked in the grassy field outside the hall. After a filling lunch prepared by the local Rongotea community, members gathered for speeches of thanks from the MMOC organisers, respective club captains, and for personal farewells. It is certain that everyone there was already planning their trip to next year's 2002 convention, to be hosted by the Waikato club in Hamilton.