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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think I did this last year, but then I asked about who attends car shows. This time it's along the same lines, but not just a car show, but a car event. Yes, its time for the 2020 Ponies in the Smokies Event again, and once again I am finding very few people interested in participating with their Vintage/Classic Mustangs. I know people talk about and go to a couple of events like Hot August Nights, Woodward Dream Cruise, Good-Guys, Hot Rod Power Tour, etc.

My 1st question is, what type of event interests you, makes you want to go, OR, what turns you off from an event?

Here is where I am at. There are two large events over here on the East Coast that to the best of my knowledge, none of this forums 60k members have attended recently. Ponies in the Smokies and/or Mustang Week.

I know, many here have said they did not like the "Car Show" only event, judging, trophies and all that. That was also another topic so let's leave the car show only events out this time.

Seems the annual Mustang Week event in Myrtle Beach has been a turn off for the Vintage/Classic Mustang owner, and after my attempt to attend last year, I can see why. The event seems to be mostly late model Mustangs, and other than putting your car in the show, and a little after hour cruising, there is not really anything else for the Vintage/Classic owner to do. The organizers state they welcome the Vintage/Classic cars, but as I tried to work with them to organize something specifically for the Vintage/Classic cars, I got referred to an existing event and Suck-Bang-Blow. Not very helpful.

Last year at the PITS event, I was told that they want to do more for the Vintage/Classic Mustangs. That sounded great to me, so when they posted up the events for 2020, its all the same thing as last year. Oh, but they will add a Poker Run stop in Gatlinburg, which will be a lot shorter drive than the one along the Tail of the Dragon to get to Deals Gap. Only they did not, but instead added a stop at the Museum Of The Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, another long haul drive through very scenic, but twisty curvy roads. I know a couple of people that do long distance driving in their Mustangs, but how many do the Smokey Mountain roads like Tail of the Dragon or State Road 441 in their Vintage/Classic Mustang? I find that with my original suspension, my car does not handle like the new cars. It's higher off the ground and sways more. The steering is not a precise. Sitting in that 50 year old style seat with only the lap belt, you are moving around as you change from that right hairpin turn into the left wide turn that looks down the side of the mountain all while working the throttle and brake, and I do not have a clutch as most others might. I personally found this fun for the first couple of miles, but after a while, it got to be more like work. And remember, after reaching your destination, you have to drive back. So I'm talking to the PITS staff about this and the 1st thing I get is, "So you don't like to drive your car?" No, that's not it at all. I love driving my car, but its nothing like what you guys are driving (reference the previous couple of sentences). I asked them to tell me how many other Vintage/Classic Mustangs participated in their other planned events, the parking lot Auto Cross, the 1/8 mile drag race, and the answer was, other than my car at the drags, none. Seems I need to get one or two of the PITS staff to just sit in one of our cars, put on that lap belt, adjust the seat.... oh yea, it only slides forward and back... and imagine trying to drive one of their events like a twisty road for over an hour at a time so that they can even try to experience what we do.

So, question #2. What type of event, other than the already existing 2 days of car shows, would you like to see that would make you want to go to it (PITS)? What can I bring up to the PITS staff and tell them that this is what interests the Vintage/Classic owner, and this is what is going to draw them to this event?

Just some extra here, this area has car events all the time. Its a big tourist trap, if you will. Last year I was at the Dollywood Shades of past show and the Rod Run. for over a week there were all types of cars everywhere. I had a fantastic time just driving around looking at all the other cars.

Thank you for reading, and hopefully responding to this kinda long question. Your answers will either tell me how out of touch I am, or give me some constructive criticism/advice for the PITS staff. :)
 

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I've considered the local Mustang Club here in Seattle but have second thoughts. Their web page shows hot-rodded and late model Mustangs. While volunteering at one of the Seafair hydroplane races, there was a "car show" that included custom, classic and antique cars. Since my classics are daily drivers, I don't do a lot of "pretty-up" on them. I hope to get my 66 Mustang and 67 Cougar to some of these types of venues after they get painted.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've considered the local Mustang Club here in Seattle but have second thoughts. Their web page shows hot-rodded and late model Mustangs. While volunteering at one of the Seafair hydroplane races, there was a "car show" that included custom, classic and antique cars. Since my classics are daily drivers, I don't do a lot of "pretty-up" on them. I hope to get my 66 Mustang and 67 Cougar to some of these types of venues after they get painted.
And that is why I am asking about events other than the car shows. Yes, PITS has 2 days of car shows, but other than that, what would you like to see, what would interest you to take your daily driver to an event such as this? Gatherings, car parades, burn out contests? What is it that you see and makes you say, "that's what I want to do with my car"?
 

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I was never just a car show guy but always enjoyed them when i set up a parts spot to sell my wares which kept me busy all the while. Seems that after walking around and viewing the cars that drew my attention and if i didnt know a bunch of folks who liked to talk about what i like i was all done. My cars were always daily drivers so no interest in driving events. I was always on the lockout for bargins and used parts for my projects. Now it seems i am too old to last very long at the events i used to love. I am still a sucker for a fixerupper and have my eye on one now even tho i will probably get to fixing/restoring stage. Wes
 

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My 68 was campaigned at MCA shows for about 15 years all over the US from Canada, mostly 2 and 3 days of driving. Its been to Woodward many times, Frankenmuth twice and the Plunkett show which is probably the biggest in Canada.
When weather permits we go to a couple of various cruise nights a week within a couple of hours driving distance.
I gave up long distance shows a few years ago but still like cruise nights.
 

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I prefer an event like Hot August Nights just about over any other events I have attended. The main reason being that HAN is all about the classic/vintage cars. The last three times I attended, the limit was no vehicles after 1976. I have seen newer cars forced out of the downtown Reno cruise. From I understand, the year has been raised to 1979, so it's still pretty good. There are cars shows, drag races, car-related swap meets, cruising, and just an all around fun time. When it gets to warm, pop into the casino hosting whatever event one is attending and grab a couple of cold ones and relax. I'll be going again this year after missing last year.
 

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The last couple car shows/events/cruises I've been to, especially mustang or ford only ones, were about 75% fox body mustangs and newer. While some of the newer mustangs are cool to look at and have a great deal of power to them, I don't go to car shows to see cars that I see driving on the road daily. I go to see the classics and talk about classic cars that you don't see everyday. Between the lack of classic cars at a lot of shows, being able to see all of the cars that I want to see in an hour or 90 minutes and not only wanting to talk to other people about only their cars... I generally don't go to more than a couple shows a year, and even those I only stay for a bit, not usually more than an hour or two. After that, I'm ready to go do something else.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The last couple car shows/events/cruises I've been to, especially mustang or ford only ones, were about 75% fox body mustangs and newer. While some of the newer mustangs are cool to look at and have a great deal of power to them, I don't go to car shows to see cars that I see driving on the road daily. I go to see the classics and talk about classic cars that you don't see everyday. Between the lack of classic cars at a lot of shows, being able to see all of the cars that I want to see in an hour or 90 minutes and not only wanting to talk to other people about only their cars... I generally don't go to more than a couple shows a year, and even those I only stay for a bit, not usually more than an hour or two. After that, I'm ready to go do something else.
So due to the lack of classic Mustangs you do not take your Classic Mustang. Thus others do not take their Classic Mustang until no more are in attendance. Humm, seems that is where I am at now.

This is exactly what I am trying to find a solution to. But not just for the show. PITS is a 4 day event. What do they need to do to get you and your car out there? If right now I can get 50 members of this forum to say they will be there at least one day all at the same time, would that rectify the problem of the lack of Classics?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I prefer an event like Hot August Nights just about over any other events I have attended. The main reason being that HAN is all about the classic/vintage cars. The last three times I attended, the limit was no vehicles after 1976. I have seen newer cars forced out of the downtown Reno cruise. From I understand, the year has been raised to 1979, so it's still pretty good. There are cars shows, drag races, car-related swap meets, cruising, and just an all around fun time. When it gets to warm, pop into the casino hosting whatever event one is attending and grab a couple of cold ones and relax. I'll be going again this year after missing last year.
Sounds like you'd rather an event with a limit to the age of the vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My 68 was campaigned at MCA shows for about 15 years all over the US from Canada, mostly 2 and 3 days of driving. Its been to Woodward many times, Frankenmuth twice and the Plunkett show which is probably the biggest in Canada.
When weather permits we go to a couple of various cruise nights a week within a couple of hours driving distance.
I gave up long distance shows a few years ago but still like cruise nights.
Ok, but why did you choose those events? What features, or lack of did you use to make your decision to attend them and not some of the others?
 

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Ok, but why did you choose those events? What features, or lack of did you use to make your decision to attend them and not some of the others?
MCA shows were chosen because they are specificaly for Mustangs and a small group from our local Mustang club were attendees, we were a close knit group. The thing about MCA shows in the madified, driven class I was in is that the car is judged on its merits not against other cars. This gives the incentive to improve your vehicle, I owe the condition my car is in is because of that.

The MCA shows happen 4 times a year so it became a time factor to get to all of them in a particular year.
 

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For me, proximity is a big decider. The closer it is to where I live, the more likely I am to participate. While I’m still working, time is a big consideration. I would love to do a driving event like the Mille Mile, the Mountain 1000 or the Copperstate, but smaller. I am actually planning my own charity event because I can’t find anything in my area that fits the bill.
 

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So being 57 and doing this for close to 40 years, i`ve got some ideas that i`ll probably not explain very well.
I`ll say most people are afraid to drive their cars long distance(even as little as 2hrs) and as they get older they have physical ailments that prevent them,hence they move to a new car that makes it easier.
Some folks are also very narrow in their outlook about what a show or club is about --- I've said for a long time that you only get out of it what you put in. If you don't like a club because they don't do something then volunteer and organize it.
Some are also afraid to bring out their car because it is (so called ) not finished,instead of bringing it and finding someone to get an idea or help from.
I`ve had my car since 1983 and it was apart until 91 but I still went to tons of shows in that time.
I like all kinds of shows and events and if I had the chance to do the "tail of the dragon" I`d jump at it manual steering ,manual brakes,clutch and all.
I like shows and events that have all kinds of things available--I have done--slalom,drags,poker runs,peoples choice and judged shows BUT usually the best times are when you are talking with people over a beer or more.
Our closest multi day show here in Seattle is Mustangs Northwests Roundup--Usually 4 days--1 peoples choice,1 judged,1 open track and 1 day with a full day cruise---you should be able to find something there to interest you. Some years they also have a dinner with guest speakers or a sunset boat cruise.
Another multi day I go to is called International Mustang Meet,It has been going for 40 years now and rotates between Canada and the US,this a show you can use to sight see while you travel to it,we have seen the Canadian Rockies,Mt Rushmore,Crazy Horse,Devils Tower and more.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So being 57 and doing this for close to 40 years, i`ve got some ideas that i`ll probably not explain very well.
I`ll say most people are afraid to drive their cars long distance(even as little as 2hrs) and as they get older they have physical ailments that prevent them,hence they move to a new car that makes it easier.
Some folks are also very narrow in their outlook about what a show or club is about --- I've said for a long time that you only get out of it what you put in. If you don't like a club because they don't do something then volunteer and organize it.
Some are also afraid to bring out their car because it is (so called ) not finished,instead of bringing it and finding someone to get an idea or help from.
I`ve had my car since 1983 and it was apart until 91 but I still went to tons of shows in that time.
I like all kinds of shows and events and if I had the chance to do the "tail of the dragon" I`d jump at it manual steering ,manual brakes,clutch and all.
I like shows and events that have all kinds of things available--I have done--slalom,drags,poker runs,peoples choice and judged shows BUT usually the best times are when you are talking with people over a beer or more.
Our closest multi day show here in Seattle is Mustangs Northwests Roundup--Usually 4 days--1 peoples choice,1 judged,1 open track and 1 day with a full day cruise---you should be able to find something there to interest you. Some years they also have a dinner with guest speakers or a sunset boat cruise.
Another multi day I go to is called International Mustang Meet,It has been going for 40 years now and rotates between Canada and the US,this a show you can use to sight see while you travel to it,we have seen the Canadian Rockies,Mt Rushmore,Crazy Horse,Devils Tower and more.
I'm 58, have had a Mustang since I was 17, so 41 years. I've had 4 back surgeries. I can drive in a newer car for hours at a time with Adjustable, heated seats and cruise control. My Mustang seat only goes forward and back. I can take about an hour at a time in it. Clubs and events these days are mostly late model Mustangs. They go on a cruise for maybe an hour, maybe several without stopping. It's not a race, but they all end up running about 90 with bursts up to 120. I'm a mile or so behind running 65-70 at 28-30k rpm. I do have stock height tires and a 3.0 rear gear, factory. I do car shows, cruise in's, Cars & Coffee, sometimes 2 in a weekend. If I want to go to an event more than an hour from home, I trailer to it. I joined the Space Coast Mustang Club in Melbourne, 3 hours from where I live in Miami because they actually do events, shows, unlike the local clubs that occasionally go to a show. I'm retired, so going to the weekend shows is no big deal for me. That is why I am going to the bigger events. Mustang and Ford Roundup in Longwood Fl, MCA Nationals in Melbourne, Mustang Week in Myrtle Beach, Mustangs and Mustangs (Winter Auto Fest) in Lakeland, and Ponies in the Smokies. I have been in judged shows, popular vote shows, non judged shows. My car gets a lot of attention and usually wins a trophy. This year I am going to enter some judged shows as a Display Only participant so other Mustangs can get some trophies. I enjoy going to and meeting up with friends, acquaintances. I talk with them and anyone else who comes up interested in the cars. I've been to MCA and SAAC shows, met Bill Clinton and Carrol Shelby both in person at the shows.

It was 1 year ago that I finished the restoration on my Shelby, the 1st time it has been out in public since the late 80's. Its been a long time since I have been out at car shows. How things have changed. I'm going to these events and seeing the classics is rare. Strang seeing as to how many are actually out there. So I go to the 2019 PITS event, and there are about 20 classics in the show, but I only saw 2 in the Poker run, none in the parking lot AutoX and only me at the drag strip. I went to the 2019 Mustangs Invasion of Pigeon Forge (we ran from Dorian @ Mustang Week) and at least there I saw maybe 7 driving around (from the MW group), but again, I was the only classic to drive Tail of the Dragon.

I know its not always easy getting time off to attend some of these events, but I am surprised that will all the members here with Classic's over on 69Stang and StanFix, that I have only met 1 member at PITS (66kcar?), and he did not even have is Stang with him. I met 4ocious at the Mustang Invasion, but he and his wife were just passing through, in his Mustang.

So, what is all of this about? The guys that run Ponies in the Smokies want to know what options/possibilities they may have at getting more of the Classic Mustangs at their 4 day event. If the answer is to have more Classics, then that is on us, we need to show up so there are more classics for us to hang out with, cruise with, go have lunch and/or dinner and a beer with. Then, do we want an event just for us? Well, we need to show up in force to make that happen.
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We are fortunate to have a decent car community here. We do go to the local shows in the summer. We also attend the street machine nationals that is here at the state fairgrounds, which attracts 6000 cars. My wife likes to meet the people at the shows. There are cruise-ins most every weeknight of the week in the summer that we would like to participate in but they usually start on the early side and get crowded. I work full time so we aren't able to show up early enough and that makes it hard to get a spot when you get there so we will sometimes go and make a couple passes then head home. What C6ZZGT says about not venturing far from home is true for us. We have only had this car for 4 years and have been making some upgrades/repairs to make it safe for longer tips on the road, adding disc brakes and rebuilding the entire suspension. I will be rebuilding the drivetrain soon hopefully. Progress has been slow as the build money I have saved has gone toward another need that a family member has.

But to your point....here are the things that would get to non-show events more frequently....

Our car isn't powerful or fast or set up for track handling so we mainly just cruise. So our interests would mainly be organized evening cruises. Especially with destinations on the route like burger joints or drive in restaurants. Also these cruises done in conjunction with the local municipalities that include police if necessary. When I was a kid we used to cruise every weekend down on one of the local main drags. Police were around and if there were no shenanigans they would allow the cruising until midnight or so. The streets were packed with muscle and hot rods. It was a great time. But if people started racing or doing burnouts, they would shut down the roads and that was that. Too many weekends of having to close the roads would shut it down for the remainder of the summer.

There is a little of this sort of cruising when the Back tot he 50s show is going on. There are 12,000 hot rods in town for this event from all over the country and guys spend a fair amount of time rolling up and down Snelling ave near the fairgrounds. This also happens when the Street Machine Nationals are going on as well. So we get a chance to cruise then, but it would be nice if a couple localities would do this sort of thing more regularly during the summer.

Also as I said above, the local cruise ins being a little later so us working guys could make it a little more easily would be nice. I would definitely go more often.



The local mustang club is mostly late model guys. They have some cool stuff but would prefer to belong to a club with mostly vintage. We did join Good Guys and went to the Lonestar Nationals and the Heartland Nationals and had fun but we didn't take our car as I don't feel it's roadworthy enough to take trips that long yet. Hopefully some day.
 
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When my car ran I would go to some local car meets. I'm 24 and well the car community is very "JDM" but being the black sheep in these little meet ups is quite fun. A lot of people don't know what a carburetor is anymore. Times are a-changin I guess.

Excited to one day be able to go to at least a ford show/event with my car for the first time though.

BTW quite the inspirational set of cars you folks got :)
 
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