On a perfect blue-sky day in July, Canada’s Ford fanatics had some serious showing off to do. They roared in with their Mustangs, turned heads with their Thunderbirds and joined more than 400 other like-minded car connoisseurs for the Ford Stampede—a day of celebrating the automotive pioneer at County Heritage Park in Milton, Ontario.
In previous years, the Stampede exclusively showcased Ford’s iconic pony car, the Mustang. However, 2015 marked a new era for the event—organizers the Golden Horseshoe Mustang Association and the Greater Toronto Area Mustang Club had collectively decided to open up the popular annual gathering to all Ford models.
Owners from around the country responded, bringing everything from Model As to ’56 Thunderbirds, ‘50s-era F100s and brand new Mustangs.
The Ford Stampede grows: All models welcome
“The Stampede started out as classic Mustang show only and then evolved to include all Mustangs, all years,” said George O’Hearn, vice-president of the Golden Horseshoe Mustang Club. “This is the first year we‘ve opened it up to all Fords.”
Among the Ford aficionados in attendance was Jessica Doyle, proud owner of a 2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium Fastback (her third, she explained!). A weekend drag racer, Doyle loves coming out to the Ford Stampede. “It’s really nice to get out with the other enthusiasts,” she said, “and check out what they’ve done with their rides.”
Newcomers excited to be part of the festivities also paid homage to the powerful sport car that had inspired the Stampede. Bruce Parratt, owner of a 1956 red convertible Thunderbird, gave the Mustangs on display high marks.
“The Mustang has pretty much stayed true to its original concept that started back in 1964—it’s just a fun car to own,” Parratt said. “The GT 350? Beautiful car—I also think the 2015 Mustang body style is probably the most attractive Mustang they’ve ever built.”
The Mustang: A culture and mythology of its own
Grimsby, Ontario’s Doug Fernick, owner of a 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 429 Cobra Jet, said the Mustang’s design breeds a culture and mythology all of its own. “Ford has always been my favourite vehicle,” he said while standing in front of his red and black beast, “but I know the Ford Mustang itself is an iconic symbol.”
Meanwhile, Brantford, Ontario’s Jeff Mann said his gleaming 1969 Boss 302 Mustang has been with him for decades, and will stay in the family for another generation’s pleasure. “This car I’ve owned for 30 years,” he said. “It has outlasted a marriage. My kids have moved out. Now it’s ready for my grandson.”
We love to see the passion people have for all Ford models, and look forward to the event next year—if you’re in the area, we hope to see you there!