Originally Published: September 30, 2016 6 a.m.
Right from the beginning, Dave Stewart found a lot to love about Mustangs.
“It was a nice, sporty car with great get-up-and-go,” Stewart said of the car model that dates back to 1964.
Add to that the reasonable original ticket price – $2,100 to $2,200 – and Stewart was sold. He drove a 1965 Mustang briefly in his youth, and says he’s had a soft spot for the car ever since.
This weekend, Stewart and other Mustang fans have a chance to gather in mutual enthusiasm.
The “Pony Only Cruise” – the last cruise of the summer – will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Highway 69 Walmart parking lot next to the In-N-Out Burger (at Highway 69 and Prescott Lakes Parkway). Pre-parking is scheduled for 8 to 10 a.m.
Stewart, the organizer of the Central Arizona Mustang Club-sponsored cruise, started the events four years ago and plans two a year. The most recent show took place in May, and attracted an estimated 120 Mustangs – of all years, models, and conditions. “It’s a good mix,” he said. “Cars come from all over the state.”
The shows are billed as a way “to showcase the ever-classic Mustang, give Mustang enthusiasts an opportunity to reminisce, and owners of projects-in-progress an opportunity to commiserate and share information.”
The Pony Only Cruise is non-judgmental, according the event brochure: “Any Mustang year, any Mustang condition, no judging, paint and polish not required. If you can push it, pull it, trailer it, or drive it, your Mustang is welcome at this cruise.”
“It’s not a real car show, in that we don’t do judging,” Stewart said, adding that the show is also technically not a “cruise,” because the cars tend to remain parked. The event also differs from other shows by not requiring participants to stay for the entire time. If they have to leave the show early, Stewart says that’s fine.
Debbie Stewart, who helps her husband plan the event and the raffle that takes place in conjunction with it, urges owners: “Don’t ever apologize for the condition of your car. The ones that need love are the ones I like best.”
Along with offering a gathering spot for Mustang fans, the cruise also serves as a fundraiser for the nonprofit Yavapai County Jeep Posse – the organization that supplies the “people power” for the show.
Admission is free to the general public, and registration for the Mustangs is by voluntary donation. Event clocks are available for a $5 donation, and the brochure refers to the raffle as huge, with “terrific prizes.”
The show is expected to attract Mustangs from the 1960s through the current-year models, including coupes, fastbacks, convertibles, GTs, Cobras, Shelbys, SSPs, and Eleanors. The Stewarts say one or more Mustangs from Galpin Ford could also be on hand.
Information and free registration is available online at www.PonyOnlyCruise.com, or by calling 928-493-3687.