History of the National Council

Mustang Club History 1964-1975

1965 in Tucson, Arizona
1964-1975: When the Mustang was introduced in April of 1964 at the New York World's Fair, the National Council of Mustang Clubs was founded in Dearborn, Michigan. The NCMC was born of the National Council of Falcon Clubs and for a short time these organizations were known as the National Council of Falcon/Mustang Clubs. Holmes Tuttle Ford's Falcon Owners Club was an active group of enthusiasts who loved their road and driving events. Across the U.S., Mustang Mania swept car enthusiasts off their feet and here in Tucson, out of their Falcons. The dealer representative for the clubs naturally chose a Mustang as his dealer car and was soon taking those Falcons in on trade for a new Mustang. In May 1965, the decision was made to change the club's name to The Southern Arizona Mustang Club.

Bill Laird, who was the dealer representative at Holmes Tuttle, is credited with forming SAMC (as it became to be known). Through his interest in slaloms, road rallies and a general good time with an automobile, the club flourished. SAMC enjoyed the excitement of the early years and survived the '70's slump - unlike most other Mustang clubs. SAMC is possibly the only survivor of the original National Council of Mustang Clubs making it the oldest Mustang Club in the world. In 1968, Bill joined the National Council of Mustang Clubs as the regional director for the Southwest. No one could ever replace Bill but by 1968, SAMC was a strong club and was able to carry on because of its sound organization and its association with the established NCMC.

At one time, there were over 500 dealer sponsored Mustang Clubs across the country and around the world. 1970 was the peak year with over 200,000 Mustang club members worldwide. Dealer backed Mustang clubs in the '60's ranged from 10 to 300 members. By 1974, Mustang Mania had passed and did not resurface until the late 1970's. SAMC is one of the fortunate few today who still have a dealer sponsor.

SAMC Mustangers were a fun loving group who loved racing and road rallies. Ghymkhanas, autocross, economy runs and family picnics were all part of the events held by the first Tucson Mustangers. Events were often open to all vehicles and there was always some good natured competition between the Chevys and Fords. They also became known for their Ford blue berets. Not many records or photos remain from the 1964/65 era. A club newsletter began in October 1965 and continued for several years. The National Council of Falcon/Mustang Clubs produced Rallye, their official publication and SAMC was a regular contributor to this magazine. In October of 1965, a Maverick Roundup was held to recruit new members. Rallye reported this event: "A great idea comes from The Southern Arizona Mustang Club. They recently sponsored a great Maverick Roundup. Purpose.to get new members. Cap this tho'.they gave cash prizes to the person bringing in the most paid-up members, the person corralling the most members, paid-up or not, and for the first and second runners-up. Grand prize was 50 bucks with 25, 15 and 10 going to the next in line. Imagine making money while you're selling somebody on your club.'zat how you guys now got 47 actives?"

The 1965 Maverick Hunt gave SAMC a well preserved dash plaque and its longest running member, Dave Carroll.
Tucson had two Mustang clubs. SAMC was sponsored by Holmes Tuttle Ford and Pueblo Ford had Pueblo Ford Mustang Club. There were Mustang clubs all over Arizona. Even tiny Kearny, Arizona had a Mustang Club and SAMC was invited to activities in Phoenix, Kearney and Flagstaff. In 1968, the Coconino Colts Mustang Club from Babbitt Ford in Flagstaff, Arizona held a snowmobile slalom and SAMC desert dwellers tried their skills on the gentle slopes of a frozen golf course.

Dave Carroll and His Mach 1

Weekend events - Regionals or Roundups - were held somewhere around the country almost every weekend. From Friday night to Sunday night, there was not an hour that was not filled with Mustang related events - rallyes both navigational and gimmick, funkhanas, slaloms, concours shows and the parties, of course. SAMC participated in many of these in California and Phoenix. The Grand Canyon State Regionals were shared between SAMC and the Muscon Roadrunners in Phoenix. The National Council of Mustang Clubs would provide trophies, dash plaques and other goodies.

In April 1968, SAMC Mustangers entered the National Mustang Round-Up in San Francisco. The Candy Apple Red Two-Millionth Mustang was won by SAMC's own, Bill Forrester. What an excitement!

Each year in April, the National Council celebrated the Mustang's birthday with Mustang Rallye Day U.S.A. The rally was held on the weekend closest to April 17th and the proceeds went to a local charity. The Council provided trophies, bumper stickers and lots of promotional items to each local chapter.

SAMC was the host of the fourth and final Grand Canyon State Regional in May 1970. Mustang Mania seemed to slip not only in Tucson but all across the country. SAMC was experiencing smaller turnouts at it's events and meetings. In 1971, The National Council of Mustang Clubs was merged with the Ford Drag Club to form Ford Motorsports Association. By 1974, that organization was gone too. It seemed impossible, but enthusiasm for our favorite car was waning. Mustang Madness was on the decline and the clubs were hurting. They closed up shop all over. Where are the Muscon Roadrunners, the Coconino Colts? SAMC was sinking too. An urgent plea went out" Special Meeting. If you care, be there!" 1975 was a low year for SAMC. Few events were held and meetings consisted of talking about how to turn the decline around.


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