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
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
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.