Santa Monica Dreaming
The Tony Souza Memorial show had 15 special guests—2015 Mustangs
By Steve Turner
Photos by Steve Turner and courtesy of Ford Motor Company
When you visit the Los Angeles area, you can’t go wrong stopping by the pier in Santa Monica, California. It’s a view that’s served as the backdrop for numerous TV shows and movies. The pier is really a boardwalk full of restaurants and attractions, including a Ferris wheel and a mini roller coaster. So when we learned that the Los Angeles Shelby American Automobile Club was having its annual show there, we couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning.
For the past 20 years the LA SAAC has held an annual show. Starting at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, California, it moved to the scenic pier location eight years ago. After the club’s secretary, and noted Shelby American historian, Tony Souza passed away in 2005, the club decided to honor him by making the show an annual memorial.
As it turned out, this year’s show was quite special. Not only was the pier filled with over 100 special Mustangs and Fords, but a group of really special guests joined the event for a couple hours.
“I cannot really tell you why Ford brought the new 2015 Mustang to our show other than we know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows another guy, who made a phone call. Timing was right as Chief Engineer Dave Pericak and his team were in SoCal for journalists to see and drive the new Mustang and they were available in the morning,” Randy Richardson, President of the LA SAAC explained. “I heard feedback that the Mustang team was excited to be at our show where they were able to view the 50 year history of Mustangs that we had on display, especially the vintage Shelby Mustangs.”
We happened to be in town to drive the new Mustang as well, so it was really great to see fifteen 2015 Mustangs roll down the pier and into the mix with a group of hardcore Ford enthusiasts. Take a look at the cars in action on the pier:
“The reaction from club members was overwhelmingly in favor of the new Mustang. The new styling, engine options and performance of the new Mustang had people excited,” Randy said. “We did not announce that the new Mustangs were coming so it was a great surprise to everyone to actually see them in person and hear directly from the Mustang Chief Engineer, Dave Pericak about the changes and features of the new Mustang.”
“Ford Motor Company and Mustang made it a special moment for car enthusiasts to see the new Mustang close up and in person during our show,” he added. “Being able to view the new Mustang in the daylight brings an entirely different appreciation for what Ford has done with the styling of such an iconic automobile. It looks like Mustang is going to have a long future ahead.”
With any luck, LA SAAC will have a bright future as well. Not only does this club host a great show, but it uses an annual Christmas party to raise money for various charities, including the LAPD’s holiday toy drive.