Event: Ponies at the Pike

Ponies at the Pike Featured

Waterfront Wonderland

The Beach Cities Mustang Club hosts a gorgeous gathering of Mustangs in Long Beach, California

By Steve Turner

During our recent visit to sunny Southern California driving the 2015 Mustang, we decided to stick around for a couple extra days. Not just because we have friends in the area or because the weather is so great. Instead, we wanted to take the opportunity to catch some car shows. The main show we put on the schedule was the newly anointed Ponies at the Pike, held along the waterfront in Long Beach, California.

Taking home top honors in the Modified 1999-2004 class, Junior Garcia’s Brilliant Black Crystal ’00 GT is an attention grabber. Rolling low and wide thanks to flared fenders and deep-dish hoops, his GT also features a litany of carbon fiber accessories and a custom TMI Products’ interior.
Taking home top honors in the Modified 1999-2004 class, Junior Garcia’s Brilliant Black Crystal ’00 GT is an attention grabber. Rolling low and wide thanks to flared fenders and deep-dish hoops, his GT also features a litany of carbon fiber accessories and a custom TMI Products’ interior.

This year marked both a change of name and venue for a show that has long been appointment viewing for Mustang fans in Cali. Since we had never had the chance to see the show, all of it was new to us. Fortunately, the founder and president of the club behind the show was more than happy to give us a little background on the event.

Beach Cities Mustang Club was founded in 1996, and the show started in 1997 as ‘Mustangs at the Galleria.’ We did a show simply because Mustang clubs have shows. I think there were about 80 cars at that first show. For three years, we were at the popular Redondo Beach shopping center. Then as the show grew, we found a nice location in the parking lot in front of the Queen Mary. There used to be several shops there, and we were even given our own little office to use,” Jon Shultz explained. “The show continued to grow, and back then Queen Mary management was supportive of our efforts. After two years in a small lot next to the ship, they suggested the adjacent events park. So we moved over and the show started to take off. Soon after, we broke the 300-vehicle mark, and had to use the attached parking lot. We’ve been ‘California’s largest Mustang car show’ ever since.”

True Blue 2001 Bullitts are a rare breed. With most of these movie-inspired ’Stangs purchased in the famed Highland Green hue, the blue and black versions are even harder to come by. That didn’t stop Nasario Birrueta from modding his, however. Instead he pumped it up with a Vortech supercharger, a Terminator short-block, Trick Flow Two-Valve heads, and much more. It puts down 543.64 horsepower and 445.51 lb-ft of torque to the ground.
True Blue 2001 Bullitts are a rare breed. With most of these movie-inspired ’Stangs purchased in the famed Highland Green hue, the blue and black versions are even harder to come by. That didn’t stop Nasario Birrueta from modding his, however. Instead he pumped it up with a Vortech supercharger, a Terminator short-block, Trick Flow Two-Valve heads, and much more. It puts down 543.64 horsepower and 445.51 lb-ft of torque to the ground.

Along the way, club and venue grew apart and that led to the event moving to Shoreline Aquatic Park, near the popular Pike shopping area. With the new locale, brought a new moniker, Ponies at the Pike. With a great locale and free attendance for spectators, it makes for a great day out for Ford fans.

“…We had a pretty nice location previously, but this new park has exceeded all expectations! When you’ve become comfortable in the same place for 15 years and start to look for a new location,” Jon said. “You worry about layout changes, a new name, and wonder if people are going to follow you. Turns out that we had nothing to worry about, with this being our second largest show ever, and by far the most amount of spectators in our 18-year history.”

While many things changed this year, all seemed for the better, as most show cars were parked on the cool, plush grass along the park’s waterway instead of on hot pavement. Having been to just a few car shows on black asphalt, the change of scenery was a welcome one for us. It has to be one of the most scenic spots for a car show we’ve seen, and the weather wasn’t shabby either.

If you love SVT Cobras like we do, the Mystichrome 2004 Terminator holds a special place in your heart. It’s another ultra-rare ride, but one that owner Gene Granata wasn’t afraid to mod extensively. In fact, he displays a board next to the convertible detailing the 50 things that separate his daily driver from the crowd. Of course the headliner is a Kenne Bell supercharger that pushes its power past 800 at the rear wheels.
If you love SVT Cobras like we do, the Mystichrome 2004 Terminator holds a special place in your heart. It’s another ultra-rare ride, but one that owner Gene Granata wasn’t afraid to mod extensively. In fact, he displays a board next to the convertible detailing the 50 things that separate his daily driver from the crowd. Of course the headliner is a Kenne Bell supercharger that pushes its power past 800 at the rear wheels.

Though there was a lot new this year, the club maintained its tradition of giving away lots of awards, and stressed that the cars be judged on their own merits. As such, dash cards only display a number. There is no name or club affiliation allowed on the car, so as not to sway the judges. In all, the club gave out over 225 awards.

Of course, the most coveted award goes to the Best of Show. At this show the award holds a special significance, as it is dedicated to a noted Mustang fan that passed before his time.

“Joe Gosinski was owner of the nationally known Chicane Sport Tuning in SoCal. He was a member of the Beach Cities Mustang Club and a sponsor/vendor of our annual show (then know as Mustangs at the Queen Mary). He used to set up these 100-foot-long tents and showed of his best work. At the beginning of the day, we explain the award, talk a little about Joe, and then ask people to vote for any Ford in the show that they feel exemplifies the ‘Chicane standard of excellence.’ Basically we tell them to vote for a car that was done right. Attention to detail is essential. Because that was Joe’s trademark,” Jon explained “Joe was murdered in his shop on

Main man at the host club of Ponies at the Pike, Jon Shultz is also the proprietor of Stang Stuff. During the awards ceremony, he gave away swag from his company and other show sponsors. He also auctioned off some sweet parts, like TruFiber/TruCarbon carbon-fiber hood. Here he is shooting T-shirts and stickers into the crowd. “Ponies at the Pike attracts several sponsors and vendors; from local small businesses to SEMA-level manufacturers,” Jon said. “This year, Scott Drake was our top sponsor, and other major sponsors included Ford Racing, Hotchkis, Magnaflow, TruFiber, Hillbank Motorsports, Saleen, The California Highway Patrol, StangStuff Mustang Lifestyle Products, and Horizon Hobby Radio Control Cars.”
Main man at the host club of Ponies at the Pike, Jon Shultz is also the proprietor of Stang Stuff. During the awards ceremony, he gave away swag from his company and other show sponsors. He also auctioned off some sweet parts, like TruFiber/TruCarbon carbon-fiber hood. Here he is shooting T-shirts and stickers into the crowd. “Ponies at the Pike attracts several sponsors and vendors; from local small businesses to SEMA-level manufacturers,” Jon said. “This year, Scott Drake was our top sponsor, and other major sponsors included Ford Racing, Hotchkis, Magnaflow, TruFiber, Hillbank Motorsports, Saleen, The California Highway Patrol, StangStuff Mustang Lifestyle Products, and Horizon Hobby Radio Control Cars.”

December 23, 2010 by person(s) unknown. The Beach Cities Mustang Club helped to raise over $20,000 for a reward that is still being offered. We renamed our top award the Joe Gosinski Best of Show Award. It’s just one of many ways we strive to keep Joe’s name and story alive. Joe was like a brother to me, and early on I was the spokesperson for the family and am still for the Reward Fund. There are many of us still waiting for justice. For more information, visit RewardForJoe.com.”

As you can see, the club takes this event pretty seriously, and it is taking what was learned from this year and planning to further improve the event in 2015.

So, if you are in the SoCal area in September of next year, we recommend that you check it out.

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Taking second-place honors in the Modified 1994-1998 category, Charles Payton’s ’96 GT is a familiar sight. Once a project vehicle for Rytek, this wide-body SN-95 features some of the deepest rear wheels we’ve ever seen, so it needs that Vortech-boosted Two-Valve 4.6 to rotate those rear steamrollers.
Taking second-place honors in the Modified 1994-1998 category, Charles Payton’s ’96 GT is a familiar sight. Once a project vehicle for Rytek, this wide-body SN-95 features some of the deepest rear wheels we’ve ever seen, so it needs that Vortech-boosted Two-Valve 4.6 to rotate those rear steamrollers.
Taking home the prestigious Best of Show award given out in honor of fallen Mustang tuner Joe Gosinski was Glen Martyn and 1966 Fastback. “He did not know Joe, nor his story, but he clearly understood the importance and significance of the award and was humble and appreciative to have been selected,” Jon explained. “His car was a stunning 1966 Fastback, in pewter and white stripes. Glen spent countless hours on the vehicle, which features a custom brown interior and a sectioned, two-piece rear bumper.”
Taking home the prestigious Best of Show award given out in honor of fallen Mustang tuner Joe Gosinski was Glen Martyn and 1966 Fastback. “He did not know Joe, nor his story, but he clearly understood the importance and significance of the award and was humble and appreciative to have been selected,” Jon explained. “His car was a stunning 1966 Fastback, in pewter and white stripes. Glen spent countless hours on the vehicle, which features a custom brown interior and a sectioned, two-piece rear bumper.”
Remember those way-cool radio-controlled 2015 Mustangs from Vaterra that we told you about a few weeks ago? Well, there was one ripping up the sidewalks around the Ponies at the Pike show along with one of its 1967-bodied cousins. These cars were pretty quick, and they looked like a lot of fun. “Horizon Hobby's sponsorship included the unveiling and auctioning of the first 2015 Mustang R/C car,” Jon said. “Before the show, we let participants know that there would be an edition of the 2015 Mustang that no one had seen yet. It was a lot of fun, and the lucky auction winner got the first unit offered to the public.”
Remember those way-cool radio-controlled 2015 Mustangs from Vaterra that we told you about a few weeks ago? Well, there was one ripping up the sidewalks around the Ponies at the Pike show along with one of its 1967-bodied cousins. These cars were pretty quick, and they looked like a lot of fun. “Horizon Hobby’s sponsorship included the unveiling and auctioning of the first 2015 Mustang R/C car,” Jon said. “Before the show, we let participants know that there would be an edition of the 2015 Mustang that no one had seen yet. It was a lot of fun, and the lucky auction winner got the first unit offered to the public.”
Chris Jordison, owner of this 2013 GT, must know this editor’s weakness. Display a cool Mustang with a matching guitar, and the odds are I will stop and snap a photo.
Chris Jordison, owner of this 2013 GT, must know this editor’s weakness. Display a cool Mustang with a matching guitar, and the odds are I will stop and snap a photo.
My other weakness is carbon fiber, and Ryan Horne’s 2013 Shelby GT500 features the full complement of carbon upgrades from TruFiber/TruCarbon. It doesn’t hurt that Ryan’s Trinity is topped by big Kenne Bell Mammoth Twin Screw blower and is riding low over some murdered-out Concept One wheels.
My other weakness is carbon fiber, and Ryan Horne’s 2013 Shelby GT500 features the full complement of carbon upgrades from TruFiber/TruCarbon. It doesn’t hurt that Ryan’s Trinity is topped by big Kenne Bell Mammoth Twin Screw blower and is riding low over some murdered-out Concept One wheels.
Home to the seventh-annual SoCal Bullitt Regionals, Bullitts of both New Edge and S197 flavors were obviously well represented at the Pike show. Apparently blown Bullitts are a bit of a trend out in Cali, as well. Robert Luque’s 2008 Bullitt rocks a MagnaCharger roots blower underhood.
Home to the seventh-annual SoCal Bullitt Regionals, Bullitts of both New Edge and S197 flavors were obviously well represented at the Pike show. Apparently blown Bullitts are a bit of a trend out in Cali, as well. Robert Luque’s 2008 Bullitt rocks a MagnaCharger roots blower underhood.
Most of us are quite familiar with the later aero-nose Fox Highway Patrol Mustang, but this 1982 Mustang coupe is a rare sight at a car show in 2014. Harold Taylor brought out his pristine Fox CHP ride out to Long Beach and it looked ready to chase down speeders on “The Five.”
Most of us are quite familiar with the later aero-nose Fox Highway Patrol Mustang, but this 1982 Mustang coupe is a rare sight at a car show in 2014. Harold Taylor brought out his pristine Fox CHP ride out to Long Beach and it looked ready to chase down speeders on “The Five.”
Steve Medina of True Forged Wheels showed off his ’bagged ’07 Shelby GT500. Obviously it rolls on True Forged wheels, but they tend to change often. At this show his GT500 was wearing black Chicanes with chrome hoops. They are needed to clear the giant ’13-’14 GT500 brakes he recently added.
Steve Medina of True Forged Wheels showed off his ’bagged ’07 Shelby GT500. Obviously it rolls on True Forged wheels, but they tend to change often. At this show his GT500 was wearing black Chicanes with chrome hoops. They are needed to clear the giant ’13-’14 GT500 brakes he recently added.
Motivating me around the Lost Angeles area from Hollywood to the Valley and from Santa Monica to Long Beach was a 2014 Fiesta ST. The car is great fun, and has the scoot to get around in LA traffic and make the most of those sweeping on ramps. Clearly our opinion of the Fiesta ST hasn’t changed since our Mustang Week Road Trip in one. If you want the full review, check out that story.
Motivating me around the Lost Angeles area from Hollywood to the Valley and from Santa Monica to Long Beach was a 2014 Fiesta ST. The car is great fun, and has the scoot to get around in LA traffic and make the most of those sweeping on ramps. Clearly our opinion of the Fiesta ST hasn’t changed since our Mustang Week Road Trip in one. If you want the full review, check out that story.

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