NORMAN — In 1964, when my father was a University of Oklahoma student, he and my mother were in desperation car shopping mode because their vehicle had just died.
As the story has been told for nearly 50 years, the Ford dealership had not opened for the day and my parents purchased a Corvair instead of a Mustang. About 15 years later, my parents purchased a Mustang, and this one was a special-edition Ghia with a sunroof and a turbocharged engine. After a few hand-me-downs, that was the car I drove in Norman as an incoming freshman at OU.
Knowing that Norman will be a national gathering spot is exciting because enthusiasts will celebrate the vehicle’s 50th anniversary this week. There are two parts to the celebration: the Great American Pony Drive and the Official MCA Pony Drive. One brings people to Norman from points around the U.S., and the other serves as a starting point for drivers to travel east and west en masse.
According to organizers, people from Seattle, Boston, Sacramento, Calif., Los Angeles, Richmond, Va., Dearborn, Mich., Jacksonville, Fla., and areas in between will participate in the Great American Pony Drive that will converge in Norman to participate in activities beginning Wednesday and lasting through Sunday.
The Official MCA Pony Drive is coordinating the Las Vegas and Charlotte Pony Drives departing from Norman today. The Las Vegas Pony Drive will be hosted in Amarillo, Texas, Albuquerque and Flagstaff, Ariz. The Charlotte Pony Drive will be hosted in Little Rock, Nashville, Tenn., and Asheville, N.C.
Our office began working with organizers at the outset, when site selection was taking place, and has been working with them to prepare welcome bags. The NCED Conference Center and Hotel will serve as the host hotel.
For more information, visit mustang50thbirthdaycelebration.com.