Hot Wheels: Mustangs abundant at Grand National Show at brewery

Approximately 400 Mustang’s all parked at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Merrimack Saturday for the 2018 MCA Granite State Mustang Grand National Show.

MERRIMACK – Hundreds of Ford Mustangs took over the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Merrimack over the holiday weekend.

Sponsored by the Mustang Club of America and hosted by the Mustang Car Club of New England, the 2018 MCA Granite State Mustang Grand National Show was the fourth and final event for this years national events, which happen at different locations across the country each year. Earlier this year, shows took place in Georgia, Texas and Nebraska. Ellen Melvin, Show Chairperson with the Mustang Car Club of New England, said this three day event in Merrimack was the first time it’s ever been held at the venue, drawing people from all over the nation and even Canada.

“They flew judges in from all over the country to judge the cars,” Melvin said. “There are cars here from Wisconsin, there’s probably two dozen cars from Canada, there’s cars here from Alabama…from all over the country. They get judged today (Saturday) by certified judges from the Mustang Club of America.”

Aside from the serious contenders, other local cars from the area parked their vehicles just for display so they could also be a part of the event.

“We have about, including the display ones, I think we have about 400,” Melvin said.

Terry Mears, of North Carolina, stands next to her 2004 Mustang Mach 1.

With Mustang’s of every year and model pristinely displayed, many people stopped by for this free event to walk up and down the rows of cars that lined the grass of the brewery, admiring each as they passed by. Cars with license plates from places like Arizona, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Nova Scotia and more all parked at the brewery to be a part of this Labor Day event.

“We’ve gotten a great response,” Melvin said. “We have a lot of local people that signed up to participate, because like next year the show on Labor Day is in Virginia. So, if you’re interested in getting your car judged nationally, this is your chance if you’re local to see some of the nicest cars around.”

However, if folks didn’t have a chance to venture over to the brewery for the first couple days, the third and final day on Sunday is where awards will be handed out. Melvin said Sunday’s event will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the awards being handed out somewhere between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Since most of the people being judged are from out of town that they will be heading out shortly after the awards. She said Saturday was their busiest day because every car had to be there to get judged.

A crew of judges from all over the country go through each car, and depending on which category the vehicle falls under, will be checked for cleanliness, originality, detail, etc. There are also different categories for cars that are considered “daily drivers” and those that have much lower mileage and were brought in on trailers.

“My husband’s car is a 1968, occasionally driven,” Melvin said.

Her husband has owned his Mustang for over 30 years and the two of them have made pit stops during their vacations to attend car shows, such as one down at Virginia Beach. She said a lot of people end up following the Mustang Club of America around with the hopes of earning themselves points toward special awards. Although the event is free to spectators, people actually having their cars judged pay to do so, and this year all the proceeds are going to Shriners Hospitals.

“Those looking to rack up points go to a lot of shows,” Melvin said.

So, with this being the last show of the year many are hoping to take awards home with them when the show wraps up.

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or