The origins of the Canterbury Mustang Owners Club extend back to informal gatherings of a small group of Mustang owners in the mid to late 1970’s, when Mustangs were rare but instantly recognisable thanks to their racing success on NZ tracks. Early names included Alan Green and Roy McRobbie, Barry Fairbrass, Ray Spencer, Glen Martin and others.
From these early meetings, the Club as we know it today was constituted in 1981, following on from the formal establishment of Mustang Owner Clubs in Taranaki, Auckland and Waikato. Early members from the 1980’s who are still active members include Ray and Gail Spencer, Barry Fairbrass, Glen and Kathryn Martin, Dennis and Erica Phillips, Peter and Gaye Plumridge, and Ashley and Sandy Smith. All have been recognised with Life Member awards.
Membership in the 1980’s and 1990’s was around 30 – 40, until changes in import regulations resulted in greater Mustang availability, and a progressive increase in membership through the 2000’s. Throughout this period (and very much still true today), the annual highlight for all of NZ’s Mustang Clubs (now seven) was the National Mustang Convention, held every Labour Weekend in October. Convention planning and hosting is sequentially rostered across the Clubs, and for thirty nine years these conventions have featured and showcased the Mustang sprit and legendary models, with large public shows and well planned social events for all national club members.
Canterbury has featured strongly in the storybook of the national conventions, with major events in 2003 and 2008 (both at the Christchurch Convention Centre), and 2014. The 2014 convention was an especially challenging event for CMOC, given the lack of facilities post earthquakes, and the expectations created by the special 50th anniversary of the famous Mustang brand! We managed to step up to the task, with what turned out to be NZ’s largest ever Convention (225 Mustangs under one roof at Turners), and the special feature of an advanced showing of the new 2015 right hand drive model that was subsequently launched late 2015. Attendees rated it as the best convention ever.
Concurrently through this period, CMOC experienced strong growth with membership rapidly climbing beyond 100, then to 200. President Jeff Waghorn and his wife Karen were subsequently awarded with life membership for steering the Club thought this period of growth and success. Since 2014, membership has grown further to present levels, boosted by (but not solely) by new RHD Mustang owners.
All members enjoy the benefits the Canterbury Mustang Owners Club offers. Annual events range in scale and variety, including our traditional New Year’s picnic run, strong CMOC displays at the Cromwell and USA (Woodend) car shows, the Canterbury All Ford Day (organised and hosted by CMOC for all Ford owners), the World Mustang Day anniversary every April 17, our very popular closed track day at Ruapuna, the Southern Muster gathering with our friends from Invercargill’s Southern Mustang Club, attendance at the National Mustang Convention at Labour weekend, and our large scale Christmas Lunch (and annual awards celebration) in early December. Plus numerous fun runs, outings and gatherings on a monthly basis!
As our website heading says, the Canterbury Mustang Owners Club is all about Mustang pride, passion, and our people. If you are not already a member, come and see for yourself!