A local Mustang club will host a Grand National show.
LIBERTY -- Gary Chamberlain's favorite part about a Mustang car club is the camaraderie.
"A Mustang is one of those things where, as soon as you see one somewhere, you stop and talk to the guy about it," said Chamberlain, vice president of the Mahoning Valley Mustangs.
Come Labor Day weekend, Chamberlain will be making a lot of new friends as his group hosts the Mustang Club of America 2005 Grand National Car Show.
400 Mustangs expected
The Mahoning Valley Mustangs, a local club dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of the iconic Ford vehicle, was awarded the show after running a national event in a couple of years ago.
"It's a very big honor," said Joe Horne, co-chairman of the event. "This will be the largest Mustang show ever in the state of Ohio."
Mustang enthusiasts from at least 30 states are expected to converge on the area Sept. 2-4. Horne thinks between 5,000 and 10,000 spectators could show up during the weekend, when some 400 Mustangs will be swarming the Holiday Inn MetroPlex.
Admission to the show is free, and Mustang owners will display their vehicles in the Holiday Inn parking lot. The event will feature sponsor booths and food vendors, as well as social activities during the evening.
Only Grand National this year
Chamberlain said the Mahoning Valley Mustangs applied to host the Grand National event about two years ago. The group had hosted a national event in 2002, and he said the Mustang Club of America was impressed.
Several national events take place annually, but the Grand National show is the key annual event within the Mustang subculture.
"There's one Grand National per year, and in 2005 it's right here in Youngstown, Ohio," Horne said.
Proceeds from the weekend will benefit the Tod Children's Hospital.