'64 Mustang designer among the groundbreakers for
July 30, 2016
CONCORD — More than 100 Ford Mustang cars
lined up to park on the dusty strip of land that will soon be
home for the Mustang Owner’s Museum with car enthusiasts
gathering for a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday.
The groundbreaking ceremony, held at 60 Pitts
School Road NW, Concord, featured new and old Mustangs among
them, including a 1967 GT500, a 1970 Boss 302 and a 1978 King
Cobra, among others.
Officials said they expect the Concord museum
to have a soft opening in Summer 2017 and a grand opening that
“Ford calls the Mustang its heart and soul,”
said Cabarrus County Commissioners Chairman Steve Morris during
the groundbreaking ceremony. “So we are incredibly proud that
the national Mustang Owner’s Museum decided on Cabarrus County
to be the right place to call home.”
When officials announced the development of
the museum in May it was initially called the National Mustang
Museum. But since then, officials have changed the name to make
the title more inclusive to Mustang fans, letting them know this
is “their” museum.
“More than 9.6 million Mustangs have rolled
off of assembly lines and the best of the best will shelter
right here,” Morris said to the crowd of Mustang enthusiasts
gathered at the groundbreaking ceremony. “There’s no doubt that
the Mustang faithful, like yourselves, will make a special trip
to the museum. You will reminisce about the days you dreamed of
owning your own and the nights you spent tinkering in your
garage, somehow trying to improve on what is already one of the
world’s top performance machines.”
The development of the museum here stems from
the organizers of the 50th Anniversary of Mustang which was
celebrated in Concord in 2014.
While not affiliated with Ford Motor Company,
Mustang Club of America or any other Mustang related business
venture, the project is the concept of long-time Mustang
enthusiasts Steve Hall, from Atlanta, Georgia and Ron Bramlett,
from Morada, California.
Hall said they look to spend more than $1
million just in the construction of a new building that will
house the museum. That does not include the cost of the exhibits
The building looks to be in the range of
24,000 to 30,000 square-feet.
The building should be able to house about 50
cars on display at any given time, depending on the size of the
plan developers go with. The museum will have rotating exhibits
throughout each year.
Bramlett said they expect to be able to have a
rotating exhibit thanks to the support of Mustang fans in the
community, such as the Carolina Regional Mustang Club.
“The only one of its kind, this attraction
will serve as a gathering place for Mustang aficionados from
across the globe,” said Donna Carpenter, Cabarrus County
Convention and Visitors Bureau president/CEO. “A place where
stories are shared, friendships are formed and memories are
The project is coming to Concord thanks to a
relationship with the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors
Bureau. The bureau established a relationship with Hall and
Bramlett after working to attract and host the Mustang 50th
Birthday Celebration held in Concord in April 2014. Bramlett
served as the executive director of the event.
In addition to Mustang-related driving events
and various events at the museum, Hall and Bramlett are also
aiming to host a number of yearly Mustang gatherings to benefit
the museum which will be announced at a later date.
With the selected location just two miles from
Charlotte Motor Speedway, Hall and Bramlett have also started
exploring partnership opportunities with track officials.
Hall said they chose Concord for the museum,
because of the success of the 50th anniversary of the Mustang
event held in 2014.
Hall added Concord had a natural fan base for
car enthusiasts, making a good spot for the museum, in an area
known for its NASCAR ties.
“Known as ‘Where Racing Lives,’ Cabarrus
County is a destination that not only shares the history of the
sport, but allows all who pass through our area to be immersed
in the automotive culture,” Carpenter said. “By showcasing this
iconic car, the Mustang Owner’s Museum will provide a new
interactive way to discover horsepower in the heart of racing
Fans discovering that new attraction could
have a huge economic impact on Cabarrus County, just based on
the 50th anniversary of the Mustang celebration in 2014.
More than 50,000 Ford Mustang enthusiasts
spent about $8.3 million in Cabarrus County during the five-day
celebration marking the Mustang’s 50th anniversary in 2014,
according to estimates.
Officials said the estimates are based on the
Destination Marketing Association International event
calculator, which takes what type of event is being organized —
in this case sports: adult amateur — and calculates spending
based on room nights and other criteria. The results are based
on an estimated 9,600 room nights used by visitors during the
event, which ran from April 15 through April 20.
Of the estimated $8.3 million spent by
visitors during the event, about $5 million of that was direct
sales, such as a person buying an item from a store, or buying a
dinner from a restaurant. The remaining $3 million came from
indirect sales, such as the supplier bringing in items for the
store to sell, or a distributer selling food to a restaurant.
CVB officials estimate that 50th anniversary
of Mustang fans spent $1.2 million in lodgings just in Cabarrus
County. Fans, organizers and media/sponsors spent another
$458,878 in transportation costs.
The event also generated nearly $1.7 million
in food and beverage sales, and $1.2 million in retail sales. In
addition, the event generated $421,401 in local taxes.
That economic activity served to support 1,849
jobs during the celebration, officials estimate.
More than 4,000 Mustangs were registered to
participate at the events at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2014,
with cars from around the world.
Officials could see the presence of the
National Mustang Museum having a similar impact on Cabarrus
County on an annual basis.
“The Mustang is more than a car, it’s a part
of American culture,” Morris said. “That is why the national
Mustang Owner’s Museum will appeal to the millions of people
that visit our area each year. The Mustang is everywhere, it is
recognizable to all of us. It’s the most widely featured car on
big and small screens and it’s an inspiration for songs, its
featured in apparels, toys and games.”