Launched on the 17th of April 1964 in New York, the Ford Mustang has become a legend of the muscle car era. An affordable but powerful car aimed at young Americans, after the first 18 months of production, over a million cars had been sold… even Carroll Shelby knew how good it was!
Popularised further by the Bullitt-era and cult films such as Gone in 60 Seconds; six generations and multiple body shapes later, the Mustang is still one of the most iconic classic American vehicles around. Today, the Mustang sits proudly amongst the likes of the Corvette, Camaro, Charger, and Firebird, and Mustang owners have an appreciation of all classic American vehicles.
Let us introduce you to the Surrey Mustang Owners Club
Formed in 2016, the Surrey Mustang Owners Club is a club based in Surrey with members across the south east of England who own Ford Mustangs and other American cars of interest. The Club actually started as a Facebook group but quickly moved to physical meets and attending events together as they grew, leading eventually to forming an organising Committee and welcoming subscribed members.
At the core of this clubs’ ethos is welcoming all owners of Ford Mustang or other American cars of interest. Not only are the Committee and members passionate about their vehicles, but they are also a very friendly and social bunch and love helping each other out with car projects.
Our association with the Surrey Mustang Owners Club started in August 2020 and through our experience of insuring classic and modified American vehicles, we are already making plans for the year ahead and want to show our full support for team running the club and its members.
We caught up with Andy Tompkinson, Treasurer & Membership Secretary, to find out more…
Tell us a bit about the club?
We started as a ‘Facebook’ group in June 2016, but quickly moved from interactions on social media to physical meetings at two venues in Surrey. We still operate the Facebook group with over 400 members, but we also have full subscribing members who routinely participate in our events and meets of about 150 and still growing.
The decision to hold our own annual event gave rise to a need for some club funds, so we moved to asking for a £5.00 annual subscription. Being a local club and meeting each other as frequently as we do, we have become a group of friends with a common interest. We meet year-round, with or without our Mustangs. We are proud to welcome members and their families too to our meets.
Describe the club in three words?
Friendly, Dedicated, Professional.
How many people are there in the team who run the club?
We have an admin team of five, comprising Darren De Quincey as Founder & Chairman, myself- Andy Tompkinson as Treasurer & Membership Secretary, along with Jeremy Horne, Paul McKinnon and Richard Ledsom who are all general administrators picking up whatever activities and decisions that may be required.
As we have grown and improved, the effort required to manage the club has increased dramatically but we are all good friends and a strong team. We enjoy it.
For those that might not know, tell us a bit about the vehicles that are covered by the club?
We are primarily a club focussed on Ford Mustangs across the six generations of cars from mid-1964 to the present day. We are proud to have an equal mix of classic and modern-day models with members having a lot of knowledge and experience of their cars. We also welcome owners of other American cars and we have members with cars as diverse as Thunderbird, Corvette, Cougar, Comet and Firebird.
How about you Andy, how long have you been involved?
I joined Surrey Mustang Owners Club in June 2017 and I was asked to join the admin team in May 2018. Through the late seventies and eighties, I was heavily into the custom car and hot-rod scene. After a string of company cars since the nineties I made the return to car ownership in 2016 with my purchase of a Mustang S550 GT 5.0 V8 in Race Red. After 18 months with that car, I was fortunate to upgrade to the new ‘face-lift’ model which is an exceptional machine. The car is my hobby and my daily drive.
Do members receive benefits for being part of the club?
Since starting to take an annual subscription we have worked very hard to secure a number of benefits for our full members through our website. We have negotiated members’ discounts with over twenty key suppliers and service providers. We have a range of high-quality merchandise available to buy. CL: Members receive a discount on their Mustang classic car insurance with ClassicLine Insurance too. Be sure to quote the SMOC discount reference shown on the ‘Members Area’ page when contacting us.
Members also receive a monthly newsletter with information about meets or events and have priority booking for these. Further, members have access to an extensive owner and service manual library and access to our YouTube channel. We think that represents great value for money.
Tell us about your club meets…
So, we meet at The Fairmile PH in Cobham Surrey every second Sunday morning, and at The Black Swan, Ockham every fourth Sunday morning.
Additional weekday evening meets run through the summer months when we get together for a drink and a meal. These are always well supported, and we’ll often have a display of 40-50 cars.
We also hold a Christmas Party every year.
We’ve heard great things about your ‘All American Event & BBQ’, tell us more…
We usually hold our annual show – ‘All American Event & BBQ’ on or around 4th July each year.
Our 2019 show attracted over 150 Mustangs and the full spectrum of classic American cars. Our hosts at The Fairmile, Cobham, put on a great BBQ, a local DJ provided the appropriate soundtrack for the day and a number of trade stands added extra interest. Our sponsors supported the ‘Best of Show’ awards too. We hope to hold our 2021 event on 3rd July although this one will be full members only. CL: We’d love to see photos of this year’s event so fingers crossed it can go ahead.
Do you attend other shows as a club?
Our club attends numerous events throughout the year. We have attended Wings & Wheels at Dunsfold Park, Horsham AmeriCarNa, American Day at Brooklands Museum, and many events at Beaulieu and Goodwood. A number of Surrey based local shows fill in any gaps in the diary. We have a close relationship with a neighbouring club – South Coast Muzzers and we frequently support each other’s events.
Any moments that stand out for you over the years?
Our high point was without doubt our 2019 annual event. As our first event it was a steep learning curve and a great deal of work and organisation but the satisfaction derived from seeing everybody have such a great day in the July sunshine was rewarding for the admin team and our members. Hopefully this year’s event will be just as successful!
We see the club has won a few awards…
Our club was awarded 1st place at Wings and Wheels at Dunsfold – Club of the Year in 2018. This meant a lot to everybody as we were early on our journey of growing the club.
Does the club support a charity?
Our association with The Fairmile PH for our 2019 annual event provided help for Macmillan Cancer Support, and a number of us attended a show the next day raising funds for this excellent cause. We have plans to support local causes in 2021.
What tips would you give to young enthusiasts?
The classic car scene in the UK is in good shape and will continue to be so all the time we respect each other and the cars we drive.
Single marque clubs like ours need to continue to welcome new models as well as classics and recognise them for the engineering progress they represent. Young drivers getting into the classic scene need the same thing as older drivers – a fat wallet and a sense of humour!!
What makes you proud to be a member of Surrey Mustang Owners Club?
Without doubt the support and engagement of our members who recognise the benefits of investing in full membership and continue to support our events year-round. I think all the admin team are very proud of the club we have built together.
After a show season which has been wiped out by Covid -19 we are looking forward to a great 2021 and already making plans for our own annual event.
I would also like to add that we welcome all owners of Ford Mustang or other American cars of interest to consider joining us. We are a very friendly and social bunch with a full diary and some great benefits which we work hard to maintain and improve. For full details please visit our website https://www.surreymustangownersclub.co.uk/.
So, these are the people behind one of our favourite clubs. Working hard behind the scenes to maintain a really social and friendly club, as well as securing lots of benefits and discounts for members. Surrey Mustang Owners Club, thank you for being our club of the month.
ClassicLine Insurance offer a range of car club insurance schemes that can provide revenue for your club as well as benefits and discounts for your members. To find out more about this and our specialist club liability insurance, visit our car clubs page.