There is a certain mystique about west coast cars akin to the notion that California girls are somehow more desirable than their more easterly counterparts. This often hyped Mustang myth never made it as a title of a Beach Boys song, but countless magazine stories and the overuse of the term in want ads and at auctions have helped perpetuate the idea.
There is substance to the west coast car aura even though actual coastal town cars can succumb to salt and moisture problems not unlike those on the east coast. In general, west coast cars seem to lead less corrosive lives. That’s why right coasters are often amazed at the condition of daily drivers and project cars found in the West.
At car shows it’s tough to tell one restored car from another, regardless of its origin, but the unrestored cars are another story. The lure of a west coast car is an added reason to take in some of the larger left coast Mustang shows as part of a summer vacation. You get to see beautiful scenery, attend large Mustang shows and maybe even find a great car to drive home.
An area of the country that’s a big vacation destination is the Pacific Northwest. The highly varied geography provides countless outdoor activity possibilities. If your travels bring you to the greater Seattle area in July you should include a visit to the long-running Mustang Roundup, which is held mid-July in Bellevue, Washington. This multi-day event is billed as “The World’s Largest Annual Gathering of Mustangs.” The event is produced by the Mustangs Northwest club, www.mustangsnorthwest.org, or firstname.lastname@example.org, and includes something for every Mustang enthusiast.
Activities include a track day at Pacific Raceways; a Mustang Club of America judged show, and a Peoples Choice Show and All Ford Picnic. The Peoples Choice Show awards trophies in approximately 53 classes, which gives an idea of the show’s scope. The show events are held at the spacious, tree-lined, multi-level parking lot of Bellevue Community College.
The following photos provide a small sampling of the type of cars that attend the annual Mustang Roundup.
If you want to see vast quantities of west coast Mustangs the place to see them is at the annual Mustang Roundup, which is held in a Seattle suburb on the Bellevue Community College campus.
It’s rare enough to see one yellow ’68 Shelby GT500KR, let alone three. Only 86 examples were painted WT6066 Yellow in 1968. This trio of super Shelbys drew admiring crowds all day long. These cars are very impressive one at a time, but three of them are something else.
A large section of the huge parking lot was reserved for Saleen Mustangs. There was a big display of new Saleens surrounded by all years of Saleen Mustangs.
If you like red Mach I Mustangs you can find them congregated next to Mach Is of all colors. Having so many similar Mustangs in one place makes it easy to compare minor differences.
You’re very likely to find some amazingly rare cars at the Mustang Roundup—witness this Mustang II Monroe Handler and the miniature version parked next to it. A copy of HOT ROD magazine with a Monroe Handler on the cover was displayed with the car.
On the more original side of the Mustang II spectrum was this beautiful black with gold stripes 1977 Cobra II with a 302 V-8 and a 4-speed transmission. The tiny tires were 185/70R13 with the factory slotted aluminum wheels.
Weather at the Mustang Roundup tends to be very sunny, so it’s ideal for convertibles. A relatively rare example of a Fox body Mustang is this 1993 Limited Edition Feature Canary Yellow convertible. A total of 1503 were built.
Not everyone has fastback fever or convertible craziness. First generation coupes look very attractive when covered in Poppy Red paint. Dual redline tires and 14-inch styled steel wheels highlight the visual appeal of Don and Brenda Rutzer’s 1965 coupe. The immaculate coupe has the 225 hp 289, 4-speed top loader trans, and 8-inch rearend.
This 1990 former Washington State Patrol car was one of only four that received full WSP markings. The others were unmarked cars. The Mustang is totally original and correct down to the spark plug wires and still looked ready to catch miscreants.
There were lots of stunning modified Mustangs at the show including this brilliant candy orange ’67 fastback, which was powered by a 408-cube engine. The low stance is the courtesy of an Air Ride Suspension system.
This under construction 2+2 from The Mustang Shop was loaded with upgrades including a late-model engine, performance suspension and big brakes.
This highly desirable 1993 Cobra R model was offered for sale at slightly less than 40K.
The Mustang Roundup draws many well-known vendors, many of whom bring display cars. This two-seater “Ronster” sported a Mustang Plus (Stockton, CA) windshield banner. The blue paint was spectacular in the bright sunlight.
Another stunning blue Mustang was this late model with a Sinister 4 conversion from Auto FX in Tacoma, Washington.
Lots of Boss 302 Mustangs make it to the Mustang Roundup.
A smaller number of Boss 429s were in attendance, but that’s to be expected given their rarity. This 1970 Boss 429 is one of 58 (out of a total 499) that was painted Grabber Orange. Ed Rohrbaugh is the very lucky owner.
There is nothing subtle about a 1979 Mustang Pace Car. Although 10,478 were built only 2402 had the V-8 and 4-speed transmission like this car. The car looked great in spite of its 222,000 miles of use.
The 1984-1986 SVO Mustangs seemed like a super idea, but possibly their stout sticker price hurt sales. Cars like this ’86 Jalapeno Red example combined great handling with luxurious interiors and a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.
A very limited number of Saleen Mustangs were produced in coupe form. This ’88 Saleen is one of 25 produced that year. This Special Service (Police Package) was originally built for the Oregon State Police.
Bob and Joan Green own this beautiful Springtime Yellow 1965 2+2 that’s equipped with a 289-4 barrel and a wide ratio 4-speed. The car received a complete, ground up restoration.
We include British Columbia, Canada, when we speak of west coast Mustangs. A good number of BC cars attend the Roundup. This ’76 Cobra II belongs to the Greater Vancouver Mustang Association. It runs four wheel disc brakes and 17-inch wheels.
More and more Mustang builders are gravitating toward the under-priced first generation coupes since fastback and convertible prices have gotten so crazy. Candy blue with Shelby stripes makes a very handsome combination.
The Mustang Roundup draws a happy mix of stock and modified cars. Many of the late model Mustangs are super wild.
Even the trailers are super sharp at the Mustang Roundup.