GREAT FALLS — A vehicle synonymous with the American auto industry will be celebrated this weekend in Great Falls. On Saturday, June 10th, the Russell Country Ford and Mustang Club will host its 13th annual ‘Fords Forever Car Show’.
Club president Mike Hryszko will be proudly showing off his 2007 Shelby GT-Hertz.
“This is one of 500 vehicles that they made, designed and labeled as a GT-Hertz, kind of a collectible vehicle,” said Hryszko. “I just like it because it's a convertible and it's a car that goes fast.”
Ironically, it began as a rental car. It will be on display with about 70 other vehicles on Saturday - but it’s not just Mustangs that will be showcased.
Mike is inviting the community to bring out anything with a Ford or Mercury connection: “Last year, someone brought a snow blower that was made by Ford."
Hryszko says that snowblower would fit well into the new oddball class that’s part of the show.
“A lot of folks have lots of little stuff hidden around here, and we want people to come out and show the world that, Ford just didn't do cars, they alos did tractors.”
Hryszko says the cars on display come in all sizes.
“We've got one gentleman in town and he's got a collection of Ford pickup trucks,” said Hryzko. “They're the 1/64 scale. They're all Ford and they all have a country act or actors and actresses on them.”
“We'll have more than just Mustangs,” said club vice-president Stephanie Simmons. “We'll have other older Ford cars and pickups and things like that.”
Hryszko says the cars don’t have to be in pristine condition.
“I really enjoy seeing the folks that have got a car that they're working on, a project car,” said Hryszko. “I would love to see some of those because it's really fun to see the young kids playing with the old cars and trying to learn new stuff.”
Hryszko calls the Mustang the first true hot rod and it has an interesting backstory dating back to when legendary auto designer Carroll Shelby team up with Ford to build the car.
“It was a vehicle that was in its first year, 1964, was really targeted towards women,” said Hryszko. “It was called a secretary car. Over the years, it just developed into a vehicle that has a strong heritage.”
Simmons and her husband each own a Mustang. Her husband's is a 1965, while her’s a 2014.
“I really enjoy riding in the other car, but I love my convertible,” said Simmons.
Hryszko says the car can also bring out people’s nostalgic side saying it can be an emotional trip down memory lane.
“My wife has a '64 and a half Mustang and we're finishing a restoration on it,” said Hryszko. “The first year we put it out in the show, a lady walked up and she's sort of looking at the car and she got kind of teary eyed, and she wanted to look inside of it and everything. She looked at the serial number and she had owned that car back when she was in high school.”
The show is Saturday, June 10th at Bison Ford (500 10th Avenue South). Hryszko asks participants to come in through the 7th Street South side.
Registration will be from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM and the show is from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM with awards presented at 2:30 PM. The entry fee is $10 for the first vehicle and one non-perishable food item per additional entry.
Spectators are encouraged to donate food items for the Great Falls Community Food Bank.
Hryszko says a portion of the proceeds from the event will be distributed to a non-profit organization.
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