Nine million sales and 54 years after it first hit the showrooms on April 17, 1964, the Ford Mustang will finally have a place of its own, to entertain its legions of fans and bask in their adoration – The National Mustang Museum. The official groundbreaking for the museum is scheduled for July 30, 2016. The Saturday afternoon ceremony will take place in Concord, North Carolina and will be preceded by a Friday night banquet featuring guest speakers from the Mustang world. Everyone attending the groundbreaking ceremony will receive a special invitation to the Grand Opening of the National Mustang Museum, projected for the summer of 2017.
National Mustang Museum conceived at Mustang 50th birthday event
Discussion of the National Mustang Museum (NMM) took place during the Mustang’s 50th Birthday Celebration between the event’s director, Ron Bramlett, and his assistant director Steve Hall. Things remained in the “what if…” stage until a chance meeting between Hall and Donna Carpenter, head of the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CCCVB) in December of 2015. Ms. Carpenter assured Hall that the CCCVB would support the museum if it were located in Cabarrus County.
Hall and Bramlett found a location they liked just two miles from Charlotte Motor Speedway, and met with city and county officials to outline their plan. In a county whose motto is, “Where Racing Lives,” officials made it clear that they would support the NMM in every way possible. Ms. Carpenter summed up the official enthusiasm when she said, “This project is an ideal fit for our community and we’re eager to start welcoming Mustang lovers and even more auto enthusiasts from around the world to Cabarrus.”
Co-founders conduct low-profile due diligence
Ron Bramlett is a 10-year member of the Mustang Club of America (MCA) and is a principal in Mustangs Plus, a supplier of Mustang restoration parts, aftermarket parts, and accessories. Steve Hall is a director of Down the Road Marketing and handles much of MCA’s marketing, including the “Mustang Express” email newsletter. Bramlett and Hall formulated a concrete business plan and conducted their due diligence for their business model before taking the project public.
Both were determined that this project would not meet the same fate as a previous effort for a Mustang museum that generated great initial interest, but then dissolved and disappeared. Bramlett and Hall wanted to show people they were well on their way, not like that other project. When the official public announcement was made on May 3, 2016 at the meeting of the Carolina Regional Mustang Club in Charlotte, North Carolina, the NMM was ready to roll. The co-founders could then announce, “We have already selected a city, and a location within that city, and are in the building permit stage. We even have the overall dimensions of the building and are currently working on the interior layout.”
Museum organized as a self-supporting business
The National Mustang Museum is organized as a self-supporting business that is not affiliated with Ford Motor Company, Mustang Club of America, or any other Mustang-related business. That’s not to say that there isn’t a place for Ford Motor Company at the museum. Bramlett says, “For the museum, our plan is to get it going first, and then Ford will see in what ways it makes sense for them to be involved and then, hopefully, they will want to work with us in the future.”
The operation will be a business, not a charitable or non-profit organization. The museum will, of course, choose which charities and organizations it will support, but it will not rely on donations to survive. Bramlett said, “We don’t see continually being in a fundraising mode as the road to success. But, if we manage the museum as an entertainment business, our goal will be to have the museum become the ‘home’ for an ongoing series of different attractions for all things Mustang.”
There is also a plan to use Mustang-related driving events around the country, as well as various events at the museum, to help benefit the museum. A couple of yearly Mustang gatherings are in the planning stage. One of the events will be scheduled for National Mustang Day, which is on April 17 every year.
Are Bramlett and Hall still enthusiastic about the museum after all the hard work and long hours they’ve put in? You bet. Says Bramlett, “We built this plan from the ground up as lifelong Mustang enthusiasts. We can’t wait to get it up and running.”
For all of the latest information and to sign up for the museum’s email newsletter, please visit the National Mustang Museum website.
National Mustang Museum http://www.thenationalmustangmuseum.com/
Virginia Classic Mustang Parts http://blog.virginiaclassicmustang.com/2016/05/the-national-mustang-museum.html