MAYETTA, Kan. (WIBW) – Automobile enthusiasts took in the talents of car owners from across the area and how they keep up their rides at the Topeka Mustang Club’s Car Show Sunday.
The event, which was hosted by Prairie Band Casino & Resort, featured various models of Mustangs and other cars that dated as far back as 1960s to as new as 2020.
People also had the chance to win a 2020 Mustang from the casino on its final weekend of Mustang giveaways during the month of August.
Roger Belanger, Topeka Mustang Club, Inc.’s President, founded the club in 1981 when he was looking for a group who shared his love of Mustangs.
“I thought if there’s no club why not form a club so we Mustang enthusiasts we can start talking about our Mustangs where we find parts, go to shows, et cetera.”
Belanger said nothing can replicate the feeling of being behind the wheel of a Mustang.
“To be honest I feel like I’m 16 years old; it’s hard to explain the fact that you feel younger than what you are and it helps out mentally.”
Michael Burdick, the club’s Marketing and Membership Director, said Sunday’s event, which was the first of its kind, helps keep the mission of the organization alive.
“This is to help support the automotive enthusiasts the people that are proud of their hobby or project, their car truck whatever it might be.”
Burdick said the car’s relevance still holds its place in American culture.
“The mustang is important; it’s an iconic car that’s been around since 1964; it’s a brand that’s withstood the times it’s just amazing all the way around like the other cars that are here but the mustang, it’s in its own class,” he said.
“It’s part of the icon, it’s a muscle car it’s a part of history that still continues to this day whether it’s from the 60s or one from 2020 it’s a brand that’s stood the test of time and continued to revolve.”
The event had a special meaning for Amber Pilant’s family who attended the show to uphold her late stepfather’s tradition of attending car shows.
“We’re all up for any kind of car show the old models dad used to love them he knew almost everything about a car, the old ones, at least,” she said.
“He always had a fascination for the older cars and how people could remake, remodel them and make them new again he always had a fascination with that stuff, he just always loved old fashioned cars.”
Pilant said she plans to teach her nine-month-old daughter about her late stepfather’s passion.
“Dad would want that to carry on the tradition every year just because he passed away in October doesn’t mean he didn’t want us to carry on his tradition,” she said.
Attendees who are not even old enough to get behind the wheel of a car found excitement at the show like 13-year-old Cale Banker.
“My car loves Fords and it’s kind of rubbed off on me,” he said.
“I don’t really have a great reason but I just like Ford cars and I just like fast cars and I like Ford cars.”
Burdick said having a community to share a love of cars with remains an important staple to the club.
“Especially with the current times with social distancing especially being outside on a beautiful day this is one more venue where people can come out get with other people and say ‘hey this is what I got’ and ‘hey look at yours how’d you do that?’ that’s what these events are for to build that kind of communication and those connections.”
The car show comes after the death of Topeka native and lifelong car salesman Laird Noller, whose dealership is the Topeka Mustang Club’s main sponsor.
Leadership described Noller as an early and active supporter of the club.
“[He was involved in] several, several [ways] that I can’t even start to begin he was involved with the club from day one this club started in 1981 and he in either a direct or indirect fashion has been around since day one,” Burdick said.
He added that it’s hard to think of think about the local car scene without thinking of Noller.
“I would call it a legacy because any Ford product and of course, they are a new and used car lot anything cars, that was Laird Noller.”
The Topeka Mustang Club’s next event is the 13th Annual Car Show on Saturday, September 12 from 10 am to 2 pm at Laird Noller Ford at 2245 S. Topeka Blvd.
Those interested in getting involved with the club can find it on Facebook.
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