Then make plans to attend the annual Cool City Car Show on Saturday, July 12, in downtown Bay City.
Not only does the show take place in one of the coolest downtowns around, it also is to feature one of the country’s newest and coolest rides — the 50th anniversary edition 2015 Ford Mustang.
Mike Thelen, car show organizer and general manager of Thelen Auto Group in Bangor Township — the company that sponsors the annual show — said he’s never seen the newest Mustang in person and the vehicle is not yet available to dealers.
“It has not been seen anywhere except the major car shows,” he said. “Ford Motor Co. itself has a rep that actually stays with the car the entire time. It’s not something that they just let out.”
Ford unveiled the sixth-generation pony car last December in Dearborn as part of a six-city, four-continent global unveiling. Other cities included New York; Los Angeles; Barcelona; Shanghai and Sydney.
Ford Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields was head of ceremonies for the Motor City unveiling, as Ford CEO and president Alan Mulally debuted the vehicle in the Big Apple. Fields shared stories of his first Mustang memories before unveiling the sixth-generation vehicle, which he suggested is a classic Mustang for a new generation.
“Our designers and engineers spent a lot of time going back through the history of Mustang, and looking at those design cues from the past, and interpreted that for a car for today,” Ford Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields said during the unveiling at Ford’s Conference and Events Center.
In keeping with the spirit under which the new Mustang was designed, members of the Mustang Club of Mid-Michigan, along with a collection of Mustangs from the Hagen Ford dealership in Bay City are to surround the 2015 Mustang during Saturday’s show. The ensemble is to fill an entire street in downtown Bay City.
“They’ll all be hanging out on one street, so you’ll be able to see a pretty cool display of Fords,” Thelen said.
And, in honor of Mustang’s milestone anniversary, a special trophy will be given out to the best Mustang in the show.
Other awards include:
- 75 best of show awards
- 20 best finish awards
- 9 extra-large trophies for specialty cars
- Best engine
- Best custom
- Best original; both restored to original condition and unrestored vehicles are eligible.
Thelen said the judges don’t critically inspect cars — they just pick the cars they each like the best, which can produce an interesting group of award-winners.
“We’ve had anywhere from rat rods all the way to brand new cars to cars from the 1920s win trophies,” he said. “They’re not judging a car because it’s a 100-point show car. They’re just looking for cool cars.”
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Despite the number of car shows in Bay City so far this summer, Thelen said he expects more than 500 cars this Saturday, on par with previous years. The Bay City River Roar and Bay City Fireworks Festival each featured inaugural car shows this summer as part of those events.
“I think that’s a great big complement to our car show,” Thelen said, adding that the Cool City Car Show has been a well-attended event that’s become tradition for many car enthusiasts. “Plus, every penny we raise goes to the American Cancer Society, and because of that, I think we’ve got a lot of loyal followers.”
The car show is the area’s biggest money generator for the annual Relay for Life event, said Brian Krause, Relay Specialist for Bay and Saginaw counties with the American Cancer Society.
“They’ve been the No. 1 fundraising team for the last few years,” Krause said, noting this year’s Relay for Life takes place Saturday, July 19, in Veterans Memorial Park. “They’re great at promoting the American Cancer Society, too. When people sign up for the Cool City Car Show, they know they are helping support local cancer patients, so it’s a win-win for us.”
Money raised at the event helps fund programs that help local cancer patients with free treatments and transportation, among other things, Krause said.
To-date, organizers of the annual event have donated well over $100,000 in proceeds to the American Cancer Society, Krause said.
According to Thelen, this year’s fundraising goal for the car show is $30,000, a hike from last year’s total amount raised, which topped out at $23,000.
“I hate saying it, because if we don’t get there, I’ll be disappointed,” Thelen said. “Last year we gave $23,000, and the year before it was $22,000 so it’s quite an increase this year. But, we should get darn close to it with everything we’ve got going on.”
Added features to this year’s Cool City Car Show include brand-new vehicle premiers from all local dealers, not just Thelen Auto Group.
“We just thought it’d be nice to open it up to everyone. All the car dealers from Bay City pitched in and are bringing their exciting new cars down this year,” Thelen said. “It’ll be pretty neat to have all the new cars mixed in with all the old, classic cars.”
Before any of the cars go on display, they’ll be cruising the streets of Essexville and Bay City as part of the “Cruze for a Cure” beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 11.
As is tradition on the evening before the car show, vehicle owners are invited to take part in a cruise from the former Hampton Towne Centre, 1415 W. Center Road in Hampton Township, to Bay Lanes Bowling Center at 4243 N. Euclid Ave. in Bangor Township.
Registration for the “Cruze for a Cure” begins at 2:30 p.m. at the Hampton Towne Centre, located near the intersection of Center and Pine roads.
See the map above for the specific cruise route.
Registration for the Cool City Car Show itself begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 12, at the Delta College Planetarium, 100 Center Ave. in downtown Bay City. The car show begins at 9 a.m. with vehicles set to line Center and Washington avenues and Adams and Water streets.
An Exhaust Rapping Contest begins at 11 a.m., followed by the four-person team competition at noon.
The awards presentation is at 3 p.m.
Cost to register a vehicle is $20 before 5 p.m. Thursday, July 10, and $25 after that date. The price includes entry to both the cruise and car show.
Admission to the car show on Saturday is free to the public.
For more information, visit www.thecoolcitycarshow.net or call 989-684-1873.