Ontario, Calif.-based California Pony Cars, a manufacturer of Mustang reproduction parts, was recently elated to find out their company messaging was reaching a younger demographic of Mustang enthusiasts. The company hosted a car show and open house event in January that was attended by more than 250 people and featured more than 150 vehicles.
The car show and open house was the first event of its kind hosted by California Pony Cars in more than 20 years.
“It was a younger crowd,” said Will Molloy, California Pony Cars media and marketing manager. “The majority of spectators at our show were between 18 and 30 years old. For the most part, we expected to see more classic cars from but the majority of them were late-model enthusiasts.”
Several companies, such as Tru Fiber, KAR Motorsports, TMI Performance Interiors, TurboSmart, and XIX wheels exhibited their products or showed off Mustangs at the event.
“KAR Motorsports from San Diego came in with quite a few of their late-model Mustangs, which were pretty sweet rides,” Molloy said. “All of these vendors came from within a 60-mile radius from us. The event was to bring in Mustang enthusiasts from the area and invite them to see our facility here, but also introduce them to other automotive companies in the area.”
With Mustang owners young and old, as well as local vendors and car clubs in attendance, Molloy said the event satisfied one of California Pony Car’s ongoing missions.
“Without those guys, companies like ours wouldn’t be around,” Molloy said. “We wanted to let them know that we’re here to support them even if they don’t buy from us, we still the support the big idea, which is enthusiasm for the Mustang.”
That mission, to support and serve the Mustang community, was established by the founder of California Pony Car, the late Ray Harrington. Molloy said the event was a way for the company to reconnect with Harrington’s legacy two years after his untimely passing.
“The event was a reinstatement from a branding standpoint that we’re still here and we’re still manufacturing American made parts for late-model Mustangs, as well as staying true to the classic Mustang,” Molloy said.
A moment of silence in tribute of Harrington was a highlight of the event, Molloy said.
California Pony Cars also offered shop tours to give customers an up-close look at the making of its products.
The timing of the car show and open house was ideal, according to Molloy, who helped the company put the event together in a couple months time. The event also allowed California Pony Cars to raise awareness about its new products, like its full-length radiator cover for the special-edition GT500, as well as celebrate milestones such as the company’s 30th anniversary, the 50th anniversary of the Mustang and the release of the 2015 Mustang.
The positive feedback the company received from the local car clubs and enthusiasts that attended confirmed that California Pony Cars’ open house and car show will be an annual event.
“To see that the work we put into it pay and still being able to accomplish what we needed to do on a day-to-day basis made us feel confident that we could do this again and bring another factor into it next time to up the scale,” Molloy said.
The Califorina Pony Cars team is already throwing around ideas to draw crowds at next year’s event, such as inviting special guest personalities known for their support of the Mustang hobby.
“We want people to know if they come out again that we’ll have something even better for them,” Molloy said. “The whole idea about it was the Mustang community coming together, and that’s what we were looking for. We were very pleased with the amount of support that we recieved.”