We didn’t have an Open House this year, but we did this cruise-in, and it turned out almost as fun! The weather was perfect – hot and sunny. We began the event at Factory Five with an Open House-style plant tour and all of our latest cars on display.
Most of the Factory Five was on hand to clean-up and get ready for visitors. Customers began arriving at 8:30 AM, and about 30 custom-built Factory Fives were parked in the front circle drive staged for the cruise which would start at 10 AM.
Factory Five engineers set-up a virtual reality demo in the showroom so people could get a first-hand look at how we are designing the future Factory Five vehicles. In the R&D shop, we had a steel body ’33 Hot Rod that is being built for our partners at BluePrint Engines. Next to it is the Mk4-R Challenge Car destined for Joey Logano’s shop and an upcoming episode of Snap-On Tools’ “From the Ground Up.”
The Factory Five ’35 Hot Rod Truck, now with full fenders, is now in production and customers got a chance to see truck kits being built as well as our new production demo truck that looks period-correct on the outside, but sports Edelbrock’s 691 HP supercharged Coyote kit under the hood.
The short drive from Factory Five to the Newport Car Museum is about 35-40 minutes. There were no major delays, and the route was mostly highway. By mid-morning, the sun was hot with temps around 85 degrees.
The Newport Car Museum has a very impressive collection on cars. There is a new American Muscle Car section that was just added a few weeks ago which compliments the European/Sports Car display, the all Corvette wing, and the very cool Shelby/Ford room. Museum owner Gunther welcomed all of the Factory Five cruisers, and gave a brief introduction to the museum. Museum staff provided refreshments and seat time in their driving simulators! The Ford display included an original CSX 427 Cobra, an aluminum-bodied replica 427, an original 1965 GT350 R-code Mustang, numerous other Shelby Mustangs, and even a newer Shelby Series-1 car and Daytona Coupe replica.
Huge thanks to the staff at the Newport Car Museum and to all of the customers for this fun event! We may do another cruise-in this fall.