Sheer joy

Fairton School pupils Hailey Langton, from left, Grace Bramley, Eli Fahey, Lilly McKain and Evie Mcilwaine enjoy sitting in Colin Sweetman's dark candy appled coloured 2009 Mustang GT Convertible.
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Pupils at Fairton School got into the driving seats of some iconic Mustang muscle cars during a fun, special treat.

The treat, during a school lunch time, included eating American styled hotdogs and was part of a visit by Mid Canterbury members of the Canterbury Mustang Owners Club.

It was also attended by a few residents from Princes Court Lifecare and some parents.

Fairton School teacher Angela Muckle said the visit was an exciting reward for the 27 pupils of the school.

‘‘It’s a chance for them to see the cars up close and meet the owners … it’s a fun day for the kids.’’


Eight Mustang cars, ranging in years from 1965 Fastback to an ultra modern RTR Mustang, purred their way into the school grounds, in front of pupils enjoying their hotdog lunches, before parking up.

There were a mix of convertibles, left hand drives and right hand drives to enjoy.

Helpers from Friends of Fairton were preparing hotdogs for the kids and guests, and after lunch pupils were taking photographs of the cars to make them into iMovies as part of their learning, she said.

Mustang owner Debbie Currey has an association with Fairton School through her work with He Waka Tapu and was able to show pupils at the school her blue 2022 Mustang Z GT.

Mustang owner Debbie Currey with Fairton School pupils, from left, Faith Colgan, Kourtney Haskett, Lilly McKain and Mackenize Doyle.

A member of the Canterbury Mustang Owners Club, she has owned it for around 14 months.

It’s her every day car and she loves it, ‘‘the sound, the speed, the whole lot’’.

‘‘I had wanted a Mustang for about 30 years,’’ she said.

‘‘Blue is my favourite colour and I just saw that blue and fell in love with it.

‘‘I did the quarter mile in it not long after I got it, so that was a chance to put my foot down and go for it. It drives very well,’’ she said, with a smile.


Fellow club members Colin Sweetman and Patrick Forde said the club had been to a few schools around Ashburton in recent years.

Patrick said the Mid Canterbury Mustang owners did a couple of visits a year. They started visits in 2020.

‘‘We tend to do a couple of school visits a year, we do a rest-home visit, we might have a cruise to Geraldine or Methven for a bit of lunch and pint.

‘‘We get a lot of invitations to do college balls … weddings, birthdays. It’s about putting smiles on faces.

Fairton School pupils check out the visiting Mustangs.

‘‘Owning such a car is really great but when you see the joy it can sometimes bring people – and not just the younger but the older – and the colour, and the variety in years and sheer sound.

‘‘So its the visual and what they can hear, they put out a great sound.’’

Colin, who has four Mustangs in his stable – two convertibles – one a 2009 and the other 2013 – a 1967 classic, and a 2022 modern – said there were around 15 members from Mid Canterbury in the club, which was ‘‘very, very active’’ with two or three events such as mid week runs, or trips a month.

‘‘It’s a sports car, what we call a muscle car,’’ he said.

Fairton School pupils check out the visiting Mustangs.