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JUN 29, 2023 | By John M. Clor

Club Cruises To A Diner In Flat Rock, Winds Up In A French TV Documentary

mustang club at station 24

FLAT ROCK, MI. – Mustang club cruise-ins to cars & coffee events, restaurants and ice cream shops are a staple of the Ford collector car hobby. In fact, Mustang clubs from across the country engage in this weekly ritual all summer long. But then there’s the Mustang Club of SouthEastern Michigan (MOCSEM), one of the largest and most active Mustang clubs in North America, that likes to try new things at new places just to make the club experience a bit more memorable. So when longtime MOCSEM president Mike Rey got word of a cool new burger joint opening up in the community of Flat Rock, Michigan, just west of Detroit, he jumped on the chance to set up club cruise-ins there.

Any Mustang fan worth their salt knows that Flat Rock is the home of the Ford Mustang, and has been the world’s source for the iconic Ford pony car ever since Ford moved Mustang production from the old Dearborn Assembly Plant to what’s now known as the Flat Rock Assembly Plant for the 2005 model year. So what club member wouldn’t want to check out a new eatery in Mustang’s hometown? Exactly! The place is called Station 24, located along Telegraph Road (famed US Highway 24) in historic downtown Flat Rock. Better still, entrepreneurial owners Monica and Gerardo had converted an old Texaco station into this modern spin on an auto-themed diner, offering hand-crafted hamburgers along with soups, salads, sandwiches, soft drinks, smoothies – and even more. So it was that MOCSEM has added Station 24 to its summer cruise-in list – and to spice things up for a late-June cruise there last year, Mike Rey arranged for a French TV film crew to be on-site to see and talk Mustangs with MOCSEM members.

Because MOCSEM is in Ford’s backyard and is so visible in the Mustang world, Rey fields all sorts of requests from Ford and Mustang fans from all over the world. Last year, a French journalist named Jérôme Momcilovic contacted Rey to say he would be visiting Detroit to shoot a few short documentaries for French television, with one of them about Ford’s history and legacy. He was wondering if Mike could arrange for him to attend the MOCSEM cruise-in at Station 24 to talk with owners about their love for the Mustang and how these cars shaped American and local culture. Rey discovered that Momcilovic worked for a French TV program called Invitation au voyage. It airs daily on ARTE, their main French/German cultural network. Each of the four films per day runs about 13 minutes long, following the challenge to discover a foreign place through the inspiration it gave to any artist, or through the legacy of any event/institution, etc. They had already filmed on-location segments about Henry Ford and the early years of Ford (at the Piquette Plant and Highland Park); a history of Ford workers (at the Rouge Plant and Ford’s Dearborn campus) on how the industry shaped Detroit; and Ford’s urban renewal project at Detroit’s Michigan Central Station and Corktown. The last would be a segment about the cultural legacy of Ford cars – and the iconic Ford Mustang.

“Filming beautiful Ford cars is what we need -- there’ll be just two of us: a skilled cameraman and me,” Jerome told Mike while asking to join the MOCSEM cruise at Station 24. “Mustangs are a perfect choice since this part is supposed to evoke the 1960s. It also is my favorite Ford car (along with the Gran Torino). I shall say I'm not at all an expert in cars. But I love beautiful things, and these cars you collect certainly are!

“Apart from filming cars (and their owners), we also need to shoot an interview,” he continued. “Basically we want to hear about Ford (old) cars, why they're still beloved, what their legacy is, what efforts are made to preserve them, how they represent American culture, and what Detroit means for car lovers. It will be good also to talk about the years when these beauties were produced: what the Detroit area was back then, how these cars were selling, what they embodied for people, etc. Would someone at MOCSEM agree to give us this filmed interview?”

That’s when Rey Invited Ford Performance to attend and share some interview duties with the French TV duo. They were already filming Mustangs when we pulled into the over-filled Station 24 lot on cruise-in night, with Mustangs parked up and down all the adjacent streets in Downtown Flat Rock. We ordered a great burger-and-fries combo while watching Mustang walkarounds and owner-interviews, then got some time in front of the camera talking about Ford’s storied automotive heritage, all while giving Flat Rock and MOCSEM a shout out (as well as our one-of-a-kind Ford Performance Club Connect program). Best we could figure, the French TV videos that had aired on https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/RC-014340/invitation-au-voyage/ don’t’ work in the U.S., but Momcilovic tells us the Ford segments were a smash hit. In case you wondered what it looks like to attend a club cruise-in where members wound up on a French TV documentary – check out some of our photos from the event below. And when it comes to those Mustangs, we’re sure everyone there was saying – Ooh la la!