Mustang Alley celebrated its 20th anniversary last month, and Schaller said more than 1,000 pony cars lined the east and west side of Nine Mile Road on a sunny summer Saturday in Ferndale, Mich.
Jim Hardie's blue 2007 Mustang Shelby GT500 was among them.
Hardie, a native of Ontario, has made the trip across the border to Detroit four times to participate in Mustang Alley.
"We meet so many new friends," he said. "It gets to be a little community."
Hardie, who also owns a 1968 Shelby GT500, is part of Team Shelby, an owners club celebrating its 10th year. As part of the celebration, Ford gave members exclusive access to its Michigan Proving Ground track in Romeo, Mich., to drive the new 2019 Mustang Bullitt, as well as their own vehicles.
The company also hosted a dinner at Greenfield Village, an American history attraction not far from Ford's headquarters, featuring members of the Shelby family and other company dignitaries.
As with the Shelby owners this year, Ford two years ago celebrated another niche group: owners of the much-maligned Mustang II. The car, which was built off the Pinto platform to save money amid the 1970s oil crisis, has gained popularity in recent years thanks to classic car collectors.
As part of that celebration, Ford invited owners to its headquarters in Dearborn, Mich., the next day for a special gathering.
"It lets us honor and pay tribute to certain groups of Mustang owners," Schaller said. "It allows them to have a sense of camaraderie, not just within Mustang, but within their own niche groups."
Although Ford maintains an official display stand at Mustang Alley, where it sells merchandise and shows off new vehicles, most of the event is run by volunteers from inside and outside the company. The event is almost entirely paid for through a fee owners pay to park their cars.