I have been around Mustangs a long time, I bought my first one in 1987 when I was only 14 years old. Back then if you needed parts you went to a junkyard, parts store, or if you were lucky a speed shop. Somewhere in the early 90s this all changed as this crazy thing called the internet started to take over our lives.
I still remember looking for a fuel pump upgrade for my fairly new 91 Mustang GT. My dad was on the computer and found this crazy board called The Corral. It was an old school drop down style message board (remember those???) and he found a fuel pump on there that I ended up emailing the owner and buying from. This started a cycle of buying and selling parts on forums like the Corral for the next 25+ years, at some point even being my only source of income.
At Mustang Week nearly every car we saw with a driver under age 40 had a instagram sticker.
I ended up spending hours not only checking the classifieds, but searching all over these webpages and making lifelong friends, and a few enemies, in the process. The Corral, Superstallions, Stangnet, SVT Performance, and a few others sucked all my free time. We bought and sold parts, traded stories, talked tech, learned from each other’s mistakes, and spent hours smack talking with people all over the country. It was an amazing time to be in the hobby for sure.
Fast forward to today and my how times have changed. I remember when a day never went by where I was not on some Mustang forum multiple times a day, now honestly I may go on once or twice a week tops. What changed? Facebook and Instagram. These two sites have had massive impact on many things we do in life and the Mustang hobby is one of them.
Instagram is growing quickly in popularity with the Mustang crowd, especially younger enthusiasts.
I have been on FB since nearly the beginning when it was a good way to network with other college grads, I will admit I am relatively new to IG but am using it nearly daily now. All my Mustang friends I used to see on different forums? They are ALL on Facebook. I can see what they are up to, check out their cars, talk shop, etc. Basically Facebook has become the equivalent of the forum “lounge” where you can talk about anything and everything.
If you want something more technical or model specific the FB Groups are only a click away and there are thousands to choose from. Like Coyotes? You have Anything Coyote, Everything Coyote, Nothing Coyote, Hardcore Coyote, and probably 50 others that have now replaced the “tech” part of the forums. If you spend time on these groups you know I use the term “Tech” loosely but there is a ton of information there if you have time to look.
Looking for Mustang events and classifieds? FB has groups for those as well. If you just want to see come killer pictures Instagram is the place to go. There are thousands and thousands of Mustang owners there and with built in editing IG has some of the best pictures around. IG also has more and more groups popping up where you can find out about local meets and events as well. Walk around Mustang Week and you will see hundreds of cars with IG names written on them in search of more followers but we will save that for another day.
Where does that leave the forums? While some of the larger ones like The Corral have been sold and have changed, others like SVT Performance stayed true to their roots and are even expanded into social media and evolving to current trends. So what do you think? Do you still use forums? Is there still a need for them? Or do you think that they served their purpose and will have to evolve or be eliminated by giants like Facebook and Instagram?