Event: LA SAAC Car Show

LA Shelby American Car Show Featured

Santa Monica Dreaming

The Tony Souza Memorial show had 15 special guests—2015 Mustangs

By Steve Turner
Photos by Steve Turner and courtesy of Ford Motor Company

When you visit the Los Angeles area, you can’t go wrong stopping by the pier in Santa Monica, California. It’s a view that’s served as the backdrop for numerous TV shows and movies. The pier is really a boardwalk full of restaurants and attractions, including a Ferris wheel and a mini roller coaster. So when we learned that the Los Angeles Shelby American Automobile Club was having its annual show there, we couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning.

The 2015 Mustang was a big hit at the LA SAAC car show on Santa Monica Pier. During the media event we weren’t able to drive this silver Performance Pack car, but it is really sharp. This combo would look right at home in your author’s driveway…
The 2015 Mustang was a big hit at the LA SAAC car show on Santa Monica Pier. During the media event we weren’t able to drive this silver Performance Pack car, but it is really sharp. This combo would look right at home in your author’s driveway…

For the past 20 years the LA SAAC has held an annual show. Starting at Woodley Park in Van Nuys, California, it moved to the scenic pier location eight years ago. After the club’s secretary, and noted Shelby American historian, Tony Souza passed away in 2005, the club decided to honor him by making the show an annual memorial.

As it turned out, this year’s show was quite special. Not only was the pier filled with over 100 special Mustangs and Fords, but a group of really special guests joined the event for a couple hours.

“I cannot really tell you why Ford brought the new 2015 Mustang to our show other than we know a guy, who knows a guy, who knows another guy, who made a phone call. Timing was right as Chief Engineer Dave Pericak and his team were in SoCal for journalists to see and drive the new Mustang and they were available in the morning,” Randy Richardson, President of the LA SAAC explained. “I heard feedback that the Mustang team was excited to be at our show where they were able to view the 50 year history of Mustangs that we had on display, especially the vintage Shelby Mustangs.”

We happened to be in town to drive the new Mustang as well, so it was really great to see fifteen 2015 Mustangs roll down the pier and into the mix with a group of hardcore Ford enthusiasts. Take a look at the cars in action on the pier:

“The reaction from club members was overwhelmingly in favor of the new Mustang. The new styling, engine options and performance of the new Mustang had people excited,” Randy said. “We did not announce that the new Mustangs were coming so it was a great surprise to everyone to actually see them in person and hear directly from the Mustang Chief Engineer, Dave Pericak about the changes and features of the new Mustang.”

After discussing the new Mustang, Chief Engineer Dave Pericak surprised those in attendance by announcing that fifteen 2015 Mustangs were about to drive down the pier and join the show. It’s the kind of moment that we love to witness.
After discussing the new Mustang, Chief Engineer Dave Pericak surprised those in attendance by announcing that fifteen 2015 Mustangs were about to drive down the pier and join the show. It’s the kind of moment that we love to witness.

“Ford Motor Company and Mustang made it a special moment for car enthusiasts to see the new Mustang close up and in person during our show,” he added. “Being able to view the new Mustang in the daylight brings an entirely different appreciation for what Ford has done with the styling of such an iconic automobile. It looks like Mustang is going to have a long future ahead.”

With any luck, LA SAAC will have a bright future as well. Not only does this club host a great show, but it uses an annual Christmas party to raise money for various charities, including the LAPD’s holiday toy drive.

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We ran into SVTP member Michael Heintz and his sharp Boss 302. The car features a full complement of Ford Racing upgrades, including the Cobra Jet intake, Cobra Jet CAI, and Cobra Jet throttle body. In this form it is putting down 473 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque to the wheels. Michael hopes to move to E85 an push 500 rwhp with his NA combo.
We ran into SVTP member Michael Heintz and his sharp Boss 302. The car features a full complement of Ford Racing upgrades, including the Cobra Jet intake, Cobra Jet CAI, and Cobra Jet throttle body. In this form it is putting down 473 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque to the wheels. Michael hopes to move to E85 an push 500 rwhp with his NA combo.
It was really great seeing the team of Mustang engineers out interacting with the Mustang fans. Here Shawn Carney, ‎Mustang Vehicle Engineer, NVH, signed an S550 model.
It was really great seeing the team of Mustang engineers out interacting with the Mustang fans. Shawn Carney, ‎Mustang Vehicle Engineer, NVH, signed an S550 model, as did the rest of the engineers on hand.
In the midst of all the modern and historic hardware at the LA SAAC show, it was great to see a few Foxes representing. Jack Khachmanian’s T-top Saleen features a GT-40-spec 5.0 receiving boost from an intercooled ProCharger. Red accents tie in the black interior to the exterior.
In the midst of all the modern and historic hardware at the LA SAAC show, it was great to see a few Foxes representing. Jack Khachmanian’s T-top Saleen features a GT-40-spec 5.0 receiving boost from an intercooled ProCharger. Red accents tie in the black interior to the exterior.
Unassuming on the outside, Scott Heming’s Coyote features quite the mod list. Its GT500 wheels are obvious, but the car also wears a GT500 axle-back, a GT500 rear spoiler, and a Roush front splitter. It hunkers down on a Ford Racing suspension, and the a Ford Racing TrackCal maximizes the power. Hidden behind the wheels are Shelby/Baer brakes. Can you say sleeper?
Unassuming on the outside, Scott Heming’s Coyote features quite the mod list. Its GT500 wheels are obvious, but the car also wears a GT500 axle-back, a GT500 rear spoiler, and a Roush front splitter. It hunkers down on a Ford Racing suspension, and the a Ford Racing TrackCal maximizes the power. Hidden behind the wheels are Shelby/Baer brakes. Can you say sleeper?
Though it’s a convertible, Ken and Keegan Pomije’s 2007 Shelby GT500 sports a robust palette of mods. On the performance side, a JLT CAI, an AFCO heat exchanger, and a Corsa axle-back bolster the power. The suspension features a blend of Eibach, H&R, Steeda, and Tokico hardware, and big Brembo brakes do the stopping. The list of appearance gear is voluminous. Suffice it to say, they have a sharp Shelby.
Though it’s a convertible, Ken and Keegan Pomije’s 2007 Shelby GT500 sports a robust palette of mods. On the performance side, a JLT CAI, an AFCO heat exchanger, and a Corsa axle-back bolster the power. The suspension features a blend of Eibach, H&R, Steeda, and Tokico hardware, and big Brembo brakes do the stopping. The list of appearance gear is voluminous. Suffice it to say, they have a sharp Shelby.
We had a great chat with Federico Garza, who made the trip up for the show from Mexico in his GT500. One of a select few that owns the Shelby ’Stang in Mexico, he earns a living importing speed parts into his country from the US.
We had a great chat with Federico Garza, who made the trip up for the show from Mexico in his GT500. One of a select few that owns the Shelby ’Stang in Mexico, he earns a living importing speed parts into his country from the US.
Here’s a look at just how far the Mustang has come. Whether or not you are a fan of the latest Mustang, you can’t argue that Ford has positioned the breed to move into the future.
Here’s a look at just how far the Mustang has come. Whether or not you are a fan of the latest Mustang, you can’t argue that Ford has positioned the breed to move into the future.

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