Event: NPD Ford & Mustang Roundup

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Sun & Fun

Fords filled Silver Springs state park at the first major show of the year

By Steve Turner

While the rest of the country is still worried about winter tires and ice scrapers, the show season gets a head start in Florida. Each January the enthusiasts at National Parts Depot put on a massive show at the Silver Springs attraction, which recently became a state park. This year was no different, as over 800 Fords filled the park for two days of showing and shining in the Florida sun.

Each year, NPD chooses a vehicle to showcase on the stage that overlooks the show. It should be no surprise that the chosen vehicle for the 2015 show was the new Mustang. There were a few S550s on the elevated display, including Michael Altman’s rare 50th Anniversary edition. Since you won’t see too many of these in the wild, the Wimbledon White beauty attracted quite a crowd throughout the show.
Each year, NPD chooses a vehicle to showcase on the stage that overlooks the show. It should be no surprise that the chosen vehicle for the 2015 show was the new Mustang. There were a few S550s on the elevated display, including Michael Altman’s rare 50th Anniversary edition. Since you won’t see too many of these in the wild, the Wimbledon White beauty attracted quite a crowd throughout the show.

We made the trip over for the day to see what sort of cool late-model performance hardware might be on display, and there was plenty of it. From pristine 1993 Cobras to the latest Mustang GT and from nicely modded Lightnings to stockish Focus STs, there was a little something on hand for fans of all kinds of Ford performance gear.

We even spotted familiar vendors like TMI Products and VMP Tuning at the show.

If you aren’t familiar with the NPD show, the weekend kicks off with a Pony Trails cruise from NPD headquarters in Ocala, Florida, to Cedar Key, Florida. Over 100 Fords participated in this year’s cruise, which set the stage for the weekend.

One of your author’s all-time favorite Mustangs is the 2000 Cobra R. This raw rev machine offered the first hit of where Ford performance was headed. With a race tuned IRS suspension and a high-rpm engine that still delivered a nice grunt of torque, the New Edge R-model is a raucous good time. Only 300 of these machines were built, and Darlene Robbins showed off this pristine example that took us right back to riding in one at 180 mph.
One of your author’s all-time favorite Mustangs is the 2000 Cobra R. This raw rev machine offered the first hint of where Ford performance was headed. With a race-tuned IRS suspension and a high-rpm engine that still delivered a nice grunt of torque, the New Edge R-model is a raucous good time. Only 300 of these machines were built, and Darlene Robbins showed off this pristine example that took us right back to riding in one at 180 mph.

The show itself is all about being laid back. It is free for owners of 1993 and earlier Fords, while the newer cars pay just $10 for the weekend.

Moreover, all the judging is done in a People’s Choice format, so it’s all by popular vote. There isn’t any stringent judging process, which keeps it fun for everyone.

We certainly enjoyed our day at the show, and if it sounds like fun to you, they will do it again next January, so visit their site for the latest details.

Until then, enjoy some of the cool cars we spotted at Silver Springs.

Number 2,078 of 4,966 built in the 2000 model year, Rob James’ Lightning is a clean example of SVT’s powerhouse pickup. His example is nicely modded with a billet grille, a cold air intake, a carbon-fiber radiator cover, and a host of billet underhood enhancements.
Number 2,078 of 4,966 built in the 2000 model year, Rob James’ Lightning is a clean example of SVT’s powerhouse pickup. His truck is nicely modded with a billet grille, a cold air intake, a carbon-fiber radiator cover, and a host of billet underhood enhancements.
There are few New Edge Mustangs that are more desirable than a Terminator. Your scribe has always had a soft spot for the silver version, and Bob Egloff’s Cobra is number 2,355 of 3,768 built during the 2004 model year. Rolling on polished custom wheels, Bob’s ride wears a JLT cold-air intake and a larger intercooler reservoir.
There are few New Edge Mustangs that are more desirable than a Terminator. Your scribe has always had a soft spot for the silver version, and Bob Egloff’s Cobra is number 2,355 of 3,768 built during the 2004 model year. Rolling on polished custom wheels, Bob’s ride wears a JLT cold-air intake and a larger intercooler reservoir.
For those of us that grew up in the Fox era, Michael Carralero’s beautiful 1990 LX stirs the soul of your boyhood automotive enthusiasm. His car represents the pinnacle of streetable performance from that era. Thanks the Vortech S-Trim, Cobra intake, GT-40X heads, and all the supporting bolt-ons, Michael’s LX puts down 453 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque. It also looks pretty sharp rolling on 10th Anniversary Cobra-style wheels.
For those of us that grew up in the Fox era, Michael Carralero’s beautiful 1990 LX stirs the soul of your boyhood automotive enthusiasm. His car represents the pinnacle of streetable performance from that era. Thanks the Vortech S-Trim, Cobra intake, GT-40X heads, and all the supporting bolt-ons, Michael’s LX puts down 453 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque. It also looks pretty sharp rolling on 10th Anniversary Cobra-style wheels.
Our friends at VMP Tuning were on hand showing off the company’s repertoire of supercharger and tuning products. In addition to several company vehicles on display, we noted several VMP dyno sheets and parts under the hoods of cars at the show. VMP’s Rebecca Starkey even took her 9-second Coyote on pre-event Pony Trails cruise.
Our friends at VMP Tuning were on hand showing off the company’s repertoire of supercharger and tuning products. In addition to several company vehicles on display, we noted several VMP dyno sheets and parts under the hoods of cars at the show. VMP’s Rebecca Starkey even took her 9-second Coyote on the pre-event Pony Trails cruise.
Speaking of VMP customers, Brian Ross showed off his 2013 GT at Silver Springs it sports a ProCharged Coyote that puts down 563 horsepower and 459.88 lb-ft of torque to the wheels. Under the hood it wears a custom-painted engine cover and several chrome dress-up bits.
Speaking of VMP customers, Brian Ross showed off his 2013 GT at Silver Springs it sports a ProCharged Coyote that puts down 563 horsepower and 459.88 lb-ft of torque to the wheels. Under the hood it wears a custom-painted engine cover and several chrome dress-up bits.
One of our favorite parts about attending car shows is finding the unique touches that people add their cars. Now, some are a bit too unique, but in the case of Alex Martinez’s 1995 Mustang, the Trinity GT500-style hood vent looks right at home on the SN-95. It is also quite functional in releasing hot underhood air. That comes in handy, as Alex’s ride features a Terminator 4.6 underhood!
One of our favorite things about attending car shows is finding the unique touches that people add their cars. Now, some are a bit too unique, but in the case of Alex Martinez’s 1995 Mustang, the Trinity GT500-style hood vent looks right at home on the SN-95. It is also quite functional in releasing hot underhood air. That comes in handy, as Alex’s ride features a Terminator 4.6 underhood!
Also on hand in the vendor area was TMI Products. They were showing off their line of upholstery and seats for Mustangs. The company reports that is new line of complete seats is proving quite popular with owners of pre-airbag Mustangs.
Also on hand in the vendor area was TMI Products. They were showing off their line of upholstery and seats for Mustangs. The company reports that is new line of complete seats is proving quite popular with owners of pre-airbag Mustangs.
There was a time when the Florida Highway Patrol Mustangs were among the most highly coveted Foxes. They were sold at auction, often for reasonable prices, after a few years of hard service. These cars featured a number of duty-specific upgrades, including an upgraded cooling system. Scott and Dawn Waszak’s 1993 LX is a prime example of the breed that still features the law-enforcement lighting upgrades like strobing taillights and a driver’s-side spot light.
There was a time when the Florida Highway Patrol Mustangs were among the most highly coveted Foxes. They were sold at auction, often for reasonable prices, after a few years of hard service. These cars featured a number of duty-specific upgrades, including an upgraded cooling system. Scott and Dawn Waszak’s 1993 LX is a prime example of the breed that still features the law-enforcement lighting upgrades like strobing taillights and a driver-side spot light.
Many of the cars at the show had performance bolt-ons, but Dave Blickenstaff’s 2009 Shelby GT500 sported numerous performance upgrades, headlined by a 3.4-liter Whipple supercharger. It is also equipped with an Afco heat exchanger, an American Racing Headers exhaust, a McLeod RXT clutch, Ford Racing handling springs, a Steeda strut-tower brace, and more. It puts down 698 horsepower to the wheels.
Many of the cars at the show had performance bolt-ons, but Dave Blickenstaff’s 2009 Shelby GT500 sported numerous performance upgrades, headlined by a 3.4-liter Whipple supercharger. It is also equipped with an Afco heat exchanger, an American Racing Headers exhaust, a McLeod RXT clutch, Ford Racing handling springs, a Steeda strut-tower brace, and more. It puts down 698 horsepower to the wheels.
Another member of the on-stage display was this 2015 Mustang owned by David Showers. It looked really sharp in blue with white over-the-top stripes.
Another member of the on-stage display was this 2015 Mustang owned by David Showers. It looked really sharp in blue with white over-the-top stripes.
Featuring a tribute to America’s veterans on its flip-forward hood, Edward Soboleski’s 2011 GT/CS is actually his daily driver. Number 79 of only 383 painted in Red Candy Metallic, his car is modded with a Ford Racing Aluminator topped by a Roush TVS supercharger. Running 14 pounds of boost, the car put down 594 horsepower at the rear wheels.
Featuring a tribute to America’s veterans on its flip-forward hood, Edward Soboleski’s 2011 GT/CS is actually his daily driver. Number 79 of only 383 painted in Red Candy Metallic, his car is modded with a Ford Racing Aluminator topped by a Roush TVS supercharger. Running 14 pounds of boost, the car put down 594 horsepower at the rear wheels.
Fully embracing the Dark Side, John Gagliano showed off his 2011 Mustang GT named Vader. People go to great lengths to stand out at car shows, and John had helping hand from his car’s namesake. Darth Vader was holding the car’s companion display. The car in question is upgraded with a Boss intake, an Airaid cold-air intake, and an exhaust. It laid down 438 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque.
Fully embracing the Dark Side, John Gagliano showed off his 2011 Mustang GT named Vader. People go to great lengths to stand out at car shows, and John had helping hand from his car’s namesake. Darth Vader was holding the car’s companion display. The car in question is upgraded with a Boss intake, an Airaid cold-air intake, and an exhaust. It laid down 438 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque.
Speaking of the Dark Side, Mike Hickman is obviously a fan of black cars just like Henry Ford. He displayed his 2013 Mustang GT at the show. Its Coyote engine wears a paint-matched JLT Performance cold air intake and engine cover. Mike did stray slightly from the ebony
Speaking of the Dark Side, Mike Hickman is obviously a fan of black cars just like Henry Ford. He displayed his 2013 Mustang GT at the show. Its Coyote engine wears a paint-matched JLT Performance cold air intake and engine cover. Mike did stray slightly from the ebony with some accents on the engine and coil covers.

NPD Ford & Mustang Roundup Gallery

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NPD Ford & Mustang Roundup Winners

1964-1/2 to 66 Mustang: Rick & Vicki Barkley, 1965 Mustang GT convertible
1967 to 68 Mustang: Charlotte Scruggs, 1967 Mustang fastback
1969 to 70 Mustang: Gary Schmidt, 1969 Mustang Mach I
1971 to 73 Mustang: Stephen Thibodeau, 1972 Mustang Mach I
1974 to 86 Mustang: Bill Martin, 1978 Mustang II King Cobra
1987 to 93 Mustang: Scott Schramm, 1993 Mustang Cobra
1994 to 98 Mustang: Brian & Christie Erickson, 1997 Mustang Cobra Shinoda
1999 to 2004 Mustang: Jeff Smith, 2004 Mustang Cobra
2005 to 2009 Mustang: John Cornwell, 2005 Mustang GT convertible
2010-Present Mustang: Edward Sobolewski, 2011 Mustang GT California Special
1965 to 70 Shelby: Joe Potempa, 1969 Shelby GT500
2006-up Shelby: Chad & Julia Morlock, 2009 Shelby GT500
Saleen: Rudy & Betsy Beyer, 2013 Saleen 351 convertible
Falcon/Comet: Duane Lashua, 1961 Falcon Ranchero
Exotic: John Dawso, 1967 Sunbeam Tiger
Cobra Replica: Peter Leonard, 2005 Cobra Daytona Coupe
1948-Earlier Ford: Eddie J Wheeler, 1930 Model A Roadster
1949-Later Ford: Steve Marbais, 1964 Galaxie Country Squire wagon
1962-76 Intermediate: Darren Brewer, 1967 Galaxie 500 convertible
Street Rod: Wayne & Judy Newkirk, 1935 Tudor Sedan
Truck 1948-79: Jerry Boles, 1963 F-100
Truck 1980-Present: Glenn Townsend, 2002 F-350
T-Bird 1955-57: Ron Davis, 1957 T-Bird convertible
T-Bird 1958-Present: Gene Wolanin, 1962 T-Bird convertible
Cougar: Jim & Lynne Stickley, 1969 Cougar Eliminator
Maverick/Comet: Ken Garmany, 1972 Maverick
Roush: Todd Partee, 1996 Roush
Best Mustang: Edward Sobolewski, 2011 Mustang GT California Special
Best Ford: Steve Marbais, 1964 Galaxie Country Squire wagon
Best of Show: James Roberson, 1933 Ford Cabriolet

NPD Choice Awards

Best Mustang: Richard Hornick, 1966 GT coupe
Farthest Drive: Chip Haberkam, 1969 Fairlane Cobra Jet
Hard Luck: Dawn Crowe, 1972 Mustang Grande
Best Ford: Joe Potempa, 1969 Shelby GT500, from Chicago (1100 miles)
Anna Schmidt’s Pick: Cassie King, 2015 Mustang convertible

Vendor Awards

Chadwick’s Triple Play: Rick & Vicki Barkley, 1965 Mustang GT convertible
Eaton Detroit Spring: Steve Marbais, 1964 Galaxie Country Squire wagon
Heacock Classic Insurance: Scott Schuh, 1970 Torino Cobra
Heacock Classic Insurance: Jim & Lynne Stickley, 1969 Cougar Eliminator
Ididit: Rob Matthews, 1974 Bronco
Scott Drake: Sherry Martin, 1970 Mustang Boss 429
TMI Interiors: John Lazo, 1965 Mustang fastback

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