National Parts Depot will kick off the car show season with its annual event
By Steve Turner
In most parts of the country, car show season doesn’t start until spring, but in Florida the rules are a bit different. For over two decades National Parts Depot has begun the year by hosting its Ford & Mustang Roundup as a thank you to its customers. Held on January 9, 2016 at the storied Silver Springs attraction, which has become a state park, the NPD show is a great way to kick off the new year with some automotive fun.
“We’ve held the Mustang and Fords show in January at Silver Springs in Ocala, Florida, for the past 21 years. We’ve experienced great turnouts for this show, mostly due to the lush grounds and glass bottom boats at Silver Springs State Park that provides a family fun setting that’s a great alternative to a parking-lot show,” Derek Putnam, Social Media Specialist at National Parts Depot, explained. “Twenty sixteen brings a new chapter to the show, as we switch gears from the traditional two-day event to a Saturday-only format.”
With its transition to a state park, the space available at the Silver Springs facility has become a bit more manageable, which allows the NPD staff to process the car show ballots on the same day. The switch to a one-day format will make it easier for people to travel longer distances to enjoy the show. It also increases the likelihood that people will participate in the pre-event Pony Trail cruise from the NPD headquarters in Ocala, Florida, to Cedar Key, Florida, and back. The crew at VMP Performance will also be on hand at NPD providing chassis dyno services.
“It’s nice for the people who travel, say from Georgia or Alabama. If they are going to do the Pony Trail on Friday and the show is just on Saturday,” Matthew Laszaic, Ford Product Manager at NPD, said. “Then that gives them the opportunity to be able to travel home on Sunday.”
Despite the one-day format, the show will still follow the same low-key, People’s Choice format that it always has. It will include classes for all manner of Fords, including Cobra replicas, Comets, Cougars, Falcons, Mustangs, street rods and more. Additionally, NPD gives out best of show awards, and this year your friends at SVTP will select an Editor’s Choice award.
If you aren’t familiar with NPD, the company has a long and storied history of providing restoration parts for a long list of Ford vehicles, including Broncos, Cougars, Ford Trucks, Classic Mustangs, Fox Mustangs, and soon the company will offer parts for SN-95s. You can learn about how NPD operates here…
In fact, the show isn’t just a fun event for its customers, but it helps the NPD team decide how to expand its product lines.
“We have been able to use the show to allow us to get an idea of what the direction of our Ford lines should be. We’ve been heavy classic for so many years and we have been doing the Fox for going on five years, so we felt it was only right to move into the ’94-’04 because it’s a play off the Fox and a lot of the parts transition over,” Matthew said. “This year we also released the ’67-’73 Cougar. It’s the same thing. It’s a play off the classic Mustang and we already had a lot of those parts on the shelf that fit the classic Mustang as well.”
“Primarily ’87 and up has been a real big growing segment in the show. It makes sense for us to be able to get into that market catering to restoration. Those cars are really becoming the age where that’s happening, but it’s also nice to be able to pepper in some high performance stuff,” Derek added. “The show really demonstrated that this is a segment we need to pay attention to.”
The NPD show is definitely something Ford fans should pay attention to. If you want to participate in the show, you can register your 1993 and earlier Ford for free if you register by January 1st. After that the entry fee will be $10 as it is for all vehicles 1994 and newer. Naturally, it’s open to spectators as well if you just want to check out all the cool rides. For more information on the show, you can visit the NPD Ford & Mustang Roundup page right here.