Some of you that read the magazine are probably familiar with our tech columnist Joe Da Silva. For over 20 years Joe has been actively involved in the Mustang and Ford world, building, fixing, racing and promoting the cars, along with the industry and hobby that surrounds them. In the late 1980s Joe, along with his brother Paul founded J&P Performance, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which emerged to become one of the premier Mustang and Ford specialists in North America. One thing that characterized J&P was the genuine social aspect of the place and a truly welcoming atmosphere. Joe was instrumental in making his customers feel part of the family and J&P became the place to meet and bench race for the local Ford community. In addition, the brothers would often organize social events, including track days - including the legendary J&P Performance Shootouts at London Motorsports Park (now St. Thomas Dragway), along with cruises and show 'n' shine events. The latter became something of an institution and were popular with Mustang nuts in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, for a number of years.
In 2002, a new chapter in the Da Silva chronicles began, when the brothers decided to branch off in their own directions. Joe opened up a new facility, Da Silva Racing and didn't look back. With a larger facility, more hoists and even an in-house dyno (one of the first in the area), the new shop allowed us Mustang and Ford nuts even more an excuse to just go hang out, even if we weren't getting our cars fixed or upgraded. However, clouds appeared on the horizon in the shape of the City of Toronto Zoning department. Bit by bit they began re-zoning adjacent properties around Da Silva Racing, changing them from industrial and commercial to residential. Bit by bit, the parking options available to Joe, his staff and customers began to shrink. It also meant that things like open houses and show 'n' shine events became increasingly difficult to coordinate. When a new housing development went up right next door to the shop on a former vacant lot, Joe wisely decided to move his operations further east.
As luck would have it, a new, purpose built shop became available and in 2007 Da Silva Racing moved to its current location on Brock Road in Pickering, Ontario, an Eastern suburb of Toronto. The new location boasted enough shop space to work on a maximum of 15 cars simultaneously and the surrounding parking could accommodate another 300 plus. To celebrate the first year of operations at the new store, the Da Silva Show 'n' Shine is back and better than ever. The first one was held on May 25th 2008. Mustangs and Fords of all descriptions showed up and the final count was over 400 cars present - whether late-model Cobras, vintage Comets, hot-rodded Fairmonts or classic 1969 Sports Roofs, there was a Mustang and Ford for all.
In addition to the main show, which the categories were judged by children of 8-12 years of age, there were Tech Q&A sessions, a dyno session (over 40 cars managed to be run on the dynojet before the end of the day and casualties were few!), plenty of stuff for the kids, a silent auction for local charities Sick Kids' Hospital of Toronto and the Canadian Crime Victims Foundation, in which over $7000 was raised in a single afternoon. All in all it was a great day out as the pictures attest. Highlights on our end included some very tasty corn, a real pony (check the photo coverage) and seeing some old friends and gaining new ones. People came from far and wide to this event, we're talking, Quebec, Michigan, New York and even Florida, yes a chap by the name of Steven Goldstein was in town from the Sunshine State, replete with his New Edge Mustang GT in tow. Another long distance driver; was Jonathan Marquis who drove his dazzling '94 show pony all the way down from Quebec City - no mean feat when you consider not only the distance, but the condition of many of the roads in that part of the world, especially when you're driving a modified Mustang.
Now that the Da Silva Show 'n' Shines are back, they look set to become bigger and better than ever before.
Make sure you stay tuned to modifiedmustangsandfords.com for information on further Show 'n' Shines, along with loads of other upcoming events around the country, including the Third Annual Modified Mustangs & Fords Cruise, currently scheduled for the first Saturday in October 2008.