Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
March 9, 2014

If the 2013 SEMA Show is any indication, the automotive aftermarket industry is back to pre-2008 levels. According to a post-show press release, attendance represented a seven percent increase over 2012, with nearly 2,400 exhibitors spilling out of the 3.2 million square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center and into the neighboring LVH hotel (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton). For a busy Mustang Monthly editor who was trying to navigate the packed aisles, it meant late arrivals for pre-arranged meetings.

But we managed to catch up with most of the exhibitors with Mustangs and Mustang parts. In fact, the Mustang was named “Hottest Car of the 2013 SEMA Show” by its use in more exhibitor displays than any other car. Most were the newer S197s, including several restyled '14s in the huge Ford booth, but we also managed to find a number of vintage models, including a new creation from the Ringbrothers, a Bullitt recreation, a vintage '69 drag car, and even a '65 fastback with an all-electric powertrain.

Drake Goes Psychedelic

With the company's freshly restored 50th Anniversary Tribute '64½ Mustang convertible sitting center display, the crew from Scott Drake Enterprises rocked the SEMA Show in 1960s fashions, complete with Scott Drake himself in a long-hair wig, sunglasses, and hippy shirt. The colorful environment provided the perfect back-drop for the white convertible, which was recently restored by Mustang Club of America regional group Mustangs of East Texas. The Mustang will tour the country next year before being sold at auction to benefit the National Down Syndrome Society. As always, Drake also used the SEMA occasion to introduce a number of new Mustang products.

Scott Drake staffers Joe Johnston and Jerry Choate show off their 1960s’ clothing and the company’s new reproduction passenger dash panel for ’69-’70 Mustang Deluxe interiors.
If you’re looking for a 14-inch Shelby-style steering wheel, Scott Drake Enterprises now offers the genuine wood-rimmed wheel from Corso.
New custom instrument panels from Drake make it easy to install aftermarket gauges in ’65-’66 Mustangs. They’re available in woodgrain, black camera-case, and aluminum finishes.
Scott Drake was particularly excited to debut his new Shelby-style oval air cleaner for single four-barrel applications. They’re available with Shelby or running horse logos.

Ringbrothers Do It Again

One of the more well-attended happenings at the 2013 SEMA Show occurred at the Global Finishing Solutions booth where Mike and Jim Ring, better known as the Ringbrothers, debuted their latest Mustang creation. Like always, the unveiling of the “Blizzard” '65 Mustang fastback was a SEMA show-stopper, so we had to return a couple of hours later to get photos because there were so many people crowded around the car at the reveal.

Powered by a 427 cubic-inch NASCAR V-8, the Blizzard features the expected Ringbrothers' creativity, like extended rockers, custom exhaust outlet, and carbon-fiber body panels. Suspension is from Detroit Speed, including coil-overs in front and Quadralink in the rear.

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Although it wasn’t a big year for Mustangs in Ford’s SEMA booth, there were a number of ’14 models on display, including this brightly painted GT from Bojix Design.