Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsEvents
Mustangs Galore at the 21st Annual Silver Springs Roundup in Ocala, Florida
It’s Always Sunny in Florida: While the rest of the country froze, the Mustang and Ford scene was alive and warm in Silver Springs
It was a brutal winter for a large part of the country, with tremendous blizzards and arctic-level temperatures that put any kind of automotive activity completely out of mind for a big percentage of Mustang and Ford owners. That is, unless you’ve affixed a snow plow blade to the front of your converted 4x4 Mustang! Although we’ve seen a Facebook photo of just that sort of shenanigans, other Midwestern and northern/northeastern street cars were forced to hibernate for the long cold winter. But not in Florida, where the first car show of the season dedicated strictly to Ford Motor Company vehicles took place on January 10-11, 2015, at Silver Springs, a state-run park near Ocala known for its natural springs, attraction-type rides, and low-hanging cypress trees.
This was the 21st year of the Silver Springs Ford and Mustang Roundup, presented by Rick Schmidt and his crew at National Parts Depot. While attendance was down a little bit due to weather forecasts that called for cool temperatures and rain, the show was nonetheless great again. The weatherman was wrong. The sun came out in the afternoon on both days, and only a minor misting was experienced on Sunday as the cars were leaving the park.
The Mustangs at Silver Springs were evenly split between early and late models. There were plenty of non-Mustangs at the show as well, from street rods to Fairlanes, Galaxies, and more. The nice thing about this show is its laidback attitude. As the organizers advertise, this show has “No judges. No tech. No ‘leave your top and windows up!’ No broiling on blacktop in a mall parking lot with nothing to do . . .” It’s a much more casual affair than the typical Mustang car show where professional judges look over every nut and bolt on the cars. The show was free for any 1993 or earlier vehicle, and only a $10 park fee for any 1994 or later vehicle. If you just wanted to walk around and look at the cars, it was only a couple dollars to park. And if your significant other or kids get bored, they could go for a ride on the park’s glass-bottom boats.
Schmidt is considering some minor changes to the show for 2016, such as making it one day instead of all weekend, but the 22nd Silver Springs Ford and Mustang Roundup will indeed happen, and Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords will again be there to co-sponsor it. So make plans now to get the hell out of Dodge next January and travel down to sunny Florida to check it out. That’s much better than shoveling snow, right?
Lee Iacocca Award
A couple of times a year, the Lee Iacocca Award is given to people in the classic car community who have shown, over time, their dedication to the classic car hobby and who have done good work in supporting the hobby. The first award was given out at a Southern California show in 2006 by Jay Leno and Mr. Iacocca himself. As it entered its 10th year in 2015, Iacocca felt the time was right to make 2015 the last year for the award, which has been an important part of the Iacocca Family Foundation’s fight against diabetes. At the Silver Springs show, an emotional Rick Schmidt presented the Iacocca Award to his and our friend Tim Manes. Maines is a fixture at automotive events in Central Florida and is always willing to lend a helping hand. He has had some health issues the past few years but was on hand to accept the award while trying to hold back tears. Congrats, buddy!