Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
January 26, 2017

In general, most Mustangs only get driven from April to October. Unless you live in a warm climate, that’s just how it is. Once the cold weather and snow come, the Mustang goes into hibernation until the snow and salt are gone. If you want any chance of keeping a nice Mustang from turning into a Rustang, you have to avoid salt and snow at all costs. Driving your Mustang in winter is out of the question.

In Florida, this is not a problem. Mustangs don’t go into hibernation in the Sunshine State. Yes, it does get cold in Florida, and it has been known to snow every few years, especially in the north. However, as a whole, Florida is immune to the white stuff that tends to shorten the lifespan of one’s Mustang.

For this reason, Florida can start the show season much sooner than many Northern states. As a matter of fact, National Parts Depot (NPD) started the show season the first weekend of January with its annual Ford and Mustang Roundup at Silver Springs State Park in Ocala, Florida. Taking place Saturday, January 7, and including the Pony Trails cruise from NPD’s Florida location in Ocala out to the coastal town of Cedar Key Friday, January 6, the Ford and Mustang Roundup was a show open to all Ford vehicles, with classes for just about every Ford and Mustang.

Jeff Smith took a break from drag-testing his 2004 Competition Orange Cobra long enough to show it at the NPD Ford and Mustang event. Smith won the award for Best 1999-2004 Cobra, adding another trophy to his case. he is getting his car set for the Muscle Mustangs Spring Break Shootout class presented by JLT Performance at Bradenton Motorsports Park, where he hopes to add another trophy in the form of a Tremec Stick Shift Shootout win.
Wayne and Debra Vance are great people, and they also own an unreal supercharged Coyote-swap SVO. The SVO won Best 1974-1986 Mustang, but we also awarded them our Editor’s Choice award. The SVO recently received mini-tubs at Dale Minton’s Fatboy Fabrication, where all the work on the car has been done, including the Coyote swap.
Josh Klugger’s 2016 Race Red GT350R usually rests in NPD’s private collection. However, for the Ford and Mustang Roundup, Klugger brought the car out to display in the show and to get reacquainted with its race-bred personality.

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