Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
January 12, 2017

For the majority of Mustang and Ford enthusiasts in the Sunshine state, the first weekend in January is traditionally marked off as “busy” on their calendars months in advance. It is that weekend that people from all over the state, and honestly from many parts of the country, come to congregate at the Silver Springs State Park in Silver Springs, Florida for the annual National Parts Depot Ford & Mustang Roundup. Now in its 23rd year, the annual show is a great way to kick off the show season in the southeast for many.

Over the years the show has adapted and changed with the times, including the Silver Springs attraction being turned over to the state of Florida in 2013 (almost preventing the 20th anniversary show in 2014 to not happen!) and the show becoming a one-day event last year. These things have not deterred the hard core fans of this show, who turn out every year to see longtime friends, listen to some live music, and enjoy the natural beauty of the state park.

The 2017 show did have some foul weather mixed in with the fun. Friday’s Pony Trails event went off without a hitch, missing the rain that came into town in the early evening and lasting until registration opened on Saturday morning, making a soggy mess of the registration and photography staff. The park itself had a few muddy spots, but overall parking went off without a hitch thanks to the “all hands on deck” NPD staff. Saturday started off in the mid to lower 60s and the mercury just kept dropping all day with the show’s awards ceremony starting around 4:15 pm at a brisk 44 degrees. The sun did its best to shine, but only showed itself in the later part of the afternoon, taking some of the chill out of the day-long wind gusts. The good news is, this type of cold and wet weather has never been a yearly occurrence, often happening every few years (the last really cold show was 2010) and with 2017 being both cold and wet, we’re sure next year’s show will be full of bright sun and Florida warmth, so if you’ve never been to the NPD Silver Springs Ford & Mustang Roundup start making your plans for January 2018!

The show weekend actual begins for many on Friday morning with the annual Pony Trails cruise to Cedar Key, Florida. Everyone meets at the Ocala, Florida NPD location and the parking lot fills up fast (there were Mustangs wrapped around the side of the building!).
NPD is open on Friday of course so it’s a great time to pick up those parts you need while visiting the area. Throughout the day NPD’s impressive private vehicle collection is open to the Pony Trails crowd as well.
Before heading out, NPD’s Rick Schmidt holds a brief driver’s meeting to discuss road etiquette and where the police escort will be guiding the cruisers through various intersections on their way out of town. With hundreds of cars on the cruise that is the only safe way to get everyone through intersections and to keep the cruisers together.
Rick busted his Ford GT out of the NPD collection for the day to use as the lead car on the cruise. Talk about riding in style!
Right behind Rick was our partner in crime Courtney Barber from Team Mustang Girls with her Mustang hardtop, our January 2017 issue cover car!
The hour plus drive out to Cedar Key had fellow motorists and pedestrian traffic doing double takes at the several mile long caravan of Mustangs and Fords of all years/generations rolling down the highway.
As we said in our main story, the rain arrived Friday night, but Saturday morning it finally relented towards the end of registration.
As the registrants were parked and the show got under way a live band (for the second year in a row) played some great music from the main stage area.
NPD’s top vendors are invited out each year to show new products, answer product questions, and to award trophies/products to their favorite vehicles (see winner’s list below).
Each year we walk the show field and agonize over the decision of our Editor’s Choice award. There are so many beautiful Mustangs, from pristine restored cars to detailed Restomods, we wish we could hand out something to everyone. This year we bestowed our award upon Daphne Norris and her 1965 convertible. We were happy to find out we weren’t the only ones ogling her sweet Mustang, as she also took home the Best Mustang award from the show. Congratulations again Daphne!

Photo Gallery

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NPD 23rd annual Ford & Mustang Round Up Car Show Winners

Balloted Awards Name and model

1964½ to 1966 Mustang: Jonathan Knoblaugh, 1965 Mustang GT fastback

1967 to 1968 Mustang: Terry Darga, 1967 Mustang fastback

1969 to 1970 Mustang: Mark Booker, 1970 Mustang Grabber

1971 to 1973 Mustang: Steve & Becca Thibodeau, 1972 Mustang Mach 1

1974 to 1986 Mustang: Wayne Vance, 1986 Mustang SVO

1987 to 1993 Mustang: Wade Smith, 1993 Mustang

1994 to 1998 Mustang: Brian & Christie Erickson, 1997 Mustang Cobra Shinoda

1999 to 2004 Mustang: Jeff Smith, 2004 Mustang Cobra

2005 to 2009 Mustang: Charlie Telesca, 2009 Mustang Bullitt

2010 to 2014 Mustang: Jon Kister, 2014 Mustang coupe

2015-Present Mustang: Steve & Jennifer Lynch, 2015 Mustang GT

1965 to 1970 Shelby: Paul Prince, 1968 Shelby G.T. 500

2006-up Shelby: Scott Schuh, 2016 Shelby GT350

Saleen/Roush: Brian Beaver Jr., 2014 Roush

Falcon/Comet: John Bennett, 1965 Falcon wagon

Cobra Replica: Doug Miller, 1965 Cobra replica

1948-Earlier Ford: Eddie J Wheeler, 1930 Model A roadster

1949-Later Ford: Mike Riley, 1960 Ford Starliner

1962-1976 Intermediate: Mitchell Durden, 1965 Mercury Cyclone

Street Rod: Tom Kupstas, 1929 Roadster pick-up

Truck 1948-1979: Tom & Gail Westfall, 1954 F-100 panel

Truck 1980-Present: John Macolino, 2000 Lightning

T-Bird 1955-1957: Gaylord Rowe, 1957 T-Bird convertible

T-Bird 1958-Present: Charles Hancock, 2000 T-Bird

Cougar: Ray Opthof, 1968 Cougar XR-7

Maverick/Comet: Chip Crenshaw, 1974 Mercury Comet

Best Mustang: Daphne Norris, 1965 Mustang convertible

Best Ford: Henry Boyles, 1969 Bronco

Best of Show: Ronnie Dasher, 1968 Shelby G.T. 350 fastback

Hard Luck and Furthest Drive - $100 NPD Gift Certificate

Hard Luck: Nancy Tarleton, 2006 Ford Mustang
Furthest Drive: Paul Barrieault, 1955 Crown Victoria, traveled from Maine.

Vendor Awards

-Chadwick’s Triple Play “Chadwick’s Choice” award - detailing kit:
John Bennett, 1965 Falcon wagon

-Eaton Detroit Spring “Just Because” award - gift certificate for full set of coil springs:
Mike & Kim Meyer, 1960 Lincoln Continental

-Heacock Classic Insurance “Best Preservation” Award:
Ford: Chris Dunn, 1960 Ford
Mustang/Cougar: Victor Dobbs, 1984 Mustang GT convertible

-Powermaster $200 gift certificate (towards an alternator / starter):
Joy Woods, 1968 Mustang fastback

-Scott Drake $200 gift certificate (towards Scott Drake-branded parts):
Mike Smith, 1966 Mustang Shelby G.T. 350 clone

-Wilwood “Wilwood” banner:
Richard Garrett, 1966 Fairlane 500

-TMI Interiors $500 gift certificate:
Juan & Sara Sotomayor, 2001 Mustang Cobra coupe

Editor’s Choice Awards – TEN: The Enthusiast Network

-Classic Trucks magazine:
Henry Boyles, 1969 Bronco

-Hot Rod magazine:
Mike Smith, 1966 Mustang Shelby G.T. 350 clone

-Muscle Car Review magazine:
Steve & Becca Thibodeau, 1972 Mustang Mach 1

-Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords magazine:
Wayne Vance, 1986 Mustang SVO

-Mustang Monthly magazine:
Daphne Norris, 1965 Mustang convertible

NPD Choice Awards

-Best Mustang: Edward Baisly, 1968 Mustang Shelby G.T. 500KR fastback
-Best Ford: Mitchell Durden, 1965 Mercury Cyclone