Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
June 1, 2009
Packing more than 1,000 Fords into Silver Springs takes a well-orchestrated effort from the folks at NPD, but after all these years they've got it down to a science and the cars move smoothly through the gates.

As the year begins to draw to a close, many people are thinking of Thanksgiving and Christmas or possibly even what they might be doing for New Year's. But for diehard Mustang and Ford fans like ourselves, those days are just another box on the calendar that we check off each day as we get closer to the annual Silver Springs Mustang & Fords Roundup in early January. For many people, from North Florida all the way to New York and into Canada, the show season ended back in September. They most likely won't have a local show until the white stuff is gone and the ground thaws, which is why the annual Silver Springs show is such a large draw from all over the east coast. Ford and Mustang enthusiasts everywhere are itching to get out and see some nice rides, and while we here in Central Florida are lucky to have shows and cruises practically year round, it's still one of our favorite shows of the year to attend.

The 15th annual show was once again a huge success, with well over 1,300 cars registered and nearly 1,100 of them showing up for the show. For those just tuning in, National Parts Depot, the show's sponsor, covers the registration costs for the first 1,000 entries. A most generous offer from the Schmidt family and something that most certainly helped in these tough times.

While the majority of the show entries are parked as they come in, to allow attendees to see more than just the same model year car they have, NPD does park a few of the entries in special groups, like the area of the show shown here for trucks.

Of course, the Silver Springs show can often be hit and miss with Mother Nature, with it either raining or being unseasonably cold, and sometimes even both! But this year Mother Nature gave all of the attendees a break with a rain-free weekend (well, a little sprinkle Sunday just as the show ended) and nice warm weather with great sunshine. We're sure that certainly helped with the attendance as well.

Every year we try to bring a project car to display. Since our '68 Mustang project, which you'll read more about next issue, was on its way to Arizona, and we had camera gear, luggage, and more which precluded us from driving our Factory Five Roadster (though we were asked where it was by several attendees), we drove "old faithful," our '66 Mustang hardtop. After putting so many miles on the Factory Five the last few months, breaking it in and ensuring there are no issues with it--which it has been flawless, I might add--it was a real treat to stretch the '66's legs a bit with a nice two hour drive up to Ocala, Florida, for the Silver Springs show. Next year, we'll have the '68 there for sure, so come on out, enjoy a great show at a great location and check out our latest project in person.