Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
September 1, 2008

It started in 2007 with an idea between a few friends: "Let's get together with our GT500s, and we'll invite a bunch of other people from the Internet to come." Isn't that how most shows/clubs start out? Initially, Don Donelson, Brad Sokoly, and Scott Morrison rounded up six late-model Shelby GT500 Mustangs, but that figure quickly grew to 21. They had a couple of small awards to give out, but without even trying, the guys knew they were on to something, and they decided to make it an annual event called the Shelby GT500 Roundup.

We got word from one of the event's many sponsors that the '08 gathering was going to be big. We heard there were more than 60 cars preregistered for the February 24 event, so yours truly, operating from MM&FF's Southern Command Center, drove the hour and a half to Oviedo, Florida, where Horsepower on the Horse Farm-the '08 Shelby GT500 Roundup-was fittingly held on the grounds of Brad Sokoly's horse ranch.

The event reeled in more than 80 GT500s and Shelby GT Mustangs, not to mention a pair of Ford GTs as well as a few other tasty rides. We parked Project Stolen Goods in the "other Mustangs and Fords" corral and represented the lone Fox-body contingent. After all, this was a GT500 roundup.

The trio of promoters put on a great show, and with some great sponsors as well. Using www.teamshelby.com to round up the entries, the team also gathered several key players in the Mustang and GT500 aftermarket, including LaMotta Performance, Lethal Performance, HP Performance (needless to say there was a lot of performance at this event), Bay Harbor Ford, and VMP Tuning, which brought out its mobile chassis dyno for tuning and horsepower bragging among GT500 owners.

Sokoly struck a deal with The Untouch-ables Catering Co., which provided a deleci-ous lunch for attendees, and the event organizers whipped up enough birthday cake for the entire crowd so they could celebrate Carroll Shelby's 85th birthday. Numerous awards and door prizes were handed out, and the Roundup went off without a hitch. Robert Lane and Sharon Elliot from www.TeamShelby.com were also on hand to check out the event and chat with enthusiasts about the latest news at Shelby Automobiles. They flew into town and rented, you guessed it, a GT-H convertible for the weekend.

With attendees traveling from as far away as Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia, the '08 Shelby GT500 Roundup was deemed a success. For 2009, the event organizers are considering holding the gathering later in the year so the Northern contingent won't be buried in snow and might make the trip down. Or they might split the year into two events. They've also been considering a track rental at someplace like Sebring International Raceway, but that may be further down the road.

In any case, if you have a GT500 and would like to hang out with others who share the same passion, or if you just want to check out the cars, be sure to visit the Florida section of www.teamshelby.com for more information, or contact Don Donelson at don.donelson@bayharborford.com.