Jeff Ford
January 1, 2001
Photos By: The Mustang Monthly Archives

When we started this deal back in 1998, we figured that this trail would bring out an average of 20 cars and 40 people. Heck, our first trail had 12 cars packing roughly 20 people. That morning, we wondered if any one would even show up. Since then, we have had good times and bad, but through it all, you folks who have been involved have been the greatest. No matter what happened, you all had a good time, a good sense of humor, and a good sense of direction-sometimes better than the trail boss.

This time, we didn't get lost, but we did manage to have fun. Our trail ran southwest and east of Ocala, with a turn north at Grand Island. As eventful as 1999 was, our 2000 trail was wracked by none of the problems that Y2K was supposed to bring. Essentially, the trail went off without a hitch.

We began our trail with a tour of the Schmidt Collection. Jim Schmidt and his son, Rick, have amassed a collection of vehicles that is quite impressive. More than 90 cars from various makes and years dwell in the huge warehouse facilities. The group was much impressed and so were we. After the guided tour, we scooted on our way with more than 50 cars and 1 Cobra kit car. By the end, our Cobra driver had to be pried from his vehicle due to a lack of heat.

The show was-as it always is-super. Five hundred cars of various makes (all Ford/Mercury, of course) filled up the Silvers Springs grounds. The weather was great, the people were super, and fun was had by all.

Cherry Blossoms and Wild Horses
January 2000
Macon, Georgia
Macon Cherry Blossom Festival
38 Mustangs
Weather: 60s, cloudy, and finally wet

Macon, Georgia, turned out to be one of the nicest surprises of the entire Pony Trail season. The show-which in the past has posted 90 cars for the single day of the event-swelled to 210 this year, and we enjoyed all the Mustangs that made the event. Karen Gray, who handled the many phone calls about the show and trail, swore out a warrant for us. With its close proximity to Atlanta and to the home of the Mustang Club of America, we saw a great deal of quality at the show-and hope to see even more in our trip back this coming March.

The trail was a nice, leisurely drive into Georgia's backcountry that Bob Gray drove for us prior to the event; in fact, it was from his Boss 302 that we shot many of the pictures. Though one of our stops was closed on Sunday, we still managed to have some fun as well as some local barbecue for lunch. The participants were troupers who showed up with the threat-and reality-of rain.

January 2000
Ocala, Florida
Silver Springs Trail and Show
52 Fords
Weather: 60s-70s, sunny

When Dan Aiken called via Mark Kulwick to let us know that our trail was not going to do well, due to some of the road construction that was in progress, we asked him to pick an alternate route. Believe us, when Dan picks a route, he picks a great one. The drive was spectacular, and his work and effort in helping us were outstanding. In fact, the whole bunch up there in Indiana made us feel like long-lost, well-loved relatives. What seemed to astound Kenny Brown and company was that we had so many cars show up. It kind of caught us off guard as well. Even so, these guys and gals were the only ones to even come close to the number of cars posted by Mustangs Northwest-more on them later.

The show was a success, even though the weather was not in a cooperative mood. Still, even with the bad weather, we managed to find some interesting Shelbys and Mustangs at the event.

May 2000
Nashville, Indiana
Indiana SAAC Spring Fling
89 Fords
Weather: 60s-80s, cloudy to sunny