Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
May 1, 2006

Actually, it wasn't all that bad. Weather predictions of low 20s for Saturday and Sunday mornings during National Parts Depot's (NPD) 12th Annual Ford & Mustang Roundup prepared everyone for the frosty temperatures, which fortunately gave way to nearly 60 degrees on Saturday afternoon and downright balmy 70s during Sunday's awards presentation. Mike Eaton from Eaton Detroit Spring wasn't complaining about any of it: "It's a lot better than back home."

In just 12 years, NPD's Ford & Mustang Roundup at Ocala, Florida's Silver Springs theme park, home of the famous glass-bottom boats, has become one of the largest shows in the southeast. This year, with NPD offering its traditional free registration and two tickets to Silver Springs for the first 1,000 registrants, preregistration hit the 1,400-car mark. So perhaps the weather did have something to do with the 400 or so no-shows, which still resulted in a record 1,002 vehicles for the weekend. Mustangs made up the majority, of course, but there were plenty of other Fords, including a foursome of new Ford GTs featured on the mansion porch for anyone looking for diversity.

This year, NPD corralled its featured manufacturers into a special display area so attendees could easily check out the wares and talk with company representatives from Stainless Steel Brakes, Eaton Detroit Spring, RRS, Parish-Heacock Classic Car Insurance, and TMI Products.

Always held on the first weekend after New Year's, the NPD Ford & Mustang Roundup at Silver Springs is a great way to kick off a new show season, and if you live up north, it's also a great excuse to escape the winter cold. Maybe.

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Happy Trails
Mustang Monthly's Pony Trails has become a tradition during the Ford & Mustang Roundup, with this year marking the ninth year for the cruise. Nearly 150 Mustangs and Fords jammed the parking lot at NPD's Ocala headquarters before heading on a leisurely trek west to Cedar Key, a scenic fishing village located on the Gulf of Mexico where Pony Trailers split up for shopping and lunch at the waterfront restaurants. Afterwards, many returned to NPD for a tour of the company's collection of vintage Fords and other special interest vehicles.

NPD's Rick Schmidt served as host by providing instructions and directions for the cruise to Cedar Key.

Mustang Monthly Awards
Best Vintage Mustang
Jim Lane
'66 Mustang GT convertible

Best Late-Model Mustang
Robert Brooks
'03 Roush/Boyd Coddington convertible

Young Owners Club
Joe Raimonda
'67 Mustang hardtop