Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
March 29, 2007
Photos By: Paul Rosner

For nearly three decades, the Ford faithful have converged in Columbus, Ohio, during Labor day weekend for the Ford Expo at National Trail Raceway. For many, traveling to Columbus has become a Labor Day ritual, a grand ending for summer before the northeast weather turns too cool for cruising.

Originally organized and run for many years by National Trail, the Ford Expo is now part of the NMRA's season-long series of drag races and shows. The 28th annual event was somewhat hampered by rain, enough to cancel Friday's drag racing and delay Saturday's qualifying until mid-afternoon. But a bit of wet weather has never dampened the enthusiasm for Ohio owners when it comes to showing off their Mustangs. In spite of the weather, the Laurel Mountain Mustang All-Ford Auto Show 'n' Shine at Columbus was loaded with some of the area's nicest Fords.

Longtime readers will remember Herb Gordon's '65 Hi-Po fastback from our Oct. '03 issue. His father purchased the Mustang new but stopped driving it after receiving a couple of speeding tickets. The odometer had 2,847 miles on it. Herb restored the fastback several years ago, right down to the Cobra dual-quad induction kit his father added in 1965.
Best Classic Mustang
First: Ken Schmidt, ’68 {{{GT}}}/CS
Tie: John Baucher, ’65 {{{Coupe}}}
Charlie Smith, ’681¼2 GT Cobra Jet
Tim & Sue Pfautsch, ’65 GT
Best Modern Mustang
First: Terry Allen, ’93 LX
Jesse Houseman, ’88 LX
Second: Ben Halker, ’05 GT
Jay McConahay, ’05 GT
Best Daily Driver
First: Charles Francis, ’04 Mach 1
Second: Loren Mayle, ’93 LX
Best Young Builder
First: Eric Wiget, ’96 {{{Mustang GT}}}

Ben Palecek, ’69 Fairlane

Editor's Choice
Ken Schmidt had a good weekend in Columbus. First, his '68 California Special took First Place in Saturday's Best Classic Mustang competition. On Sunday, the restored Acapulco Blue GT/CS drove away with Second Place for Best of Show, topped only by Carl Lynn's '56 Crown Victoria. As a bonus, photographer Paul Rosner picked Ken's hardtop for Mustang Monthly's Editors Choice award.

One of 4,117 hardtops built as a special Shelby-influenced promotion for the California Western Region Ford Dealers, Ken's GT/CS has all of the California Special equipment. Starting out as a 289 4V-powered GT, the car gets its unique status from the Shelby-style rearend and sidescoops, grille-mounted Lucas foglights, hood locks, and side stripes. This GT/CS is also equipped with a white vinyl roof, automatic transmission, console, and Cobra dress-up kit for the engine. Ken, from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, employed Powell's Auto Body for the blue paint.

Steve Scott took the Shelby-style, restomod route with his '66 fastback. Steve's Mustang is powered by a 289 with a solid-lifter camshaft, Weiand Stealth intake, and Holley 670 cfm four-barrel carb.

Best '65-'70 Mustang
Mike Gaster, '66 Coupe

Best '71-'78 Mustang
Bob Schenk, '71 Mach 1

Best '79-'93 Mustang
Jeff Lanedon, '92 LX

Best '94-'98 Mustang
Mike Edgar, '95 GT

Best '99-'04 Mustang
Michael O'Dell, '04 Mach 1 (tie)
Scott Snyder, '01 GT (tie)

Charlie Smith from Fairborn, Ohio, displayed his rare '68 Cobra Jet fastback during the Laurel Mountain Mustang All-Ford Auto Show 'n' Shine. He nabbed a Second Place in Saturday's Best Classic Mustang class.

Best '05-'06 Mustang
Ben Halker, '05 GT

Best SVT Mustang
Jason Hein, '93 Cobra

Best Tuner Mustang
Tony Confalone, '02 Roush

Best Shelby or Boss
Brent Good, '70 Boss 302

Special Interest
Tim & Sue Pfautsch, '65 Cobra (tie)
Jim O'Cull, '65 Cobra (tie)

Best Daily Driver
Bill Wilinson, '01 Bullitt Mustang

Best Young Builder
Eric Wiget, '96 Mustang GT

Popular Vote
Best Paint
Bruce Lunau, '69 Mach 1

Best Engine
Jesse Houseman, '88 Mustang LX

Sinister clouds hovered over the National Trail show field for most of the weekend, but it didn't keep away die-hard Mustang fans.

Best Stance
Jack Gottschalk, '64 Comet

Best Interior
Carl Lynn, '56 Crown Victoria

People's Choice
Steven Scott, '66 Shelby GT350

Best of Show
First: Carl Lynn, ’56 Crown Victoria
Second: Ken Schmidt, ’68 GT/CS Mustang
Third: Brent Good, ’70 Boss 302