Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
April 1, 2009

Someone forgot to tell the 1,100 car owners at the Ford and Mustang Roundup that there's a recession going on. In spite of the doom and gloom on the TV news, an almost record number of Mustangs and Fords rolled into the famous Silver Springs attraction near Ocala, Florida, for National Parts Depot's 15th annual rendition of what has become a January tradition for many showgoers in the southeast. Of course, it didn't hurt that gas prices were at a four-year low and temperatures soared into the high 70s over the weekend.

We were impressed when David Wilkey drove his restomod '69 fastback on Friday's Pony Trails cruise out to Cedar Key. We were even more impressed when we learned that the clean black Mustang is an original Q-code 428 Cobra Jet car. Anyone who restomods a CJ Mustang and drives it like David deserves Mustang Monthly's Editor's Choice award.

Part of NPD's southern hospitality is free registration for the first 1,000 pre-registered cars, which includes two tickets to Silver Springs and its world-famous glass-bottom boats. It's a gorgeous setting for a car show, with Mustangs and Fords of all years packed onto the mansion lawn and into other nooks and crannies throughout the park.

On The Trail Again
While the show missed the car-count record by just a dozen cars or so, our Friday morning Pony Trails cruise to Cedar Key set a new participation record with 162 cars, well over last year's record of 145. Leaving from the National Parts Depot headquarters, the 1½-hour cruise took the two-lane route to the fishing village of Cedar Key, where everyone was able to visit local restaurants for lunch and shop the gift stores. As usual, there was no organized return, but NPD did invite everyone back to the HQ for tours of the company's impressive museum collection. VMP Tuning was also set up in the parking lot for dyno runs on its mobile DynoJet.