On any given day there are car shows and cruise-ins all across the land. Not many of these events can say they predate the birth of social media, however. Before MySpace and definitely before Facebook the crew at the Silver Mustang Registry wanted to put faces to their forum screen names and a show was born. This year the show celebrated its 10th anniversary.
“So we tried to find a central location for friends to meet, so we picked Stone Mountain. It was kind of a central spot where everyone could just come to the middle,” Donnie Salter, Founder of Mustangs at the Mountain, explained. “There were about 15 or 20 of us the first year —silver Mustangs. It used to be called Silver in the Hills because of the Silver Mustang Registry.”
What began as a small gathering of Silver Mustang Registry members has grown into a true family affair for Donnie Salter, the founder of the Silver and Gray Mustang registries and the Mustangs at the Mountain show held in Stone Mountain, Georgia.
It’s more than just a Mustang show to us. It’s a show and almost a family reunion. — Donnie Salter, Mustangs at the Mountain
Donnie considers himself a pioneer of the registry movement. Soon after the Yellow Mustang Registry kicked it off, he launched the Silver Mustang Registry. Later, after he picked up another car, he created the Gray Mustang Registry. For the first few years the show was themed around these cars, but eventually the participants knew the name had to change to attract a larger audience.
“When it started, we had no kids and we weren’t married, so it’s kinda cool how it’s grown with us,” Donnie said. “…It’s more than just a Mustang show to us. It’s a show and almost a family reunion.”
Since taking on the new moniker five years ago, the Mustangs at the Mountain show has grown at a steady clip and the site has moved around to accommodate more cars. It has also picked up major sponsors like American Muscle, Late Model Restoration, Mustang Week, and Summit Racing. Along the way Donnie and his volunteer team have tweaked the format to keep things fresh. However, the idea was always to keep it chill.
We’d been hearing good things at about this show, so we decided to take a road trip up to Stone Mountain. Fortunately, we mentioned our trip to Vaughn Gittin Jr. and he offered to let us sample his Mustang RTR Spec 2, which was fittingly silver. Driving this beauty certainly made the trip more enjoyable, so stay tuned for a full review.
Mustangs at the Mountain Winners
Best Of Show: Patricia Allen
Best Interior: Nathaniel Key
Best Engine: Clabe Hall
Best Suspension: Joseph Kitchen
Best Paint: Patricia Allen
Club Participation: Mustang Lovers
Pre-1979 Mustang: Richard Mchan
1979-1993 Mustang: Clabe Hall
1994-1998 Mustang: Wayne Mccutchen
1999-2004 Mustang: Jason Lemons
2005-2009 Mustang: Jerry Hamilton
2010-2014 Mustang: Robert Jahn
2015-2017 Mustang: Bryan Merrill
“We try and separate ourselves from other shows. Some stuff is just so structured,” Donnie added. “We are in this beautiful park and it’s relaxed and laid back, so that’s how I treat the awards ceremony.”
After making the road trip up and scouring the entire show, we can say that the vibe of the show is great and the variety of cars in attendance is much broader than just silver ’Stangs these days. We saw everything from ’60s classics to modern Coyotes and everything in between — even a Mustang II.
So, if you are in the area or feel like taking a vacation to Stone Mountain Park (there is a campground and amusement park there) keep this show on your radar for May 5, 2018.
The crew from Athens Ford/Athens Autosports was on hand with several Mustangs, including a CDC Outlaw and a Mustang up-fit with a Whipple supercharger. “Anybody off the street can take a base GT or a Premium GT and we can supply them with any part that they want and roll it into their financing, so that they can finance the car that they actually want,” Danny Cox, Parts Manager at Athens Ford, explained. “We have been doing this for about a year now, and it’s taken off huge.” They also donated the Roush-supercharged 2017 Mustang GT being raffled at www.espfanclub.com/raffle to benefit disabled people.
Torque Home Décor provided these sick rod-and-piston trophies for winners of the top prizes in each category at the Mustangs at the Mountain show
James Nathan Ross picked up this Fox GT for his fiancé, Babette. After looking at several monochrome Fox GTs, she fell hard for this two-tone example. The 50,000-mile 1987 GT was once campaigned in the Ford drag racing ranks by Bob Galla and James got his hands on all the original documentation.
Bags and boost are always going to attract attention and Brandon Hill’s 2012 GT/CS definitely does that. He picked up the used 2012 back in 2015 and quickly ramped up the performance with an Air Lift suspension, a Cobra Jet intake and an On3 twin-turbo kit with 67mm snails. The car puts down 650 to the wheels and received Henry Ford III’s seal of approval in the form of a signature.
From a distance you might assume that Austin Allen’s 2005 was just another S197. Looks, as they say, can be deceiving. That’s because Austin picked up a used 2011 Shelby GT500 drivetrain and swapped it into his car after the stock Three-Valve threw a rod. The swap took 18 months, but it was well worth it as the car puts down 600 to the tire, but Austin’s goal is 1,000 horsepower. The next step on his quest is a VMP Gen2R TVS supercharger upgrade.
Nick Propes built this Dark Shadow Gray 1987 Mustang LX up from a shell in his own Propes Total Performance shop. He added a 331ci stroker, a UPR rear suspension and a built T-5 transmission. The car puts down 470 horsepower and Nick says the air conditioning blows colder than his modern Mustang thanks to an R134 conversion.
This was a blast from the past. While walking the aisle we spotted this 1984 GT350. Yup there was a sticker-job Fox that wore the historic moniker. This one, however, has the oats to back up the name thanks to a Terminator swap that it gained back when it was a Late Model Restoration project car.
Sonya Nieves had always wanted to create a Mustang dedicated to his Purple Highness. When Prince died, however, she really ramped up here commitment. Her husband Raphael started upgrading the 2016 EcoBoost Mustang with purple brake calipers and it progressed from there. She hopes to one day drive the car to the music icon’s Paisley Park estate.
John Nall made the trip down to Stone Mountain in his highly customized 1993 Mustang. It is powered by a 347 stroker topped by an Edelbrock intake and upgraded with a full Kenwood audio system.
Though Richard Olinger Sr. was around to see the ’60s Mustangs when they were new, he has always had a soft spot for Foxes. He has owned this black 1993 GT for over 10 years and it is so clean.