From its humble beginnings seven years ago with a few hundred Mustangs in the parking lot of a small local college, the American Muscle car show experience has simply exploded in popularity. This year, its second on the expansive grounds of Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pennsylvania, found nearly 3,000 show cars registered, an absolutely packed show field, and appearances from some of the industry’s best movers and shakers to go along with the 90-plus degree temperatures and beautiful weather. There were a number of events within the event; we’ll get to those shortly.
First and foremost, American Muscle’s founders, Steve and Andrew Voudouris, are passionate about giving back to the community, and one of the stated goals for this year’s AM Car Show was to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. And raise money they did–in the form of a whopping $55,000 check presented to the local chapter of the Foundation at the close of the event.
They also supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation by granting the wish of one special Mustang enthusiast, 18-year-old Johnathan Mullins, of Portage, Michigan. The Make-A-Wish Foundation approached American Muscle a short time ago, explaining that Johnathan’s wish was to have his Mustang modified by American Muscle–and the team stepped to the plate in a big way. First, they developed a rendering of what Johnathan dreamed of owning, and then with the assistance of a number of aftermarket partners, brought Jonathan’s vision to reality and presented him with the car, unveiled for the first time at the show. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Steve Voudouris and AM’s video host, Justin Dugan, handed the keys over.
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With so many cars on the property, the task of choosing our favorites was immense, and narrowing down our choices took the better part of the day. Each of these cars stood out to us for one reason or another.
Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia’s Lowell Murdock took his maiden voyage with this beautiful 1969 Coupe–prior to the 2015 American Muscle show, the car hadn’t seen the light of day since 2011, when he began the restoration of the car.
“We were trying to make it modern looking, but retain the classic lines of the ’69,” he says. The car was finished on the Wednesday before the show, stuffed into a trailer, and sent down the highway. The car boasts a unique interior treatment from TMI Products, and all-new floors, quarter-panels, doors, fenders, and bumpers that were replaced during the build process.
Motivation comes from a solid 422-horsepower aluminum-headed 347 stroker engine from J&K Precision, backed up by a worked C4 that’s received the shift kit treatment. While we were standing there walking to Murdock, at least three people walked by and asked him what color the car was. Sadly, he couldn’t remember, telling us that it was a color he picked out of the DuPont book. It caught our eye, and it also caught the eye of the American Muscle judges, as he earned a trophy at the awards ceremony.
Clean Fox-body cars are becoming more and more difficult to find; Canadian Rob Hall decided instead to use the one he already owned, restoring this one-owner super-sano ’84 Mustang GT into a car we’d love to have in the garage.
The supercharged 308ci engine will resonate with old-school Fox fanatics. BOost pressure is delivered to the Cobra intake manifold from the Ford Motorsport SVO centrifugal supercharger with an internal belt-drive, manufactured for the company by now-defunct Powerdyne. These were considered the hot thing back in the day, likely before some of you reading this were even out of diapers. A Lentech AOD transmission delivers the power to the 3.73-geared 8.8, while the exhaust is evacuated through a combination of Bassani and Flowmaster parts. The car’s been upgraded with a set of “C” springs, Tokico struts and shocks, and a set of brakes from a New Edge Mach 1.
A ton of attention has been paid under the hood of this beauty, with a smoothed engine compartment drawing your attention. Then you notice the wiring is all tucked away, the battery is nowhere to be seen, and the fuel door, emblems, locks, and antenna are all shaved off. ’86 bumper covers and moldings finish off the clean look, and the car is covered in Silverstone Metallic with a bit of pearl added for that extra-unique touch. Rob, if you’re ever feeling generous and want to donate this beautiful car, give us a call. Writers don’t make a lot of money, but we promise to give it a good home?
You already know we’re partial to Grabber Blue machines, and when we ran into Cliff Fettner’s BluRoan convertible machine we knew our search was over for the nicest Grabber car at AM2015.
BluRoan has been treated to a laundry list of modifications already, and Cliff’s not afraid to drive the ‘vert–he’s been to shows all over the mid-Atlantic this year and is already planning the Grabber Blue Mustang Registry‘s excursion to Carlisle for 2016.
Everything under the hood has been color-matched, but he didn’t skimp on performance upgrades either–a JLT cold-air kit is onboard to help the intake’s breathing capabilities, and set of BBK ceramic coated long-tubes and high-flow catted X-pipe are underhood to help the exhaust evacuate more quickly. A Magnaflow Competition catback amplifies the sound.
Special attention has been paid to the suspension, as Eibach Sportline springs work in conjunction with Koni orange shocks and struts, a BMR upper control arm, lower control arms, and adjustable panhard bar to keep the car under control. Shelby CS40 wheels spin Nitto Invo tires on this sweet Pony.
Mark Watson’s 2009 Super Snake has a huge list of modifications resulting in a whopping 863 horsepower–on a pump gas tune, no less. A 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger with 3-inch pulley, Ford Racing twin-65mm throttle body, 127mm carbon-fiber JLT cold-air kit, and 72 lb./hr. fuel injectors provide much of the equipment necessary to achieve that power level. Watson also tells us it makes well over 900 at the tire on the race fuel tune.
The mods on this one don’t stop under the hood, though. Watson retrofit a set of Recaro seats from a 2013 model, but with the 2009 internals to make the side airbags work properly. Two other items that might escape the eye of a less-savvy viewer caught our attention. The switch in the cockpit is from a real live F-16 fighter jet, and has been modified to open Watson’s garage door, while the trunk is home to a WWII-vintage first-aid kit.
The most interesting thing about this car? Watson claims it’s a daily driver and sees snow regularly in the wintertime. We asked him whether he worries about door dings, and he said, “Life’s too short to worry about something like that. These cars are made to be driven.” He did, however, say he had a paintless dent-removal specialist on speed-dial.
The New Jersey-based Mustang of Joe Ferro also caught our eye as we walked by, mainly because of the honkin’ ProCharger D-1SC under the hood of the Vapor Metallic 2008 Three-Valve Mustang GT. In our opinion, the Three-valve cars don’t get much love, overshadowed as they have been over the last four years by their newer Coyote brethren, but Ferro’s machine makes an excellent case for Three-Valve performance.
To go along with the huffer, Ferro has a Ford Racing intake manifold, twin 62mm throttle body, and a host of other parts underhood.
Suspension was a big focus for Ferro, as the portly ‘Stang needed a diet to offset the weight of the roll-bar he needed once it ran quicker than 11.49 in the quarter-mile. To that end, a BMR K-member and arms were installed to go with Tokico D-spec shocks and struts. BMR also found a home in the rear of the three-link machine with their lower control arms, sway bar, and adjustable Panhard bar also in place.
The daily-driven car, modified by Dwayne Gutridge and the guys at Big Daddy Performance, has been 11.30s in the quarter mile and topped the dyno out at 513 horsepower. The top and bottom sides of the hood have been the subject of an incredible design from Virtuair Airbrush Studios in Pennsylvania. As the car has won well over 100 trophies, there’s no surprise we stopped to drool.
There was a huge manufacturer’s midway, and many vehicles with a crowd standing around all day, but none more important to the Ford crowd than the new GT350. We stood around for a while watching everyone come and take photos and video of the car, and have to admit–it sure would look good in the garage. Even better, we’d like to have a chance to drive it on some twisty back roads and give the 5.2-liter engine a real workout.
The burnout contest included four members of the show-going public, and was won after a monster burnout by Kyle Osisek of Deptford, NJ. Osisek, like most burnout contest participants we see these days, came equipped with a set of skins mounted on steelies, and burned them down–literally–to the ground after what seemed like minutes of the engine rapping off the limiter.
The overall Best in Show award was won by Scott Perry and his 2011 GT/California Special.
Vaughn Gittin, Jr. and Chip Foose also chose their favorite cars of the event. Gittin chose John Forester’s machine–which we’ve featured here on StangTV in the past, while Foose chose Jessie Moore’s 2014 GT.
The event lasted all day–we were there at 6AM and didn’t leave until Chip Foose dropped the mic at 5PM after giving away the MMD/Foose 21015 Mustang to Pennsylvania native Brad Brallier.
It was hot, the air was heavy, and the farmland of eastern Pennsylvania was home to the rumbling of a gigantic herd of stampeding ponies. Every year, the American Muscle car show team finds a way to top the previous year’s event, so we’re expecting AM2016 to be the best show yet.