VMP’s First Car Show Draws Hordes Of Fords To Its Florida Facility

VMP’s First Car Show Draws Hordes Of Fords To Its Florida Facility

Car after car rumbled into the gate and filled the available spots. In the distance, the sound of highly tuned engines running at full-throttle wailed in the background as some fans gathered to watch the excitement and others besieged the on-site food trucks until their inventory ran dry. On a gorgeous Florida day in mid-February, a spot in Volusia county celebrated the love for high-performance automobiles, but it wasn’t the storied Daytona 500. Instead, it was the first event held onsite at VMP Performance.

Our facility here is really huge. It’s great for these types of events. — Justin Starkey, VMP Performance

Justin Starkey (second from left), Rebecca Starkey (middle), and the VMP Performance team held their first on-site car show at the company’s home base in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, on February 20, 2022.

“We’ve been here for five years now and we’ve never really had an official open house or a car show, so we got together and said, ‘Hey, let’s do it. Let’s do it early in the year,” VMP Performance President Justin Starkey said. “We decided on this day, and it’s the same time as Daytona 500, but not everybody’s into the Daytona 500. A lot of people are in town, though. It’s a great time. I think this is going to be our day going forward.”

As you might expect, the VMP Car Show attracted several VMP customer rides, including this 2018+ Mustang GT. Looking clean and ready to blast down the quarter-mile on skinny-and-wide wheels, it sports a VMP Odin TVS supercharger under the hood.

The inaugural event drew all makes and models of vehicles, but among them was a healthy turnout of Blue Oval machinery. That’s not a surprise, as Starkey founded the company based on providing parts for six-cylinder Mustangs more than two decades ago.

“When I was moving, I registered the name Velocity Mustang Performance. It was September of 2001,” Starkey recalled. “I was fresh out of high school. Shortly after that, I met my wife at the drag strip. Now we’ve been doing this for 20 years.”

Speaking of VMP TVS blowers, this Coyote-swap Fox hatch has one under the hood as well. With that kind of power onboard, this lightweight classic must be a blast to drive.

“I started humble. I was selling foglight kits and then nitrous kits and I got hooked up with the founders of SCT and started tuning. And then I got a chassis dyno,” Starkey added. “I fell in love with the Shelbys, and I had to have one after tuning one. I finally got one and, you know, started tuning on it and modifying it.”

Terminators are the stuff of legend. They brought factory supercharger, six-speed manual transmissions, and independent rear suspensions to the pony performance party. This particular SVT Cobra makes even more than the factory 390 horsepower courtesy of the VMP TVS blower feeding its Four-Valve 4.6-liter Modular engine.

From there, the VMP business kept growing with parts for Shelby Mustangs and Coyote-powered Fords. Things took off as the company partnered with industry specialists to create its line of superchargers based on EATON’s vaunted TVS rotor packs.

“Every time there’s a vision, you think it’s going to top out at some point, and it just keeps growing,” Starkey said. “We moved into this facility five years ago and we wanted something that wasn’t going to be a limitation or cause us to have to move in a couple of years. We’re growing into this facility. We’ve filled it, basically, and we’re thinking about expanding it.”

Another S550 benefitting from VMP’s Odin supercharger magic is this 2015 Mustang GT. The VMP blower is supported by the company’s cold-air intake, throttle body, and heat exchanger. It puts the power to the pavement via a Steeda suspension and Carroll Shelby CS-2 wheels. 

While that growth continues, the time was right to connect with its customers through another means than the internet. Doing something at its 40-plus-acre facility was a natural way to bring those worlds together and give people an idea of what goes on at the company.

Justin Young of Mod Motor Mustangs fame brought out his Shelby GT500, which is boosted by a prototype 3.1-liter TVS supercharger and pounds out 1,200 horsepower to the wheels. It is set up for standing-mile racing and sports a Fathouse Fabrication weld-in roll cage that tucks tightly against the Shelby’s full interior. Young’s car is always a crowd favorite. 

“Sometimes you just need that face-to-face,” Starkey explained. “Our facility here is really huge. It’s great for these types of events. We’ve got the dyno here. We’ve got other vendors here that are part of the car community that have unique products and services. So it’s great to get them out here display in their wares. The VMP Ranch has needed this for a long time.”

With an impressive turnout in 2022, the VMP Car Show is slated to return next year, and there will be tweaks to make it even more fun for the crowd that is hungry for both food and performance. Both food trucks sold out early, and the dyno sessions were a hot commodity, so look for more of both next year.

Dyno runs were a popular facet of the VMP show, but few cars could compete with the output delivered by Travis Akins’ twin-turbo S197. It rocked the rollers with 1,479 horsepower and 1026.46 lb-ft of torque on its “low-boost” setting of 31 psi. 

“I think we need two or three dynos because the dyno is just off the hook. We’ve been doing dyno days for 15 years and we filled up with 30 spots before lunch,” Starkey added.

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About the author

Steve Turner

Steve Turner brings decades of passion and knowledge in the world of Ford performance, having covered it for over 20 years. From the swan song of the Fox Mustang to the birth of the Coyote, Steve had a front-row seat.
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