If there’s one thing that can unite us in uncertain times, it is a love of our favorite cars. For over three decades, the MidFlorida Mustang Club has hosted its annual Ford & Mustang Roundup car show. This year, as a cascade of cancellations befell almost every other event as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the club’s show soldiered on at Reiter Park in Longwood, Florida, on March 14th.
We started the club in 1981 and we’ve been in existence all that time, and we started this show that’s been around for 33 years… — Bob Simmons, MidFlorida Mustang Club
“We started the club in 1981 and we’ve been in existence all that time, and we started this show that’s been around for 33 years,” Bob Simmons, founding member of the MidFlorida Mustang Club, told us. “We’ve had it here (Reiter Park) for the last seven years. They have just been gracious and as you can see, they opened everything up to us and made it easy for us.”
Given clearance by city officials to continue with the event, the club’s Mustang & Ford Roundup extended its streak. Having over 200 cars preregistered, the show — which carried sponsorship from the likes of AmericanMuscle, National Parts Depot, and VMP Performance among others — provided a welcome escape from the weather farther north, as well as the news of the day.
“We have people from all the Southern states around here,” Simmons said of the show’s popularity. “We have people from North Carolina, I think there’s one from Tennessee, and Arkansas. It’s a beautiful time of year usually.”
For those in attendance, the club organizes the cars by generation, which makes it easy for fans of a particular era to check out those rides in one spot. It also simplifies the judging of the cars in the various generations. Among the awards given out were the City of Longwood Choice (Mayor’s Award); Longwood Police Choice; Popular Vote (for day-of show registrations and 2019+ models); and Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards in four judged classes — Daily Driver, Occasional Driver, Modified, and Concours. The club also presented Judges’ Choice to the most outstanding car from each generation, as well as the coveted Best In Show award.
While we weren’t handing out any hardware, we did peruse every car in the show and pick out several of our favorites for your viewing pleasure. There were plenty of cars worthy of consideration, but here are ten of the standouts…
10. 2014 Shelby GT350
While the modern, Voodoo-powered machine is a high-revving, naturally aspirated wonder, there was a GT350 that immediately preceded it. Shelby American offered a GT350 package for the 2011-2014 Mustangs, and Lisa Marshall is the proud owner of the 84th example of 87 built in 2014. Hers is understated in Sterling Gray, and pumps out 634 horsepower courtesy of a Whipple supercharger atop its Gen 1 Coyote 5.0-liter engine.
Speaking of Shelby GT350s, this second-owner 1966 example looked like it drove right out of the Swinging ’60s. Under the care and feeding of Faren Lejeune since the summer of 1974, this K-code machine received fresh Ivy Green paint and stripes, along with American Racing wheels. In 2005 it gained a fresh engine courtesy of Tony Lamb. In all, it is a sharp machine that looks like it was fun to drive up to Longwood from Orlando.
8. 2004 Mustang GT
A quick peek inside J. Costello’s New Edge machine revealed this is no mere street car. Its bare bones interior is equipped with race seats, safety harnesses, an AIM digital dash, and more hardcore hardware. Under the hood, it features a swapped Coyote 5.0-liter engine breathing through a JLT cold air intake, so it has plenty of power for the road course, and bits from Maximum Motorsports, StopTech, and Wilwood help it carve up the corners.
7. 2001 Mustang Bullitt
It was a short drive over for local resident John P. O’Hara, and it probably went by pretty fast as he banged gears with an MGW shifter and McLeod RXT clutch in this Grabber Blue Shelby. Sporting a laundry list of mods highlighted by a VMP TVS supercharger atop its 5.4-liter engine, this car puts down the power with a suspension augmented by Ford Performance, Roush Performance, and Steeda gear. Rolling on chrome Steeda Spyder wheels, it also wears a number of paint-matched accents.
6. 1990 Mustang LX
James Bickham’s Titanium 1990 Mustang LX hatch was among a group of outstanding Fox Mustangs on display at the 33rd Annual Mustang & Ford Roundup. It still looks as good as it did when we first spotted his Fox at the Steeda Stampede back in 2017.
5. 1995 SVT Mustang Cobra R
For years, enthusiasts pined for Ford to add a 351 Windsor under the hood of the Mustang again. It never happened in the Fox era, but in 1995, the Special Vehicle Team developed a R-model version of the Mustang Cobra. With a bare bones interior, a tuned suspension, big brakes, and 300 horsepower, this version of the Cobra R was something special. Rob Doern brought out his brother’s example — number 17 of 250 built — to give us a trip down memory lane.
4. 1970 Boss 302
On a sunny Florida morning, David Samuel’s 1970 Boss 302 simply glowed. Looking resplendent in Calypso Corral, this high-winding classic looked better than it did when it rumbled off the showroom floor some 50 years ago. Having appeared on the cover of numerous magazines and catalogs, it was definitely a standout at the 33rd Annual Mustang & Ford Roundup.
3. 2017 Shelby GT350
When Fred Montez’s GT350 rolled into the show, it immediately drew our attention courtesy of its low-slung stance and aggressive rear wing. One look under the hood, however, revealed that this high-revving machine had picked up a power adder in the form of an intercooled Paxton supercharger. With its inlet air cooled by a Snow Performance water/meth injection system and benefitting from an Advanced Fuel Dynamics flex-fuel system, this Shelby has the performance credentials to back up its good looks.
2. 2018 Mustang GT
Its colorful, minion- and NASCAR-themed wrap might not be for everyone, but it definitely stood out on the show field. Ordered with the corner-carving PPL2 option, Barbara Glow’s 2018 Mustang GT made the trip to Watson Racing to receive a Gen5 Whipple 3.0-liter supercharger upgrade supported by a DeatschWerks fuel pump and injectors. The experts there also installed a set of Ford Performance halfshafts to handle the power of a boosted Coyote howling through a Stainless Works exhaust system. Her husband Ken says the couple feels the most joy seeing kids react to their unique show pony.
1. 1992 Mustang LX
Not the wildest or most powerful Mustang at the show, O. Cruz’s 1992 Mustang LX stood out because it is clean and well-executed. The Calypso Green coupe rolls on a modern Mustang wheel design, but sports a Two-Valve 4.6-liter swap under-hood. Juxtaposing a variety of eras in one machine is tough to pull off, but this car does it by simply looking the part. The engine looks like it belongs, as do the SN-95 steering wheel and TMI seats in the cabin.
So those are our favorites from the show, but you might prefer some of the other cars on display. As such, you can check out more of the Fords and Mustangs at the show in the gallery below…