It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since the world went sideways, but just as things took that turn into full 2020 fashion last year, we popped into a long-running show in Longwood, Florida, to check out some of the cars and pick some favorites. The show returned this year on Saturday, February 6th, and attracted a robust turnout of Blue Oval Machines on an overcast but comfortable day.
Sponsored by a who’s who of Ford aftermarket specialists including American Muscle, National Parts Depot, and VMP Performance, the 34th Annual Mustang & Ford Roundup is hosted by the Mid-Florida Mustang Club. Founded way back in 1981, this group caters to pony car fans as a “family friendly club of Mustang enthusiasts dedicated to the preservation of both classic and late-model Mustangs.”
The show’s format is a mixture of judged and popular vote categories. Those submitting to the keen eye of the judges were required to register in advance in four categories — Daily Driver, Occasional Driver, Modified, and Concours — targeting 1964-½ through 2019 Mustangs and Ford-powered machines through the 2019 model year. Newer vehicles fell under the day-of-show registrations for popular-vote categories.
Not part of the official judging, we simply prowled every row of cars and chose ten favorites from this year’s edition. Our selections are subjective, of course, and if they don’t suit your fancy, we have a rather expansive gallery below from which you can pick your own favorites. No matter which cars you like, it is always great to get out and take in some fresh air and beautiful machinery, which not everyone can do in the winter. Without further ado here are our favorites from the show.
10. 1968 Revology Mustang
Clean and mean, this classic grabs your attention with its sinister paint scheme, and holds it with clean lines and those classic Torq Thrust wheels. It is under the hood where this machine really grabbed us by the heartstrings, as it features the Coyote powerplant bearing the Revology name, which means this replica benefits from the knowledge and parts to make this combination perform and behave like a modern ride.
9. 2018 Mustang
While it wasn’t part of the judged show, there was a category for Best Police Vehicle. Our favorite, however, was this Minecraft-themed S550. Serving as the steed for school resource officer Anders Lehara at Central Ridge Elementary in Citrus Springs, Florida, this ride is popular with the younger crowd. He says the kids “go crazy over it.”
8. 1972 Mustang Mach 1
A sentimental pick, this 1972 Mustang Mach 1 reminds your scribe of the first Mustang he ever rode in. Kathy Wear’s ride still motivates courtesy of its original 351C and FMX Cruise-O-Matic, though it was converted to 4V spec. With only 63,000 or so miles on the clock, this Sportsroof still looks factory fresh in its Gold Glow Metallic paint.
7. 2013 Boss 302
There were a few S197 Boss 302s on the property, but most of them were stock as a rock. Adam Davis’ 2013 model sports a Vortech supercharger force-feeding the RoadRunner 5.0-liter engine under the hood, which must have made the trip up from Ft. Pierce a boosted blast as that centrifugal screamed to the factory 7,500-rpm rev limiter!
6. 1998 SVT Mustang Cobra
In its day, the 1998 SVT Mustang Cobra was the pinnacle of SN-95 performance before the New Edge refresh. These machines pumped out 305 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and ran 13.99-second elapsed times. The rarest of those Cobras, however, were those painted in Bright Atlantic Blue. The convertibles were the hardest to come by, but only 563 coupes were built and Claude Daigler of Bell Isle, Florida, owns this one, which looks like it is straight out of the late ’90s.
5. 2012 Boss 302 Laguna Seca
While it is rare to see Boss 302s, the Laguna Seca version offers the highest level of performance and the lowest production numbers (only 613 black Lagunas were built for 2012). That extra performance is courtesy of reduced weight, a stiffer chassis, sharpened suspension tuning, a Torsen differential, and better aerodynamics courtesy of a large front splitter. David Lavertue’s 2012 example looks like it just rolled off the dealer lot, but he has only owned it since last November. He is a big fan of the side-exit exhaust enabled by the Track Key, but he hopes to tune the taut suspension a bit for more comfort on the street.
4. 1986 Mustang LX Coupe
Fox Mustangs are a soft spot for this scribe, and there were several nice examples in Longwood, including this one. Rolling on blacked out BBS wheels, this 1986 Mustang LX coupe is so clean. Its white-and-black theme carries through under the hood as well. There, the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter is showcased in an uncluttered engine compartment and breathes through a Power Pipe and a Trick Flow intake manifold.
3. 1985 Mustang GT
Another clean four-eye belongs to Mike Platt, who brought his ’85 Mustang LX out. This two-tone T-top machine is tastefully modified with chrome Cobra R-style wheels and a Saleen wing, and it still sports the carbureted 5.0 HO under the hood. This one must be a real time machine from behind the wheel.
2. 1987 Mustang GT
After falling in love with the Fox Mustang, this writer dreamed of building a T-top car like this one back in the day. It has all the Ford Racing (now Ford Performance) modifications and then some, including the X306 cylinder heads, E303 camshaft, and GT-40 intake manifold. Underneath, the suspension benefits from a number of factory and aftermarket upgrades highlighted by a Terminator IRS and SN-95 spindles. It even has a full custom audio system, which is perfect for cranking the tunes and cruising with the tops popped. You can just hear the Whitesnake cranking over the sound of that E303-orchestrated rumble.
1. 1967 Mustang Restomod
Timothy Ledogar left no stone unturned when “restomodding” his 1967 Mustang. Rolling on Schott Wheels’ FUEL rims, measuring 18×9 inches in front and 20×12 inches out back in a polished and Cobalt ceramic finish, this custom stallion features a racy powerplant under the hood and a TREMEC six-speed manual in the tunnel. Sprayed in gray with striking over-the-top stripes, the car’s custom interior brings that bright hue inside the cabin. We weren’t the only ones who loved this car, however, as it scored the Best of Show award at the 34rd Annual Mustang & Ford Roundup.