More cars mean more proceeds to the charity. — Joe Rodriguez, Mid-Florida Mustang Club
“This is about our seventh year hosting our fundraising show for Hope Helps Inc., and although Mustang owners have always been willing to come out and support a charity, we have limited the number of participants by only including Ford Mustangs,” Joe Rodriguez, president of the Mid-Florida Mustang Club, explained. “In looking at this event long-term we felt to grow the number of participants we needed to include other makes of muscle cars.”
What made this year’s show different was the transition from a pure Mustang show to an all-makes show rebranded as the Rockin’ Muscle Car Show. Though there were some non-Mustangs in attendance, the biggest group of cars drew from the club’s pool of Mustang members.
“Last year we had about 85 cars that participated in the show and this year the number grew to 112, which I believe supports our theory,” Joe added. “We knew that other makes and models might be a bit apprehensive in attending a show hosted by a Mustang Club, so we attempted to make it as inviting as possible. We hope that once the word gets out that the show was fun and successful, future shows will stifle the feelings that it’s just a Mustang show. More cars mean more proceeds to the charity.”
That charity, as he previously mentioned, is one that helps those in need in the Central Florida area and one that Joe himself helps.
Top 8 Ford Show Winners
• Ramon Suarez, 2015 Richard Petty Mustang GT
• Rick Traenkner, 1967 GT500 Silver Eleanor
• William Blackburn, 1965 Cobra
• Al Edmonds, 1970 Purple Mach 1
• Chris McKee, 1966 Mustang GT Convertible
• Dale Grinestaff, 2007 Parnelli Jones Boss 302
• Chuck Woodworth, 1970 Mach 1
• Troy & Jeanine Jewell, 1970 Mach 1
Fulfilling the Rockin’ part of the show’s moniker was the restaurant location. Not only does it have a great parking lot for a show, but Kiss main men Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley back this restaurant, so the musical theme pervades the décor, menu, and soundtrack.
“We chose Rock & Brews for a couple of reasons; first they are located close to Hope Helps outreach center and food pantry. Second, Tavo Mendez, GM at Rock & Brews-Oviedo, welcomed the idea immediately and was enthusiastic about the idea from the beginning,” Joe said. “Tavo mentioned that Rock & Brews is known for giving back to the local communities where they have restaurants and felt this would be a great event that supported a wonderful organization.”
So music filled the air and cars filled the lot, and we soaked in the scene, which offered a wide variety of great Mustangs. If you are in the Central Florida area, it’s worth checking out and the club’s next big show is in a few months.
“Mid-Florida Mustang Club has been around since 1981 and participates in a number of different activities each month from breakfast runs to monthly cruises to neighboring events. Our next big show is the 31st Annual Mustang and Ford Roundup on February 24, 2018 in beautiful downtown historic Longwood,” Joe added. “This coming Roundup should be a lot of fun with some new surprises. At last year’s show we had over 300 cars either participating in being judged or as a specialty display. We certainly didn’t have a shortage of vendors and we even a couple of special guests, so mark you calendars for February 24, 2018.”
Without further adieu, here are our five favorites from the Rockin’ show and a gallery of the full show…
1. 2010 Shelby GT500
Your scribe brought his 14-year-old son along to the show and this was his favorite car at the show. It’s a great choice. From its striking hue to its VMP Performance TVS-boosted 5.4, John Otlaro’s 2010 Shelby GT500 is quite the car.
2. Petty Edition 2015 Mustang GT
With the soaring popularity of the S550 platform it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. What makes this Competition Orange 2015 Mustang GT, owned by Ramon Suarez, unique is its Petty Edition breeding, which includes wheels, a Ford Performance supercharger, and more.
3. 2012 Mustang GT
Parked along side John Otlaro’s Shelby show car was his ‘race’ car — a 2012 Mustang GT, which also sports a VMP 2.3-liter TVS supercharger. John says the car easily runs into the 10s, but how low depends on the Florida weather. He is looking forward to stepping up to a larger 2.65-liter TVS blower to make its performance even more consistent, via pulley swaps, in the warmer months.
4. 1990 Mustang LX
Longtime readers know this scribe has a soft spot for clean Foxes and James Biekham’s 1990 Mustang LX fits that bill. Wearing period-correct mods, like ROH wheels and Special Service hoses, this Titanium hatchback is a feel-good time machine that reminds of why Foxes have such a loyal following some 24 years after they ceased production.
5. 1978 Mustang II
While this author isn’t a loyal fan of the Mustang II, as our old pal John Clor at Ford can attest, it is rare to see a Deuce out and about and in such great shape. William Martin’s 1978 Mustang King Cobra looks like it just drove out of the ’70s. Its presence also signified the wide variety of Mustangs on site at this show.