The sounds of rock ’n roll classics echo throughout the parking lot of the Rock & Brews in Oviedo, Florida. Not surprising in a restaurant backed by Kiss legends Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, but the tunes have an automotive twist on this day, and for good reason.
We have almost doubled the number of cars since we included all makes and models of American muscle. — Joe Rodriguez, Mid-Florida Mustang Club
As the summer months wind down, you would never know in Central Florida. The temperatures are still hot and the car show action is still heavy. Case it point is the annual charity show hosted by the Mid-Florida Mustang Club. Not exclusively a Ford show, the Rockin’ All-American Muscle Car Show brings together all makes of Detroit iron in the name of charity.
5. 2018 Mustang “Bullitt”
Richard Nelson is clearly a fan of Bullitt Mustangs, so much so that he had to have a second-gen S550 Bullitt before Ford even built one. To that end, he turned to Petty’s Garage for a Steve McQueen-style makeover for this 2018 Mustang GT. Petty’s repainted the car in BASF Highland Green and added a cold air intake, lowering springs, Magnaflow exhaust, American Racing wheels, and Continental tires. The Petty team also added a custom grille, shaved the logos and emblems, and added custom interior treatments.
“This is our 14th year hosting this show. All the proceeds from this show go to supportHope Helps, Inc., a local food pantry and family outreach center located here in Oviedo, Florida,” Joe Rodriguez, of the Mid-Florida Mustang Club, explained. “Our club has had an ongoing relationship with Hope Helps for quite a few years and have supported them from hosting car shows to canned food drives. Our goal for this years show was $3,000 and it looks like we may have reached it. Hope Helps feed over 250 families each week, and they can sure use this and much more.”
Hosting a show open to muscle machines helps draw a large group of participants and attendees in order to benefit that local charity. All the proceeds from the show are donated to Hope Helps, Inc., which seeks to reduce and prevent homelessness.
“This is the second year where we have invited non-Ford muscle cars to the fundraising event. It took a lot of social media marketing and passing out flyers to convince the local muscle car community that this was not just another Mustang show,” Joe said. “We found that we had to downplay the fact that Mid-Florida Mustang Club was the hosting club and focus more on our largest show sponsor and venue, Rock & Brews - Oviedo. Tavo Mendez, general manager of Rock & Brews, jumped at the chance to support our mission. I believe it really helped.”
4. 1964 Galaxie 500
It was Don Hess’ dream to one a 427-powered Galaxie, and he finally put this ebony 1964 example in his driveway. It still looks like it is ready to dominate the streets in the ’60s, and this big-block brawler stands out in a crowd to this day.
The mix of muscle certainlyseems to work. While there were a lot of Fords, the other makes and models were well represented too.
“This year we were blessed with good weather and a very healthy day-of-show registration. It looks like we had around 130 registered cars for the event and a few others that joined in later during the day after registration closed,” Joe said. “We have almost doubled the number of cars since we included all makes and models of American muscle. Although the Mid-Florida Mustang Club hosts the show, we have received a number of compliments from our non-Ford attendees and spectators. That was truly an added bonus.”
Because they were helping a great cause, participants could feel good about signing up for the show, and those who did received a T-shirt. The club judged all the vehicles present and awarded trophies to the top five Ford, GM, Mopar, and other categories. Of course we zero’d in on the Blue Oval rides, and picked our own five favorites from this year’s show.
If you didn’t make it out this year, you can look for the next iteration of this charity show to take place in September of next year.
3. 1991 Mustang GT
There weren’t many Foxes at this year’s show, but the few on site were really nice. Kyle Dorris’ 1991 Mustang GT looks pretty unassuming on the outside. It could be just another early ’90s two-tone GT, but underhood it is far from ordinary. Its 5.0-liter engine breathes through a Holley SysteMAX II intake which is fed by a single turbocharger. That’s right. You don’t see too many single-turbo Foxes, but this one is mean and clean.
“I feel pretty confident that Tavo will welcome us back to Rock & Brews in 2019 for the 15th Annual Rockin’ American Muscle Car Show for Hope Helps. We will continue to get the word out that this is not a manufacturer-specific event, but a very worthwhile fundraising show which helps families in need that live in our community,” Joe added. “We also plan on reaching out a bit more next year to see if we can increase the number of sponsors and vendors and give it more of a festival-type feel. Rock & Brews - Oviedo, Glasskinz, Tint World, Ecklers Automotive, Garage One Speedwax, AAG auto appraisers, and Brookdale Senior Living supported this year’s show. On top of that we had over 40 different businesses that contributed items for door prizes and auction items.”
For more scenes from the show, be sure to check out our full gallery below.
2. 1970 Mach 1
The lines of a late ’60s- early ’70s Mustang are beyond classic, and Al Edmonds’ lightly restomodded 1970 Mustang Mach 1 stood out amongst a more modern crowd at the show. His 351-powered SportsRoof features a smattering of custom touches, and it looks like it would be a blast to drive to a show or anywhere else.
1. 2008 ROUSH P-51A
There are rare Mustangs and there are one-of-a-kind Mustangs. David Usher’s 2008 ROUSH P-51A convertible falls into the latter category. It is the only droptop version of this high-powered S197 built by ROUSH that year. If you aren’t familiar of with the fighter plane-themed variant, it received many of the standard ROUSH upgrades for that year along with a unique paint scheme. Further setting it apart is a built-and-blown Three-Valve 4.6-liter engine that delivered a square 510 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. This car was sold as part of a boxing charity auction before the CEO of GoDaddy spent a few months behind the wheel. David found it on a dealer lot in Arizona, brought it home to Florida, and has clearly embraced its ROUSH and aeronautic lineage in his car show display.
May The Coyote Be With You
While it narrowly missed our top five, John Gagliano’s 2011 Mustang GT was definitely worth a mention. Your scribe is a fellow Star Wars fan, but not nearly as deep into the dark side as John, who carried his love of the film series to his Coyote-powered S197. Set up with a nice array of bolt-ons that deliver 438 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque at the wheels, it is the Darth Vader-inspired custom paint on the rear of the car that sets it apart from the crowd. Applied by Chris Cruz at Chris Cruz Artistry in Deland, Florida, the Vader helmet, Death Star, and hand-drawn “Power of the Darkside” script are just the beginning for John. He hopes to add a battle scene on the bumper and more Star Wars under the hood in the future.