If you checked out our coverage of the second-annual Ponies In The Smokies show, you know there was plenty of pre-2011 hardware on display. However, there was no shortage of sweet, modern Mustangs at the Tennessee event. From those showcased in the indoor “55 Years Of Mustang” display to an outside car show full of clean machines, the latest models mixed it up with the classics.
With such a wide range of models from Roushs and Saleens to Shelby GT350s and GT500s, it was tough to pick our favorites, but we prowled the property and dug deep to decide on our five favorite modern stallions at the 2018 PITS show…
5. 2017 Mustang GT
In a world of flash and add-ons, sometimes simplicity steals the show. Dennis and Jenn Fahey’s 2017 Mustang GT is simple and built with just the right mix of factory and aftermarket to make the car enjoyable. They drove this blue beauty all the way up from Florida to PITS and also took the car on the Tail Of The Dragon during the event’s Shine Run.
The factory Performance Pack car features a few tasteful upgrades, including a Flowmaster American Thunder cat-back, a JLT Performance cold-air intake, and an SCT Performance 93-octane tune for added performance. The appearance is tweaked with a Cervini’s Auto Designs Stalker wing and some wheel spacers out back to give the car just the right stance. Dennis and Jenn’s car does a great job of showing that you do not have to throw the entire parts catalog or life savings at a car to make it look good and have the performance to back it up.
4. 2013 Shelby GT500
We first met Kyler Greeson and his Shelby at Ponies In The Smokies in 2017. He and his father had just bought the 2013 GT500 in California and had road-tripped the car cross-country straight to the show. The car was purchased straight from Kenne Bell where it was used as test car for the company’s superchargers. That first year, the car did rather well at the show, making it into the Elite 5 which showcases the top-five finalists for Best Of Show honors.
This year would bring more mod’s for Kyler’s car including and Airlift Performance setup, as well as a Whiteline Watt’s Link out back. Of course there is a big Kenne Bell under the hood too. Kyler tells us the car performed awesome as he took it out and tested the new combo on Thursday during the Shine Run on the legendary Tail Of The Dragon.
Kyler Greeson’s car show display board tells quite the tale. It features all the car’s original documentation, the original California license plate, photos from its cross-country journey, as well as a letter of authenticity from Kenne Bell.
3.2013 Mustang GT
When we spotted Aaron Bickel’s 2013 GT, it was fresh off a 10-plus-hour ride from south Georgia through the rain and the snow, to say the least, it was filthy! But by the time the doors opened on Friday morning at Ponies In The Smokies this thing had transformed into one of the cleanest Coyotes on the property. Featuring a Paxton-supercharged 5.0 along with all the suspension mods to back it up, this monster makes 670 horsepower at the back tires.
Stock 5.0? We think that tag might be a little misleading. Either way, this is one clean 5.0. HRE FF01 wheels and a host of Steeda suspension mods give this white pony just the right stance, and the Paxton blower gives the car just the right sound. When this monster rumbles to life, you realize there is nothing "stock" about it!
2. 2011 Shelby GT500
Possibly the only thing keeping Kyle Mitchell’s 2011 GT500 from being number one on our list was the simple fact that we could not find him to get some more info on the car. Regardless, it does not take much research to realize this Shelby is clean and mean. The drag racing wheel setup gives the GT500 an even more sinister look that it came with originally from the factory. A peek inside at the roll cages gives us a hint that the drag wheels are not just for looks. Our guess is this baby means business.
There is something about the white roll cage and white accents on the seats that make this GT500 interior on Kyle Mitchell's 2011 appealing and easy on the eyes. Much better than your traditional black cage, some thought and planning went into this one. If you have to have a cage in your car, keeping it clean like this is definitely the way to go!
1. 2013 Saleen Mustang
With a color like Orange County Orange, this 2013 Saleen almost needs no introduction or explanation. It screams cool and fast. Do not worry though, it backs it up. Rudy and Betsy Beyer’s S351 Black Label puts out 750 supercharged horsepower through a rare automatic transmission. It features two-seater Speedster styling and with the previously mentioned bright paint, this car is hard to ignore. We could talk about this rare Saleen all day long, but instead, we figured we would let Mr. Steve Saleen himself talk about the car in the video below…