Everyone looks forward to Friday, but it is the day at Mustang Week because it marks the arrival of the car show. This is the cornerstone event of the week with the judged car show and full complement of manufacturer displays. This year the event moved to a new, but familiar venue and added a new wrinkle.
Last year the Mustang Week Meet ’N Greet was held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, but in July that facility was not available for the show. In September it opened up, so the car show moved here and the Mustang Week team innovated by adding a large indoor manufacturer display area that mimics the popular industry trade shows and brings that feel directly to Mustang enthusiasts.
Manufacturer displays included Ford, Hurst, Livernois Motorsports, MGW Shifters, Mustang RTR, Nitto Tire, ProCharger, TMI Products, VMP Performance, Vortech, UPR Products, and many more. Of course, Mustang Week was on hand selling T-shirts and swag as well.
“It’s been 95 percent positive,” Mustang Week’s Rodney Melton said of the reaction to the expanded indoor displays. “I think most of them will go back there and we may make room for some more. It’s a good place to take a break and get a trade show feel.”
Moreover, the convention center parking allowed for a greatly expanded car show area and more room for vendor displays. Ford brought in a massive Ford Performance display filled with 2018 Mustangs and the midway and indoor manufacturer displays were filled with a who’s who of the Mustang aftermarket industry.
There are a lot of S550s with wheels and bolt-ons, but Jonathan Brafford’s 2017 Mustang GT Performance Pack checks all the right boxes. Great color, upgraded audio system, and a Whipple blower helping deliver over 800 rear-wheel horsepower from the E85-burning Coyote.
I think it’s really great. Everybody seems to be happy. — Rodney Melton, Mustang Week
Though the initial reaction to the event’s date change wasn’t positive, it seems as though most people embraced the new and improved Mustang Week. The other X-factor was the weather, as concern regarding Hurricane Irma caused over 100 car show registrants to cancel. But in spite of those obstacles, there were strong crowds of Mustangs and enthusiasts.
“I think it’s really great. Everybody seems to be happy and responsive. They like the cooler temperatures. The location is much better. There are a few bugs to work out, but we’ve got a good formula going,” Rodney said. “It’s a big success considering the change in dates and location, plus dealing with the hurricane and social media.”
We made our way through the sprawling displays and car show to document as many of the great cars as we could. Here we are calling out a few of our favorites from a range of Mustang eras. Your author has to return to Florida before Irma arrives, but we will wrap up our coverage of the final day of Mustang Week — the Cruise-In — so stay tuned.
One of our all-time favorite S197s is Melvin Skinner’s pro-street-style 2007 Mustang powered by a 5.4-liter modular topped by a massive Blower Shop billet 6-71 roots blower. Even after eight years of Mustang Week appearances, this Fastlane Motorsorts-built beauty still draws a crowd, especially when he cruises it around Myrtle Beach.
One of our favorite Mustangs of all time is the rip-roaring, raw 2000 Cobra R. Only 300 were produced and Larry Brewer of Dripping Springs, Texas, owns this one. In has just over 3,000 miles on the clock and looks so show room fresh it makes us flash back to going 180 mph in one.
While Foxes are garnering many of the high-level builds these days, it’s nice to see an SN-95 getting more than bolt-ons. Powered by a 331 stroker under that Trick Flow intake and Vortech supercharger, DJ Haeussler’s ’94 Mustang Cobra is detailed and different enough to stand out from the crowd.
There only a few show where Foxes rule and Mustang Week is one of them. This year brought out a number of high-end builds that made us drool. There were so many it was tough to pick just one. However, Rob Miller’s Sand Beige coupe really caught our eye. Being rare are doesn’t always make something cool, but combining used parts and elbow grease to turn out a looker like this does.
On the classic side of things, we enjoyed seeing Coyote swaps moving into some of the big-body Mustangs. Michael Keithley brought his ’72 Fastback back from a shell and painted it in a modern color — Deep Impact Blue — to match its modern drivetrain. Behind the new-school 5.0 are a Tremec TKO five-speed and a 9-inch rear.