For the past 23 years, National Parts Depot has hosted one of the first big Ford shows of the season in Silver Springs, Florida. This year would be the last such annual show hosted by the restoration parts specialist offering parts for numerous vehicles, including 1964.5 to 2004 Mustangs.
“We here at National Parts Depot are sad to announce that the 24th-Annual Ford and Mustang Roundup at Silver Springs will be the last,” the company announced before the show. “No single aspect can be attributed alone to our decision. It is a mix of dynamics that brought us to this fork in the road…”
Everybody has always been so warm and appreciative of us putting on the show. — Rick Schmidt, NPD
Naturally, being the final such show brought increased interest from Ford fans near and far. Having attended many of these shows of the years, we simply couldn’t miss taking one final drive down that road and we were not alone. On the prior day’s Pony Trails road rally there was record attendance with 241 cars participating, which was 79 more than had ever made the drive.
On show day, over 831 cars filled every nook and cranny of the increasingly condensed property, which became a state park a few years back. That change among others led to this final show.
“It’s very bittersweet. It’s been a love-hate relationship in that it’s a lot of work. It’s been a constant challenge with the changing landscape of the venue and finding good places to park the cars. It is constant stress with the weather concerns as to whether or not we are going to get rained out,” NPD ’s Vice President and CEO Rick Schmidt said.“But, since we announced that this was going to be the last show, the outpouring of ‘thank you’s’ and warm thoughts and seeing all the old faces and nostalgia makes me want to say ‘Forget it, let’s do it again next year.’ I am not going to do that. We are definitely going to take a breather.”
With the Herculean effort needed to put on events of this scope, it’s no surprise that they can eventually wear out even an organization as capable as the NPD crew. However, it’s still a bit sad to see a fine celebration of all things Blue Oval come to an end, and Rick shares that sentiment.
“…Every year we would have at least one person who was ticked off at us for some sort of organizational snafu, but that was one in 1,000,” he added. “Everybody has always been so warm and appreciative of us putting on the show and it really fuels us up. That’s really what I am going to miss the most is seeing all these people year after year.”
We too will miss seeing the cars and faces, but if this was the last NPD Ford & Mustang Roundup or just the last one for a while, it definitely went out on a high note, which you can enjoy via our highlights and full gallery below.