Event Recap: Eighth Annual AmericanMuscle Mustang Show

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Every summer since 2009, thousands of Mustang enthusiasts have converged on Maple Grove Raceway in Mohnton, Pennsylvania, for the largest Ford pony car celebration of its kind anywhere in the world.

While a massive car show that welcomes Mustangs of every vintage to the event would be reason enough to pique any Blue Oval fan’s interest, the AmericanMuscle (AM) Mustang Show is far more than that; giving participants a chance to not only show off their rides, but put them to good use as well.

More than 2,200 Mustangs ventured far and wide from all over the country for this year's event, and more than 50 vendors were also on hand to show off their latest Mustang-related goodies. "With the first car show in 2009, the goal was to just get as many of our Mustang fans and Mustang lovers together in one spot," Madeline Komar of AmericanMuscle said. "As a company, we have always enjoyed the car community and wanted to create an event where we could celebrate Mustangs and celebrate everyone that loves Mustangs."

But it’s Steve and Andrew Voudouris – AmericanMuscle’s founders – efforts to give back to the community, that might be the most notable aspect of all. Each year, the show not only raises tens of thousands of dollars for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but also grants the wish of one of the foundation’s young gearheads at the event by transforming their ride with a full makeover from the AmericanMuscle parts catalog.

AM also offered up a trio of raffle prizes at this year’s event; including a Ford Performance crate engine, and a sketch of your car by legendary builder Chip Foose. The results of which generated more than $15,000 in proceeds to benefit the foundation.

There wasn't a dry eye in the house during the emotional unveil of the AmericanMuscle Make-A-Wish project car to Austin of Chicago, Illinois. Austin's one wish was to have the team at AmericanMuscle help turn his rather rough 2005 Mustang V6 into a proper thoroughbred. The AM team went above and beyond the call of duty. Starting with an overhaul of the bodywork and respray, then followed by an adjustable airbag suspension was the key; as well as various bolt-on performance upgrades (including a particularly tasteful sounding exhaust system).

With first the car show in 2009, the goal was to just get as many of our Mustang fans and Mustang lovers together in one spot. – Madeline Komar, AmericanMuscle

Of course the enthusiasts at these AM events are just as much about ‘go’ as they are ‘show’, so AmericanMuscle has packed the event with all sorts ways for owners to showcase what their rides can do. The festivities include; burnout contests, drag racing, a dyno pull competition, and revving contest to see which pony has the sweetest exhaust note. They also hand out numerous awards for all of the modern iterations of the Mustang, as well as everything predating the Fox body cars from 1979.

“One of the things I enjoy about any AmericanMuscle show is the cross-section of Mustangs you get on any given row,” AmericanMuscle’s Justin Dugan said. “Mustang fans of all different types just hanging out and having a good time.”

Ford team driver Vaughn Gittin, Jr., and master builder Chip Foose were also in attendance at this year's event, each hand-picking one of the cars at the show for an award.

Dyno Pull Competition Yields Some Serious Numbers

This year, a trio of late model Mustangs brought some hefty output to the AmericanMuscle dynamometer. Although it was a particularly hot and humid August afternoon in Mohnton, these heavy hitters certainly didn’t disappoint.

Andy’s says that although the motor has been rebuilt a few times, he’s finally got the setup he’s been wanting from the get-go. While the bottom end, heads and intake are stock, RGR Engines prepped this mill to be able to handle the boost provided by the Precision 8285 turbocharger. The combination proved to be good for more than 919 horsepower at the wheels.

Andy Howard said that although the motor in his brutal S197 Mustang has been rebuilt a few times, he’s finally got the setup he’s been wanting from the get-go. While the bottom end, heads and intake are stock, RGR Engines prepped this mill to be able to handle the boost provided by the Precision 8285 turbocharger. The combination was good for more than 919 hp at the wheels.

AM16 Show Winners

Here’s a look at the results from this year’s event:

  • Best Employee Ride – Amanda Cruz 2012 GT
  • SCT Best Dyno Run – Ronnie Reynolds/Justin Burcham/JPC 2011 GT 1,388 Hp
  • US Paralypics Revving Competition – Robert Kaczynski
  • SCT Burnout Competition – Alex Giroux
  • Chip Foose Award – Terry Wasser 1970 BOSS 302
  • Vaughn Gittin, Jr., Ready To Rock Award – Victor Ley 2015 Mustang EcoBoost
  • Make-A-Wish Pick – Lowell Murdock 1969 BOSS 302
  • Best In Show – Jeff Hashagen 2005 Roush Tribute
  • Specialty Best In Class – William Urbanski 2006 Saleen
  • 2015 Best In Class – Jim Hix 2015 Mustang EcoBoost
  • 2010-2014 Best In Class – Antonio Rivera 2014 Mustang V6
  • 2005-2009 Best In Class – Jimmy Mirras 2007 GT
  • 1999-2004 Best In Class – Kristy Donahue 2000 V6
  • 1994-1998 Best In Class – Donnie Huth 1997 Cobra
  • 1979-1993 Best In Class – Jeffrey Miller 1989 LX
  • Pre-1979 Best In Class – Michael Fetter 1965 347 Fastback
Dasan Holloway’s S197 was expected to be particularly beastly – his 5.0 is supplemented by a CPR turbo kit and expectations were high. The numbers spoke for themselves – more than 1,261 horsepower to the rear wheels, and that’s despite the less-than-optimal ambient temperature during the pull.

But it was Justin Burcham’s NMRA car that took home top honors. Like Howard’s car, this 302 was warmed over by the folks at RGR Engines, but with the boost provided by an 88 mm turbocharger. “Nothing special, just a little something we whipped up,” Ronnie Reynolds, one of the tuners who dialed in the mill said. “It’ll make 11, maybe 1,200 if we’re lucky.”

Even with the boost turned down to keep things under control on that particularly hot day, the engine took top honors by generating nearly 1,388 rear-wheel horsepower.

Mixing It Up On The Strip

Of course there were no shortage of quick Mustangs knocking out quarter mile runs as well. Everything from new Shelby GT350s to 10-second dragsters were among the field of competitors, but it was the Coyote-powered Mustang that squared off against the seemingly stock F-150 that trailered it in, that might have raised the most eyebrows – especially when the pickup took the win.

Who can say no to a little heads up racing? If there's one contingent of muscle car fans who like to put their rides through their paces, it's Mustang owners.

And then the jet car rolled up and summarily stole the show. As the name implies, this purpose-built dragster is motivated by a turbine jet engine that’s enough to get this bad boy down the quarter mile in just five seconds, and put on quite the fireworks display while doing it.

This jet-powered dragster knocked at a 5.4 second quarter mile at more than 290 miles per hour, shaking every window and loose filling in the vicinity on its very brief trip down the track.

This jet-powered dragster knocked out a 5.4 second quarter mile at more than 290 miles per hour, shaking every window and loose filling in the vicinity on its very brief trip down the track.

Burnout Contest Goes Technicolor

For those who needed an excuse to get a new set of tires, the burnout contest provided the perfect alibi. Here, pony car fans gave the Aussies (whose appetite for burnout mayhem seemingly knows no bounds) a run for their rubber-dusted money; with everything from scrappy Fox-bodies, to S197 cars, decimating their tread with no mercy.

Burnout contests have been a staple in the muscle car diet for decades, but in recent years, have seen a number of specialty tires hitting the market that billow out smoke in various colors. It's particularly fun when owners mix and match one color for the passenger side and another for the driver's side, as these two have with their rides. We dig it.

With numerous competitors cranking out enough smoke to completely obscure their rides in the burnout box, it was obviously tough to choose a clear winner. In the end, it was Alex’s SN95 GT convertible that took home the trophy. No doubt that the Back to the Future-style flaming skid marks he left behind had something to do with him being able to stick out amongst the worthy competition, though.

The Mustang Party That Just Keeps Getting Better

Although a dozen different awards were given out, covering everything from the best pre-1979 Mustangs to the overall Best in Show, it was the Mustang community itself that proved to be the true class act. This year, the show raised more than $60,000 for the Make-A-Wish foundation.

As if all this wasn't enough, AmericanMuscle fans can still come out winners even if you weren't able to attend this year's show.

The company is holding a giveaway contest that includes not only a brand new 2017 Ford 1-50 Raptor (a truck which has yet to be released to the public), but a modified S550 Mustang GT making more than 725 rear-wheel horsepower as well. As if that weren’t enough, the contest also includes a trailer to haul the Mustang around with – using the Raptor, naturally, and a set of drag slicks, as well as a full set of Eastwood tools. Sounds pretty good to us. Head over to the contest page to sign up today.

“I say it every year and I’ll say it again – the Mustang community is the best damn community in the world,” Dugan remarked. “We’ll see you again in 2017!”

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About the author

Bradley Iger

Lover of noisy cars, noisy music, and noisy bulldogs, Brad can often be found flogging something expensive along the twisting tarmac of the Angeles Forest.
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