Contributed by Ed Sindoni
The 24th and Final Ford and Mustang Roundup sponsored by National Parts Depot of Ocala took place on January 13th at Silver Springs State Park. Over 1,200 vehicle had pre-registered for this magnificent opportunity to display their Fords.
After a soaking Friday, which was the day of the “Pony Ride” to Cedar Key, the front moved south and brought clearing, but cooler weather. Still the area was packed with everything from one of Henry’s Model Ts to the radical customs, and vintage classics. Jim Schmidt (NPD founder) brought one of his many Continentals from his and son Rick’s personal collection of about two hundred vehicles.
Tom Geradi brought three vehicles to NPD#24. The red 1969 Mustang Mach I (M-code) was born in San Jose on July 25, 1969. In 1998 Tom bought this car and had it shipped from California to Florida for his wife, Terry, to use as her daily driver. Three years later, Terri died from breast cancer, and the Mach I was shipped to its new owner in Phoenix with the provision that if that owner ever wanted to sell it, Tom would have first refusal. In the spring of 2002, Tom once again became this Mustang’s owner.
2009 was the start of a frame off restoration, which included using Sikkens Candy Apple red paint. The drive-line components have never been rebuilt and include the original 351 Windsor, 4-barrel carburetor, and FMX automatic transmission.
The white 1969 Mustang Mach I (Q code) came out of Dearborn, has a racing history, and was purchased by Tom in 1992. Tom began to “un-modify” this vehicle back to factory specifications, and then readied the body for the new Wimbledon White paint. From the factory, this Mustang was equipped as follows: 428 Cobra Jet, 4 speed top loader transmission, 3:50 Traction-Loc, power disc brakes, AM/FM stereo, and visibility group. An original factory air conditioning unit was added to make driving in the FL climate tolerable, Sticker on the car back in ‘69 was $3,347.
Tom’s award winner at this show was his father’s 1969 F-250. It was assembled at the Ontario plant on April 3, 1969 for Ted and Mary Geradi, who had ordered it through Casteel Ford in Johnstown, OH. After Ted died in 1976, Tom became the second and current owner. For eleven years, the truck sat covered in the garage with only an occasional drive. A frame off restoration was begun in 1990, but because it was not driven in the winter, it was rust free. The bed was also “like new”, as this vehicle had a camper unit installed protecting the floor. There are many original pieces still on the truck including the chrome (front bumper has been replaced), interior, and drive-trane. Not original, but added factory parts are the power steering and brakes, and air.
Lewis Mesta drove his first generation Mustang from Franklin, NC to be a part of NPD’s final show at Silver Springs. This striking black and gold “GT-350H” was an anniversary gift from his wife! Lewis wanted a classic that could be driven like a modern vehicle, thus this beauty. It has been very nicely restomoded as follows: TCI front and rear suspension, Wilwood four wheel disc brakes, Ford Racing 5.0 Coyote crate engine, 9” Ford rear end, Ford Racing Phoenix transmission, power steering, Griffin aluminum radiator, Dakota Digital Dash, and vintage air. Body and paint work was completed by Dennis Steppe Rebel Racing and Kustom Paint in Rabun, GA.
The 1960s meet the 2010s…beautiful!
Click HERE for the many more pictures.