240+ Mustangs Hit The Road On NPD’s Pony Trails


A rainy Friday in Florida did not keep the Mustangs and Fords from coming out in force to support National Parts Depot’s Pony Trails cruise that took participants on a 68-mile cruise to Cedar Key, Florida and the water of the gulf coast.

The final installment of  this cruise kicked of a weekend in Ocala for Mustang enthusiasts that ended with the 24th and final Ford & Mustang Roundup at Silver Springs State Park in Silver Springs, Florida. With the apparent end coming to the car show, the future of the Pony Trails cruise was also in question, which gave the event a must-attend feel. In the end, 241 Blue Oval machines showed up at NPD’s main warehouse in Ocala for the event, which shattered the previous record of 162 cruisers.

The cruise took participants along a scenic route through the local horse farms providing a fitting backdrop for all the Mustangs to stretch their legs. At the end of the trail was scenic Cedar Key, Florida, which is a cluster of islands on Florida’s west coast. It has played an important role from the times of the earliest Spanish settlers to the Civil War to present day where it is recognized on the National Registry Of Historic Places. Even with the threat of rain, most all the participants stopped at the island for a quick walk around the local fishing piers and some famous local seafood at one of the many great restaurants along the waterway.

Many of the Pony Trail participants spent a few hours in the quiet Florida fishing village of Cedar Key to enjoy some of the local seafood an take in views of the somewhat angry Gulf Coast.

Once they were done on the island, many participants headed back to National Parts Depot headquarters in Ocala to take a tour of NPD’s massive private collection featuring many rare and unique Mustangs and Ford products. The gang from VMP Performance were also set up in the afternoon with their mobile dyno providing power numbers for those who chose to pull their Mustang up on the rollers.

An early morning crowd of Ford enthusiast gathered for the drivers meeting as NPD's Rick Schmidt goes over the route and the rules of the road.

The NPD crew really rolls out the red carpet for participants and we could not think of a better way to kick of a weekend full of Mustangs and Fords. One can only hope that this is was not the last Pony Trail cruise. However, if this was the last trail ride, it was a great one as you can see in the full gallery below.

Justin Starkey and the crew from VMP Performance were on hand with their mobile Dynojet providing power pulls and tuning alike for Mustangs of all ages in front of the National Parts Depot headquarters.

Photo gallery


About the author

Jeff Southard

Growing up with a dad who loved Corvettes, I was destined to be a gearhead from day one. Beyond that, my dad owned an auto parts business for over 25 years. There, I learned the automotive basics as a child, then began my professional career working there after high school. From Corvettes and Superbirds to Hemis and Cobra Jets, my dad has owned a little of everything over the years, so I've had my chance to get some quality seat time behind the wheel of some rare, unique, and sometimes, just odd automobiles. I have owned my share of toys, including over 20 Mustangs. I guess to make a long story short, if you look up "car crazy" you will probably find my photo listed pretty close to it!
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