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Focus on fast cars in Citrus County

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By Ken McNally
Special to the Chronicle

This is my first column kicking off a regularly scheduled piece I plan to write for the Chronicle, providing valuable information to the car enthusiast community in Citrus County. The column will have information on events, profiles on interesting cars and their owners.

Before I launch into the upcoming events, let me introduce myself:

I am originally from New Jersey, but moved around a lot in my 33-year career with Mobil Oil Corp. in accounting and finance. In 1999, I retired in Texas and moved to Citrus Hills with my very understanding wife of 47 years, Barbara. We always wanted to retire to Florida; and yes, we’re Barbie and Ken. 

I have always been interested in cars since my first car — a hot rod 1956 Chevy. Over the years, I was too busy with work and family to get involved in the car hobby until I retired and bought my first show car — a 2007 Ford Mustang GT California Special. I also subsequently purchased a 2006 Dodge Charger R/T Daytona and a 2008 Corvette Coupe — all of which have won a number of awards at car shows. 

After purchasing each car, I joined the local car clubs and participated in events with each club. I am a director of the Nature Coast Mustang club and vice president and secretary of the MOPAR club. I also have co-chaired the past two annual Corvette shows with Citrus County Corvette club. We have two children who live in Virginia with three grandchildren. 

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The Twilight Cruisers are presenting the 12th annual Toys for Kids Cruise-In from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 1, with a rain date of Dec. 2, at the Don Garlits Museum on State Road 484 in Belleview (Exit 341 on I-75). Registration is a new unwrapped toy or $15. 

This is a fun show for a great cause with lots of awards and giveaways. 

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The 19th annual Ford and Mustang Roundup presented by National Parts Depot will be Jan. 12 and 13 at the Silver Springs Theme Park on State Road 40, east of Ocala. Registration is free to the first 1,000 entrants who register by Jan. 1. Registration is from 7 to 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12. Cost is $21 for both days.

Lots of awards will be based on Peoples’ Choice, with ballots due by 5 p.m. Saturday. Awards will be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday.

On Friday, Jan. 11, there will be a Pony Trails cruise to Cedar Key from National Parts Depot’s at 900 S.W. 38th Ave., Ocala, departing around 9:30 a.m. 

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Citrus County Cruisers host a cruise-in from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturdays at the Wendy’s on U.S. 19 in Crystal River. Activities including 50s and 60s music, 50/50s and car trivia begin before 6 p.m. On the third Saturday each month, they have Valve Cover Racing which is open to all ages. Lots of great cars usually attend this event each week.

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High Octane Saloon hosts a cruise-in with Nature Coast Mustangs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. the first Tuesday monthly at 1590 S. Suncoast Blvd. (U.S. 19) Homosassa.

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Friday Night Thunder is presented by the City of Inverness and Citrus MOPARS from 5 to 7:30 p.m. every third Friday monthly in the parking area in back of the Government Center in downtown Inverness. 

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All American Muscle Night is hosted by Nature Coast Mustangs from 6 to 8:30 p.m. every fourth Friday monthly at Arby’s on U.S. 19 in Crystal River. There’s music, 50/50s and some great cars.

Contact Ken McNally via email at  or by phone at 352-341-1165 if you have any questions or need more info on any of these events.