Behind The Scenes: Ponies In The Smokies

We got the chance to speak with Troy Raby from the staff of Ponies In The Smokies about the details of the Pigeon Forge car show, some history behind the cars themselves, and just what makes the Ford Mustang so special.

What is your connection to the PITS show?

The four organizers live in the Carolina’s (2 of us in NC and 2 in SC) and have known each other for over 10 years, but have been life-long car/Mustang enthusiasts. We first met within Southeastern Foxbodies (a Mustang club dedicated to the Ford Foxbody platform built from 1978-1993) where we eventually evolved into leadership roles as the four administrators for the club (think executive board).

Having attended and hosted large and small car events in the region for many years we saw demand for a multi-day Mustang based event within the backdrop of The Great Smoky Mountains. With that, we devised a plan and created T5 Productions, LLC for the sole purpose of promoting Ponies In The Smokies.

What is your favorite model and why?

Although we are Mustang and Ford fans as a whole, we grew up in the Fox Mustang era and it’s the model that brought us together which therefore easily qualifies it as our favorite model!

7 Reasons The Fox Body Mustang is The Best Muscle Car Ever

What qualifies as classic?

There are various definitions of “classic” or “historic” vehicles, but the most common stems from each State’s Dept of Motor Vehicle classifications rules that provides a breakpoint for when cars become exempt from certain EPA regulations or cheaper to register or perhaps insure. The average tends to be when a model reaches 25 years of age.

So 25 years or older is generally considered a classic and somewhere between 75-100 years or older is an antique or vintage.

What are the distinguishing features of Mustangs vs other hot rods?

This has a multi-part answer: First, I’d say its long production run that spans across multiple generations. Behind the Chevrolet Suburban (1935), Ford pick-up truck (1948), and the Chevrolet Corvette (1956), the Ford Mustang (1964.5) holds the spot for the fourth longest (continuous) production model run of all American vehicles.

Ponies In The Smokies on Facebook

Second, it was a hit right out of the gate where 3 million were made during the first generation (1964.5-1973). Third, I’d say the common theme every Mustang generation has had being an affordable muscle car, which followed Henry Ford’s desire and recipe for success which was to make an “every man’s car”!

Lastly, the Ford Mustang was the first “Pony Car” which is defined as mid-size, 2-door, short deck (trunk), long nose, rear wheel drive, V8 power. The other manufacturers created their own Pony Cars variants using this same formula which continues today with the modern Pony Car.

Be sure to like and Ponies In The Smokies on Facebook to stay up to date with the latest info on car shows in Pigeon Forge.

2016 Spring Corvette Convention

If your idea of the perfect weekend is sitting behind the wheel of a class Corvette or talking to professional “’Vette” enthusiasts, then the Spring Corvette Expo and Auction is the place for you at the Sevierville Convention Center!

From March 18th – 19th, there will be a Corvette auction, swap meet, park n’ show and more!

Founder, Bryon Cooper of Cooper’s Corvette Center in Knoxville, TN, never dreamed it would get this big!  In early 1976, Cooper had the idea to have a corvette show and open house.  After much planning and correspondence with others in the business, they were ready.


corvetteWith just $2 admission, the first weekend in March 1977 began this now 39 year long Corvette convention.  Making it’s mark on the world of Corvette’s forever, the Sevierville Corvette Convention happens to be the longest running Corvette expo in the nation.

It features a large auction, indoor and outdoor swap meet, sales corral, competition show and Corvette’s Cruise.

With so many different attractions in Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas, it is the perfect family getaway to the Great Smoky Mountains.
All you gearheads, it’s another excuse to get that hot rod some fresh air!

Since it only happens twice a year, you don’t want to miss it! But if you can’t squeeze it into your schedule, the Grand Spring Rod Run in Pigeon Forge is just around the corner in April.

Need a place to stay while in town?  Pigeon Forge has some of the best hotels and cabin rentals in the country.  Of course, there are ample amounts of restaurants sure to satisfy any craving!

Call (865) 687-3976 for registration and information.

Get those engines revving and book your trip to Pigeon Forge now!

2016 Grand Spring Rod Run in Pigeon Forge!


Car enthusiasts from all over the nation flock to our small, mountain town of Pigeon Forge each year to admire and show off their custom classics in the Grand Spring Rod Run.

Not only is it an Appalachian tradition but also is a deeper tradition that most don’t know about.

Pigeon Forge Rod Runs actually started as part of the underground moonshine cultures born in Prohibition-era South Appalachia.  Even though the U.S. government outlawed the sale of liquor in the 30s, that didn’t stop people from craving it—and making the hard stuff.  People in remote regions, like the Smoky Mountains, being making their own liquor concoctions in hidden mountain stills.  They would then sell their goods to barkeeps across the country to sell in “speakeasies” at a steep premium.

Now how do hot rods fit into this? There was a huge risk to brewing moonshine—government agents were quick to prosecute moonshiners if they could catch them.  The liquor producers and runners needed the fastest getaway cars on the road to outrun the government agents.

And the hot rod we now know and love was born!

From April 14 – 16, the LeConte Center will be buzzing with all the classics, door prizes, live music and $8,000 is cash giveaways!  Call MCS Promotions for registration: (865) 687-3976.

Need a place to stay?  Pigeon Forge has some of the best cabin rentals, hotels and condos with views of our Great Smoky Mountains! Plan your visit now and get those engines revving!