2023 LMR Cruise-In

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This article was guest-written by Steve Turner with Speed Metal Media

As the sun crested the horizon, a line of Mustangs, Lightnings, and other Fords formed outside the enormous Texas Motor Speedway. As the gates open the cars rumbled into the facility through a tunnel and into the infield. The sound of roaring engines and crackling exhaust echoes down the tunnel. 
The cars kept pouring in as the official start time approached. This wasn’t a normal race day at the speedway, however. Instead, it celebrated two dozen years dedicated to restoring and improving some of Ford’s most storied vehicles. It was the annual LMR Cruise-In and yours truly was invited out to document the experience.
Having been in the company’s orbit since it was a mere concept put forth by Founder and President Shannon Guderian, it’s been amazing to see how a company that is built on the foundation of Foxes by enthusiasts to serve enthusiasts grew into a force in the Ford aftermarket. 

“You wrote one of the first articles. You were one of the first, I think, to roll the dice on it. And I remember I kind of begged you to launch me that year at SEMA,” Shannon recalled of a fateful meeting that inspired this author to write a column about the fledgling business. “I remember sitting at the top of that booth and it was like a pitch to the banker for me. I was like, this is a chance.”
It might be not easy to conceive in today’s world where enthusiasts young and old celebrate the Fox-platform pony cars. However, back in the late ’90s, the concept of delivering restoration parts for Fox Mustangs was way ahead of its time, but I believed in the vision, and it would seem many others did as well. It took off right away though, and over the years the company pivoted to serve newer Mustangs, SVT Lightnings, and more. Always steered by its customers, that focus even guided the evolution to the LMR moniker.

“One day in the office, ‘I said hold on, what are we doing? If the world believes we are LMR we can say LRS until the day is done, but if they believe we're LMR then we should just comply and give in,’” Shannon said. “So I said, ‘File for the trademark on this, and let’s just go with LMR.’”
LMR’s customer-driven mission continues to this day and led to the company hosting its continually growing cruise-in, which is free for everyone who attends and includes the opportunity to score a free event T-shirt while supplies last.

Having attended back in 2019, it is clear this event became the place to be for Blue Oval enthusiasts from Texas and beyond. From influencer displays and car debuts to one of the largest gatherings of SVT Mustang Cobra Rs, the LMR Cruise-In brought together something for every Ford fan to enjoy. However, seeing so many 2000 R-models in one place was a sight to behold. 
“So to that car to me, just wraps everything about it. It’s just littered with aftermarket parts brands that you recognize today. brands that sell even today and keep talking,” Shannon said of the 2000 R. “So it just is the epitome. It’s the halo car for all things from the parts side of it because there was so much room to play with all the products and put all the good stuff in them.”

And that good stuff and more was present on Mustangs of all eras at the LMR Cruise-In ’23, which filled the speedway infield and garages. The latter served as the home for a range of special rides from the first ’79 Mustang Indy Pace car to that corral of 1995 and 2000 R-models. Outside those garages were groups of Terminators and Lightnings, as well as an appropriate posse of Fox Mustangs brought out by the North Texas Foxbody Club.

More than just impressive static displays, this event offers the chance for attendees to drive their rides as well. Sadly the LMR Cruise-In’s Fast Friday drag racing test ‘n tune fell victim to damp weather, but this year’s single-day event still packed plenty of action to complement the hard-parked machinery.
Owners could rip around the Texas Motor Speedway in-field autocross and the famed NASCAR oval on fun runs and parade laps reminiscent of the early days of Mustang Week. Drivers only needed to fill out a waiver and sign up for the events, and many of the attendees did just that, as the oval and road course had a constant flow of Mustangs and other Fords roaring around both tracks for the duration of the event. 

The closing event was a gathering of those aforementioned R-models. The LMR Cruise-In became the place for these cars to assemble, and seeing them not only garaged together but lapping the NASCAR oval at speed was something special, considering many people would be lucky to see one of these cars in person much less a dozen of them in action, including two ’95 Cobra Rs with racing lineage.

Having witnessed thousands of Fords, made up mostly of Mustangs from every era, on display and watching many of them in action on the autocross course and the big NASCAR oval, this scribe drove away from Texas Motor Speedway with a Cheshire Cat grin and anticipation for what next year’s event might bring? 
If you were there this year and can’t wait to return or you missed it this year, you will want to stay tuned to the company’s social channels, as the plans for the LMR Cruise-In 2024 are already underway, and next year’s event is sure to be special as LMR will celebrate its 25th Anniversary next year alongside the Mustang’s milestone 60th Anniversary. 

Until then, you can relive the LMR Cruise-In ’23 via some of the highlights captured at this year’s event. 

Thousands of Fords filled Texas Motor Speedway as LMR celebrated its customers at the LMR Cruise-In ’23.

Legendary for bringing six-speed manual transmissions, independent rear suspensions, and factory supercharging to the Mustang, the 2003-2004 SVT Mustang Cobras, known for their internal code name, Terminator, showed out at Texas Motor Speedway.

Another Special Vehicle Team vehicle serviced by LMR is the Lightning pickup, and there were plenty of first- and second-generation trucks on hand at the LMR Cruise-In ’23.

The LMR Cruise-In is a celebration, so the marketing was pretty understated, but there was this slick, interactive display that showed off the company’s latest interior products for Fox Mustangs, including its all-new center console for ’87-’93 Mustangs.

From stock to modified, there was a bit of everything on hand at Texas Motor Speedway, including this 1979 Mustang Indianapolis 500 Pace Car #0001, which looks better than the day it was built.

Caleb Richards and the Foxcast crew chose the LMR Cruise-In ’23 as the forum to reveal the social media outlet’s latest project — Road Warrior 3.0. The car features sleek bodywork and an engine bay that lacks strut towers. It is earmarked for an SLA front suspension and boosted Coyote engine.

Many of the cars parked in the infield took turns making fun runs on the Texas Motor Speedway oval and the infield road course. 

Everything from Foxes to the latest S650s had fun on the track during the LMR Cruise-In, and many drivers brought friends or family along to document the fun from the passenger seat.

The LMR Cruise-In is known for bringing out SVT Mustang Cobra Rs, and this year was no different. A pack of 2000 Cobra Rs and a pair of ’95 Cobra Rs with racing lineage were on display and they made some high-speed laps around the Texas Motor Speedway oval.

Yours truly rode shotgun in Todd Michel’s ’95 SVT Mustang Cobra R around the oval track at triple-digit speeds and it created flashbacks from the media drive for the ’00 Cobra R in which Ford brought out the ’95 R-models for comparison.

About the Video

The BEST One Yet! LMR Cruise-in 2023: Event Recap & Highlights w/ Mustang, Lightnings, & Other Fords

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Published on 2023-11-29
You know you're doing something right when you get to say "the biggest and best LMR Cruise-in yet" every year! The 2023 LMR Cruise-in was just about as perfect as one could ask for. The one-day event was held at Texas Motor Speedway for the third consecutive year. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to our customers and event attendees, the LMR staff for their commitment and hard work to ensuring that everyone had a great experience and the Texas Motor Speedway staff for letting us use their world-class facility.