Carlisle 2008 All Ford Nationals Wrap-up

Overall, it was a great show and the weather was unbelievably hot but no rain. We had a mix of those who had told me they were joining us and a couple that we added to our group at the event. The attendees were as follows:

Tim H. (from PA) – Fri, Sat, Sun – 1993 Vibrant White
Bob H. (from PA) – Fri, Sat, Sun – 1990 Emerald Green
Nick P. (from NY) – Fri, Sat – 1990 Emerald Green
Pete V. (from MA) – Sat – 1993 Vibrant White
Ken B. (from NJ) – Sat, Sun – 1992 Vibrant Red
Clint P. (from IL) – Sat – 1993 Vibrant White
Luis G. (from MD) – Sat – 1992 Vibrant Red

Here’s the day-by-day summary:

While not technically a day of the show it was the day I traveled to Carlisle. The ride down was pretty uneventful. Part of the Carlisle experience is definitely the trip to and from. It’s cool to see so many Fords headed in the same direction that you are. My brother followed me down in his car in order to spend a couple of days with me. Police activity was pretty heavy on 84 west in New York. I think we saved an SHO from a ticket because as we were going only slightly over 70 in the left lane he came up on us at a high rate of speed. He had to slow down behind us and just as that happened we went by a speed trap. After we cleared it we went over one lane to the right and he blasted by at about 80-85. I guess the lesson was lost on him.

Closer to Carlisle, we saw some classic Fords that we kept up with for a while. We got into more traffic and they kept hammering on so we slowed somewhat and lost their trail. The overall trip took just over 5 hours for the approximate 300 miles.

I registered on Thursday afternoon and washed my car on site. I tried to get a parking pass for my brothers truck. I thought I had a good case since I had paid $160 for the club tent in addition to the $40 to register my car for the show field. We asked if we could get it on site without paying to park and after the question was referred through a person or two the question back was “Is it a Ford?”. Uh, no. It’s a Toyota so that was the end of that.

We then set out to find the club tent location. It was somewhat of a challenge since nothing was labeled yet but after another visit to the vendor building we found the tent location and we hung the banner.

Tent with Banner


On Friday we had four cars at the tent. One was already there when I got there and parked nicely one spot away from the tent. I thought “damn now that’s some respect, someone left me the best spot!” It was a 7-up car and belonged to Nick P. from Syracuse who was also with the Syracuse Mustang club who had the tent next to ours. Nick was not previously aware of our gathering but was happy to join us. He was a pretty funny guy who we surrounded with triple whites on Saturday.

Nick's '90 7-up

During the day my brother and I did some shopping for our kids and checked out the Car Corral to see what was for sale.

Later, as we were sitting in the tent, three “different” color 2008 Mustangs rolled by. They were colored like Easter eggs. Later I tracked them down. There were four in total and they were labeled with “Heiress” badges.

Heiress Mustangs

Their colors had fancy names and were light yellow, pink, lavender and mint green. They were for sale at the Dynatek tent. I couldn’t quite figure out what the story behind them was but I was not interested enough to ask. Changes seemed to be cosmetic in nature. By Saturday at least one was marked as sold and the asking price for the others was knocked down a few thousand to the 24k range. I bring these up mainly because I have talked with others about the perceived (real or not) feminine appeal of our feature cars. It is not so vague with these cars.

The heat was a brutally humid near record 94°F. As typical, this was the day of largest attendance. We had eight cars at our tent. With some rearranging as the morning went on we were able to fit everyone in line.

8 cars lined up

Below is the Emerald Green in a sea of triple whites. Closest to the camera with only the rear corner visible is another white LX convertible. This 4 cylinder car was not a feature car but it added nicely to the effect. Nick, the owner of the Emerald Green, kept reminding us to “think green.”

Triple Whites

There were some yellow 93’s in our class but I had to resist the urge to have them join us as we were running short on space even as early as 9:00. There was a plentiful and wide variety of “87-93 Mustang LX stock” cars in our class. Many people who walked by were overheard talking to each other about our special editions. It was nice to see that so many recognized them. Our prime spot right off of “Dukes Blvd” helped with the amount of traffic. We even had many people stopping in just to enjoy the shade of our tent.

I spent most of the day looking at the cars in many if not most of the classes and doing my participant voting. It was a bit difficult because many of the cars for a given class were scattered about. Some classes ran out of space and late arrivals had to park with other classes. In some classes such as those for the SHOs and SVT Contours cars were even parking in the aisles. Other classes had plenty of open grass.

When it was almost time for me to get lunch Clint P. asked me if I wanted a chicken salad sandwich. Clint was there with his triple white:

Clint's triple white

He had planned ahead to make these sandwiches and this was the best offer I received all day! He and his fiancé Marilyn even had potato chips and a jar of pickled red eggs. He told me that the eggs were a local favorite that had been introduced to him by his fiancé who was originally from the area. It was a cross between a hard boiled egg and a pickled beet and I’ll just say that I almost finished it but think it must be an acquired taste.

Speaking of hospitality, I have to say that everyone was very friendly including the staff working the concessions. I went to them late in the day and I know that behind that counter it must have been awfully hot but everyone was still very friendly and helpful.

In reflecting with others under our tent on the cars we had seen during the day a few notables came up. One was an orange Pinto. It was great to see this car restored to (or better than) its former glory.

Orange Pinto

The interior was phenomenal.

Orange Pinto Interior

For me, I have always had a liking for the first Broncos. One in particular reminded me of a friends that we used to car pool to work in the middle 90’s (same color except with a decent lift). I think he still has his but I would expect that its commuter duties have been relieved.


On the day of the awards I was glad to hear that one member of our group, Bob H., won third place in our class. He moved his car to the area reserved for the winners. He has a great example of a 7-up car that he has restored through an extensive disassembly and reassembly. It has performance mods but they are so stealthily done that at first glance you might think it is stock.

Bob's 7-up car

I left around 1:00 PM hoping to get back before it got too late. Immediately I got stuck in traffic as there was a big accident on route 11 on the way to Interstate 81. In the heat I watched my temperature gauge closely as I sat idling in traffic with my A/C running. I guess I must have been at a standstill for much too long because I took this picture when I noticed my reflection in the hub of a semi idling next to me.

Bored in traffic

Another motivation for leaving early was to attempt to avoid the forecasted thundershowers of the afternoon. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to totally avoid them. Although, it was far better to be in a convertible with the top up (even with some leaking) than on a motorcycle. Below you can see a bike as I am ready to pass him. You can also see evidence that I spend too much time using cleaners and waxes on my car as water beads up on my windshield. I also should admit that when I hit that first sudden downpour I got a little scared because I went to turn the wipers on with the stalk on the right side of the steering wheel which I found missing. It then took me far too long to realize I had to turn the end of left one.

Ride home in rain

I probably drove less than 30 total minutes in the rain passing between thundershower systems.

In the home stretch about 20 minutes from home I saw in my rear view mirror two of the Pintos from the show (the orange and a yellow; both winners in their class) closing in. They soon passed and we gave each other an approving look as that happened. It was enough to keep me from fading in those last few minutes of my 6+ hour trip home.

Passed by Pintos

In closing, I’d like to thank everyone for coming and for their support. It was another incredibly memorable event. I couldn’t have done it without the members of this site and their kind words and encouragement. Also, special thanks to my brother for taking time out of his busy schedule to share this with me. I’m looking forward to next year and thinking of ways to make it even better.


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