This was the most stormy Carlisle All-Ford Nationals in my fours years of attendance. But, we didn’t let that get us down. We still had a great time. This year I tried something different with my use of twitter to post pictures and short updates as the show went on. Thanks to all those who followed my twitter stream. I used my “dumb phone” to take the pictures and type the messages using the numeric keypad. It was a little bit of a pain but some of the messages I pre-typed before the trip so as not to have to do it while driving.
Attendance was slightly better than last year:
Ken B. (from NJ) – Sat, Sun – 1992 Vibrant Red
Brian E. (from PA) – Fri, Sun – 1992 Vibrant Red
Tom G. (From MD) – Fri, Sat, Sun – 1992 Vibrant Red
Amy H. (from MD) – Fri, Sat – 1993 Canary Yellow
Bob H. (From PA) – Fri, Sat – 1990 Emerald Green
Tim H. (from PA) – Fri, Sat, Sun – 1993 Vibrant White
Dawn L. (from MD) – Sat – 1992 Vibrant Red
Mike P. (from MA) – Fri, Sat, Sun – 1992 Vibrant Red
This year I again headed to Carlisle with 5pt0joe. We were joined by 4 other Mustangs for the trip. The original number was supposed to be greater but due to scheduling and car problems we had a few less. It was a good drive nonetheless and keeping many more cars together would have been a great challenge for Joe who did a nice job leading us down.
As we got closer to Carlisle everyone went their own way and Mike P. and I made our way to the Carlisle Fairgrounds to wash our cars. Once done and dried we setup the banner at the tent and then went over to our hotel. Once inside the hotel and checked in, it started pouring and our work drying the cars was for nothing. This turned out to be a common theme during the weekend.
Early on Friday I attended a walk-through of the 2011 V6 and GT Mustangs. There have been a lot of refinements to the 2010 to make these cars. One thing that they talked about was a power steering system that would adjust itself if it determined the driver was making a steering correction for a crown in the road or for a strong crosswind. Ironically, this crosswind adjustment would have been nice for us during the trip home on Sunday where we hit some extreme weather.
I am always on the lookout for weird stuff that probably no one else will photograph. Next to the stage where they showed the 2011 walk-through and where they had a sample cutaway 5.0 engine I spotted this crate that it must have come in.
The Yellow Mustang Registry had far fewer cars on Friday than they would ultimately have on Saturday but on this day they had 1993 feature car at the start of the line. It was an automatic car with 16,000 miles.
In the afternoon, we found out that there was an opportunity for several of our cars to be photographed for an upcoming book on original fox-body cars. I don’t know how much I can say on this so I’ll leave the description of the book at that. They wanted pictures of the interior, exterior and undercarriage of the cars. My car is pretty close to stock but has some things added like an aftermarket alarm and splash guards (both from a previous owner). There was nothing I could do about the alarm but I scrambled to find the right size socket to remove the screws from the mudflaps if needed (turns out it wasn’t). The swap meet part of the show came in handy for this and one of the vendors even offered one that I could borrow for my temporary need. This IS a great community.
The photo opportunity didn’t materialize as planned and by late afternoon on Friday a storm had moved in. The tent demonstrated its value at this time. At first we were comfortable just sitting under the tent but then the wind picked up and the rain went horizontal. We huddled in the corner of the 20’x20′ tent away from the corner that the rain was coming in from and it still felt like someone was spraying us with a hose. Car covers started to blow off some cars and anyone with lesser tent or canopy struggled to keep it planted on the ground. In this picture taken suring the storm, if you look closely, you can see the new banner for this year (modeled after the club sticker) blowing in the wind.
The rain cleared and the discussion of the photo opportunity renewed as well as the availability of the lift being used by Ford to make performance upgrades to the current generation of Mustangs. We got our cars over there and up on the lift for undercarriage photos.
Luckily, we had some time to wipe them down. I haven’t seriously detailed my undercarriage since 2007. But, once it was up there I didn’t think mine was that bad. Mine is a 50k mile car that has probably seen some snow based upon the sand that I have found underneath. As such, there is some rust.
The other two cars put mine to shame. One was a 1986 GT with over 100k miles and the other was a 1992 red feature. Both are owned by Tom G. (noac on this site) who does a fantastic job detailing his cars.
Saturday is the big day at Carlisle. The number of cars seemed a little down from last year, though. This may have been due to the forecast. The hourly forecast had an 80% chance of rain for each hour of the whole day. Understandably, this kept some people home. The rain really didn’t materialize, though. There were a few small showers but, for the most part, the day was just cloudy.
We had a good showing at the tent with 8 cars total – two triple Whites, four Vibrant Reds, one Emerald Green and one Canary Yellow. There were also other limited editions in our class – two Emerald Greens and one other Canary Yellow.
With the threat of storms again for the night a couple of our cars spent the night under the tent. One was mine and Mike P. graciously agreed to chauffeur me back and forth to our hotel for a second night. I don’t travel light and on Sunday morning he had to cart me, my backpack, my duffel bag, my plastic tote and my cardboard banner tubes back to the show field in his car with a great interior.
We got another early start on Sunday and showed up before most people. We took the opportunity for some photos on the near empty show field.
Mike P and I had planned to stay until noon or 1:00 PM before heading back up to New England. But, when we heard of high winds coming in we decided to try to avoid some of the bad weather. The forecast for my home town was for an afternoon of severe thunderstorms, strong winds and possible hail. That was enough to get us moving early. Luckily, we only hit rain on the way home, although, it was heavy at times.
I really want to thank everyone who attended in person as well as those who support us on this site in the forums and join in as we plan for and attend Carlisle each year. I know it is a lot of effort to get the cars ready and show them there. A lot of our cars never see rain at this point in their lives but we have come to find out that the weekend of Carlisle almost always throws a curve ball with the weather.