2022 Carlisle Ford Nationals Re-cap

A beautiful day!

The 2022 Carlisle Ford Nationals ended 10 days ago but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to document and share my experience. It wouldn’t be Carlisle without rain! Right? Except, the only rain we experienced was on the trip down. We hit heavy rain for the first hour of the trip. The triple white has brand new General G-MAX tires and did great. I pride myself that this car is never babied, never trailered, and always driven rain or shine to Carlisle. This was its 11th trip. Over 10% of the miles on the car have been added as part of travel to, from and at Carlisle.

Here’s a breakdown of the stats for the trip –

  • 641 miles driven
  • 23.7 miles/gallon
  • $149.48 spent on gas
This car is not afraid of a road trip

We had a green tent this year. Obviously, you can tell from this site that I have a thing for the color green so this was perfect. We were farther away from the action than ever located on the western edge of the fairgrounds and not quite in the class for 90-93 Mustang LX stock where many feature cars fall. Attendance for the club was a little down this year due to family and work commitments. But, we still had a great time even without the cookout.

Green is the correct color

I wasn’t looking for this, but they had a presentation on the 2022 Ice White Edition Mustang on Friday. Luckily, I heard the announcement for this as it was only done once the entire weekend. In the introduction, they referenced the 1993 triple white feature car and I couldn’t help but think that what was missing in this presentation was a 1993 triple white displayed on the stage as a backdrop for the new car. This was certainly a missed opportunity.

They mentioned that the expected production run of Ice White editions will be around 1,500 which is in line with the 1993 white feature car production number. My guess is that they will sell as many as they can and won’t stop at 1,500 if orders are coming in. But, will the orders come in? I’m not sure. It definitely looked better in person than from what I’ve seen online. Especially, the wheels. In person, they have a look that I could live with.

I approached the Ford person doing the presentation, introduced myself and suggested that a photo of both cars would be awesome. He thought so too and invited me to a photoshoot for the following morning!

2022 Mustang GT Ice White Edition

The rest of Friday went pretty smoothly. On Saturday, I got up extra early to get to the fairgrounds to prepare for the 8:00 AM photoshoot. While they have a car washing area at the fairgrounds, I decided that a rinse-less wash was the way to go. Less water on the car and an easier time to dry it. And, it was really not dirty because I had fully washed it Friday morning. It only had a light covering of dust and pollen.

Spending time in the car washing area and observing, I’m pretty sure most there don’t take the proper steps to wash their cars. It got me thinking that they need a car washing clinic as part of the show. And, it also got me thinking that maybe I need to share car detailing tips here on this site. I’m kind of a car cleaning and detailing nut

They had me drive into the Ford display and park next to the Ice White edition. The official Ford photographer took a bunch of pictures, had me sign a release and said they might use them on social media and in newsletters. So far, I haven’t seen or heard anything at the time I write this. Even if they don’t ever do anything, I still got some great pics and an experience to add to list of unique things I’ve been able to do by going to Carlisle.

The two white limited editions together like they should be

The signage at the Ford display had clear mention of the “1993 Triple White Fox body Feature Mustang” that served as inspiration for this new special edition. I thought this was a nice recognition.

2022 Mustang Ice White Edition signage
Close up of the feature car recognition

I tried to up my game this year on the display of the triple white. I’ve been chasing a reproduction window sticker. There’s a good story there that I’m saving for a future post as I am still working through the process and I don’t want to comment on challenges with it until it’s a done deal. Regardless, I displayed a decent facsimile of the original window sticker for my car. I did see it get some attention at the show. I next need to focus on mounting options for it. The blue tape approach was a little less than ideal.

I also broke out the period-correct blue license plate that would have been issued for a 1993 car. This particular plate is the actual plate I had on my first car, a 1991 Mustang LX hatchback. In my state, we can get permission to use the period-correct license plate as long as we already have Classic Vehicle plates and possess the correct plates from the year. It just takes a form and a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles to show them the plates and get the approval. The problem is that one of our daily drivers uses the latest plate design with this same lettering. I will have to get a new plate for that car before I can officially get approval to use this blue version on the triple white. I think it looks pretty awesome and would love to be driving around with this full time.

Like last year, I was invited to be a celebrity judge. The car I picked was this 1993 Mustang GT Hatchback. It was a great car that, admittedly, has won lots of awards already (I usually like an underdog) but it called out to me. I have a liking for black hatches and this is a great example of a stock car that has been well preserved by it’s owner.

As a side note, we didn’t stay at the usual Comfort Suites Downtown Carlisle due to being waitlisted by some large car club that took a block of rooms leaving us frequent guests out in the cold. The word was that there were cancellations and some were able to book the hotel only a few days before the show. We never got a call despite being on the wait list. This was disappointing and I’m not sure we will go back.

We stayed at the brand new Homewood Suites right near the fairgrounds. It was their opening weekend so there were some glitches. We were down sized to a smaller room due to an issue with the room we booked, the parking lot was roughly paved and did not have the finish layer of paving and some things in the room didn’t work. Overall, I think this will become a great place to stay. It has some interesting artwork in the lobby, halls and rooms. Various human figures with alternate heads. Pineapples, sloths and cats were all represented.

Interesting decor at the hotel

The weekend was capped off on Sunday when the awards were announced. My triple white won 1st place in the 90-93 Mustang LX Stock class. I only counted 7 cars in the class on Saturday so the competition was less than previous years. Still, the second and third place cars were strong competitors that I am thrilled to have finished in front of.

A Solution for Fox-Body Mustang Center Cap Removal

Center cap removal has always been something I’ve dreaded. It’s nearly impossible without damaging the wheel and/or center cap. I’ve tried many approaches to reduce the chance of damage. I’ve wrapped the end of the lug wrench in tape. I’ve used various pry tools. And, I’ve been successful. Mostly. I have also introduced an occasional nick on the edge of the wheel.

On this wheel, a spare that I have, we can see a lot of evidence of just how difficult that defect-free center cap removal is. Note that this damage was done by previous owners…not me.

Last year, when I was ordering some detailing supplies, I decided to add one more item to my cart – a skin wedge tool. This item, made from 4140 steel, was touted as a great tool for use in prying interior panels and other things with tight gaps and where the possibility of damage is high. Really, anything where a sturdy tool with a fingernail thick edge and very little flex can provide an advantage. I used it a couple times around the house with good success.

But, then came the time to take the wheels off the Mustang. I’m getting new tires soon and I feel more comfortable dropping off just the wheels at the tire shop. It reduces the chance of more damage to my wheels in getting the center caps off as I can do it with more time and care than the tire shop guy might take.

This is when it hit me. The skin wedge tool might be the right tool for this job.

The right tools for the job
That’s a pretty fine point

It turned out that it worked pretty darn amazingly! It is the perfect width to get into the slot. It’s thinness allows it to get plenty deep into the slot to give good leverage. And, it’s smooth surface doesn’t mar the wheel.

This was an amazing discover and I will no longer dread center cap removal.

I also made a video to demonstrate the ease of removing a center cap with the skin wedge.

What I used for this project –

Ford will offer a new “Feature car”

So, you probably saw the news from last week that Ford has announced special appearance packages for the 2022 Mustang GT and Mach-E. In that announcement they mentioned “throwback styling” and specifically called out the “the original ’93 Triple White Fox body feature Mustang”.

This is the second fox-body reference from Ford which I have seen in a week. What is going on here? I think we can all agree that Ford hasn’t typically given the fox-body a lot of love. My summer had a couple examples of this.

At the Carlisle Ford Nationals, I learned about the brand new Ford Special Vehicle Registry. I haven’t written about it yet as I can’t register my car on the site. I asked them about the problem in person and followed up via email months ago but, as of today, I still get an error. Oh, I registered my 2014 Mustang GT with no issues. There are some 1993 vehicles in that registry but I have tried at least one other feature car VIN than my own and it failed as well. From talking with them, I know they care deeply about this project but just haven’t had the time to fix this.

In addition to this little glitch, I also made contact at Carlisle with someone who had knowledge of the Ford Show Parts offerings including their certificate of authenticity programs. At my request, he researched the feasibility of providing a certificate for feature cars but found that Ford does not have the data to produce such as certificate or to verify the authenticity of our feature cars. Hmmm. Somehow Marti Auto Works is able to provide us with a deluxe report that includes our feature car package and also our build dates. This seems to be all the data you would need and this must be sourced from Ford. Right?

Both of these left me a little disappointed about Ford’s enthusiasm for our feature cars and the fox-body in general.

And then, the Eluminator was announced. It’s a 281 hp electric crate motor from Ford Performance. You might think that it is not particularly noteworthy to fans of 28+ year old Mustangs, until you read the Carscoops article on this announcement and spot this little gem –

Ford was tight-lipped on specifics, but told us the motor will produce 281 hp  (210 kW / 285 PS) and 318 lb-ft (431 Nm) of torque. Those are decent figures and Ford’s Chief Product Platform and Operations Officer, Hau Thai-Tang, noted the output is higher than what was available on the Fox body Mustang.

It’s the last line that got me. There are other groupings of Mustangs to measure this 281 hp against. Most notably, 281 hp is more than any SN95 Mustang GT ever had. But, a Ford chief relates this ultra modern crate motor all the way back to the Fox-body Mustang. Obviously, someone there does recognize the importance of the Fox-body and where it lies in their customer’s hearts. Cool.

Speaking of cool

And, then comes the latest news of the Ice White Appearance package. The original Feature Car packages came at the end of the Fox-body generation as a way to increase demand for the Mustang. With rumors of a redesign for 2023, this package does the same for the S550 Mustang.

The Ford news release states that this is being done to celebrate the Woodward Dream Cruise. What is interesting is that this is not the first white treatment for a Mustang that Ford has done for the Woodward Dream Cruise. Back in 1997, there were 58 white Mustang special editions for the Cruise coming in both coupe and convertible body styles. That car was a joint effort between Ford and ASC. Although, never called out as a feature car, it had a white exterior, white 5 spoke wheels and a white spoiler.

1997 Woodward Dream Cruise Mustang GT
1997 Woodward Dream Cruise Mustang GT badge

And, now we have a new “special edition” car. It’s not called a “feature car” but is compared directly to the 1993 triple white. And, because I can, I feel that it is appropriate to measure this new “feature” car against that original 1993 model. I’ll break it down in a few major areas and rate it in terms of faithfulness to the original and execution.

Exterior – spoiler

The spoiler is arguably the signature “feature” of the original feature car. For 2022, I think the Performance Rear Wing is a great choice. True, they already have this wing which would normally require the Performance Package, so it’s not just for this special edition but, from many angles, it evokes the original feature car spoiler.

Spoiler faithfulness and execution – 10/10 (a couple points added for using what you already have when it works)

Exterior – wheels

Here, I’ve got the biggest issue with this car. Honestly, though, this must have been the toughest design decision on this whole car. White wheels scream the 90’s. And, any car in 2021 with wheels other than your basic silvers, grays, blacks and their various shades is just not a good look. But, they did what they could. And, I’m okay with the hybrid of painted and machined. I just don’t like this wheel. I would have rather seen a five spoke wheel design like the 18″ Machined-Face Aluminum with Low-Gloss Ebony Black-Painted Pockets Wheels with the black paint replaced with white. Or, a bolder choice would have been to take the 19″ X 8.5″ Ebony Black-painted Aluminum Wheels from the Black Accent Package but to do them in white. Holy cow would that have been wild!

Wheels – 5/10 (not bold enough)

Exterior – other

For the rest of the exterior, we will rate it as a whole. Stating the obvious, I am a little disappointed not to see this as a convertible. But, my feeling is that almost all Mustangs look better as coupes than as convertibles so I can’t complain too much. If I were buying, I’d take the coupe over the convertible if there was a choice.

The question here is how much can you white out? I think they’ve gone with a decent compromise even though there still are a fair amount of black plastics. I think the mirrors could totally go all white and still look good. For the rest, I’m not sure what else I’d white out without passing the limit of tastefulness.

I also applaud the absence of “special edition” badging on the car. I just heard from someone who, in 2021, bought a 1992 feature car where neither he nor the seller knew it was anything other than a run of the mill Mustang. In the spirit of life’s little surprises – no badging. If you know, you know.

Exterior – 7/10 (simple changes but not over the top. Yeah, the top. Minus 1 for that)


What we are missing in the new interior is embroidery. That’s as weird as it is to read as it is to write. Floor mats with embroidered ponies would have been nice but I think they really missed it by not putting a pony on the white upper panel of the seat. I think that could have been a cool nod to both the 1993 feature cars and the pony seats of the original 1965-66 Mustang.

I think the interior holds true to the original in that none of the whites look to match. The Oxford White leather seat inserts might match the door panel inserts but they certainly do not match the dash pad or the white stitching. Both of those don’t really match each other either.

Interior – 8/10 (too subtly done missing a few cues yet mismatched whites adds back a couple of points)

Package Offerings

This new package is stated as available on the “Ecoboost® and GT Premium Fastback” models. The way I am reading that is “Ecoboost® Premium and GT Premium Fastback” models. The LX was arguably the best Mustang value and we were really lucky to get a special edition in it. It didn’t seem like just another way to add more options onto an already premium model.

I would have rather seen this package on the Ecoboost® and GT Fastback base models giving those entry level offerings a little something special. That could have provided a nice way to get some luxury upgrades like leather seats into those base models.

Package offerings – 6/10 (too bad it requires premium but we can get this with the lower cost Ecoboost® car as well as avoid the up-charge of the convertible.


I can honestly say that I am thrilled to see this will be offered. I am mostly joking with the above critique. I understand there are tradeoffs in making something like this and that I probably shouldn’t judge it too harshly against the past. Style trends come and go. It would have been safer to choose a red or yellow car to base something on than the white. Kudos Ford. And, in the spirit of the 1/2 year model introduction of the original feature cars, let’s see a 2022 1/2 in red. And even yellow.

My only true wish for this car is that Ford keep track of how many they make and are able to provide some certificates of authenticity for their future owners. Potentially, there will be hundreds or even a thousand owners willing to pay $50 for a piece of paper that will contribute to their enthusiasm for the Ford brand and their products. I hope they are listening.

A Review of Window Stickers from MonroneyLabels.com

When my 2014 Mustang GT was new, there was a Ford web site where any recent window sticker was available. In the years since, window stickers for any VIN requested are no longer available on that site. I think it’s now limited to only those cars being offered for sale through Ford dealers.

I know that when my sticker was available I had downloaded a copy of it. I just can’t find the file! Just recently, I wanted an alternative to my original window sticker for display at shows. Not wanting to shell out $50 to get a reprint from fordshowparts.com, I searched for other options. I found that some people had referenced monroneylabels.com as a source for a downloadable copy of a window sticker. At $7.99, I figured I’d give it a try.

What I downloaded from them is below.

2014 Mustang GT window sticker from MonroneyLabels.com

This is what I remember my sticker being like when I viewed it directly through the Ford site. Particularly, I remember see the BLEND number (1201311043922) in the top margin. The 3922 stands out to me as familiar. I’m not sure why I remember it. Probably because I was trying to decode the meaning thinking it was some sort of sequential number used as cars went through the factory similar to one of the numbers we see on buck tag on fox Mustangs.

I think the information on this is 100% representative of what would have been available from Ford via the site I originally had used. Additional confirmation on the accuracy of it are some details that only Ford would have and know about my car. I special ordered my car and we can see that information indicated at the bottom in the middle. Even more so, under Optional Equipment we see “TAG 000A000 J JONES” which is precisely what appears on my original Window Sticker.

For comparison, a scan of my original is below.

Scanned original of 2014 Mustang GT window sticker. Bonus points if you can find the place where two scans were joined.

We see almost everything is accurately reproduced on the digital version from Monroney Labels. The exceptions are the SOLD TO, SHIP TO and DEALER NO boxes are blank on the digital version.

My conclusion is that this is a pretty great value and an accurate reproduction down the special order detail if that applies to your car.

Feeling optimistic, I decided to do the same for a window sticker for my 1993 feature car. The site immediately warned me that I would have to select the options that my car has –

This vehicle’s window sticker must be manually decoded.

– We will show you what options were originally available on the vehicle.
– In order to print a Monroney label, you must check packages or options manually by visually inspecting the vehicle.

This didn’t make me question this process at all. It is a very old model. They just need to load the options into the template window sticker, I thought. The selection screen was a little wonky. I pulled up a copy of a feature car window sticker to use as a reference and got to checking the boxes which applied directly to my car.

The result though was not at all what I had anticipated. Obviously, it is intended for people who are selling their car and not those of us who are displaying their car or looking for a reproduction of their original window sticker.

1993 Mustang LX Window Sticker from MonroneyLabels.com

I am still waiting for my “official” reproduction 1993 Mustang window sticker from Ford Show Parts. I did confirm in a discussion with someone from Ford that these are actually coming from Marti Auto Works and that there is a research process which needs to occur before one can be generated. It’s now been two months since I ordered it on May 13th. I will provide an update on that once I receive it. Also, I plan on ordering the reproduction window sticker for my 2014 Mustang directly from Ford in order to see what that provides.

2021 Carlisle Ford Nationals Recap

Holy cow it’s been a long time since I wrote my last Carlisle write-up. Like, 8 years long!

After last year’s low key show (which I attended but just for Saturday), this was a strong return year with a record number 3,241 registered cars! This year I did not bring the triple white. I brought my 2014 Mustang GT. I’m getting soft and wasn’t looking forward to the trip down in the fox. The 2014 is a much better driving experience. Obviously. No leaks when it rains, strong A/C and plenty of room in the trunk.

I spent the week before the show getting the car cleaned and ready to go. I hadn’t properly detailed the car since before the 50th show in 2014. I know, right! I corrected the paint, sealed it and waxed it for a pretty good result. The car went into the 2013-14 Mustang GT Coupe Stock class. I only have a few mods including the exhaust and a few appearance items.

The 2014 in it’s class with other stock and near stock cars

It’s always great to see friends at the show, some of which I only see this one time a year. My youngest son joined me for the weekend. Also, my brother brought both of his kids. It was great to spend time with everyone, go out to eat and just hang out and catch up.

If you’ve been following along, you know that I recently redesigned the club logo. So, along with the stickers, I revealed a new club banner. I know we are not going to win the “cool club” award for this but I’m proud to display a banner every year and to do some other light decorating at our tent. It’s a casual atmosphere at our tent. And, I’m very happy for that. All are welcome, club members or not.

New banner. New club logo. SCC gear here with us.

Speaking of logos and merchandise, our friends at foxbodyswag gifted us some nice keychains for giveaways at the show. And, on top of that, Joe from FBS made me a great shirt with the new club logo! It’s really great to have a friend like this!

Complimentary merch provided by foxbodyswag.com

As with last year, there was no ride and drive event nor was the Expo Center open. This was probably due to Covid concerns. I really wanted to drive the Mach-E this year. I’ve never driven an all electric car so it could have been a great opportunity to do that. Not this year, I guess.

But, there was a chance to see the new Bronco in both 2 door and 4 door forms.

2021 Ford Bronco Badlands 2 door

I knew it would be awesome to see in person but I didn’t realize how much I would want one once I saw it. There were demos on taking the doors and roof panels off. There was a walk-through of the modularity of the design with the ability to unbolt and bolt on various accessories. It was clear that this is a well thought out platform. I’d love to own one someday.

On Saturday we had our club cookout. We had enough food that a few of our friends which we didn’t know were coming were able to join us. The potato salad was awesome! I know I didn’t ask for permission from everyone in the below picture from the cookout but just note the fine print on the new banner states that your presence in the shade of the tent constitutes your permission for me to use your image or likeness in any way. Right, Myia?

Cookout time. My son on the grill!

This year I had the privilege of being a celebrity judge. A couple months prior to the show I got the email invitation but I dismissed it. Only when I got a second reminder did I sign up to be a judge. I was excited leading up to and going in to it but then really felt the pressure on the day of. There were 3,200 cars that I was allowed to choose from! After talking with a friend who had some experience with it, I decided to narrow my scope. I have expertise in fox-body Mustangs. And, I thought it would mean more to a fox-body owner that someone in their community choose them more-so than if I chose someone from a different Ford community.

So, I narrowed to fox Mustangs and, more specifically, those with few or no mods. There were many great cars and I was certain I was going to choose one of the Mustang GT hatchbacks that were there. There were several in great condition and in stock or near-stock form. But, on my last pass through the aisle, I came across a beautiful 1989 LX 5.0 hatch. It has 16,000 miles and is still owned by its original owner. It’s entirely stock down to the 10 hole wheels.

1989 Mustang LX 5.0 Hatchback

Additionally, it has a red interior. I think the red interior has gotten a bad rap over the years. So many people will dismiss a car with a red interior. I’ve had a Mustang with a red interior and during the time I had it, I had grown fond of the color. When it’s in great shape such as on this car, it really pops. They don’t do interiors like this any more.

The thing about Celebrity Choice is that the owner knows on Saturday that they are receiving an award as a sticker is left behind on the windshield as well as a card with some details on the award. This is done so that a car will only be picked by one Celebrity Judge.

Celebrity Choice sticker for this 1989 hatch

I was told there were to be about 90 celebrity judges this year. I browsed through the awards list and counted 68 celebrity awards. Only 4 fox bodies received a celebrity award and I can proudly say that one was my pick. I hope they ask me again next year as the experience was very rewarding.

Despite there being no official ride and drive event, was able to do a sort of informal ride and drive on Saturday. My son convinced my good friend Tom to take him for a ride in his 2007 Shelby GT/SC. Tom had purchased this car several years ago as a Shelby GT and later sent it to Shelby to upgrade it to a GT/SC. I joined along on the ride in the back seat.

The supercharger really makes this car quick. We drove a little on some country roads close by to the fairgrounds. For the trip back, Tom asked me if I wanted to drive. I was a little hesitant but I did drive it back and WOW! I had never driven a car with a supercharger before. Honestly, I didn’t think it was life-changingly fast with probably 125 HP more than my 2014 but, damn, the way those extra horse power are added is dramatic. As an observer, I think the supercharger whine is a little annoying. But, as a driver, I have a new found appreciation for that sound! It is intoxicating

Tom’s 2007 Shelby GT/SC

I was pretty proud of the condition of my car going into this show. The paint was really dialed in -probably over 95% swirl and scratch free. Although, I felt like every time I touched it to clean it, I was adding new scratches and swirls. It’s hard out to keep a car clean while outdoors for a whole weekend and almost always in the sun. For my pre-show detailing, I had used Collinite 845 wax for the first time. I had heard that it would haze a bit in the days after application and it certainly did. I think part of the problem was the heat of the sun and it was tough to keep the haze from coming back as it sat all day. Wiping this hazy wax when it was hot seemed to be just moving the wax around. I did my best but had to just walk away from it and let it be.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have detailed and applied the wax several weeks before the show in order to allow for a longer time to harden and cure. At least one wash before Carlisle in a controlled environment would have helped a lot. The first wash after a detail is always my favorite. Doing that with a shared hose in a shared wash area is not the most optimal way to do it.

The result though was still pretty stunning. And, I’m sure it was the major factor in me receiving 2nd place in the class! I’ve never won any award at Carlisle before with any car I’ve brought. So, this was so satisfying to get.

2nd place!

Overall, it was a great show and great getting back together with friends after the hiatus that was 2020. There was great fun as a celebrity judge in my first time doing that and in wearing that badge around all day. And, great satisfaction in getting 2nd place for my car after spending many hours detailing and obsessing over it. See you next year.

TWF Site Upgrade

Over a year ago, I mentioned in my post entitled Putting the Pedal Down that I was working on an upgrade to the TWF site. Well, here it is over a year later and I am finally ready to implement the upgrade. TWF is getting a new look and feel but will still contain largely the same content.

This upgrade moves the site to the latest version of the Content Management System platform, Drupal 9. The reason that this took so long is that it was an incredible amount of work. Back in 2020, I started the process and realized it wasn’t going to be quick effort. While the content of the site migrated pretty easily, the structure was very difficult to move over. I ended up having to recreate all the menus, images galleries, forms, page layouts and more.

I put that off until recently when I restarted the project and took it to completion. While I was redoing things I discovered several bugs including some with the registry statistics computations and with the VIN/VCL decoders. Those have all been corrected.

With this project largely behind me, I thought it would be cool to take a trip down memory lane with the help of the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to see just how far this site has come.

1999 – It all started with an innocent sick day from work

Sometime in 1999, I took a sick day which is not something I usually do. I was so bored at home that day. I had been doing some things at work that were pushing the limits of the software I was using at the time. I was searching the Internet for solutions and was coming up empty. I ultimately ended up devising my own solutions. On that sick day, I decided to write up and share how I solved that problem and to publish it on my own web space. That web space was really just a place on the web server run by my dialup (yes, dialup – 56kbps) provider where each subscriber could host their own static web page. It wasn’t even on my own domain. It was off of their domain and something like www.ntplx.net/~jjones.

2002 – I pulled the trigger and bought a summer car

In March 2002, I pulled the trigger on something that I had always wanted – a Mustang convertible. I originally searched for a 7-up car but ended up finding a very nice 1993 limited edition white convertible. I roughly knew what a feature car was but set out to learn more. There wasn’t much about it that was online. So, with my already existing web space, I decided to add a section devoted to it in order to share what I was learning about feature cars. This was all still on my dial-up provider’s web server.

2002 – What was I thinking?!

There were plenty of bad decisions in web design happening in 2002. At work, I was part of a group of people doing mostly Web site development and the “state of the art” was using some software called Macromedia Dreamweaver to essentially create a graphical UI for a web site. The process was to take the image then slice and dice it into a bunch of different smaller images for use as clickable regions and also for mouse over effects done by swapping out image sections as the mouse moved over them. WTF, right?

As expected, this model didn’t hold up to the test of time. The screen captures seen here with their missing images are the best that the Internet Wayback Machine could provide. This is symptomatic of the design approach of the site. I am actually embarrassed to share this and would not except that there are three important things to note here about the evolution of the site –

  1. This is the first appearance of the green color that I so fell in love with. The first site had somewhat of an aqua green and this new version continued the use of green.
  2. The term “Triple White Fox” appears. I don’t know of any use of this term prior to it being used on my site by me. If it weren’t for that missing image, you’d see that the site was labeled “The Triple White Fox” done in a custom font that mirrored the Mustang wording used on fox Mustangs
  3. The running fox logo appears. Although, here it is a clipart that I ripped off from somewhere and did some color changes to get it to where I wanted it in terms of being white.

Ahhh, the broken images,…

2003 – Better days are ahead

In 2003, we still see the same old awful image-based layout. “Best viewed using 800 x 600 resolution or higher” is stated. But, if we go by the Update posted 4/4/2003, a milestone has been achieved. The triplewhitefox domain has been registered!

2006/2007 – Simpler times

In the above version from 2007, we see (subtly) that the image-based template was abandoned for a more modern, text-based approach using CSS for styling and effects. In addition to the simpler approach to styling, we see the first appearance of an original white fox art logo.

Below, in a slightly older but similar version in terms of layout which is from 2006, we still see the clip art fox. Here though, we get a sense for the layout which is still using a framed approach much like the previous did but has added a right column for additional content and notices.

Also important at this milestone is that previously the site had a section for “’93 Feature Mustangs” and now this has been broadened to “Feature Mustangs” in order to cover both years.

BTW, almost no one donated to help support the site.

2009 – A real Content Management System

Around 2009, I realized that maintaining a site of static HTML was not effective. Actually, it was probably much earlier than 2009 that I realized this! I evaluated several Content Management Systems and decided on Drupal which I’ve been using ever since. This first implementation of Drupal 6 was an incredible benefit as it allowed me to focus on content and not on code.

I still maintained the framed approach with navigation on the top and left and a right column reserved for other, secondary information.

2015 – The first Drupal upgrade – version 7

While Drupal 8 was available in late 2015, I decided to upgrade from Drupal 6 to 7. I’m not exactly sure when in 2015 I did the upgrade but I’m sure version 8 was either in beta or in early release. I wouldn’t have considered the new version a solid option primarily due to support of various add-on modules that I was using for the site.

The above screen shot is from 2021 when Drupal 7 was still running. It is very monochromatic. Honestly, I don’t know when or why the site lost it’s green theming. Perhaps this was due to an update to the Drupal theme being used which was the Professional Theme. As we can see below, in 2019, the green color was more subtle but was still present on the Drupal 7 site.

2021 – Upgrade to the most current version of Drupal

So, here we are well into 2021 and I’m doing yet another upgrade. Some content on the site has remained from that original site on my dialup provider. The site still has that photo of my car taken on a gray day at Saybrook Point in Old Saybrook, CT on its first roadtrip just after I bought it. That was back when I had no idea how that car would change my life and how many times I would modify the page that contained it.

Putting the pedal down

In times like these, it may seem like the best thing to do is to follow the herd. Which seems to be letting up, putting things on pause and waiting for things to get better. But, I think that’s the wrong thing to do. It’s time to double our efforts. We need to excel in our work lives, excel in our personal lives, be better partners, be better parents and most of all, use this new found time that we all seem to have to grow ourselves, learn new things and continue to do the things we love. Especially, those things that we might not have had time to do previously.

Rather than letting off the gas, I’ve been putting the pedal down. So, among trying to do those other things that I mentioned, I’ve been putting more time into something I love – this site. I’m trying to invest a little every day. And, it’s been therapeutic. One of the main things that I got done was to get this blog up and running again. And, by doing that, I realized just how long it’s been since I’ve had and used this as an avenue to express myself. If you read back a few posts, I didn’t think it was something I needed any more. Well, I think I was wrong.

In that vein, I wanted to give an update on the things I’ve been working on to make the best use of the free time I’ve been lucky to have.

Updates and security patches to the software used by this site and FoxFeatureCars.com

This site uses a number of separate software packages each for the main site, the forums and this blog. All of these require regular patching and updating. These types of things don’t usually result in a visible change on the site but are important to keep up with for bug fixes and, especially, for security patches. I’ve sometimes fallen behind on these. But, not recently.

Separate from this I also started the process of evaluating an upgrade the main software package that this site uses which is called Drupal. A more up to date version than what I’m currently using is available and I have started the process of determining the complexity and process of that upgrade.

Registering for the tent for Carlisle Ford 2020

It’d be easy to put this one off. The deadline for tent registration is still weeks away and the I question whether the event even will happen. But, I didn’t let that stop me. I’ve committed to it now and am paid in full for the tent and tables. And, I hope you commit to it, too. Don’t forget to register by May 4th!

We should again be located in the 1987 to 1993 Mustang LX Stock class.

Signing up for Ford Performance Club Connect

You may have seen the front page post on this. I had a nice email exchange over email with the Club Connect team to answer some questions that I had on the registration process. They were very helpful and responsive. As such, we are on the map but no longer listed at my home address!

Getting the auction history back up to date

This tracking has been on and off for the last couple of years. It’s a lot of work and, with the decline in ebay partner benefits, it has been a long time since it has been able to cover the costs of running this site. But, I still see the value in it so I continue. I’ve been considering other revenue models like a Patreon effort to support what I am doing. But, for now I’ll keep at it the best that I can. As always, click the links to support the site. Even if you aren’t purchasing the items I am linking to, I still benefit from your clicks.

Getting postings going again on FoxFeatureCars.com

Last year at this time, I went full out on the new project that Fox Feature Cars became. I posted nearly every day until I burnt after a few months of it. It was intense to post once a day. And, quite honestly, there aren’t enough feature cars for sale to warrant a daily post.

So, I’ve taken a more measured approach. I am going to post but not every day if it isn’t appropriate. If there are great cars, sure. But if there is nothing on my radar, I’m not going to dig deeper to find something that might be sketchy or something being pushed by a dealer and/or of questionable value.

So, join me on this. Let’s all improve ourselves and creation a distraction for ourselves and, quite possibly in doing so, create a distraction for others. And, since the weather is getting nice almost everywhere, get that Mustang out and put the literal pedal down.

BOSS Track Attack

Last week I attended the BOSS Track Attack with my buddy Tom who, earlier this year, purchased a 2013 BOSS 302 in Race Red. As part of the purchase, he was eligible to attend a day of performance driving school at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City, UT. To my great fortune and surprise, he asked me along as a guest. I opted to drive the first day of the two day class. I could have also not driven at all or driven for two days (at additional cost). I’m glad I drove – it was an amazing experience.

We arrived on Sunday night and were welcomed for dinner in the museum at Miller Motorsports. The Museum houses some incredible cars from the history of Carroll Shelby racing. There were Cobras, GT 350s, Ford GTs and several other cars, all with a winning history in racing. Each car had an incredible history. The row of Ford GTs had one of each iteration Mk I through Mk IV and this was where I stopped first.

A row of GTs at the Museum

The first car in this picture was the first of any cars in the Gulf colors to win a race. I’ve got a thing for these colors. Apparently so, because even my 7 and 9 year old recognize them. I guess I credit good parenting that I explain to them things like this. The second car in the row is one of the three GT 40’s which won 1st, 2nd and 3rd in Le Mans in 1966. If you have seen Top Gear America Season 3 Episode 12 you have seen this car driven on the track at Miller Motorsports Park.

After a tour of the museum, we had dinner within feet of these cars. What a great night.

The next morning we started in the classroom. You may have seen my post of Facebook from the classroom. We spent about an hour there talking about the fundamentals of driving a road course including turning, apexing and breaking. We then suited up in the class room before heading out to the garage.

Ready to go

In the garage, they directed us to our cars. They split us into two group and my group was first out to the track to follow the instructor.  It felt like we jumped in feet first. I was alone in the car with a helmet, a four point seat belt and a “modern” Mustang under me.  It was very foreign, at first.

Our six cars did a few laps with each getting slightly faster. Tom, being a BOSS owner, drove a 2012 Race Red BOSS 302. I, being a guest, drove a 2006 Mustang GT. Both were mostly how they came form the factory with a few racing bits to make them safer and race-ready.

First laps

After our quick laps around the track we headed to the skid pad for some work with only a little traction. I thought I would do OK with this especially when the instructor said that those with experience in driving in snow and ice might have an advantage. I was not as good as I had hoped. We started at full traction with the instructor reducing it for each subsequent lap.

In control

My tendency was to go to the brake at the first sign of trouble. When I did do it right it was surprising how a little gas and turning in could correct a skid. It was also a lot of fun.

The rest of the day was spent alternating between classroom and track time. They really mean it when they say that you’ll be in the car 70% of the day. We had sessions on heel/toe shifting, cornering and braking. We had on-track time in a lead/follow where we each of us took turns right behind the instructor to learn he correct line, an instructor ride along and a some general track time in order to put it all together.

Although, initially I feared it, the instructor ride along was really good and some of the most beneficial time on the track. I found that I wasn’t using all of the track on exiting corners and that I was underestimating the car. It was far more capable than I was allowing it to be. Those that drove the BOSSes, they were allowed times to explore the custom feature of those cars such as Pit Lane Speed Control and Launch Control throughout the day.

They started to allow passing during the last track session. Though, I didn’t pass anyone, that session ended with me wanting more which was a sure sign that I had a great time.

Cornering hard

The last thing of the day were “hot laps” where an instructor drove and we rode as the passenger. They said they didn’t do this earlier because if we knew how the cars could go around the track we would have tried it on our own with less than impressive results. These laps were amazing. The amount of control, the smoothness and the hard breaking were all impressive. We even got a little sideways in each turn. The day ended with a “Graduation” where we each received a certificate and plaque.

I didn’t drive the second day but Tom did. It was cool to be track side as the cars came past.


Of course, once I knew we were at such a high altitude (4,200 ft), I couldn’t resist going for a run. I’m used to under 500 ft above sea level where I live. The course I took was fairly flat while following the edge of some steep mountains but the running felt uphill all the way. Not in my legs but in my lungs.

A different track

Carlisle 2013 Recap

Mike and Amy representing the feature cars

My 7th Carlisle Ford Nationals was a great time. I brought my oldest son with me which made for a very different experience. He attended my very first Carlisle in 2007. That was so long ago that it is only a faint memory for him. My brother also attended this Carlisle with his daughter. He last attended Carlisle in 2008 which was before he had a Mustang. He now owns a 2008 GT/CS.

2008 Mustang GT/CS

Both of our children did a great job keeping pace with us. On Friday we walked 7 miles and on Saturday we walked 9 miles. They didn’t complain and were up for anything.

Carlisle wouldn’t be Carlisle without rain. This year it started for the second half of Thursday’s drive down. We drove the last 150 miles in the rain. I again joined 5pt0joe on his “Cruise to Carlisle”. The forecast for Friday was not good. This was the first time that I didn’t wash my car upon arriving in Carlisle.

As predicted, Friday was a full day of rain. We tried to get out from under cover during periods of light rain. Thankfully, we had the tent which allowed some shelter for the kids to play their video games.

A rainy day - kids under the tent

The tent was also another point of variance from the usual. It was not located in the class in which almost all of our feature cars fall – the 1987-93 Mustang LX stock class. It was about two classes away. This was a let down. The events staff had a new member in charge of clubs for this year and I had asked ahead of time if our tent would still be in our class and he had communicated that that was the plan. What changed, I don’t know and my question to him in that regard has gone unanswered.

It almost didn’t matter because most people who had registered with our club had not brought their feature cars. I had my ’91. My brother brought his ’08. Tim H. brought his ’07 due to some mechanical problems with his triple white.

Tim's '07 almost in view

Tom brought his 2013.

2013 Boss 302 in Race Red

It occurred to me that I think we really need to encourage everyone who considers themselves a supporter of TripleWhiteFox.com to pre-register next year and specify this as their club. It doesn’t matter that the car being shown is not a feature car, or a fox-body or a Mustang, for that matter. I was very flattered to see cars around the show field with us as their club. We just might get to the 25 car free tent threshold with enough friends of TWF.

Saturday night was the third annual parade and street party. We got an earlier start than last year to get in line and avoided a little of the traffic jam to get off of the show field.

Lining up for the parade

It was a nice drive into downtown Carlisle. I gave my son the option to sit up front. Normally, he has to ride in the back. While we were waiting to go he asked me if it was OK for him to be in the front. He asked a couple times before he decided he wanted to sit in back. He definitely has my tendency to be conservative. On the other hand, his cousin had no problem with riding up front.

A front seat passenger

The street party

Sunday was all about the awards list. Both Amy H. and Mike P. won in our class! Amy won first and Mike won third. There were some nice cars in our class which meant competition was strong. Both awards were well deserved as both cars were the cleanest and best presented that I have seen them.

Going around and talking with people I had two occurrences of being recognized from my picture in the recent Fox Mustang Magazine. It made me feel really nice. The magazine was again there selling subscriptions which I thought was brave of them considering their recent track record of delivering issues. I really want them to survive and encourage everyone to subscribe. Even if they were to go to quarterly (a hint to them) I still would have a high opinion of their efforts.

The ironic thing is that I wanted to renew but couldn’t. I saw Mike on Sunday morning on his way to re-up his subscription at their tent. I joined him thinking I would gladly part with $20 to support them and, in return, would be veryhappy with a renewal and a free t-shirt. When we got to their tent, we found it empty as they had already left the show. The guys at the tent next to theirs said they had packed up on Saturday. This seems weird for a struggling magazine. They lost our two renewals.

Third Place for Mike

That’s it for 2013. See you next year!

MCA Ocean State Nationals 2012 Judging Sheet

If you follow the TWF Facebook page, you might have seen my post on winning Gold in the Unrestored class at the 2012 Ocean State Mustang Nationals. This was my first experience at an MCA show and it was more intense than any other show I have attended. But, the end result was that it was more rewarding than any other show.

I am not doing this review of my judging sheet as a critique of the judges or the judging process. They did an excellent job and found everything that I would have found had I been judging my car. I am doing this because I thought a breakdown of the scoring sheet might be helpful to others in determining where they might lose points and to what degree something might be OK or not OK.  I imagine that a different set of judges might have given me different deductions, though, hopefully with the same Gold result. This is a human process, after all.

Beforehand, I detailed my car for 20-30 hours above and beyond what I normally do for the popular vote shows. It is hard to say exactly how many hours but I went over everything inside, outside and underneath. I think I spent about 6-8 hours under the car and engine bay. This turned out to be overkill. The show field was grass, cut at the customary 3″, which resulted in that much less ability to see under the car. On asphalt, my work would have been more apparent.

On the morning of the judging I spent nearly fours hours with the final detailing. The 2 hour drive to RI was partly in the rain. I had detailed my car during the preceding weeks only in the garage and the outdoor light on the show field revealed some low points. The beginning of the morning had shade on my car. This was also helpful. In the bright sunlight, some crevices are in full shadow. In overcast weather or shade, these areas are more easy to see into.

I was present when the three judges went over my car. I did not interfere and only spoke when spoken to. Well, except on a door tag issue where they were trying to verify my car was a feature car using the interior code. I pointed them in the right direction. Otherwise, I resisted the urge to try to point out things I thought might influence the results.

The first thing I was marked on was my door weatherstrip. I think this “cracking” could be from getting in and out but I doubt it. The door sill is not scuffed in any regard. This must be due to my sagging map pocket. For many years, it sagged low enough to get closed between the door and weatherstrip thus resulting in wear. When this wear was called out, one of the judges, the one who was doing the note writing, remarked that this type of wear was present on his car.

Click on image for large view

Apparently, it was not bad enough to warrant a deduction (a dash in the deduction column).

Admittedly, my top is the weak point of my car. It is, of course, original. With 53,000 miles it has been down a lot. I rarely drive the car with the top up. There is one large hole and several cracks. This is by far the worst –

One of my primary motivations for bringing the car at this point to an MCA show and showing in unrestored vs. occasionally driven was to attempt a gold before the top needs to be replaced. The thinking was that if I could achieve gold then replace the top I could state this is a gold car and the only thing replaced since the gold was the top.

The next one was a simple deduction, not the original battery –

Another easy one, incorrect oil filter –

Finally, I didn’t have a lot for extra points. I think I will work harder for a few more of these next time.

So, that’s how it breaks down. I think I still have some room for improvement. I don’t think I will ever get a perfect score but I am very happy with the result this time out.

Here is my full judging sheet: 2012 Ocean State Nationals Judging Sheet for URB-G25