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 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

Feature Mustang Auction History Update

I just completed some updates to the 1992 and 1993 feature Mustang auction history pages. The request to add a search by sequence number was a feature that seemed too reasonable not to have. I too had experienced the need to look for auctions by this criteria while researching a car.

I also added some other things –

  • Thumbnails for auction listings that are not on ebay anymore (>90 days old). I have been storing the main photo of every auction since mid 2005. For new auctions, I now generate thumbnail versions of each image to be used when the thumbnail is no longer in Ebay’s image cache. I also generated thumbnails for the historical auctions for which I have images.
  • As part of the auction details, added the main photo for all auctions where it has been captured (again, back to mid 2005).
  • Some database connection fixes that will hopefully result in even greater stability. The move to the new web host in July 2011 left behind most of the site stability problems. That change can be mostly attributed to the availability of more resources on the web server. The bug I just fixed just took longer to show itself on the new server but still caused an occasional crash. It was only in the code involved in adding auctions and was a problem with not releasing the database connection.

In handing these updates, I also improved the development environment that I use. I first developed the auction history in 2003 on a Windows 2000 desktop. My next machine was Windows XP where I had problem running natively the development tools that I needed to use so I ended up creating a VMWare virtual machine from the old Windows 2000 desktop that I then used to do subsequent work through the years. Fast forward to my current Windows 7 machine and that old Windows 2000 virtual machine still runs but getting it networked was an issue.

So, to do this round of auction history changes, instead of spending the time to fix the networking issue, I invested time in getting to an updated development environment much closer to the production site. I am now using the BitNami Tomcat stack. I went with the one that configures Tomcat 6.0.35-0 running on Ubuntu 10.10. Instead of using VMWare I have switched to Virtual Box to run this on my Windows 7 host machine.

Using a pre-built VM made this pretty easy to get running. My next step, of course, will need to be to get PHP running on the VM in order to fully simulate the TWF site.

Link: 1992 Auction Results
Link: 1993 Auction Results

1992 Feature Mustang 1:24 Scale Replica

Mike G. just emailed me to provide pictures of his scale replica of his 1992 Feature car. We’ve seen one before for the 1993 Mustang but this is a nice set of pics of an outstanding effort. I asked Mike for some details on the build and he was glad to provide them –

I used a combination of three kits to build this.  The main kit being a Monogram ’91 Mustang GT convertible.  The engine, chassis, interior and main body parts came from this kit.  I bought a resin body kit for an LX coupe back in the mid-1990’s that was made to fit the Monogram kit’s chassis and I used the nose, rocker panels and rear valence from that to convert the GT body into an LX.  With the body mods completed, I used a Monogram ’93 Cobra kit for several of the finishing details such as the airbag steering wheel, exhaust with straight tips, tail lights and rear spoiler.  The spoiler required some modifications but it was a good starting point.  I can’t remember the maker/seller of the resin body but I ordered it online and recall paying somewhere in the $30.00-$40.00 range for it.

This reminded me that there was an article in the June 1992 edition of Scale Auto Enthusiast that can provide more inspiration for a project such as this. I have mentioned it but never included many details of it on this site. So, I have posted some details on it in the 1992 and 1993 “Scale Replicas” sections of this site. Also, I have given Mike’s car a permanent home on its own page with more, and larger pictures.

Despite my best intentions for attempting a project like this, I’ve never started my own. Kudos to Mike for sticking with this project and producing an amazing result!


…is the sincerest form of flattery.

I read Jalopnik pretty much daily. I usually don’t check out the “nice price or crack pipe” set of articles but the one on the 1987 ASC McLaren caught my eye enough that I clicked throughto ebay to see more about the car. You know I love my fox bodies. As I scrolled through the pictures, something jumped out as familiar. Way too familiar. The car show sign.

Pretty much a carbon copy of mine right down to the bullet points.

And, also this one that I did for another feature car owner.

Not that I’m complaining. It is actually cool to see my design accepted by others.


November 2011 5.0 Mustangs and Super Fords has Carlisle coverage

Mike P. gave me a heads up on the Carlisle coverage in the most recent issue of 5.0 Mustangs and Super Fords. I picked up an issue on my way home from a Mustang show today.

With  little digital zooming one can see our tent and a few of our cars. This picture is from the Friday of the show.

They also have a picture from Saturday but it is about a quarter of the size. Overall, it is good coverage in a 5 page article. If you don’t subscribe, you might want to go out and pick up a copy.

Major Overhaul of Feature Car Part Number Lists

Just today I finished a big project which was an attempt to assemble every part number for the unique parts that make a feature car different from a standard Mustang LX 5.0 Convertible. I did this by browsing a Mustang parts database. This included interior and exterior parts.

I probably don’t need to tell you that it wasn’t easy.

There was no consistency in the descriptions used. Some did use “Feature Car” or “special edition” but many did not but could be differentiated due to the use of colors (white, yellow and red) in the descriptions where standard parts were black.

Some things that stand out as interesting in terms of the naming (not that I advocate changing how we commonly refer to these things):

  • “Performance” white was used over “Vibrant” white for the 1993 parts
  • What we usually refer to as “piping” on the 1992 interior was referred to as black “welts”
  • The spoiler was identified as being part of “Convertible performance package”

The  parts lists appear on this site as part of the Frequently Ask Questions pages. I also added parts diagrams where relevant as well as a few new pictures of parts that I have assembled since the lists were last updated nearly five years ago.

If you can think of any parts missing from the list, I would be happy to attempt to identify part numbers for them.

Links: 1992 Feature Mustang FAQ (with parts list), 1993 Feature Mustang FAQ (with parts list)

Reliving the past thanks to Mustangs Unlimited

I was checking out the Mustangs Unlimited Web Site. I usually hit one of the three or four shows that they have a year. On their home page, they have a photo from one of the cars shows that they have hosted.  The picture they picked is not the ubiquitous car show picture with rows and rows of Mustangs. One lone black fox body convertible in a row of empty spaces. A smattering of other cars are around. Pretty boring. Right?

The more looked at the picture, the more I realized that it seemed oddly familiar beyond the usual “yeah, I’ve been to that parking lot.” My car was in there. If I enlarge the photo, you might be able to see me and the rear of my car.

I figured out that the picture is from June 2009. I parked next to a yellow feature car purchased by Tom F., its new owner, less than a week before. I had my son with me that day. It was a great time for father and son. And, oh yeah, I won third place that day. Great memories.

Clubs at 2011 Carlisle Ford Nationals

As part of the wrap-up of Carlisle, the thank you message I received from the person who does club coordination included the list of clubs and the number of attendees for each. It seems wrong to share it all, so here are some interesting facts about the clubs at the 2011 Carlisle Ford Nationals:

– There were 38 clubs
– We (Fox-Body Feature Mustang Club) had 6 registered members
– The top three clubs:

– Focus Rising (89 members)
– Merkur Club of America (70)
– Team Shelby (64)

– The team that won the “Coolest Club Hangout” award was the Yellow Mustang Registry. They had 32 members.

2011 Carlisle Ford Nationals Trip Report

Once again, the Ford Nationals went by too fast.

Like last year, I took to Twitter to share the experience of Carlisle as it happened. I added a few new followers during the three days of Carlisle. Since twitter is so time associated, my tweeted pics are in a set on Flickr for historical purposes. Of course, the set only covers the tweets that included pictures, but, I think that those are the best.

Attendance turned out to be about the same number as last year. This made me happy. Even down to the last minute, it seemed like this could have been a lightly attended year. I think the good weather encouraged people to get out. Luckily, there are a lot of Mustang owners in Pennsylvania!

In addition to me, the attendees were as follows:

Amy H. (from MD) – Fri, Sat – 1993 Canary Yellow
Bill F. (from PA) – Fri, Sat, Sun – 1993 Canary Yellow
Bob H. (from PA) – Sat, Sun – 1990 7up
Jim M. (from PA) – Fri, Sat – 1992 Vibrant Red
Luis (from MD) – Sat – 1992 Vibrant Red
Mike P. (from MA) – Fri, Sat, Sun – 1992 Vibrant Red
Neil K. (from PA) – Sat – 1992 Vibrant Red
Tim H. (from PA) – Fri, Sat, Sun – 1993 Vibrant White

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