With a calendar almost entirely shredded of car shows, thousands of Blue Oval enthusiasts flocked to Carlisle, Pennsylvania for the annual Carlisle Events Ford Nationals. The nearly two-month delay from the event’s original date only whet the appetites of those seeking to get out on the show field and gave the Carlisle Events team time to institute the necessary protocols to keep everyone safe.
Understandably, safety concerns limited those in attendance, which easily afforded social-distancing among those who drove or walked through the event’s gates. For those who did head out into the open expanse of show cars, Manufacturer’s Midway, and swap meet, there was plenty to see and do. Ford brought out their entire line of cars and trucks, highlighting options for today and in the future.
Two 2021 Mach 1 Mustangs were on-hand, offering fans the opportunity to see the new steed first-hand. The new Mach 1 and GT350 Mustangs spent some time center-stage as Ford representatives conducted a walk-around of each of the cars on both Friday and Saturday. There were also enough GT500s, GT350s, Ford GTs and numerous other offerings to fit any need for speed or various types of hauling.
The show field was an array of both popular and rare factory Ford colors offered throughout the decades. There were drivers, restorations, customs, and both vintage and modern-day racers on-hand. Many Carlisle Events attendees make it a point to visit “Building T”, always a hot-spot for some of the finest examples of history and value. This year, dozens of Ford GTs surrounded the building, both inside and out. There was a special tent where one could view one of the largest gatherings of the modern-day supercar while the display inside contained examples going back to an original 1966 GT-40! The Ford GTs also paraded around the grounds on Friday and several took part in the open-track time offered on the autocross track to scrub down some tires for the fans.
While hosted as a “Ford” event, Mustangs occupied most of the acreage in the National Parts Depot show field. Mustangs were sorted out by color, vintage, club affiliation, and seemingly every variant ever produced by Henry’s company. When cars weren’t sitting idle, hoping to grab the attention of various “Fun Display” judges, there were plenty of other activities to make owning a Mustang more fun.
The autocross track was a hot-spot for the entire weekend as Gateway Mustang hosted open autocross runs and owners also participated in a multi-round, rolling exhaust contest Friday and Saturday. On Friday night, nearly 20 competitors took to the track for the annual real street shoot out.
Entire clubs came out as winners at this year’s Ford Nationals, with John Clor, from Ford Performance Enthusiast Communications, named the Beltway Mustang Club as the coolest club. Other clubs gathered under tents to congregate and catch up with other members. For many attendees of this year’s Ford Nationals at Carlisle, the event not only served as a time to come together and enjoy their Mustang lifestyle, but it also gave them respite from many of the modern-day, world events.
As the year moves forward, enthusiasts will continue to seek ways to put life on the back burner for a few days and enjoy their cars and the many friendships that revolve around them. Often times, they make plans to do so a year in advance. For those folks, they’ll likely note that next year’s Ford Nationals event is already scheduled for June 4-6, 2021 at the Carlisle, Pennsylvania Fairgrounds and will feature the 50th Anniversary of the Pinto, a 1971-73 Mustang Celebration, Holman Moody & Stroppe reunions and a Comic Car Con display.
Go to the Carlisle Events webpage to learn all about next year’s Carlisle Ford Nationals, review event photos, check out the winner’s list, take the post-event survey and make plans for next year online now at www.CarlisleEvents.com.