Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
December 24, 2013

In spite of normal summer storms followed by the rainy remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea, the Ford Nationals at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, managed to salvage its June 6-9 weekend with a great showing of Fords and Mustangs on Saturday. As Carlisle employees scurried about on golf carts to supply straw to water-logged vendors on Saturday morning, over 2,500 cars rolled in for what turned out to be the nicest, albeit muggy, day of the weekend. Unfortunately, the rain spoiled Carlisle's first-ever Thursday opening for the Ford Nationals, a day that was added to give early-bird shoppers a jump on the swap meet deals.

According to Carlisle's Media Specialist Michael Garland, a typical Ford Nationals attracts 2,800 cars, so the late-week inclement weather prevented only a few car owners from risking a wet drive.

As always, the majority of show cars were Mustangs of all years, including plenty of late-models, several long rows of vintage cars, and even a small gathering of Mustang IIs. With preparations underway for a big Mustang 50th anniversary show at Carlisle next year, the 2013 Ford Nationals didn't focus on big Mustang displays. However, a number of K-code '65-'67 Mustangs took part in the 289 High Performance Reunion in Building G, plus there were a number of special Mustangs in Building T's Invitational Display.

Neither rain nor heat nor steep fairground hills could keep fearless photographer Jerry Heasley from his rounds, although he received much-appreciated assistance from George Munsterman and his motorized mini-Mustang convertible.

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For Saturday night’s downtown street party, the city of Carlisle shut down the streets to accommodate over 400 Mustangs and Fords, live bands, and thousands of onlookers. The parade and party have quickly become a tradition at the Ford Nationals, providing participants with the chance to visit the downtown Carlisle restaurants and shops.