Rob Kinnan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
April 19, 2015

Thirty years ago, former Ford Motor Company employee Johnna Pepper was appointed Ford’s car club coordinator for his retirement project, and tasked with coming up with a way to commemorate the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Mustang. That was in 1984. With support from Ford and several Mustang and Ford clubs in Southern California, the first “Mustang Jamboree” was held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center on April 15 1984. They didn’t know what to expect in the way of turnout, but over 500 Mustangs and hundreds of other Ford owners powered through the gates to show off their babies, proof that there was a need for an annual all-Ford show. After considering several different venues to hold the show, Knott’s Berry Farm was chosen as the optimum site, and Fabulous Fords Forever was officially born.

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That first year, there were 1,324 cars registered and the celebrities in attendance were Sally Struthers (All in the Family) with her early 1936 Ford convertible and Richard Carpenter (The Carpenters) with a 1958 Edsel. In the 30 years since, both the facility and number of participants have grown tremendously; this year there were close to 2,000 Ford cars and trucks, and the celebrities involved are more Ford-centric than in those early days, with racers Scott Pruitt, Joey Hand, Butch Leal, Larry Knapp, and the ever-present First Lady of Racing and Miss Hurst Golden Shifter, Linda Vaughn. Past guests have included Carroll Shelby himself, Steve Saleen, Parnelli Jones, George Follmer, and other Ford racing heroes.

The best part of FFF is that it’s free to see. If you want to show off your Ford vehicle, that costs $45 but it doesn’t cost a dime to walk in the gate and check out all the cars. They make is easy to find the stuff you’re interested in too, since the Fords are segregated into their own groups for Mustangs (which make up the majority, obviously), Cobras, Thunderbirds, Mercurys, Econoline vans, Broncos, pickups, Mavericks, Pintos, Edsels…anything related to Ford can be found at Knott’s. Check out the gallery here for the highlights of the ’15 Fabulous Fords Forever show, held on Sunday, April 19.

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