Jerry Heasley
June 9, 2016

The All-Ford Nationals is one of those events filled with too much to see, even for folks who attended the full three days on June 3-5 2016. Held at the Carlisle Fairgrounds in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, this event, now in its 22nd year, set a record for attendance with over 50,000 people passing through the gates, and for Ford cars registered with exactly 3,135 spread over 82 acres.

No doubt, Mustangs made up the biggest part of that total. Roughly two out of every three Mustangs was a late-model, with the balance being 1978 and older. Of course, this is the All-Ford Nationals, so anything with a Blue Oval is welcome and likely to attend, including used parts in a huge swap meet, and brand new parts from a plethora of vendors stretched out along the huge midway.

The biggest vendor of them all, of course, is Ford Motor Company; Ford is a heavyweight at this show. They set up their Mustang Garage, where trained tech’s from Fred Beans Ford of Boyertown, PA installed cold-air kits, performance-tuned mufflers, handling packs, lowering springs, and more. Ford also showcased their performance car line-up, offering a shuttle service to those who wanted to test drive the latest vehicles at the Expo Center.

Roush Mustangs turned out in abundance to celebrate Roush’s 40th anniversary. Susan Roush McClenahan, accomplished drag racer and daughter of Jack Roush, signed autographs and displayed her propane-powered drag Mustang.

Another 40th anniversary this year is the ’76 Starsky & Hutch Torino and TV show. Paul Michael Glaser, aka David Starsky, and Antonio Fargas, aka Huggy Bear, signed autographs for fans. In one row on the Fairgrounds, we counted 22 Starsky & Hutch Torino’s lined up.

2016 is also the 50th anniversary of Ford’s Bronco. Seth Burgett launched his new company, Gateway Broncos of St. Louis, Missouri, at this year’s Nationals. Burgett served lunch in his tent, and featured the music of Nashville recording artist Payton Taylor. Burgett builds classic Broncos with modern day Coyote powerplants.

Other highlights included the burnout contest, the Ms. Carlisle beauty contest, and the event culminated with a cruise downtown on Saturday night. Of course one of our favorite moments was on Friday, where event organizers revved up the show by arranging 150 plus Mustangs of all model years into the shape of an American flag.

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