2018 Carlisle Ford Nationals: The Early Mustangs
The Carlisle Ford show was once again the place to be for fans of Fords of all kinds. Here are the 1965 to 1978 Mustangs that were in attendance
The Carlisle Ford Nationals is always one of our favorite events of the year. Situated in the historic town of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a place rich in Revolutionary and Civil War history, the show never fails to bring in the best of the best when it comes to all things built by Ford Motor Company. This year was no exception, even if the weather didn’t totally cooperate.
Sponsored by Meguiar’s this year and held on June 1-3, 2018, the Ford Nationals was beset with nasty humidity on Friday, high heat and slightly less humidity on Saturday, and rain showers on Sunday. While that hurt attendance a tad, the 150-acre show field was still full of Ford cars and trucks, and this author’s FitBit logged over eight miles of walking on Saturday alone. If you look at the photo gallery below, you’ll notice that there were nearly more cars in the joint than you can see in a single day. Even two days was rough on the feet.
The 2018 show once again also had special displays, four of which celebrated 50-year anniversaries: 50 years of the Bullitt movie; 50 years of the Torino (which you can see here); 50 years of Cobra Jets; and 50 years of the Shelby G.T. 500KR. Then there was a large contingent of Focuses (Foci?) celebrating 20 years of that model. We’ll bring you separate photo galleries for the Bullitts, , KRs, and Cobra Jets, plus a gang of the different years of Focus, soon.
Naturally, Ford Performance has a large presence at Carlisle, with the Ford Performance Garage available to have the company’s parts installed right on grounds. Several other vendors did the same, but Ford Performance had a full-on four-post lift and several mechanics thrashing away under participants’ cars, directly in front of their big rig display full of cars and parts. Across the street from the main fairgrounds, Ford was also giving test drives while elsewhere was an autocross, a burnout contest, a beauty contest, and an enormous swap meet chock-full of parts ranging from rare NOS stuff to used parts. And lest we forget, on Saturday night after the show, the cars all parade through downtown Carlisle for a huge street party.
Previous Ford Nationals have had around 3,000 vehicles on the National Parts Depot show field, and even with the weather we estimate the numbers only down 100 or so by an eyeball (and tired feet) guess. Final numbers haven’t been released yet, but it doesn’t matter—this is a show and group that is always a good time and should be on the bucket list of any Ford fan that hasn’t been there.
Oh, and I recommend the corn soup from the last concession vendor under the grandstands. It’s epic!