Tom Wilson
November 1, 2009
Photos By: KJ Jones

Mustangs continued their march on the 24th Annual Fabulous Fords Forever show April 19, muscling their way out of their traditional late-model parking lot and into "other" parking lot. Once exclusively the domain of Model T's, A's, Torinos, and such, the other of the two main parking lots had rows of newer Mustangs standing proud.

Furthermore, it turns out Mustangs are cannibals. To be blunt about it, the Mustang growth at Knott's is largely S197s, which besides making statistical sense, speaks volumes of where Knott's entrants interest lay. Clean, lightly modified, street cars are the show's bread and butter, and as Ford has been building great Mustangs lately, they've been edging out the '60s-era ponycars and taking some of the interest from the early Foxes.

But to anyone hoofing it up and down the rows at Knott's, it's all academic. There are plenty of Fords of nearly every stripe, more than anyone can take in between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Add in an early heat wave, just under 100 degrees, and Knott's was a real place in the sun this year.

Featured vehicles were the 45th anniversary of the Mustang, 70th anniversary of Mercury and 50th anniversary of the Galaxie. Additionally, there was a Boss Mustang reunion, giving Knott's-regular Parnelli Jones more guests than anticipated the day before the show, and giving showgoers a small feast of Boss 302, 351, and 429 Mustangs. The flyer also listed a Probe anniversary, but we didn't really notice. We did see a putting green around a Lincoln display, however.

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Featured vehicles were nicely displayed on the central grass area, and we were pleased to see some old friends and feature cars honored there. Worries about losing cars or people to the big 45th Mustang anniversary, held the same weekend in Birmingham, Alabama, proved predictably groundless (California is a long, long way from the eastern states). Some who were able even commuted, including Steve Saleen who indulged in his airline travel fetish to appear in Alabama on Saturday and Knott's on Sunday. We still find it odd to see Saleen Mustangs over there and Steve Saleen over here signing autographs in the SMS booth.

Speaking of booths, Roush continues to make an 18-wheeler presence, along with Shelby Automobiles and Ford Racing. But that's mainly it for commercial presentations-other than Ford-as Knott's has been faithfully kept commercial-free. It's a show for the people.

We didn't hear a total car count this year, but attendance was obviously strong. Our only thought is where are all the 2010 Mustangs going to park next year?

Horse Sense: Due to illness, we arrived just as the show opened and left right at the close, thus missing the parade of Fords as they filed in and the Blue Oval traffic jam as they rushed the exits. Definitely the most dynamic times of the day, we'll make a point to get there early next year.

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