Huw Evans
September 1, 2006

Of course there were plenty of Mustangs and a huge late-model contingent, both stock and modified. The Yellow Mustang Registry was out in force, no doubt making Gary Kohn and the gang happy. Whether it was Saleens, ASC McLarens, SVOs, LX 5.0s, GTs, Cobras or even four-cylinder to V8 conversion street machines or blown V6s with vertical doors, there was a Mustang to suite every taste at the All-Ford Nats. There were plenty of older ponies too - a sizeable number of Mustang IIs, including an example of the infamous Monroe Handler and a few King Cobras, some very nice first generation cars, including a particularly cherry '70 Boss 429 and Mach 1 sports roof, painted in grabber blue and yellow respectively, plus a goregous '68 fastback and sweet '66 289 powered convertible. But that didn't even scratch the surface. There were Bullitts and late-model Mach 1s and we saw history in the making when one enthusiastic owner asked Scott Hoag to sign his Competition Orange car there and then.

Because the All-Ford Nationals covers such a huge area, it takes time to really wander the grounds and truth be told, you'd need the best part of a week to do it. The Merkur club won the trophy for having the single largest number of participants - try 100. I've never seen so many XR4Ti-s in my life, but this was the second time they won it as last year, the 20th since Merkurs first arrived on boats from Germany. Quirky to some they maybe, but these cars were very much the European Mustang of their time.

There was a surprising turnout of other almost forgotten Ford products, including EXP two-seaters, Ford Country Squire Wagons, plenty of Lincolns, including a lot of MK VII LSCs (Mustangs in Tailored suits), Mercurys and just about anything else you can think of with some wheels and a Ford manufactured internal combustion engine.

They like to entertain, those organizers at Carlisle, and for that we had a dyno run by a Shadrach Mustang (see MM August '06 for a full rundown on this car), guest appearances 1 2by Hubert Platt, Al Eckstrand, Hau Tai- Tang and former WCW wrestling champ Bill Goldberg. It was interesting because Al, the drag racing legend himself, drove the Lawman '70 Boss Sports roof machine at exhibitions all over SouthEast Asia during the Vietnam war - a young Hau Tai-Tang got his first glimpse of the car, something which planted the seed for a career path where he hasn't looked back, while Bill Goldberg, now owns the car that was driven by Al and inspired Hau. Neat stuff eh?

There was also a beauty contest held at the main pavilion, and the winner Theresa Payne, of Shenandoah Junction, West Virgina was crowned Miss All-Ford Nationals and went home with her husband, two sons and five hundred bucks. And if you had the stomach for it, the wings eating contest was something to behold. In the end it was Nelson Garnes who managed to munch on more of them than anybody else - he put away 25 of the suckers.

As per tradition every year, the All-Ford Nationals provides a sweepstakes with the winner receiving the giveway car or cash. This year, the vehicle in question was a pristine 1991 Mercury Capri cabrio (see if you can remember what one of those is), but in the end, the winner of this year's sweepstakes, Bill Carberry, chose to drive home with the $5,000 cash prize, and was offi cially quoted as saying, "that should pay my way to this show for the next few years."

When all was said and done, the 2006 All Ford Nationals was a blast. It's a great place to meet fellow enthusiasts, shop for those hard to find parts, or just sit back and relax. Next year's event is planned for June 1-3 2007. Will it rain on the Friday again? Put your bets in now.