Bob McClurg
August 1, 2006

The Ford Western Region Car Club Council's "Fabulous Ford's Forever" one-day outdoor "Ford-a-ganza," which takes place at Buena Park, California's Knott's Berry Farm Old Time Adventures Amusement Park, turned 21 this past April 9. At an age when many established car shows seem to be a little long in the tooth, the Ford Western Region Car Club Council and the folks from Ford's Western Region Public Relations office work hard at keeping this event fresh and interesting.

For example, rather than park all the Mustangs-which annually account for over half the total entries-in one place, Ford Western Region Car Club Council President Mark Boudrie and his all-volunteer staff parked the early-model Mustangs and Shelbys on the western side of Knott's expansive Independence Hall parking lot, while all the late-model ponycars set up shop on the southern side of the complex.

And speaking of late-model Mustangs, here are a few quick facts.

Of the 1,680 special-interest Fords pre-entered, Mustangs accounted for more than 60 percent.

Of that number, late-model Mustangs made up at least 40 percent of the total.

Crunching the numbers even harder, all you had to do was take a look around to see that a good 15-20 percent of the late-model Mustang count were '05-'06 models.

Late-model Mustang specialty houses like Saleen, Roush, and yes, now Shelby Automobiles Inc. (which showed off its new supercharged and intercooled "CS6" Mustang), set up shop at Fab Ford's Forever, and it was standing-room only.

Judging from the large amount of modified Mustangs on hand, it was apparent that fifth-generation owners don't have any problem modifying and customizing these new cars, with shining examples being exhibited by tuner shops/parts retailers like Bling Inc., Chicane Sport Tuning, Kreative Kustoms, Muscle Motors, the Throttle Stop, Ultimate Image, and others.

Enthusiasm for the new '05-'06 Mustang apparently knows no bounds. At the 21st annual running, we ran across a group of avocado Mustang owners who call themselves the "Green Car Registry." They can be contacted at www.legendlimeregistry.com.

Also on display in the infield were two of Ford's most exciting specialty cars, the '06 Ford GT and the '07 Shelby GT500.

By way of general housekeeping, Fabulous Fords Forever annually honors a Ford milestone vehicle (or in this case, two) at each event. This year marked 85 years of Lincoln as well as the 40th anniversary of the Ford Bronco. Predictably, pristine examples of both nameplates were on display in the Knott's infield.

At day's end, everyone gathered at the sound stage where Ford Western Region Public Affairs Director John Clinard and Fab Ford's Forever event chairperson Sandy Badgett announced the big winners of the only three awards the show has to offer.

The winner of the Johnna Pepper Award was Northridge, California's Helen and Bruce Hutchinson for their '56 Lincoln Mk II. Winner of the George Watts Memorial Trophy was Rancho Santa Margarita's Tom Pluso with a '55 Thunderbird, and the winner of the Bill Stroppe Memorial Trophy was Saratoga, California's Andrew Norton with his 100-percent-original '71 Bill Stroppe Bronco.

Although the Fabulous Fords Forever Knott's Berry Farm event distinguishes itself as being attended by enthusiasts primarily from California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon, every once in a while we run across a car with a license plate on it from some exotic, faraway place. Such was the case at the 21st running. Over in the Shelby camp, we found Miki and Kei Iinuma's Continuation Series 289 Cobra, which was flown all the way from Honolulu. We think that qualifies the Iinumas for the unofficial Fab Ford's Forever "Long Distance Award." What do you think?

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