Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
September 11, 2006

Heading to Carlisle, Pennyslvania, in early June for the Carlisle All-Ford show is something many Ford enthusiasts, myself included, look forward to each year. Sure, I'm "working" the event, taking pictures for this very article, as well as extra images for our Web site and file photos, hoping to find a few cars that meet our needs for future magazine features, and, of course, talking to vendors and car owners.

The weather threatened to dampen the Carlisle fairgrounds all weekend, but even with the ominous-looking sky, there were plenty of great cars in attendance, as evidenced by this killer grouping of Falcons. We heard from several people that they kept their classic cars at home and drove their late-model Fords instead, which is one reason we noticed an abundance of '99-'06 Mustangs on the Fun Field.

But while I've got one eye on my Canon's view-finder, the other is looking for parts. At this stage of our Factory Five Racing Roadster, we're still in need of some late-model Mustang donor parts, so I was on the hunt for a fuel-pump mounting bracket and a pedal-box assembly from a '94-or-newer five-speed Mustang. While both of these items proved elusive on this trip, over the years I've returned home with a deluxe woodgrain steering wheel, low- and high-note horns, pulleys and brackets, and more for the restoration of my '66 Mustang.

I'll find the parts needed for the Roadster project soon enough. Of course, if I had the money I surely would have brought home a new project to work on from Carlisle, too. There were plenty of finds in the car corral section as well as in the vendor area, including some rough Fairlanes, Mustangs, and Mavericks buried in the back of vendor spots that needed quite a bit of work. But for those with the skills, time, and money, these cars can easily be brought back from their current state to become killer Restomods or clones. I'm sure some of them made their way to new homes-just not mine.

Carlisle Events always has plenty of activities at the All-Ford show. This year's event included a 40 Years of the Bronco display, a special display of '66-'67 427 R-code and W-code Fairlanes and Comets, Ford's complete '07 model lineup, a Ford police-car display (including a way-cool Maverick K-9 unit), as well as the huge Fun Field display with just about every Ford vehicle imaginable for your perusal. From classic Fords of the '40s to trucks, Merkurs, T-birds, Cougars, and, of course, Mustangs, you'll need all three days of the event to check them all out.

Carlisle All-Ford's big event this year was the reunion between Chief Mustang Engineer Hau Thai-Tang and Al Eckstrand, the driver of the Lawman Super Boss 429 who entertained the troops in Vietnam. As a young Vietnamese boy, Thai-Tang was influenced by Eckstrand's visit and dreamed of working for Ford one day. Now, decades later, that "boy" was reunited with the car and the man who influenced him.

Bill Goldberg, famed wrestler and host of History Channel's Automaniac TV show, is now the current owner of the Lawman Mustang and was on site for this historic reunion. Other notable guests included Stacey David from Trucks! TV, with his Crazy Horse half-cab '66 Bronco restoration, and legendary drag racer Hubert Platt.

Don't miss next year's Carlisle All-Ford show, June 1-3, 2007. It's sure to be a great one.

Here's what you'd find at both ends of the Swap Meet spectrum if you were looking for an engine for your classic Ford project.