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12th Annual Carlisle All-Ford Show - Northern Exposure
There was Something For Everyone at the 12th Annual Carlisle All-Ford Show
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.
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.
If it's parts you're looking for, Carlisle's Swap Meet area is sure to have them. We spied everything from complete project cars to the smallest trim parts and from N.O.S. to barely usable, we noted examples of it all. Don't think for a second it's all Mustang parts-it's not even all car parts in the Swap Meet area. Several vendors were on hand with tools, restoration supplies, die-cast vehicles, toys, and more for your garage, den, or game room.
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Probably one of the most interesting and talked-about cars of the show was this ultra-rare '64 Galaxie 500. A Z-code 390, it was purchased new by Zachary Reynolds, grandson of tobacco heir R.J. Reynolds. Zachary loved powerful cars and owned Hemis, 427 Fords, Cobras, Shelbys, and big-block Corvettes. But the 390 just didn't do it for him. First came a Latham supercharger, but he still was not satisfied, so he added the most unique performance part I've ever seen-a Turbonique Gear Axle Rocket. This device was basically a rocket with a one-way sprag that, when activated, put 1,000 extra horsepower directly to the rear axle. Rumor has it that Zachary used it only once (and probably needed to change his undies afterwards). Eddie Krusch currently owns the Galaxie, and there's no word from him if he'll ever "kick the tire and light the fire" with this bad boy. There's some interesting information on the Internet about Turbonique if you care to search for it.
As we often do at shows we attend, Mustang & Fords had the honor of bestowing an Editor's Choice award to a Fun Field participant. We chose Steve Marks' '61 T-bird, custom built by Carlisle Customs & Classics (www.carlislebodyshop; 717/258-1313), just down the street from the fairgrounds. The black-over-silver paint was flawless on Steve's car, and the Foose wheels looked great, too. Other custom touches include a Vintage Air system and custom one-off digital gauges.
Mustang & Fords is also invited to attend Carlisle's Fun Field Celebrity Luncheon every year, and part of the festivities is that all celebrities in attendance (and trust me, I think I'm far from a celebrity) get to pick their favorite car of the whole show. While it is certainly an honor to be invited, it is a huge burden looking at well over 2,000 cars and choosing just one. The number of trips back and forth to the top 10 or so cars and trying to decide is mind-numbing, but ultimately I chose Kevin and Lisa Cornell's '70 Cougar Eliminator clone. Like my own Mustang, it's bathed in a perfect shade of gold with a spotless black interior, and the modifications under the hood and the aftermarket wheels round out the whole package.
This year our Associate Publisher, Sandy Patterson, joined Mustang Monthly Editor Donald Farr and myself at the Fun Field Celebrity Luncheon. Sandy's pick was Bill Vincent's '65 Mustang convertible. As a big fan of classic looks with modern nuances, Bill's Mustang was right up Sandy's alley. It's one sweet cruiser with Randall's power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, Wilwood four-wheel disc brakes with a dual reservoir power booster, tilt wheel, Dakota Digital gauges, modern-style air conditioning, and Hanline power windows. All the great looks with all the conveniences-Sandy wouldn't have it any other way. Congratulations to all of the show's winners! We'll see you there next June.