Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
August 20, 2010

The name has changed but the game is the same. Known as the All-Ford Nationals for the past 15 years, the annual June event at the Carlisle Fairgrounds in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, has been rechristened the Carlisle Ford Nationals thanks to a stronger partnership with Ford Motor Company. Otherwise, nothing has changed-it's still the same great event with a huge Showfield, Invitational Display, special reunions, manufacturer midway, car corral, and the giant swap meet.

Mustangs weren't as prominent at this year's event, held June 4-6, with feature status going to the Cougar Nationals, F-100 Explorer Reunion, and the Ford Euro Garage with Merkurs and Capris. However, the Cobra Jet Display celebrated the legendary CJ race cars with a special collection of mostly Mustangs, from '681/2 to the '08 and '10 cars from Ford Racing. The cars were scheduled for exhibition runs, piloted by 1960s drivers like Sam Auxier Jr. and Al Joniec along with former Director of Ford North American Motorsports Brian Wolfe, at nearby Quarter Aces Drag-O-Way on Friday night, but the event was canceled due to a monster thunder storm rolling through the area.

The Showfield, however, was Mustang central. Registered cars topped the 2,400 mark, not quite a Carlisle Ford Nationals record (2,600) but an improvement over last year's recession-hampered turn-out. As usual, the majority of show cars were Mustangs, dominated by late-models (a trend at every show these days, it seems) with plenty of nice '65-'73 vintage cars mixed in. Carlisle Event manager Rick Markko told us that the Manufacturer Midway was larger than ever with displays by Mustang-related companies like Mustangs Unlimited, Christiana Muscle Cars, TMI Products, MRT, Cervini's Auto Design, and Ford Racing, which set up its Mustang Garage for parts installs by a crew from Fred Bean's Ford.

Pony Trails 2010
Finally, the weather cooperated. After several years of rain, threatening rain, or blinding fog, the Friday morning of Carlisle 2010 dawned with bright sunshine and over 125 cars for our annual Pony Trails cruise from CJ Pony Parts, located on the east side of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It was great to pull into the CJ complex at 8:00 a.m. to see Mustangs packing the parking lot.

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As usual, the guys at CJ Pony Parts were great hosts, providing a T-shirt for each participant along with coffee and doughnuts while they perused the gathering cars or shopped in the CJ showroom. Our thanks to CJ service manager Bill Tumas, who planned the route through beautiful Pennsylvania countryside as we made our way to a park just outside Carlisle. Bill also led the cruise in his '96 Cobra that has been fitted with a supercharged drivetrain from an '04 Cobra.

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