Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
March 10, 2017

When it comes to automotive events, it’s all about the weather. If it’s raining and cold, chances are, no one’s going to show up. That’s also true if it’s 100-degrees outside. Either extreme is going to have an impact on attendance. Therefore, during the winter you’ll find more events in the south compared to the north. During the winter months much of the north is cold, and suffering through dreary, snowy weather. In the south it remains relatively mild, which is why events don’t stop. When it’s cold up north, events abound down south, and when it’s blazing hot down south, we head north to escape the sauna.

Carlisle Events is more known for its plethora of shows taking place in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. However, the organization has branched out, or should we say, south to allow even more events to take place under the Carlisle name. This past weekend we had the opportunity to attend Carlisle’s Winter Florida Autofest Lakeland, which took place at SUN ‘n FUN in Lakeland, Florida. The Winter Florida Autofest had a swap meet, car show, manufacturer’s midway, and an auto auction.

At the Carlisle Winter Autofest Lakeland, Mustangs in all shapes and sizes were represented in the car show area. Here is a Saleen Mustang next to a pair of Shelby GT500s.
Terry Molin had his 2003 Cobra at Carlisle Winter Autofest and his Cobra makes north of a 1,000 rwhp on race gas, thanks to a Coastal Dyno-built single turbocharged combination.

Actually, there were two car shows at the event, and one was all Mustangs, thanks to Imperial Mustangs of Polk County. The Mustang club hosted the Mustangs and Mustangs show on Saturday where owners could have photos of their Mustangs taken with a P-51 Mustang airplane. Thanks to the SUN ‘n FUN location, one could take a ride in a variety of aircraft, ranging from a World War II-era Stearman Bi-Plane to a Bell-47 style helicopter like the ones from the TV Show M*A*S*H (Ask your dad or grandfather about that show). The auction, like the Carlisle car show, featured cars of all makes, and there were plenty of Mustangs crossing the block.

The next Carlisle event is back up north for the Spring Carlisle show April 19th – 23rd.

We found Caleb Barton’s black 2001 Bullitt in the Imperial Mustangs of Polk County show section at the event. The well-presented car was in the Mustangs and Mustangs show, which was a Saturday-only event as part of the Carlisle Winter Autofest. The Mustangs and Mustangs show was formerly held at Fantasy of Flight in nearby Polk City, Florida. However, that venue is undergoing new construction, which left Imperial Mustangs looking for a new home. Carlisle Events was happy to provide a place for the show to continue.
Here’s where it all started for most of us car guys, and girls. Our favorite aisle at any department or toy store was the one with the Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars (For some of us, it’s still our favorite aisle). At the Carlisle Winter Autofest, you could recapture your childhood dreams, or introduce your son or daughter to the world of Hot Wheels, and set them on the same path.

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