Over 3,000 Fords converged on the Carlisle Fairgrounds
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Carlisle Events
What happens when you combine beautiful weather with an amazing collection of Ford hardware? A lot of people show up to take it all in. In fact, this year’s Carlisle Ford Nationals—which was held June 3-5 on the fairgrounds in Carlisle, Pennsylvania—was said to be the biggest yet. Not only did it outdo last year’s car show participation, but the promoters report that this year’s installment was double the size it was back in 2001.
To get an idea of the scope of the event, watch this cool drone footage of the fairgrounds…
And here’s a little recap from our friends at Ford Performance…
What made this year’s event extra special was a 10-year reunion of the Ford GT, which brought out an amazing array of hardware from prototypes to race cars. Seeing that many GTs in one spot was definitely a draw. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Shelby GT350, so Ford brought out the latest GT350 and GT350R to wow the crowds.
“The Carlisle Ford Nationals will give Ford and Shelby fans an up-close look at our Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT350R models,” Jim Owens, Shelby GT350 marketing manager, said before the event. “These cars are true to the balanced performance that the late Carroll Shelby engineered into every car he built. I have no doubt Ford Mustang and Shelby fans at the Carlisle Ford Nationals will find these cars to be among their favorites at the show.”
It’s hard to argue that, but going way back, this year is also 60th anniversary of the Thunderbird, and there was as big collections of Thunderbirds on the property, including a rare stainless steel ’Bird. There was even a gathering of Mercury Merkurs, so there was a little something for everyone at Carlisle.
What separates Carlisle from your average car show is major involvement from Ford. Not only did the Blue Oval show off a host of new vehicles, but the company also let attendees drive some of them at the Ford Go Further Ride & Drive Experience. And, if you already had a car on site and wanted to add some Ford Performance Racing Parts to it, you could have them installed at the Ford Performance garage.
We’re not sure what Carlisle Events has up its sleeve to top this year’s event, but if you’ve never been to this show, you need to add it to your bucket list, because it’s a Ford fan’s wonderland.