Event: Fall Florida AutoFest 2015

0 Carlisle Fall Florida Autofest 2015 Featured

Fun in the Sun

Carlisle Events brings an auction, a car show, and much more to Florida

By Steve Turner

Most SVTP readers are familiar with the Carlisle Ford Nationals held in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This is but one of many automotive events hosted by Carlisle Events in its hometown. However, back in 2013 the event company expanded into Florida hosting an auction and show in Zephyrhills, Florida (you’ve probably had the water from this town). The events were so successful they outgrew the facility, and this year company moved to the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, which is best known for hosting the Sun ’N Fun, the second largest airplane fly-in gathering of its kind.

Known for its popular Sun ’N Fun Fly-In, the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Florida, made for a great new location for Carlisle Events Fall Florida AutoFest. Held from November 11-15, this event featured an auction, car show, car corral, swap meet, motorcycle stunts, helicopter rides, a Smokey and the Bandit display (featuring Burt Reynolds himself) and more.
Known for its popular Sun ’N Fun Fly-In, the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Florida, made for a great new location for Carlisle Events Fall Florida AutoFest. Held from November 11-15, this event featured an auction, car show, car corral, swap meet, motorcycle stunts, helicopter rides, a Smokey and the Bandit display (featuring Burt Reynolds himself) and more.

A new location called for a new moniker. As such, the expanded automotive gathering is called the Fall Florida AutoFest, and it took place from November 12-14, with a kickoff event in downtown Lakeland, Florida, on November 11.

Like its predecessors, the centerpiece of this event was the Carlisle Auction, which ran on Friday and Saturday. It featured over 400 vehicles up for sale, and 120 of the higher end rides were displayed in airplane hangars, while the remaining vehicles were gathered outside. Among the vehicles for auction was a strong contingent of vintage Ford hardware, though we did find a few modern examples for sale, including a Shelby GT and widebody GT500.

There weren’t many modern Ford performance rides on the auction block, but we did come across this 2007 Shelby GT. It had 80,000 miles, a new clutch and a set of Chip Foose wheels.
There weren’t many modern Ford performance rides on the auction block, but we did come across this 2007 Shelby GT. It had 80,000 miles, a new clutch and a set of Chip Foose wheels.

There weren’t just high-end rides for sale at auction, however. The event featured sprawling car corral where vehicles of all makes and models were for sale. We spotted several interesting Fords in that group, including a sharp ’81 Mustang coupe, a SN-95 with crazy custom body work, a Fox drag car, and more. It was a lot of fun to window shop in the corral.

While the auction and corral certainly provided cars to ogle, there was a car show too. For those that weren’t looking to sell, they could enter their cars in a number of judged classes. In the general population there were a few Mustangs, but the critical mass of high-performance pony cars was in the Team Shelby show area. It not only offered a look a solid group of GT500s and other Shelby rides, but the owners and spectators had a front row seat for the motorcycle stunt show too.

There were a good number of Fords for sale in the car corral, and we couldn’t help but stop to check out this unique SN-95 Mustang. Dubbed Snakebite by owner Mark Brown, this car features a ton of custom bodywork, most of which were fabricated from steel. It wears widened fenders, shaved door handles, a widened trunk, custom grilles, and more. It also has four racing seats, a Steeda shifter, a set of Steeda handling springs, and a custom audio system.
There were a good number of Fords for sale in the car corral, and we couldn’t help but stop to check out this unique SN-95 Mustang. Dubbed Snakebite by owner Mark Brown, this car features a ton of custom bodywork, most of which were fabricated from steel. It wears widened fenders, shaved door handles, a widened trunk, custom grilles, and more. It also has four racing seats, a Steeda shifter, a set of Steeda handling springs, and a custom audio system.

Yes, there was a lot going on at the Fall Florida AutoFest. From helicopter rides and motorcycle stunts to a Russian boat motivated by an aircraft engine and a robust Smokey and the Bandit display highlighted by the appearance of legendary actor Burt Reynolds, this event offered a little something for everyone.

While this was the first event of its kind at the Sun ’N Fun facility, look for Carlisle Events to head south again for the Winter Florida AutoFest, which runs from February 25-28, 2016.

If you love four-eyed Foxes, this was an exciting find. Said to be one of 71 automatic coupes built with the 4.2-liter V-8 under the hood, this red Fox has just shy of 62,000 miles on the odo, and it was in really great shape.
If you love four-eyed Foxes, this was an exciting find. Said to be one of 71 automatic coupes built with the 4.2-liter V-8 under the hood, this red Fox has just shy of 62,000 miles on the odo, and it was in really great shape.
Only lightly modified with an Airaid cold-air intake, this Triple Yellow GT shows it’s hard to go wrong with the latest Mustang. Even with its stock appearance, this S550 stood out in the crowd.
Only lightly modified with an Airaid cold-air intake, this Triple Yellow GT shows it’s hard to go wrong with the latest Mustang. Even with its stock appearance, this S550 stood out in the crowd.
We are so used to attending Fordcentric events that we felt a little out of place until we found Team Shelby club’s robust display area. It was awash in GT500s and Shelby GTs. Many had aftermarket upgrades like Whipple superchargers, and there were even a couple of high-end Super Snakes on the property.
We are so used to attending Fordcentric events that we felt a little out of place until we found Team Shelby club’s robust display area. It was awash in GT500s and Shelby GTs. Many had aftermarket upgrades like Whipple superchargers, and there were even a couple of high-end Super Snakes on the property.

Fall Florida Autofest 2015 Gallery

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