After last year's Boss Nationals extravaganza, it would have been tough for Carlisle to pull off another show-stopping Mustang showcase. So they didn't try. Instead, this year's All-Ford Nationals, held June 1-4 at the Carlisle Fairgrounds in central Pennsylvania, highlighted the 40th anniversary of the Bronco and included a 427 Fairlane/Comet Reunion. Regardless, the lure of Carlisle, with its huge swap meet and "Fun Field" show classes, attracted the usual monster gathering of Mustang and Ford faithful. Even the wet weekend-weather forecast couldn't keep them away, although it was obvious by the large patches of green in the Fun Field that many left their cars at home.
We can't say that Mustangs were totally ignored. Perhaps the event's best attraction was the reunion between Chief Mustang Engineer Hau Thai-Tang and The Lawman Boss 429 drag car, originally built by Al Eckstrand for military tours in the early '70s and now owned by former professional wrestler Bill Goldberg.
As a 5-year-old in Vietnam, Thai-Tang was mesmerized by the sight of the Grabber Blue and blown Boss 429 when it visited his hometown.To him, it represented everything American, and even as a child in Vietnam, he vowed to someday become involved with Mustangs. Later, during the fall of Saigon, Thai-Tang's family emigrated to the U.S., where Hau earned a degree in mechanical engineering and landed the job at Ford that eventually led him to the Mustang Chief Engineer position. During the All-Ford Nationals, Thai-Tang was reunited with The Lawman for the first time since spotting it in Vietnam those many years ago.
From here, we'll let the pictures tell the story and inform you that next year's All-Ford Nationals is already scheduled for June 1-3, 2007. Let's see, a 40th anniversary celebration for the Cobra Jet would seem appropriate
Carlisle's T-Building was...
Carlisle's T-Building was mostly filled with 427 Fairlanes and Comets, but we did spot Monty Seawright's immaculately restored '70 Boss 429 as a comparative display to The Lawman drag car, also Grabber Blue.
While the pretty cars in the...
While the pretty cars in the show field are always fun to see, it's the stuff you can buy that pulls in people at Carlisle. Mike's Mustang Shop brought a trailer-load of used parts and a trio of Mustangs to sell.
Rain? What rain? Although...
Rain? What rain? Although the forecast and somewhat drizzly conditions convinced many to leave their show cars at home, the faithful still made the trek to Carlisle for the All-Ford Nationals.