Mustang Shines Bright at the Biggest Carlisle Ford Nationals Ever

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Carlisle All-Ford Nationals Mustang

Nearly 3,200 Ford vehicles were on display and the mighty Mustang was the star of the 60,000-spectator show.

The 2019 Carlisle Ford Nationals were held on the weekend of May 31 through June 2 and this year’s holding of the all-Blue Oval event was the biggest to date. There were 60,000 spectators and 3,196 registered vehicles on the event grounds, with examples of almost every vehicle that the Motor Company has produced, but as is always the case at any all-Ford show, the Mustang was the most popular model on display.

In fact, the Mustang was one of the official featured vehicles, with special displays that showcased the Fox Body models and the rest of the Fox platform, as well as the Mach 1 and the Boss. As a result, the Mustang was the most populous vehicle in the show field but it was also the star of many of the inside displays.

Carlisle All-Ford Nationals Mustang

The Car Show

If you are a fan of the Ford brand and you have never been to the Carlisle Ford Nationals, it is something that you want to put on your bucket list. Held each year at the Carlisle Fairgrounds in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the heart of this event is the gigantic show field with literally thousands of vehicles lined up side-by-side as far as you can see. The vehicles are arranged by model, leading to rows and rows of Mustangs, F-Series pickups, Rangers, Thunderbirds, Fiestas and vehicles from both Lincoln and Mercury as well.

If you can name a Ford Motor Company model, the odds are good that you will see one at the Carlisle event and if it is a popular model, you are likely to see dozens of them. It really is an amazing experience for any Ford fan, but if you are a Mustang lover, the Carlisle show is particularly impressive.

While the bulk of the vehicles on display are in the huge show field, there are a handful of buildings on the grounds that are reserved for special vehicles. This year, those indoor displays were devoted to the Mach 1, the Boss and the Fox Body models, both the Mustang and non-Mustang.

Swap Meet, Burnouts and More

While the gigantic car show is the heart of every Carlisle event, there is much more to the Ford Nationals. There is a huge swap meet area with all sort of items for sale, ranging from parts to collectables to whole vehicles.

Carlisle All-Ford Nationals Mustang

There is a manufacturer’s midway area with all sorts of products available for sale and there is a Ford Motor Company display, giving attendees a chance to check out the newest models. Both Roush and Saleen also had their new models on display, so you could check out the entire range of the modern Mustang, from the stock EcoBoost model to the built aftermarket packages.

Carlisle All-Ford Nationals Mustang

Mustang Chief Engineer Carl Widmann was on hand to introduce the crowd to the new Shelby GT500, giving everyone a close-up look at will eventually be the most powerful factory-built Mustang ever.

Carlisle All-Ford Nationals Mustang

In addition to looking at cars while parked, you can drive, ride-along and watch a variety of Ford products in action. The Motor Company had a test drive area as well as a thrill ride area, there was an autocross area and, like most Carlisle events, there was a big burnout competition and a mobile dynamometer.

Finally, the town of Carlisle, Pennsylvania has small events during the weekend, including plenty of cruising around town with car shows and cruise-ins all over the place.

Carlisle All-Ford Nationals Mustang

We have selected just a few pictures from the Carlisle Ford Nationals from the official Flickr account, but if you have a bunch of time to kill at the end of your work day, grab a drink, click this link and enjoy 1,600-plus pictures of the vehicles on display this past weekend in Pennsylvania. After looking at these pictures, it will be clear that you need to get to the Carlisle Ford Nationals. If you live too far away, book a flight, a hotel and a rental car so that you can check out one of the biggest all-Ford events in the world. The 2020 event is held June 5 – 7 and you can find all of the information that you need by clicking here.

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"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

"Although I went to college for accounting, my time in my dad’s shop growing up allowed me the knowledge to spend time working as a mechanic before getting my accounting degree, at which point I worked in the office of a dealership group. While I was working in the accounting world, I continued racing and taking pictures of cars at the track. Over time, I began showing off those pictures online and that led to my writing.

"Ten years ago, I left the accounting world to become a full-time automotive writer and I am living proof that if you love what you do, you will never “work” a day in your life," adds Rall, who has clocked in time as an auto mechanic, longtime drag racer and now automotive journalist who contributes to nearly a dozen popular auto websites dedicated to fellow enthusiasts.

"I love covering the automotive industry and everything involved with the job. I was fortunate to turn my love of the automotive world into a hobby that led to an exciting career, with my past of working as a mechanic and as an accountant in the automotive world provides me with a unique perspective of the industry.

"My experience drag racing for more than 20 years coupled with a newfound interest in road racing over the past decade allows me to push performance cars to their limit, while my role as a horse stable manager gives me vast experience towing and hauling with all of the newest trucks on the market today.

"Being based on Detroit," says Rall, "I never miss the North American International Auto Show, the Woodward Dream Cruise and Roadkill Nights, along with spending plenty of time raising hell on Detroit's Woodward Avenue with the best muscle car crowd in the world.

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