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JUN 26, 2024 | By Joe Deladvitch

A Multitude Of Magnificent Mustangs Help Power Attendance Records For Carlisle Ford Nationals

Carlisle Ford Nationals Mustangs

CARLISLE, PA – It’s quite likely that for most people, merely saying the word “Mustang” conjures up thoughts or images of Ford’s iconic pony car. And for good reason. Ever since its memorable debut at the New York World’s Fair on April 17th, 1964, there’s really been nothing quite like it in the automotive world – other pony-car wannabees notwithstanding. More than a million Mustangs were sold after just 18 months on the market – and Ford’s better idea never looked back as it’s been galloping its way into buyers’ hearts ever since. Mustang has retained its legion of fans for six decades, surpassing the 10 million mark back in 2018 and now entering its seventh generation with the S650 platform that debuted for the 2024 model year. Perhaps it should be no surprise then, that celebrating 60 years of the Mustang this year had helped the Carlisle Ford Nationals set yet another record for its 2024 mega show.Shelby Mustang at Ford Display

Indeed, the Carlisle Ford Nationals has done a fantastic job each June highlighting the Mustang in every possible way, drawing a variety of models that keep Mustang fans coming back year after year. There is every generation of Mustang on display at this event -- from the earliest “1964-1/2” models all the way up to the 2024 Dark Horse. And it’s not just about seeing Carlisle’s 60th Year Anniversary display tent with one of all 60 model-years shown. We’re talking about seeing a multitude of Mustangs in just about any direction you look on the Carlisle Fairgrounds show field – this year surpassing some 3,500 Fords! Yes, this is an All-Ford nationals, but it’s now to the point that over half of the cars in attendance here are Mustangs.Mustangs on display in Ford Area

In the middle of this year’s show field we found Shelby GT350s and GT500s. Out toward the hill, past the Manufacturer’s Midway there was a wide variety of S197, S550, and S650 Mustangs. Here you could see all the colors from so many Mustangs glistening in the summer sun. Walking through all the rows of these fifth-, sixth- and now seventh-generation Mustangs, you’ll soon notice that no two cars are exactly the same. Some are stock and some are special editions, while many others have aftermarket modifications to better personalize these Mustang for their owners. That’s because to them, a Mustang is not just a car but an extension of an enthusiast's unique personality. With the 1974-78 Mustang II’s celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2024, there was an entire tent full of rare and remarkable second-gen Mustangs for fans to see, leading up to a big II reunion in Detroit this coming August.Concept Mustang on display

Newly introduced at Carlisle was a section for RTR owners to display their custom-built Mustangs, over near both the 03/04 Mach 1 models along with the newest-generation Mach’s. In Building T, we were treated to a “Mustang Legends” display packing the entire structure with rare, one-off and even prototype Mustangs. Here you could find a pair of Mustangs called “The Going Thing” -- one being a drag racing car and the other more of a street version. There were Boss 429s, Boss 302s, Cobras, Saleens – all meticulously taken cared for by their owners. The biggest attraction was the 1963 Mustang II Prototype, a pure museum piece out of Detroit that is rarely seen. The Duncan Brothers brought out their FrankenBoss Mustang, which is their twist on a retro-styled Mustang which started life as a 2012 Boss 302 Laguna Seca. And right next to the FrankenBoss was Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s own RTR- X, flanked by a custom-built 65 Mustang named “Blizzard.”Custom 1965 Mustang

On the opposite end of the grandstands, the show field was packed with a mix of older SN95’s and the ever-popular Fox-body Mustangs, which had what seemed to be the largest group of cars on display this year. There were pace cars, drag racing builds, custom street cars -- someone even swapped Tesla power into a Fox-Body! No matter what model of Mustang, generation, engine size, rarity, modifications -- you name it, the Carlisle Ford Nationals was the place to be to see them all – including all the first-gens and the 71-73 big horses.White 60th anniversary Mustang

It’s clear at Carlisle that no other company celebrates its cars as much as Ford does with the Mustang. And it’s easy to see that the Mustang clubs and the collector car hobby itself is what keeps Mustang’s lasting legacy going strong. In our attempt to live up to round two of our yearly challenge of capturing the essence of the Mustang footprint at Carlisle, Ford Performance dispatched its top-gun photographer, Joe Deladvitch, to provide you with a glimpse of the Mustang action through his camera. Check out some of his favorite shots in his photo galley below:Ford Mustang Dark Horse
Monroe Mustang
RTR Mustang in BlackOverview of showfieldMustangs at CarlisleMustangs at CarlisleMustangs at CarlisleMustangs at CarlisleMustangs at CarlisleMustangs at CarlisleMustangs at CarlisleMustangs at CarlisleMustangs at Carlisle