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JUL 10, 2024 | By Joe Deladvitch

Reunions, Anniversaries The ‘Secret Sauce’ That Adds To Carlisle’s Recipe For Success

Foxbody Mustangs lined up at Carlisle

CARLISLE, PA – We’ve covered some of the main attractions of the annual Carlisle Ford Nationals show, and while the cars are the stars here every year, there’s also something the Carlisle Events staff adds to their recipe for success. That’s the multiple vehicle anniversaries and reunions that are celebrated within each Ford Nationals event. There were some obvious ones for 2024, such as celebrating the 60 years of Mustang with owners gathering Mustangs from every year of production and all 7 generations under one tent. But another notable “reunion” this year was the big tent displaying the “50 Year Anniversary” of the Mustang II. Multiple rare Mustang IIs were on display, including Terry Sullivan’s 1978 2+2 with only 1,300 miles on the ticker! (And yes, the car looks as if it had just rolled off the assembly line.)Mustang II

There were also anniversary displays for the Mustang SVO. Ford’s Special Vehicle Operations department was responsible for creating the Mustang SVO, a limited-production run of Gen 3 Mustangs sold from 1984-1986. There were less than 10,000 examples ever built. These were tweaked Fox Body Mustangs with turbocharged 2.3L Lima I-4 engines and other upgrades that were a draw to enthusiasts. Today’s EcoBoost Mustang with its turbocharged four-banger could be considered a descendant of the SVO from 40 years ago.Tent with y-Block models

For longtime Ford motorheads, Carlisle also staged the “Y-Block Reunion.” For those who don’t know, The Y-Block refers to a long-skirt engine used in Ford cars starting back in 1954 that replaced the famed Flathead V-8 and is now marking its 70th birthday. The Y-Block-powered Fords made a huge impact on the performance car and hot rod scene throughout the 1950’s and into the early 60‘s. Timeless race cars such as the 1957 Thunderbird that did 204 mph on Daytona Beach were on display side by side with Ford Customs and Tudors and several classic gassers, just to name a few. In the Carlisle spirit, the staff wanted to celebrate such a milestone in hopes of gathering as many Y-Block-powered cars as possible in one location, as well as the multiple nameplate anniversaries they were able to include throughout multiple displays.Ford gasser

The big display buildings on the Carlisle Fairgrounds, known as Building T and Building Y, housed many rare, one-off, and prototype Mustangs. And you couldn’t help but notice the ample number of Boss 302s, Boss 429s and Fox Body Mustangs on-site throughout the entire show this year. These were not recognized as reunions, but the gatherings were notable. “Chocolate Fox” partnered with several Fox Body clubs from around the area as well as Retro Stangs to hold a big cruise-in and a grand meet-up, almost like a family reunion.Prototype Mustang

Just as we’d done previously with the other attractions at Carlisle, we asked our star Ford Performance photographer, Joe Deladvitch, to make his way through the anniversary and reunion displays to show us through his lens why these are considered the secret ingredients that adds to Carlisle’s annual success. We hope you enjoy his gallery below!Ford Mustang in yellowOrange Mustang IIFord station wagon white and greenFord thunderbirdWhite Ford Mustang IIGrey Ford MustangOrange Mustang IIMulticolored Ford Mustang Boss 302sJohn Clor speakingBuilding T2024 Ford Mustang60 years stripes

 

FORD PERFORMANCE PHOTOS / COURTESY JOE DELADVITCH