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JUL 3, 2024 | Photos by Joe Deladvitch

It’s The Fascinating Fords That Make Carlisle A National Show Treasure

Shelby Cobra in Gray with Blue Stripes

CARLISLE, PA – There’s a reason fans of the annual Carlisle Ford Nationals describe it as a show experience like no other. From its sheer size to the activities and vendors, and from the myriad of displays and reunions to the special attractions – this show is a lot to take in for even the well-traveled Blue Oval enthusiast. Yes, we’ve mentioned how abundant Mustangs are at Carlisle, and celebrating 60 years in 2024 surely added to the numbers. But this show isn’t called the Carlisle Mustang Nationals – it’s the Carlisle Ford Nationals – and for a reason.Red Ford model T custom

It’s simple: There are hundreds of Fords of all years and models here – from the everyday driver to the super rare, and everything in-between. Coming through the main gate you were immediately greeted by a long row of both Ford Fairlanes and Torinos and their club tents – moving on from Montegos and Cyclones to Starliners and Galaxies.Fairlane Club

Some of these cars were finished just in time to make it to Carlisle for display. Such was the case for Robert Day, a Ford enthusiast involved in his local First State Mustang and Ford Club, who had long been working on his Cyclone Spoiler before driving it on the 300-mile round trip to Carlisle for the first time in 23 years. Like Robert, many Ford owners mark their calendars for this iconic event to debut their new projects and builds, see longtime friends and family, rally with club members and other owners, or just to come and have a flat-out good time. Overview of show field at Carlisle

Yes, Ford itself was here with a huge tent labeled on the map as the “Build Ford Proud Display,” consisting of all the latest Fords for enthusiasts to get an up-close look at and get the facts about in a relaxed car show setting instead of heading to their local dealership or browsing online. This tent was chock full of a variety of Fords including Raptors, Explorers, Mustangs, Rangers, Broncos and Mavericks – just to name a few.Ford Bronco and FP800 at Ford Display

Just outside of the Ford tent we found a gathering of Ford GT supercars. They are not a common sight and each one of them is truly a work of art. Speaking of the Ford GT, each year Camilo Pardo, designer of the ’05 Ford GT, is normally on-site walking the show field, interacting with enthusiasts and signing autographs (often along with the infamous “GT Joey”!)Ford GT in white and blue

Up the “Big Hill” at the Carlisle Fairgrounds you’ll find the Edsels and Mercurys and Lincolns next to a vast sea of Thunderbirds of every vintage. Then we’ll see rows of Falcons and Pintos. Up here are some new displays along with the locations for some of the larger car clubs. The Ford Focus club called “Focus Rising” is one of the largest participating clubs on-site. They include everything -- from the classic SVT Focus to custom builds with aero kits, bagged suspensions, and rally setups, to a row for the late-model Focus RS. The little Fiesta, Ford’s other “hot hatch,” also has a presence. You’ll even find Merkurs and Capris!Ford Trucks parked on the hill

Mavericks, both the cars made from 1970-1977 and the new compact trucks, were set up in rows across from each other – and even a group of F-150 Lightnings found their way on top of the hill. And yes, electric Lightnings shared the sunlight up there along with the SVT trucks, plus all sorts of older generations of F-100s all the way up to PN-96s and modern-day F-150’s Raptors. From trucks that were lowered to trucks that were lifted, even rows of Rangers, there was truly something for every Ford truck fan to see.Ford Lightnings first generation

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the mass of Bronco enthusiasts who came to this annual Ford party in Carlisle. There were so many of the newer Broncos that the Carlisle Events staff had to put them in a new location to get all of the years in one area. Similar to the F-Series, Broncos came an all shapes and sizes -- from Stroppe editions, Bronco Sports, pint-sized Bronco IIs, Broncos with lift kits, over-landing edition Broncos, Broncos towing campers, restomod Broncos. You name it and you could find it here.Ford Bronco customized

We’ve previously offered you a visual glimpse of the Carlisle Ford Nationals experience, and followed that with a sampling of the multitude of Mustangs at Carlisle 2024. Now we’ve asked our top-gun Ford Performance photog, Joe Deladvitch, to capture the essence of the Fords he found at the Nats this year. Take a look at some of Joe’s favorites in his photo gallery below – and enjoy!Second generation Ford LightningsFord Raptor ParkingFord Broncos at CarlisleCustom Ford Maverick at showFord Fairlane at showFord thunderbirds at carlisleShelby American displayFord Maverick at UPR displayFord Ranger Raptor