All Fords 2016 // 8.6.2016
I actually can't remember what this show was called, exactly, but it was exclusive to Fords. When it comes to domestic brands, I am most definitely a "Ford guy." Not that I really discriminate, I like several cars from GM and Chrysler as well - I was seriously looking into getting a Dodge Magnum a year ago before the size and weight of the thing got to me too much. Ford, though, has always inspired the most passion in my eyes. Mustang is iconic to people all over the world. GT40 dominating Ferrari at Le Mans four years in a row back in the day was without question a monumental mark in automotive history. And while they were oddly never sold in America... or maybe it's not so odd, I've always thought Americans have kind of poor taste in motorsports, but the entire family tree of RSs has been pretty successful in rally racing. I'm trying really hard to ignore Ken Block right now. I really don't like what he's done to today's car "scene."
I'm pretty pleased with how these photos came out, considering the camera used. They were taken with a Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 that I had picked up this past winter. Before, I had been borrowing a Nikon D6 DSLR and using it very poorly. I wanted a point-and-shoot camera simply because I could use something easy to carry with me often, 'just in case,' and the Galaxy has enough features (it's really kind of amazing) that I figure it's a good springboard for me getting more serious about photography. Start with something simple that offers manual adjustability on key settings, and get comfortable with that before buying myself a real camera and learning full-manual and lens customization. Can't lose, right?
Naturally, the show was primarily Mustangs, so not as many photos were taken as I would have liked for a show of its size. And yet, there were a few cars I was really not expecting to see that more than made up for the monotony. Maybe you'll actually learn something from this event, as well...
Immediately upon entering, I'm presented with this gorgeous 68-69 fastback done up in a bit of a pro touring fashion, with Baer calipers and some aftermarket suspension work. I couldn't get over this red though. Absolute cherry.
A Mustang meet's not a Mustang meet without at least one Bullitt car. This one was was even factory-correct as a 390 fastback. There were also a couple Ford-official 'Bullitt edition' fourth- and fifth-gen Mustangs as well. If you've never seen Bullitt, the famous chase with the Charger is the only part worth watching. Not only does the Mustang not have any other real presence, but the whole film is pretty dull. At least in my opinion. Vanishing Point, the original Italian Job and Gone in 60 Seconds, Two Lane Black Top... all very good films even without focusing on the cars.
The Shelby GT-H. A car that, in spirit of the GT350H program of yore, Ford and Hertz started renting out in 2006 knowing full well it was going to get beaten on. Although this time around, they more carefully scrutinized the car before and after each rental. I think the Shelby only had about 25 more horsepower than a standard GT, so they didn't really have to worry about customers swapping the engine with their own Mustang GT this time around. After so many miles, the rental cars were sold at dealer auctions for the public to consume. This owner has scoffed at keeping it original and belted on a centrifugal supercharger.
The nose of a GT500KR, complete with carbon fiber splitter.
Sadly, at this point, "Super Snake" in plain English still loosely translated to "too much horsepower and not enough suspension." With the normal Mustangs finally getting an independent rear end, it'll be nice to see what Shelby does to make a modern Super Snake corner.
My personal 'best of show' winner. A bit surprising, considering I'm not a huge fan of the '65-'66 body style; it just looks a little weak next to the toughened up lines of the '67 and '69. But import or domestic, I absolutely love the raw look of '60s and '70s racers. The meaty tires on old-fashioned wheels, the way the headlights usually have some sort of covers over them, no metallics or pearls in the paint, little to no chrome. The overall look has a personality really lacking in today's racing. There's definitely a certain romance in the more dangerous days of motorsport. If I ever have the chance to own a first-gen fastback, I'd go after this look myself.
A pair of Boss 302s in a couple of the loud colors the S197 brought back to market.
One surefire way to make sure your car gets more attention than anyone else's is to give it some room, and that's exactly what happened to this GT. Though I was surprised to find this was the only GT there. I've seen at least three or four others at the Denver Concours d' Elegance in the last few years. A row of almost half a dozen Ford GTs in different colors would have been quite a sight. This is easily up there as one of my top dream cars.
Just a cool, clean '67 coupe on classic Magnum 500 wheels.
If you've ever wondered what the deal was with the fifth-gen GT/CS "California Special," it harks back to this, the '68 California Special. The GT/CS was a dealership program exclusive to California that made just over 4,000 limited edition Mustangs, 251 of which were made available in Colorado as the High Country Special - I don't know if I've posted it up yet, but I've shot one of those as well, so look out for it in one of the older Fort Collins Old Town shows! Old or new, this is a simple appearance package, with the classic car having the bonus of receiving Thunderbird taillights.
In 1970, Kansas City, Kansas residents were offered up 96 examples of a "Twister Special" Mach 1, which not only included cosmetic enhancements, but significant optional upgrades to the engine and suspension as well. The Twister also saw a couple later revivals, with the third- and fifth-gens.
Roush 427R. They gave the iconic 427 nameplate... to a 4.6L (281c.i.). Ugh. 435hp is pretty respectable, but still. Just no.
'70 Torino Cobra.
Matching second-gen Falcon and Ranchero duo, both rocking classic Cragar (or Cragar style) wheels.
This car was a real education for me. It's a Kelly Python. More or less a re-bodied Fox Body Mustang. Originally, the car was thought up in the '60s by Ford for Shelby to use as something of a second-gen Cobra, but the two companies split up and the idea was dropped. Then in '81, Alvin Kelly, with Ford's support, obtained the old prototype bodies and did what he could to put the car into production. Few were actually made, and only seven are known to exist today. What's especially fascinating, at least for me, is that they were built in Fort Collins, Colorado, a city I lived in for eleven or twelve years, and I was completely oblivious to the fact. I'm still in the area, so one of these days I'll have to take a personal field trip and ask around to find the exact building they were built in.
Thunderbird beauty through the ages. You know, there were about four of the new-age T-birds in that line. At the time, I was thinking, "eh, I see those on the road all the time, I don't need a picture." But now, I regret them not being included in this grouping.
Another, more classic, Shelby King of the Road.
The Denver cops turned out to show off some old cruisers. I swear I had a couple Hot Wheels versions of this Ford when I was little. Ah, those were the days...
"GT350 Tribute Edition." I'm honestly not sure what to think of this. It looks cool, no doubt, but I did some quick digging and it sounds like Shelby may have run a program from some time in the late '90s up until the end of 2004 where you could put together your own tribute car - I assume using genuine Shelby parts - and get it certified by Shelby himself to become an official "Tribute Edition." I know Tatsuru Ichishima of Spoon Sports does something similar with Hondas, where if you have enough of their parts catalog on your car you can submit it to receive a sort of special VIN tag with a unique model number. So is this Mustang something special? Is it simply considered a domestic equivalent of a ricer with a bunch of fake parts tacked on? I don't know.
The Mystichrome Cobra of legend. Supposedly, if a Mystichrome car ever needs something such as a paint touchup, a man from Ford corporate has to be sent out with a can of paint. He verifies if your car is indeed a Mystichrome chassis, the work is done, and the guy takes any left over paint with him back to Ford. I can only assume before leaving he puts on a dark pair of sunglasses and flashes you and the painter with a large chrome pen light, and you go on with your life forgetting your car ever had a door ding.
The simple way to cheat this if you don't have a Mystichrome Cobra is to paint your Mustang one of Nissan's three shades of Midnight Purple... I forget which one is the multi-color shift, but it looks just like this.