For Immediate Release
Carlisle All-Ford Nationals is a Real Crowd-pleaser
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
CARLISLE, Pa. – Whether you came to the All-Ford Nationals to see your favorite Bronco during the 40th Bronco anniversary, or to see the new GT 500 on display or to bring your own car to a packed show field, the June 2-4 event was a huge success. The all-Ford weekend was loaded with plenty to see and do.
The biggest show-stopper of the weekend was the touching reunion between former drag racing legend Al Eckstrand and Chief Mustang Engineer, Hau Thai-Tang. Eckstrand made three tours to Viet Nam with his Lawman team during the early ‘70s to show off the fleet of muscle drag racing cars and to help build troop morale. During one of his visits, his ’68 Boss Mustang, The Lawman, was viewed by a five-year old Thai-Tang. The boy was so taken with the car that he vowed when he grew up he would be involved with the Mustang. Thai-Tang’s family emigrated to the U.S. during the fall of Saigon. Fast-forward almost four decades. The two men have never met and Thai-Tang hasn’t seen The Lawman since Viet Nam. He did go to college and earn a degree in mechanical engineering and landed a job with Ford Motor Company, where he rose to the position of Chief Mustang Engineer. Thai-Tang oversaw the creation of the new GT-500. On Saturday, the two men met for the first time and were joined by Bill Goldberg, former WCW wrestling champ and a car-guy in his own right. Goldberg is the new owner of The Lawman. After several moving speeches by all three guests, Eckstrand was presented with the keys to a replica of his former Lawman.
Stacey David, former host of the TRUCKS! TV show joined the Blue Oval faithful to sign autographs and show off his Crazy Horse Bronco that he built on the show. One of his latest projects is the re-building of Ted Nugent’s Zebra Bronco. Stacey David will make a return visit to Carlisle during the All-Truck Nationals August 4-6.
Other celebrities and attractions such as drag racing stand-out Hubert Platt, Boom Box Granny, The Rocket Car and a collection of police vehicles from around the country were on hand to make the All-Ford weekend the place to be if you were a car enthusiast.
Fords, Mercurys and Lincolns of various years, makes and models through the decades could be seen on the show field. Activities throughout weekend entertained all ages. Numerous competitions were held as well.
Theresa Payne of Shenandoah Junction, WVA, who came to the All-Ford Nationals with her husband and two sons, won the title of Miss All-Ford Nationals and $500. The winner of the burnout competition Bernie Kiser from Windber, PA., smoked the competition in his 1977 Ford Bronco. In the Wing-Eating contest, Nelson Garnes of Etters, PA scarfed 25 hot wings from N. Hanover Grille, the quickest to win the prize.
The Merkur Club of America won the trophy for having the most club members at the event, representing Ford’s German marque with more than 100 members and cars to help celebrate the Merkur. This is the second year in a row that they have taken the trophy.
One of Carlisle Events’ vendors, Bill Carberry of Hicksville, NY, won the best prize of the weekend, the choice of a 1991 Mercury Capri or $5,000 given away by Carlisle Events. Carberry elected to take the cash, quipping “that will pay my way back to the All-Ford Nationals for the next few years.”
Next year’s All-Ford Nationals takes place June 1-3, 2007...
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Journalist note: Information about Carlisle Events, its event listings, auction offerings and the Carlisle Expo Center is available to journalists by phone:
717-243-7855 ext. 133
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