With over 1,600 cars and 8,000 people in attendance, the 33rd Annual Fabulous Fords Forever is one of America largest one-day car shows. The weather was perfect, and once again Knott’s Berry Farm was the ideal family-friendly location for the car culture extravaganza. The Shelby American area was a crowd favorite, showing off beautiful Shelby machines both new and old including this 1967 GT500 Mustang.
2018 Fabulous Fords Forever Photo Gallery
First generation Ford Broncos are extremely hot in the collector car market, with interest and prices rising rapidly. There were over 80 Broncos on display including Tom Watts’ rare and beautifully restored 1972 Baja Bronco by Stroppe, which was a special model that celebrated the Baja 500 and 1000 wins of Bronco racer Bill Stroppe. The red, white and blue model was built from 1971-1975 and about 500 were made.
These days everyone is Ford GT crazy, but in the early 1970s you could walk into a Lincoln-Mercury dealer and buy a DeTomaso Pantera. The Italian-bodied, mid-engine supercar was powered by a 351 cubic inch Ford V8 and cost about $10,000 bucks. This 1974 Pantera was originally sold in North Hollywood and has lived its entire life in Southern California. Today it belongs to Craig and Nancy Cline.
From 1982-1993 the California Highway Patrol used notchback 5.0-liter Mustangs for pursuit. The CHP bought 2508 Mustangs from Ford, and a handful were on display at Fabulous Fords Forever, including the very first “Special Service Package” 1982 Mustang ever which is now owned by Mike and Margie Del Puppo. The car is equipped with a 157 hp V8 with a Holley 2-barrel carburetor and a 4-speed manual transmission.
One of Ford’s greatest muscle cars of all time is the 1970 Torino Cobra with the huge 429 cubic inch V8. Three versions of the engine were offered that year, one with 360 hp, the 429 Cobra Jet with 370 hp and the 375 hp 429 Super Cobra Jet. Ford only built 7,675 Torino Cobras in 1970 and only a handful got the 429 SCJ with the optional Shaker hood scoop and a 4-speed like this one.
Larger than the Ford Mustang with a 3-inch longer wheelbase, the 1968 and 1969 Mercury Cougar are some of the most beautiful two door coupes to ever come out of Detroit, with their clean lines and distinctive covered headlamps. This beautifully restored example is powered by a 302 cubic inch V8 backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. Its American Racing Torque Thrust wheels are period perfect.
Modern Ford performance doesn’t only mean Mustang. The Ford Focus has its following and there were quite a few modified examples on display, including turbocharged ST models and this Ford Focus RS, which features 350 hp and all-wheel drive. Modifications include its hood, front spoiler and larger wheels.
One of Ford’s first sexy muscle cars was the 1968 Torino GT. Although its fastback roofline was not only appealing on the street, it was more aerodynamic for Ford’s NASCAR racers on high-speed oval tracks. Several engines were offered including the new 428 Cobra Jet. This clean example is powered by a modified 390 big-block and a C6 automatic transmission.
Built from 1999-2004 the second generation of the Ford F-150 SVT Lightning was a muscle truck powered by a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 with 360 hp, which was pumped up to 380 hp in 2001. This all original example is one of just 1,601 painted black in 1999.
You see everything at Fabulous Fords Forever, including Pintos. This has to be one of the best preserved Pintos in the world. Completely stock including its faux wood trim, slotted wheels and plaid upholstery, this 1976 Ford Pinto was a time warp back to leisure suits and Captain and Tennille.
There were about 30 Thunderbirds displayed at the event and one of the rarest was this 1957 T-Bird with the desirable supercharged engine. Identified by the F-code in their identification numbers and referred to as F-Birds, these T-Birds were powered by a 300 hp 312 cubic inch V8 to rival Chevy’s Corvette. Only 205 were produced.
There were over 1,000 Mustangs on display, including convertibles, big-blocks and fastbacks, but this is how most Mustangs were sold in the mid-1960s. Owned by Rafael Valez of Northern California, this Mustang coupe is an early first year model (technically a 1965, but referred to as a 1964 and a half) powered by a 260 cubic inch six-cylinder.
To celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Steve McQueen movie Bullitt, Ford has created the 2018 Mustang Bullitt and McQueen’s son Chad was in attendance to promote the car and his father’s legacy. There were also a few Highland Green Bullitt Mustang replicas on display including this 1968 fastback that belongs to Mike Rhoades, a member of the SoCal Bullitt Club.
This year also marks the 60th anniversary of the Edsel and the very first Edsel (VIN #1) was on display. But our favorite was this red 1959 Edsel Corsair convertible that Paul Cella brought out from nearby Monterey Park, Ca.
To celebrate 90 years of the Model A, many were displayed including Ed and Patty Cote’s beautifully restored 1931 Deluxe Phaeton. The car was purchased new in Anaheim, CA and layed disassembled for 40 years before the Cote’s purchased it in 1991 and refurbished the classic.
Another anniversary celebrated at this year’s event is the 70th birthday of the Ford F-Series pickup. Classic pickups have become very collectable and one of our favorites at this year’s show was this 1977 F-250 Ranger XLT powered by a massive 460 cubic inch V8.
One of the most legendary high-performance Mustangs ever is the original Boss 302 produced in 1969 and 1970. Rival to the Chevy Camaro Z28, Ford built these so they could race them in the SCCA Trans Am Series. They were all powered by a special 302 engine that revved high and made 290 hp. They were all 4-speeds and fastbacks.
Every variation of Mustang was there to see at the family and dog friendly event, including several 1972 Boss 351 Mustangs. This is a rare one year only model powered by a special high-performance version of the 351 cubic inch V8. All were 4-speed and fastbacks and they are coveted by collectors today.
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of Ford’s legendary 428 Cobra Jet engine, which powers Pete Mendoza’s 1969 Mustang Mach 1 fastback. With 335 hp this was one of the quickest cars on the street in the summer of love and Mendoza’s looks great with the shaker hoodscoop, optional rear window slats and rear spoiler.
In 1989 the 5.0-liter Ford Mustang was again one of America’s meanest muscle cars. The legendary “five-oh” V8 was available in the Mustang GT and the LX like this clean example, with a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. These cars are quickly becoming collectable along with other muscle cars of the era like the Chevy Camaro IROC and the Buick Grand National.
Today’s Ford Mustang was also well represented with one of the most radical being this heavily modified example with its tattoo-like finish and lowered stance.
The How Low Can You Go Award goes to this 1970s vintage F-Series pickup. It suspension uses air bags to lower the truck when parked. It’s easily raised up to cruise down the road.
Carroll Shelby’s widow Cleo Shelby, as well as motorsports legend Linda Vaughn, were in attendance and signing autographs. There were also more than a few Shelby Cobras on display, some authentic and some recreated by Superformance. It’s still one of the sexiest cars every created.
Although born with a 289 cubic inch small-block, this Dark Moss Green 1967 Fastback Mustang is now powered by a built 428. This was one of favorites at the event with its old school street machine stance and spun aluminum American Racing wheels.
You can’t have a Ford show in California without a California Special Mustang. This limited edition model was sold only in California in 1968 and this beautifully restored example belongs to Donna Culwell.
This is a rare car. The 1968 Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II Dan Gurney Special was a one year only model built to improve the coupe’s aerodynamics for racing. Similar to the Ford Torino Talladega, the Merc got an extended nose, flush grille and other modifications to help it cheat the wind on NASCAR’s superspeedways.
Ford roadsters and coupes from the 1930s were the original hot rods, and Jim Steele’s 1931 Model A looks tough without its fenders and hood. The engine is 454 cubic inch big-block Chevy. Hey, there are no rules in hot rodding.
When most people think of Shelby Mustangs this is the car they picture in their minds, a 289-powered 1966 model. This faithful replica of that legendary model is owned by Brent Warner. Modifications include an R-model front bumper and Torque Thrust wheels. Perfect.
It ain’t a Ford show without Eleanor. Star of the 2000 Nicholas Cage remake of Gone in 60 Seconds, these heavily modified 1967 (or 1968) fastbacks remain extremely popular. This one is powered by a modern 5.0-liter Coyote V8 from a 2018 Mustang GT.
Our favorite Mustang II at the event was this exceptionally clean coupe, which will take you right back to Charlie’s Angels. Ford sold a gazillion of these from 1974-1978, but they are rare today, especially in this condition.
Several examples of Ford’s supercar, the Ford GT were on display. This one in the massive Galpin Auto Sports tent drew a constant crowd. The twin-turbo, mid-engine monster has a carbon fiber body, 647 hp and a top speed of 216 mph.