Attending Fabulous Fords Forever blasted me back to my past, and my dad's Sunday religion of hand-dry Turtle waxing his coveted Ford Mustang. It was a scarlet red 1989 Mustang 5.0 Turbo GT. When I was a kid, I never understood why he labored so much over the care of his cars, but what do we know as kids? I had to get to know my dad in order to truly appreciate and foster my own love for cars.
You see, my dad migrated to the United Sates in 1978 with only a few $100 in his pocket. 12 years later, he owned a mint condition, all original powder blue 1973 Mercedes Benz and a beautiful, cream 1979 Monte Carlo. But his most coveted car was his 'Pony' aka his '89 Mustang. “Why dad?” I asked. He responded that it was as American as cheeseburgers - a symbol of the American dream, and that he was living it.
His pride and dedication shined in the mirrored reflection of his hood. Which brings me to the excitement I had in experiencing the nostalgic overload of Fabulous Fords Forever. Touted as "the largest Ford car gathering in the West," proud owners displayed over 2100 Ford vehicles - taking you on a journey through the history, stories, and personalities of America through Fords.
If you don't know about Fabulous Fords Forever, it's an annual event held at Knott's Berry Farm; exhibiting a car lovers piece of American history and pride: Fords, Fords and more Fords. This year marked the 28th anniversary of this massive gathering...and it's FREE for spectators!
Gray skies loomed that early Sunday morning, but the reliable California sun shone perfectly off the waves of freshly waxed Ford machinery. I saw Cobra Rs, original Shelby Cobras, a Saleen S7, 1941 custom hot rods, and Shelby GT500's.
One of my favorites was the actual 2005 police Mustang S281 playing Barricade in the blockbuster movie Transformers. Direct from the museum, it was a pleasure to see this car, a rare prototype by Saleen being just 1 of 3 built. Barricade was an extreme LAPD-style black and white cruiser with all the usual police strobes and LEDs. To top it off, the car even had the infamous Decepticon badge markings, "To Punish and Enslave"!
I can tell, you want more details...It had a 4.6-liter 8 cylinder modified 3 valve 335hp engine, black leather interior, carbon fiber front and rear diffuser, modified body panels, and 20-inch black wheels.
All-in-all, Fabulous Fords Forever was an incredible day. It was a heavy serving of American car culture and a nostalgic journey to my childhood. Something my dad, and any other car-loving father, would have reveled in.