On Friday, June 4 through Sunday, June 6, a record-breaking 3,241 Ford vehicles spanning the company’s production history descended on the Carlisle fairgrounds in Pennsylvania. Dozens upon dozens of Broncos were showcased, including two 2021 Broncos –– 4-door Rapid Red Badlands and a 2-door Race Red Wildtrak, a 2021 Sport, and a bevvy of Stroppe Bajas.
“I was honored to play a role in organizing this first-of-its-kind event,” says Peroni. “I was happy to see Stroppe Baja owners and enthusiasts from all around the country attend what turned out to be the largest gathering of Bill Stroppe vehicles probably since the Baja Bronco ended production in 1975.”
Besides the Baja Broncos themselves, Stroppe paraphernalia was present, from the 1965 cabover transporter and pit support trailer to the Limited Edition Sail Ford Balloon Chase vehicles.
“Drew did an incredible job with the Stroppe display, and seeing all those Bajas in one place at one time was just incredible,” said Todd Zuercher, author of “Ford Bronco: A History of Ford’s Legendary 4×4” and classic Bronco expert. “In addition, seeing the restored Stroppe tractor/trailer and Stroppe race Jeep together in public for the first time was a very special experience for me.”
Bronco fans were able to get books signed by Zuercher, and he held a walking tour of the Stroppe Reunion Display.
“One of the great things for me was meeting people in person that I’ve corresponded with via email, etc., for 20 years or more. It’s always great to put a face with that email address or username. I enjoyed being able to share some of the Bill Stroppe story with a group of about 30 people on Saturday afternoon. Having Willie Stroppe, Joel Silverstein, and Andrew Norton there to help tell the story was a real treat!”
More Classic Broncos, Multiple Discussions
With those dozen-plus Baja Broncos whetting attendees’ appetites, they could then stroll down the midway for more fill. Duane C., of Bronco Wild Outdoors, took in the sights with his son: “We aren’t just anticipating getting our new Bronco; I think deep down we’re anticipating getting back to freedom. I know there is no better vehicle to do it in 2021 than the Ford Bronco.”
Walkarounds and seminars focused on the all-new Bronco took place, and custom builder Gateway Bronco discussed its Innovators Scholarship with Team Shelby.
Parts for Sale and a Parade
If, by some chance, attendees needed to rest their eyes on other items, they could do parts shopping –– or browse a little more than just that: Cars, tools, memorabilia, collectibles, and more were also for sale in the world’s largest Ford Automotive Flea Market, and the Manufacturers Midway hosted some of the latest and greatest products.
One more event draw specific to Bronco fans was the parade through downtown Carlisle, led by Ford officials showing off the new products, and the accompanying street party.
“Attending the largest Ford show in the world, in itself, was absolutely amazing and a bit overwhelming,” said Zuercher. “There was so much to see and do, and I felt like I didn’t even scratch the surface during the two days I attended.”
Make Plans: 2022 Carlisle Ford Nationals
It’s a good thing then that the largest Ford show returns next year! Start making plans for the 2022 Carlisle Ford Nationals: June 3-5. Registration for the event is already open.