Shelby American is bringing the Carroll Shelby Centennial Tour to the Carlisle Ford Nationals in 2023. This tour features a factory display, members of the international club, and will bring two new vehicle introductions to the Carlisle Ford Nationals. The only way you can see this is to be at the Carlisle Ford Nationals June 2-4.
Each year, the Carlisle PA Fairgrounds hosts Ford fans from across the country and more than 3,200 vehicles on the National Parts Depot Showfield. In addition to the impressive cars and crowds, the weekend includes displays, special themes, and automotive celebrities.
“The world is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the great Carroll Shelby’s birth this year,” said Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American. “The Carroll Shelby Centennial Tour will honor him at the Carlisle Ford Nationals with an amazing display of our Shelby Super Snake, Shelby Cobra roadster and supercharged muscle trucks. Last year, over 500 Team Shelby members joined us at the event and we’re asking them to return for our two vehicle introductions planned specifically for the Carlisle Ford Nationals. It will be a memorable weekend!”
Born on January 11, 1923, in East Texas, Carroll Shelby is one of the great American success stories. Racecar driver, WWII “Flying Sergeant”, philanthropist, automotive entrepreneur, and racing team owner, his ingenuity, tenacity, and grit made him a winner throughout his life.
Ford fans are most familiar with the man’s exploits after the 1959 Le Mans-winning driver established car company Shelby American in 1962. His first car was the Ford small block powered Shelby Cobra roadster, which he promptly took racing on the drag strips and road courses of the world. It was followed by the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, which won its class at Le Mans in 1964. Shelby American captured the FIA world sportscar racing championship the next year, the only American carmaker to ever do so. In 1966, the Shelby American team won the 24 hours of Le Mans overall, making Carroll Shelby the only person to win it as a driver, team owner and manufacturer.
Shelby American also offered a big block Ford motored Shelby Cobra and a series of high-performance Ford Mustangs during the 1960s. Over the years, Shelby has continued to offer sports cars, powerful trucks, and muscle cars. Many of those vehicles will be displayed at the Carlisle Ford Nationals, including the company’s current vehicle lineup.
After the successful introduction of a concept vehicle at the Carlisle Ford Nationals last year, the Shelby team elected to return and unveil two limited edition vehicles. The first will be the public introduction of a Shelby car at 1 PM ET on Friday, June 2 inside Building T. The second introduction will announce a Centennial themed vehicle on the outside stage at 3 pm that same day. Both events are open to the media, as well as anyone attending Ford Carlisle.
“We are honored that Shelby American has chosen the Carlisle Ford Nationals as its host location for these special unveilings,” said event manager Ken Appell. “This event is recognized by many as the best of its type and its annual growth would not be possible without our guests and partners like Shelby American. I can’t thank the Shelby American team enough for being with us and I encourage you to make your way to Carlisle next month, not only for these historic unveilings, but to experience first-hand THE biggest all-Ford themed car show in the world.”
Team Shelby will again swell the attendance at Carlisle as it enters the Carlisle Fairgrounds on June 2 in a grand parade. The club will have its own hospitality area and encourages Shelby owners to attend with their vehicles as part of the festivities. Gary Patterson, along with Team Shelby International Director Tracey Smith, will be part of Ford’s Youth Initiative, which is intended to inspire young people to enter the automotive industry.
Ford Motor Company returns to Carlisle in 2023 with their midway display, product experts, and planned stage walk-arounds and info sessions. Guests at Carlisle can speak directly to those responsible for the design and creation of their favorite Ford vehicles during most hours of the event. In addition, Ford weekend at Carlisle welcomes special themed displays, including those showcasing SVT, Coyote powerplants, the Lightning, the Malaise Era and more. Further, the annual Ford Nationals Select Display returns to Building Y, offering a glimpse of at least a dozen vehicles unique to the history of Ford.
The cars and trucks at Carlisle don’t just show, they go too. There are multiple wheels-in-motion competitions planned, like rolling burnouts and donuts presented by Atturo Tires, a rolling exhaust contest, and even some track time with the Real Street Shootout (autocross). Select special displays will also transition from parked to rolling for on-grounds parades, while the Downtown Carlisle Association presents its annual Ford Downtown Parade, Park and Party on Saturday, June 3.
The Carlisle Ford Nationals is actively taking registrations for the Showfield, vendor registrations for the automotive flea market, and selling discounted spectator tickets in advance of the June 2-4 offering. Learn more about the competitions, special displays, and get involved today by calling (717) 243-7855 or online at CarlisleEvents.com.