37TH FABULOUS FORDS FOREVER SHOW MAKES MOST OF NEW HOME AT IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY
IRWINDALE, Calif. – Having finally found what appears to be a sustainable long-term home, the truly world-famous Fabulous Fords Forever (FFF) show is charging handily through its fourth successful decade. The basic tenets of the event don’t significantly change much, but they without question evolve – and substantially. There are always new Ford brand or related anniversaries to mark and celebrate, and new classes or vehicle categories to add. What began many years ago as a one- or two-celebrity autograph session has become among Triple F’s most popular attractions, this year with more than a dozen icons of the Ford-O-Sphere. Oh, hey, and why not throw in drag racing too?
Anniversaries and birthdays? FFF ’23 marked some big ones: like 95 years of the seminal Ford Model A, replacing the founding-father’s Model T in 1928. Can it really be 55 years for the Cobra Jet models and engines? Yes, and looking mighty fine in middle age, they are. And of course the loveable Ford marque that everybody loves to pick on – Edsel, which is now officially eligible for Social Security, by turning 65. For a brand that was less than a notable success, and only lasted three years in the marketplace, it is significant that everyone remembers it, and that we properly honor it all these decades later.
As you can imagine, it takes a large and supportive village to make all this happen; Ford is of course the underlying, major supporter, as are the 34 member clubs of the Ford Car Club Council, plus a plethora of aftermarket sponsors. Ford indicated that 878 enthusiast entered cars were pre-registered, plus a smattering of those appearing in dealer and vendor booths and Ford’s own awesomely curated display – so by any measure, there’s likely near a thousand Ford, Ford-branded, Ford-powered, or in other ways Ford-related and significant hardware on display here. Plus lots of food, things to see, do and buy if you wish – it’s for sure a family friendly deal; bring your sig others, your parents, your kids, your friends, your dog – all are welcome and will be surprised and delighted by so much to experience.
That used-to-be single-table autograph lineup has become a Ford Heros’ Hall of Fame, all with pen and handshakes handy for a line that easily stretched 100 yards, to include: Racing champions Al Joniec, John Calvert and Larry Knapp; legendary engine builders Ed Pink and Butch Englebrecht; speed equipment pioneer Ed “The Camfather” Iskenderian; Shelby alumni Jim Marietta, Mike Donovan and Ted Sutton; off-road icon Willie Stroppe; Saleen CEO Steve Saleen; and “The First Lady of Motorsport,” Linda Vaughn. All the site of many selfies taken and made.
Oh yeah, and now drag racing. Irwindale Speedway is a perfectly formed stadium-style racing facility built primarily around a pair of short-track ovals – and it also contains a properly equipped eighth-mile drag strip, replete with burnout box, X-mas tree lights and traps, plus large digital scoreboards that display each lane’s reaction time, overall ET, top speed, and the winner.
Some 85-90 cars of all stripe were pre-entered and registered for the run-what-ya-brung eighth-mile straight-line running — from serious, fuel-burning, not-in-any-way street legal drag machines to pickups, V-8 Pintos, and even a few old Grand Marquis and LTD coupes running smogger 302’s. The grandstands were properly packed for this new FFF event, which was crowd popular and appeared to happen virtually hitch free. We fully expect to see this aspect make more appearances at the event in future years.
You can keep in touch with the classes, happenings, dates and news for next year’s Triple F at https://www.fabulousfordsforever.com/