AutoMatters & More: “Fabulous Fords Forever,” Disneyland, Disney California Adventure & “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2”

“Fabulous Fords Forever”

Now in its 32nd year, “Fabulous Fords Forever” is one of the largest car shows in America. It proudly celebrates all things Ford at Knott’s Berry Farm. Presented by more than 200 volunteers from 46 member clubs of the Ford Car Club Council, with support from the Ford Motor Company, this year’s show featured the Shelby Cobra (55 years), Mercury Cougar (50 years) and flathead Ford V8 (85 years).

Also present were Broncos, Thunderbirds, 1932-1959 Fords, Falcons, over 1,000 Mustangs, Crown Victorias, and F-Series, SVT Lightning and Raptor trucks.

Exhibitors included Ford Racing, Shelby, Roush, Saleen and many other companies.

Sébastien Bourdais (sbourdais.com) – IndyCar driver and co-driver of the winning Ford GT from the 24 Hours of Le Mans (June 2016) and the 24 Hours of Daytona (Feb. 2017) – signed autographs next to the Ford GT racecar.

In the parking lot, after the show ended, I spotted a bright yellow Panoz AIV Roadster – a rare, Ford Mustang engine-powered two-seater convertible that, at first glance, looks sort of like a Plymouth Prowler.

The owner of this one had an interesting story to tell. He happened to see it at an auction several years ago, liked it a lot and decided to bid on it. Luckily for him the other bidders dropped out before he exceeded his maximum. However, that was just the beginning of his story.

Once, while on a drive, he gave it too much throttle, fishtailed and did what looked like relatively minor damage to the aluminum unibody. Fortunately he had full insurance because the repairs ended up costing around $30,000 and took over a year to complete. In the process he learned that to repair extremely limited production specialty cars may require highly specialized skills and processes, along with extremely rare parts.

At the end of the day I watched as the Ford GT Le Mans racecar – with virtually no ground clearance – was carefully rolled off of its raised turntable platform and towards a waiting truck.

Disneyland & Disney California Adventure

The car show was only about three miles from Disneyland. Since I have an annual Disney passport, can you guess where I went next? By the time I had dinner and arrived at the parks it was after 8 p.m. How much would I be able to see and do before they closed?

First I took a selfie in front of the Cars Land sign at California Adventure, to email to some friends. Then I sped over to Disneyland to watch the fireworks show from Main Street USA. Next it was back to California Adventure, where I caught most of the “World of Color” water show. Then I hustled back to Disneyland, where I scrambled up the train station stairs to watch the “Main Street Electrical Parade.” But wait, no trip to the parks would be complete without taking some rides, so I went on “It’s A Small World,’ the “Storybook Land Canal Boats” and “Hyperspace Mountain.” By the time I left the parks to drive home to San Diego it was almost 1 a.m. That was a very full day.

“Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2”

Like the original, “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” is a visually spectacular, action- and laugh-filled adventure-fantasy film with epic galactic battles. Nostalgia includes a Ford Mustang II and a high-energy soundtrack played from a mix tape on audiocassette. Fans of Stan Lee will be delighted to learn that he has not one but two cameos.

Peter Quill/Star Lord, Gamora, Drax and, of course, Rocket inject large doses of irreverent humor into their new mission to save the galaxy. Baby Groot is endearing in his blissful innocence and his three-word vocabulary (“I AM GROOT” – a phrase with seemingly infinite meanings that appears with translations in the closing credits).

Whereas the imaginative characters and their breathtaking, vividly colored galaxy were new and different and marvelous the first time around, is this new story enough to recreate the magic of the original’s box office smash hit? Decide for yourself when “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” opens in theaters everywhere on May 5, shortly before the May 27 opening of the “Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT” attraction at the former site of “The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror” ride at Disney California Adventure.

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Copyright © 2017 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #487

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