If there's one sure way to categorize whether or not an event is on a national level, it would be to look at how far an enthusiast will travel to attend it. That said, with Ford F-100 fanatics driving across country from as far as California, Oregon, and Washington to attend the 29th annual F-100 Supernationals held for the fourth year in a row at Chilhowee Park from May 17-19 in Knoxville, Tennessee, we'd definitely say Pat Ford's Effie affair is at the top of the charts.
For 2007, attendance was down ever so slightly in comparison to last year, but considering 2006 was the year dedicated to celebrating the "deuce" of all classic trucks, the '56 F-100's 50th birthday, along with gasoline prices at an all-time high, this year's turnout was not bad at all. One thing that was better than last year was the weather-we didn't feel a drop of rain all weekend.
So, how many Ford trucks were there this year, one might ask? Well, it was kind of hard to get an accurate number, but we counted approximately 900 F-100s cruising by while we were having a quick cheeseburger hanging out with Truckin's Mark Halverson. Mark is one of those guys who really does his research before he shows up for an event. He went on to tell us that the F-100 Supernationals have a local economic impact of $1.1 million. No matter how one slices it, that's a lot of cabbage. Although there was also a fine assortment of restored 8 and 9N Ford tractors on display, we weren't there to cultivate cabbage; nope, we were there to shoot trucks. And shoot trucks we did, with 12 truck features in the bag, including Alvin McCoy's F-1 Of The Year award-winning Candy Apple Red '48 F-1. We acquired enough really great Ford features to run in every issue until we return next year. For more information about next year's F-100 Supernationals, call 704-872-7327 or log onto www.f100supernationals.com.