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By Bryan Redeker

Saturday morning greets us with dark clouds and the sound of V8's rumbling thru the park. There is something just awesome about huge cubic inch, high compression V8's starting up and taking off down the twisty roads in the morning. The parking lot at the lodge smells like high-octane fuel being burnt thru old school pushrod engines. Brandon and I wander down to the Fiesta and begin to clean the car, again. Parked next to us is a 2010 Taurus SHO. People all around us are wiping away the rain from their cars, and we start to do the same. The Fiesta is finally clean, and ready to move towards the show area located near the park entrance. Rain still falls from the trees as we progress thru the park. Brandon and I take position in line to enter the show around 8:30am. Just a few cars in front of us are a pair of Ford GT's. Their owners dry the cars off after their drive thru the park, and once again, we do the same. Shortly after the Fiesta is clean and dry, the next batch of rain showers moves in. We take cover in the Fiesta and have fun watching the rain sensing wipers wipe away the mess that nature is making. While we wait for the rain to end, a 2010 Mustang GT500 drives past us and heads into the show area. The Taurus SHO is soon to follow. Those are the cars we should park with, as they represent the future of the blue oval. Brandon runs up to the front of the line to ask if we can park the Fiesta with those two cars. The organizers give us permission, and a few minutes later, I move the Fiesta in the show area. We park the Fiesta next to the GT500 and the SHO. Technically, we entered the car show in attempts to win a trophy and should be parked with the "Special Interest" cars rather than with the display only cars from Ford. Brandon and I conclude that the potential loss of popular votes and a trophy is worth the opportunity to park next the new generation of Ford products. The rain stops, and we dry off the Fiesta again.

With the Fiesta looking clean, Brandon and I head back to the lodge in Brandon's Focus to pick up Jen and Sara along with grabbing breakfast. After breakfast and a heavy dose of coffee, the four of us return to the car show. Shortly after we return to the show, people begin to swarm around the Fiesta. Questions are asked about mileage, when it will be on sale, how much horsepower, what is it like to drive, and how much will it cost. To our surprise, the majority of comments and interest is from people considerably older than the target market of the Fiesta. I think Ford will be surprised with the number of buyers who are closer to retirement rather than just out of college. People loved the look of the car, and many of them are looking for something fun to drive around town. The younger crowd seemed to skip out on looking at the Fiesta, and drooled over the GT500 instead. I also noticed that the majority of people interested in the Fiesta were all people who are more towards the technical side of professions.

Engineers of all ages seemed to really want to know more about the car. A few walked away and said that their next daily driver will be a Fiesta. They have their high powered Mustangs for weekend use, but still want something fun for driving to work. They look for something that handles well, built with outstanding quality, formed out of beautiful sheet metal, and is fuel efficient. Perhaps as you mature you realize that in order to keep our muscle cars and race cars, we need something that uses a little less fuel, is better for the environment, is more responsible, takes up less space on this planet, and is still fun to drive. The less fuel we use daily, the more there is for our V8's on weekends or for the track. The Fiesta is the perfect solution; it is fuel efficient yet it makes you smile every time you drive it. The fun factor is so critical to the success of the Fiesta.

As the show progressed, the rain showers came back. Sara and Jen camped out under umbrellas behind the Fiesta. Brandon and I headed over to talk to Robert Gelardi, the lead designer of the Mustang GT500. Being a design engineer with an art background, I really enjoyed talking with Robert about his work at Ford. I hope that I may be able to work with him for the July "Art and Design" themed mission. As the rain drops became larger, we decided we better head back to the Fiesta and get things packed up. The four of us jumped into the Fiesta and waited for the show to end. Cars had began to leave, and soon we had an opening to leave as well. The show was over, and it was now time to head downtown Nashville for shopping and dinner.

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