6th Annual Aeromotive NMRA Ford Nationals Event - Motown Showdown - NMRA Milan
The NMRA Keystone Automotive Nationals Makes it Happen in Michigan
From the October, 2009 issue of Modified Mustangs & Fords
As noted in the intro, with...
As noted in the intro, with Milan in Ford's backyard you never know what the guys in the red polo shirts are going to bring out. This year Ford Racing introduced its new Boss 351 block and the '10 FR500CJ program. Most notably was the availability of official "body in white" '10 Mustangs, along with several packaged kits to build your own race car (interior, wiring, and so on).
Coming to Milan, Michigan, for the third year now, the 6th Annual Aeromotive NMRA Ford Nat-ionals brought a compacted schedule and cooler weather to the event for the first time. The compacted schedule, while surely a money saver for the NMRA, allowed local enthusiasts, as well as the racers and spectators, to enjoy the NASCAR race at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday (the NMRA event was held Friday and Saturday only this year). This meant only two days of racing, late into the evening, and only a single car show day on Saturday. We thought the reduced schedule was a great idea, and apparently so did the racers. Saturday's car show was down a bit from past events due to the threat of rain (which drizzled on us for maybe 10 minutes), but nonetheless, the turnout of cars was impressive. From '60s era muscle to the latest and greatest from Ford, there was certainly a lot of interesting Ford iron in the car show area; ably run by the NMRA's Lisa Bodrey and the Milan event's host club, the Motor City Terminators (www.motorcityterminators.org/).
Of course this also marks the third year of the Ford Racing Invitational as well. With FoMoCo right in Milan's backyard (Ford and Ford Racing have been known to come out on test-n-tune nights with products like the new EcoBoost powered Flex and the FR500CJ), it's one of the best NMRA events for a Ford fanatic to really see the newest rides coming from Ford. Not only were there a bunch of great-looking Mustangs on display for the Invitational drivers (including yours truly, but more on that later), but also an EcoBoost Lincoln MKS, two F-150 Raptors, F-Series Harley Davidson models, the new 2011 Fiesta (in UK trim), and more. If you're within a day's drive of the Milan event you owe it to yourself to check this one out, and don't forget to bring the family.
Ford Racing's black S197 "Sinister...
Ford Racing's black S197 "Sinister Minister" Mustang (which I took to the Ford Racing Invitational winner's circle last year, I might add) was sporting a rapid prototype version of FRPP's upcoming Three-Valve intake for the '05 and newer engine. In final design stages now, the intake's last hurdle is whether to make it out of plastic or aluminum. When we know more, so shall you.
Getting behind the wheel of...
Getting behind the wheel of the '10 Lincoln MKS was our first opportunity to taste EcoBoost power, and boy did it taste good! While there are only subtle differences inside and out on the car, you know what's under the hood as soon as you put your right foot down.
A quick peek under the hood...
A quick peek under the hood (engine noise cover removed here) doesn't show anything too dramatic, as the turbos are mounted down low and close to the block, but with 100 hp per liter, the EcoBoost is certainly going to liven up the Ford car (and truck) lineup.
Another new Ford we'll all...
Another new Ford we'll all be seeing more of soon is the Fiesta. A nameplate very popular in the UK, it's coming stateside as an '11 model and will be in your dealer's showroom next spring. A 1.6L engine, variable valve timing, auto or manual trans, multi-function center display, and more make the car fun to drive and economical. We spent about 15 minutes with the four-door hatch shown here, but the Fiesta is also available in a four-door sedan. If you're looking for a new daily driver next year, give the Fiesta a look.
Kenny Mahn's '65 fastback...
Kenny Mahn's '65 fastback may be all race car, but it was certainly no slouch sitting on the show car field either.
With flawless paint, great...
With flawless paint, great detail work, and a small-block dressed with two stages of direct port juice, we're sure it's scary fast too. Kenny took home the Best Race Car & Pro Street trophy and Second Place Best Body & Paint for his hard work.
For the third year now Ford Racing has invited select Mustang magazines to participate in its annual Ford Racing Invitational, where we get to beat on its products and come away with a better understanding of what it has in store for Mustang owners like you. From suspensions to exhaust, blowers to wheels, the lineup of Mustangs it had featured many of the top-selling products. Even a few '10 Mustangs were available, including a GT500. We scored this yellow '08 example (see below), wearing big brakes, suspension, GT Supercar wheels (fronts at all four corners), and the Ford Racing/Whipple supercharger. Defending our win from last year meant coming in hard and not giving up an inch, while also learning to drive a new car with 550 hp. Qualifying went down on Friday, where we got several runs in. My best light, a 0.094, put me right in the middle of the ladder, getting me in the lanes first thing Saturday for eliminations. Coming into the water box, I was lined up with Sam Abuelsamid from Autoblog.com, someone I put on the trailer last year on my way to the winner's circle. I guess that payback-is-a-you-know-what saying holds true, as I came out of the burnout and staged the yellow GT and promptly sputtered off the line when the tree came down. Turns out our failure to launch wasn't entirely my fault as I realized upon hitting the return road I had lost the serpentine belt (no power steering, water pump, or alternator). So I had no blower either and the engine didn't quite run how it should when I mashed the go pedal, screwing up my launch. At least the trophy did stay with the Source Interlink Media Tampa, Florida, office (Steve Baur from Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords went all the way this year) and we hope to get it back next year. Check out our website for more photos of the Invitational shenanigans.
Elsewhere in the vendor area...
Elsewhere in the vendor area we also spotted Scott Rod Fabrications (www.scottrodfab; (419) 704-2686). Scott Rod was displaying its line of Fox and SN-95 Mustang interior and exterior aluminum and steel panels. From rear seat deletes to bead-rolled door panels and inner fender panels to spare tire covers and inner trunk walls, Scott Rod had some interesting parts on display for race car builders and those looking for the race car on the street look. Check the website out and tell them we sent ya.
Getting over to the car show...
Getting over to the car show on Saturday we immediately spied Jason Crawford's Fox GT hatch. While the car is mainly stock with a few bolt-on goodies, what drew us to the car was the amazing paint. What you're looking at is the original Ford applied topcoat. You don't see too many Fox Mustangs wearing their original paint these days and especially in this good of condition. It just made me realize how badly my own Fox needs to be painted. Gee thanks Jason!
It's hard not think that early...
It's hard not think that early Broncos are some cool rides. Now imagine their great classic looks with the power and driveability of a late-model Mustang 5.0L engine swap and you have exactly what Randy Conway built.
The Motor City Terminators,...
The Motor City Terminators, a Mustang club catering to '03/'04 Cobra Mustangs, has been handling the NMRA car show duties for a few years now and they help make everything go smoothly day of show.
There's just something about...
There's just something about a black car when the paint is perfect and there's not a fingerprint on it that makes it look so mean and ready to pounce. The '69 Cougar of Bill Cortese is a perfect example of what we mean. With a super clean 351 Windsor underhood and the top down we can just imagine how much fun it is to cruise in this Cat. Bill's Cougar even took home the Best Mid Size Ford award.
The stealth look is always...
The stealth look is always a hit with the Mustang crowd and Eric Hayes did it up just right with his '06 GT coupe. The satin black FR500 replica wheels, wrapped in Nitto shoes, the lowered stance, blacked out fog lights, and more all make for the perfect recipe. We didn't get a chance to find out what's under the hood, but by the looks of the drag radials out back Eric must be packing something that needs 'em. Eric's GT took home a Top 20 Ford award too.
We had a little time to spend...
We had a little time to spend in the vendor area between covering the car show and racing in the Ford Racing Invitational and that's where we spotted Creative Performance Racing (www.cprracing.com; (248) 398-2397) displaying its new 4.6L Three-Valve solid billet fuel rails. These babies will hold copious amounts of your favorite fuel and will bolt right onto the factory manifold.
Modified Mustangs & Fords Editor's Choice
Andy Braden's '07 Mustang GT Coupe
When we walked up to Andy Braden's Mustang, the first thing that caught our eyes was the custom upholstery. It's easy to bolt on a cold-air induction kit, or a brake package and a set of 20-inch wheels, but we get a little disappointed when the interior remains untouched (we feel the car should be modified as a whole, not just power, or just handling, and so on). Even back in the Fox Mustang days we'd see all sorts of power under the hood, suspension mods of all manners, yet the stock gray Fox interior. So we were already excited to see the nice upholstery work and other interior bits when we started talking to Andy, only to find out that as a person of young age, he's paying for the GT and all of the mods himself.
Sure, pop had to co-sign the loan, but Andy is responsible for the monthly payments, maintenance, insurance, and so forth, and he finds a few extra dollars in his paycheck from time to time to modify his baby to his liking. Speak-
ing of mods, Andy's pretty much worked his GT from fascia to fascia with body upgrades (such as head-light splitters, wing, chin spoiler, hoodscoop, stripes, and more), suspension enhancements, and a set of Enkei LS-5 wheels that set the car off just right too. There's even more under the hood where you'll find custom airbrush work, a cold-air kit, Midwest Composites strut covers, a body color intake cover, and other subtle mods. But don't take it from us. Besides our Editor's Choice award Andy walked away with the show's Best Interior trophy. See, we weren't the only ones who noticed Andy's interior!