The World Ford Challenge, known as "WFC" to those who've attended over the years, is an event designed to allow those who participate to put down their differences-be they class rules in drag racing or class segregation on the show field-and just enjoy being a Ford fan.
At the WFC, you'll find everything from screaming drag cars to high end show queens and everything in between. There's also no shortage of goodies to be had in the huge vendor midway with over 200 vendors. You want a Ford T-shirt? They've got it. New rims? You'll find those there as well. There are even fully built crate motors ready to roll out to the family truckster. There's also a swap-meet section for those hard-to-find or obsolete items, or for those looking for a bargain for their budget build. If you need it, and you have the money, you can probably find it at WFC.
For the 10th anniversary event, the promoters of WFC, World Race Events, moved it from its long-standing home in St. Louis' Gateway International Raceway to O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. This allowed the WFC staff to plan the entire event in a much more participant- and spectator-friendly format. Gone are the days of walking long distances to reach the Auto Show from the race pits. Further improvements this year included numbered parking spaces for the Auto Show participants. With more than 70 classes, it surely helped.
If you like Ford-powered racing, then WFC is an event to put on your list of must-do events for 2008. Using multiple classes and rule tweaks, WFC is the place to see Mustangs and other Fords that usually run in different venues (NMRA, NMCA, PSCA, and so on) all together and running against each other. If you missed this year's event, be sure to keep an eye out for next year's dates.
Lynne Benedict of Stewartville,...
Lynne Benedict of Stewartville, Minnesota, carried the classic Mustang flag deep into rounds during the WFC's Open Comp racing action with her 347-powered '66 hardtop. Lynne went four rounds-a single on the first round and trailering two late-model Mustangs in the second and third rounds-before being sent packing by the '88 Mustang of Dave Helser in the fourth round. Lynne pushed it just a bit too far, running a 10.707 on her 10.72 dial in at 124.81.
Jason Moulton's sweet ride...
Jason Moulton's sweet ride of a built-for-business '65 Fairlane packs a 331 stroker and easily yanks the fronts clear of the racing surface. Jason, of Ravenna, Ohio, clicked off a 9.82 on his 9.87 dial in, putting him out of the action in the first round.
Another Wild Street participant,...
Another Wild Street participant, Brent Foster of Wheatley, Ontario, Canada, got everyone's attention during qualifying in Wild Street with his '62 Fairlane and its retina-searing paint job, powered by a stout 377 Windsor based on a Dart block and topped with Trick Flow heads, a ProCharger F2 blower, and FAST EFI. Unfortunately, when it came time for eliminations Brent's 'Lane had mechanical difficulties, putting him on the trailer early for the ride home.
While we unfortunately didn't...
While we unfortunately didn't spy any contact info on this ultra-straight '63 Galaxie 500, the teardrop hood, 427 badges, dropped stance, and wheels make for a killer look. We have to give kudos to the owner for building a sharp restomod while retaining the big Ford's heritage and styling.
While walking the Auto Show...
While walking the Auto Show field (sponsored by Mustang & Fords and our sister magazine Mustang Monthly), freelance lens man Paul Rosner spotted the Ringbrothers-built Kona Mustang, now owned by custom gun-builder, Ford racer, and collector, Les Baer.
We're fans of the little Sunbeam,...
We're fans of the little Sunbeam, and we see quite a few at cruise nights and the occasional autocross. It has been ages, however, since we've seen one tackle the 1,320, especially with such fervor as Jerry Porsen's super-clean '66 Tiger in WFC's Wild Street class. Jerry, of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, stuffed a 347ci powerhouse under the bonnet of the little Tiger, which gives the lightweight British bullet typical times in the low 10s at 130 mph. (Man, we can't wait to take our Factory Five Roadster project to the strip.) Jerry put up a valiant effort, but he went out in the second round.
Another ride (with no owner...
Another ride (with no owner in sight) that really caught our attention was this stylish '69 Torino GT fastback, complete with C-stripe, split bench seat, and original GT rims and caps. In our opinion, Ford really knocked the style out of the park with these swept-back bodies.
We published a picture of...
We published a picture of Dale Mahoney's '69 Mach 1 last year from our NMRA Joliet, Illinois, coverage because we were impressed with the use of the relatively new BBK SSI intake manifold for an EFI setup. Apparently, Dale's Mustang caught the eye of Mr. Rosner as well, since he snapped this pic and forwarded it to us for our coverage. The Mach 1 is dressed to impress with a Boyd's red and black two-tone paint scheme. The drivetrain consists of a transplanted 5.0 with a BBK SSI intake on top of Edelbrock aluminum heads, a Tremec T-5, and a Lincoln 9-inch with 3.50 gears.
Mustang & Fords Editor's Choice
Dick Cerame, Florissant, MO
'69 Torino Cobra
It's not always easy to pick an Editor's Choice ride at a show, especially one as big as the World Ford Challenge. It becomes even more difficult when our esteemed colleague Paul Rosner is on site and describing the top cars over the phone while I cover a different event nearly 1,000 miles away. After Paul rattled off a few really nice-sounding rides and I listened to his comments on the cars, we narrowed it down to three, finally choosing Dick Cerame's '69 Torino Cobra.
Dick, of Florissant, Missouri, is the parts director and customer relations manager for Paul Cerame Lincoln-Mercury. He bought the Torino-which is a real Cobra with a numbers-matching 428 SCJ
Drag Pack-in 2003. The car was straight and relatively rust-free, but it had a multitude of mechanical problems. As you can see, Dick has it in top shape now.
The three-mile-deep black topcoat may as well have been a tuxedo because Dick's car is certainly dressed to impress with those trick American Racing Wheel Shop Trak Star custom wheels (17x8 front, 17x9-1/2 rear) covering Wilwood stoppers. The suspension includes fairly stock hardware-and-spring package with QA1 shocks at all four corners, while the steering is assisted by an RRS rack-and-pinion setup. The rack took a little extra work due to the big-block and headers, but Dick is happy with the outcome.
Under the hood beats the distinctive thumpety-thump of a 428 FE with all the trimmings. Here you'll find Edelbrock Performer heads, Performer RPM intake, a Holley HP 950 four-hole fuel sprayer, and quite a bit of spit and polish. Backing up the stout beast of an engine is a built C6 with a TCI Super Street Fighter torque converter, which multiplies the 428's judicious torque into a 3:89-geared 9-inch that shreds the pavement via a pair of Nitto super-sticky NT555R P275/40R17 Drag Radials (P245/45R17 Nittos are up front).
The interior is in pristine, stock condition with the addition of a brace of Auto Meter Phantom gauges to monitor the vitals underhood. Dick also mounted his MSD 6AL under the dash for heat protection and quick rev-limiter adjustments.
Dick (left) brought his uncle...
Dick (left) brought his uncle Doug Geno (right), who hasn't been out to see a drag race or car show in years, to the WFC X event for some family fun. Dick says his uncle had a great time and told many memorable stories that weekend. Isn't that what it's all about?