After witnessing rows upon rows of vendors, two huge car shows, and race pits full of NMRA Ford Nationals and NMCA participants set against each other, we firmly planted a pushpin into our calendar to make sure we wouldn't miss the Second Annual Motive Gear NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing, presented by Nitto Tires in 2007. With each side battling to the finals, then the winners from each class in the NMRA pitting themselves against the similar class in the NMCA, the racing was fast and never-ending all weekend. Last year, the NMRA put enough wins on the board to take the overall victory between the two sanctioning bodies, and this year the NMRA made it two for two, taking home the big win again.
Unfortunately, other travel plans prevented us from being in Joliet, Illinois, this year, so we relied on our NMRA freelancer Paul Rosner to pinch hit for us. His usual thorough job and great photography made us feel like we didn't miss any of the action, but who are we fooling? There's nothing like the smell of race gas and burning rubber, the sound of a high-winding small-block or brutish big-block going through the gears, and let's not forget all the eye candy in the car show. So, job well done, Paul-but we plan on being there next year. We can't miss this event two years in a row, and neither, dear readers, should you.
Bright and early Saturday...
Bright and early Saturday morning, the car-show attendees idled through the gates and took their spots in the Laurel Mountain Mustang All-Ford Auto Show. Before the judges made their pass through the show field, the car owners took a last-minute opportunity to make sure their rides were spotless for the forthcoming judges.
We also dug this '68 Torino...
We also dug this '68 Torino GT with the 390 option, steel wheels, and showroom-new look.
The show field's diversity...
The show field's diversity in Joliet was just as strong as last year. Sure, there were a slew of new Mustangs, some modified and some stock, but Joliet really surprised us last year with a bunch of cool, non-Mustang rides. This year did not disappoint either, with such finds as this '63 Falcon modified with small-block power, polished five-spokes, and a killer stance.
The NMRA's Open Comp class...
The NMRA's Open Comp class is always chock full of classic-Ford racing, and Joliet didn't let us down on the racing side of the event either, with such killer rides as John Voshell's '68 Mustang fastback that runs a 351 built by McKeown Motorsports. Topped with Ford Racing Performance Parts Yates high-port C3H heads and Pro-Systems carb mated to an FRPP intake, the naturally aspirated combination is usually good for low 9s at almost 150 mph. Unfortunately, John got an early start back to his hometown of Dover, Delaware, after he went out in the first round of eliminations.
We've seen Ron Bochenek's...
We've seen Ron Bochenek's '62 Ranchero-which he runs in the NMCA's Open Comp class-twist the slicks and head down track, and it's an awesome sight. His 408 Windsor, built by PER Race Engines, easily catapults the Ford to 8.80s at 156 mph. Like John on the NMRA side of Open Comp, Ron also went down in the first round.
Geary Bates' R-code Fairlane...
Geary Bates' R-code Fairlane runs NMCA's Nostalgia Super Stock class. NSS is a great class to watch, with the participants running period A/FX or Super Stock drag cars. Nowhere else-short of the rare reunion event-will you see R-code Fairlanes, Thunderbolts, Hemi Mopars, Z11 Chevys, and more battling it out. It's like stepping back in time when these cars go down the 1,320. Geary's R-code 427 sports CNC-ported Edelbrock heads and a Holley carb, putting all that power through a prepped C4 to a 9-inch with 4:11 gears. Geary's Fairlane easily clicks off low-10s, but his 10.50 in the second round wasn't enough to keep the Thunderbolt of Ken Koester from taking the second-round win and advancing.
Mustang & Fords Editor's Choice
Rey and Liz Perez, Highland, IN
'65 Mustang Fastback
Rey and Liz Perez built their custom '65 fastback over the course of five winters with their son, Li'l Rey. They enjoy taking him and their daughter, Raquel, in the Bright Atlantic Blue, white-striped machine to cruise nights and car shows where they love to talk to other car owners. The Perezes belong to the Lowered Expectations car club in Indiana, and their club friends lent a hand with the car as well.
If you thought the Bright Atlantic Blue color sounded like something you'd see on your neighbor's late-model Mustang, you'd be correct. Apparently, Rey and Liz used more than the late-model Mustang paint codes when building their fastback since the parts list of go-fast goodies reads like a who's who of modern Mustang performance. Running a 5.0 EFI engine under hood, they pumped up the power with a 331 stroker kit, AFR 185 cylinder heads, an FRPP GT-40 intake, and 42-lb/hr injectors fed by an Aeromotive A1000 fuel pump. Why so big on the injectors? Well, if you missed the Vortech supercharger mounted up front, then you probably missed the Nitrous Works nitrous kit plumbed to the intake as well. Yep, not one but two power adders reside under the hood of this outrageous fastback.
Further back in the drivetrain is a World Class spec Tremec T5 with a SPEC clutch hooking the engine and trans together when the clutch is dropped. A 9-inch rear with 3.50 gears makes for spirited acceleration without killing the cruising attitude. Rey and Liz rounded out the project with a custom interior including five-point harnesses, a rollbar, a full brace of gauges, and a Total Control Products suspension setup.
Five years is a long time for any project, but now that the fastback is done, the Perez family can't wait for the weekends to get their fastback out for everyone to see and enjoy as much as they do themselves.