Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
January 1, 2009
Photos By: Paul Rosner

3rd Annual NMRA/NMCA Shootout
For many Ford racers, there's a certain amount of pleasure in putting a rival GM or Mopar drag racer on the trailer at the end of a round. For those died-in-the-wool Ford types, there's no better pleasure than crossing the stripe at the end of the 1,320 a car length ahead of that Camaro or Challenger. Heads-up Ford drag racing, while one of the hottest venues around for Mustang guys (and really, any Ford-powered car), doesn't give that same taste of celebratory satisfaction when waxing a like-minded Ford racer-not that it still isn't a heck of a lot of fun and offers some great bragging rights.

ProMedia Publishing, owners of the NMRA racing series, also owns the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA). Three years ago the idea was hatched to run the two series together at one venue, where the winners of each NMRA and NMCA class would compete against each other in a final round of racing on Sunday. This new event was called the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing. Sponsored by Motive Gear and presented by Nitto Tire, the event draws a huge crowd of racers, car show attendees, vendors, and spectators at the famous Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois. Our NMRA lensman, Paul Rosner, was once again at the ready and got us some great event coverage. Check out the photos here and be sure to attend an NMRA and NMCA event at a venue near you. You'll find the full schedule for their respective series at and

Modified Mustangs & Fords Editor's Choice
Michael Walls' '95 Mustang Cobra (clone)
Dodgeville, WI

Michael Wall purchased his '95 GT used in 2001 with a scant 40K on the clock. Michael's first thought was to turn it into a '98 Cobra clone, and he got as far as the Cobra hood, front fascia, and wheels before realizing that he needed some muscle underhood to back up the Cobra looks. We're not talking a cold-air kit and a set of pulleys. No, Michael went for the trifecta of a head/cam/intake swap, using well-known parts such as AFR heads, a Comp cam, and a Holley intake. To really set things in motion, though, Michael added a Procharger P1-SC pullied for 11 psi to make sure he had enough power. Now, realize that Michael did all this work while tackling a full-time job and going to school; though he'd be remiss if he didn't say his father helped a bit.

Over the next few years the upgrades kept coming at a regular pace. Each year a different sub-system was tackled. First Michael worked on the suspension and brakes, then the interior, and then he went back underhood and polished or chromed anything he could unbolt. Finally, the piece de resistance was the Blue True flame paint job over the factory Deep Forest Green base, expertly applied by the crew at Pokerville Ironworks in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. Now Michael is busy putting an addition on his house to store all of the trophies he's been winning since the paint was laid. At Joliet, Michael racked up Top 20 Ford awards Saturday and Sunday, a Second Place Director's Choice on Sunday, a People's Choice award for Best Engine on Saturday, and a People's Choice award for Best Body & Paint on Sunday, besides our Editor's Choice award. That's some haul. You can check out more of Michael's ride at