Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
April 1, 2009
Photos By: Paul Rosner
Just like every other NMRA event we've been to, the Bowling Green car show featured a little bit of everything. If you couldn't find a car you liked in this huge show field, then you're probably not a true Ford person. From classics to Fox bodies, and right up to tuned-up S197s, there were Mustangs coming out of every corner. Add in some hot F-series trucks, classic Ford big-block iron, street rods, and even a few kit cars, and you'll go crazy trying to pick your favorite.

We Wrap Up The NMRA's 10th Anniversary Tour With a Look at the 10th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA Ford Nationals in Bowling Green, KY

There's no denying that 2008 was a rough year. From big bailouts to even bigger fuel costs, it certainly wasn't a year any of us want to relive any time soon. But even with the poor economy, laughable gas prices, and gloomy employment opportunities, many people still realized that having a hobby is something that keeps you sane and takes your mind off of the world's troubles. Whether it's a 500hp drag car or a chromed-out show machine, you don't have to look too far on any given weekend to see car people enjoying their hobby.

Last October was a prime example as people from all over converged on Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky for the 10th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA Ford Nationals. This event, the final hurrah in the 10th Anniversary Tour of the NMRA, is where race rivals battle it out to the very end in a bitter chase for enough points for one of the top 10 finishing spots in each racing class. Vendors come from as far as California, and car show attendees pack the show field-both knowing that Old Man Winter is coming soon and this will be the last chance to polish their rides and pick up those winter project parts.

As we write this there's still snow on the ground in many parts of the North, but before you know it spring will be upon us and everyone will be heading for the Sunshine State and the 8th Annual Nitto Tire Spring Ford Nationals at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida, to kick off the 11th year of NMRA racing and car show action. We'll be there, won't you?

Modified Mustangs & Fords Editor's Choice
Bruce Richard's '93 Thunderbird Clarksville, TN
Bruce Richards is one of those guys who is used to coloring outside the lines, if you know what we mean. He's not afraid to do something different. He does it because that's what he wants-who cares what everyone else thinks? That's how his '93 Thunderbird came to be. Starting life as a 5.0L Sport model, Bruce did the normal mods we all do-exhaust, performance air filter, and so on-but it just didn't do it for him like he remembered from the muscle car era of his youth. So out came the 5.0 and in its place went a Ford Racing Performance Parts Windsor block stuffed with 393 ci of stroke topped by FRPP Z304 heads and a Quick Fuel carb on top of a Victor Jr. intake. That satisfied Bruce for a little while, but then he had to have more (sound familiar?).

More goodies showed up at Bruce's door in the name of a Vortech YSi blower putting out 15psi of boost, a Lentech Strip Terminator AOD, QA1 coilovers, Jaz racing seats, an eight-point cage, and a weight-loss program that got the usually heavy MN12 'Bird down into LX Mustang drag weight territory. You might have noticed the side exit exhaust he designed using a set of DynoMax Race Bullet mufflers and a set of heavily modified BBK Mustang long tubes. Of course, the 351's height took its toll on the slim-nosed 'Bird, and the fiberglass hood Bruce was running wouldn't cut it, so a classic Cougar scoop was added to get enough height for the carb's airbox. All is well in the world now.

Bruce tries to get as much track time as he can in his Thunderbird, with an eighth-mile best of 6.50s at 106 mph right now on P275/40R17 drag radials stuffed into the rear wheelwells. The T-bird is still street legal as well, and that's how we caught up with Bruce at the Bowling Green NMRA event with his buffed 'Bird sitting at the ready in the show field.