Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
July 1, 2009
It's been several years since Ford Racing Performance Parts has displayed at the Hot Rod & Restoration show, but with its new line of Control Pack wiring harnesses, it's easier than ever to drop a modular Ford engine into your street rod, kit car, replica, or muscle car. With several hot-rod type parts on display and an FFR '33 Hot Rod kit front and center (not to mention a CDC Flashback and a '10 Shelby GT500), the booth was pure candy shop for the Ford fans at the show.

It's no secret that street rodders are a diverse and individualistic bunch. The last thing they want is for their ride to look like any other ride on the road.

From custom body modifications to fiberglass interior panels and more, they're always trying something new and going for a look no one else has. This individualism keeps the hobby strong, so aftermarket companies that cater to the street-rod crowd are constantly looking for new product ideas.

Sadly, most Mustang owners don't realize that a little effort and customization can really make their Mustang stand out from the rest of the Shelby and Eleanor clones at the cruise night or car show. Today people want to buy a front fascia or center console out of a catalog instead of making something from scratch, or at least modifying another design to be uniquely theirs.

Air Ride Technologies
Shockwave ISWhen it comes to air adjustable suspension, Air Ride Technologies; (812) 481-4787 is the expert, and the company never rest when it comes to new suspension products. Its new Shockwave IS shock uses an internal infrared sensor to adjust the vehicle's ride height. It constantly measures the distance from the top of the shock to the sensor, allowing quick and easy automatic ride-height adjustments without the bulk of an external sensor having to be mounted. Prices start at $1,300.

The good news is that over the last few years, we've seen the typical street-rod owner move up into the '60s and '70s-era cars, meaning that our Mustangs are now showing up at events like Goodguys, NSRA, and so forth. When "our" cars show up at events like this, street-rod parts suppliers see a new product avenue, and we all benefit. Companies like Roddoors (makers of custom Mustang door panels), Lokar (who makes great billet pedal sets for Mustang/Falcon), and Painless Performance (full car wiring kits for '65-'70 Mustangs), to just name a few, have stepped up into the muscle-car market place.

One place to see all the latest goodies from these companies and more is the annual Hot Rod & Restoration Trade Show, which happens every year in Indianapolis, Indiana, in early March. So take a walk with us down the isles of the Indianapolis Convention Center and see what's new for our cars.

On Display
While the Hot Rod & Restoration show is nowhere near as large as, say, the SEMA show, it does have its share of cool rides, both on display around the show and within many of the manufacturer's booths as well. We spied some sweet Ford rides this year and wanted to share them with our readers too. Check 'em out!