Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
September 1, 2009
Photos By: Paul Rosner

The 9th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA Ford NationalsHeading into the second stop of the NMRA 2009 season, the weather didn't look like it was going to cooperate for anyone; racers, spectators, vendors, and show car owners alike. But come event weekend, the stars aligned and it was great weather for racing as well as the NMRA's All-Ford Show and Shine at the 9th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA Ford Nationals presented by Downs Ford Motorsport. And not only was the weather great, but so was the participation. Things are tough all over, that's for sure, but we've been seeing people enjoying themselves at events like the NMRA and others since the first of the year and all we can say is we're glad people are getting out and still enjoying themselves, even if it means tightening the belt elsewhere.

There's something about silver paint that can make a car stunningly beautiful and aggressive as all get out at the same time. Red may be the hands down "sports car" favorite, but give us a silver Mustang, Fusion, F-series, any day. This is why we came to a screeching halt when we stumbled upon Rich Graswald's '95 Mustang GT and its top coat, Opal Frost. The Opal Frost color was a rarity, only offered from '94-'96 (there's even an Opal Frost registry) when most people were ordering up their new SN-95 in red or yellow. Besides the killer paint Rich's GT sports a nicely built 306 wearing Holley top end gear and helped by a Zex 125 shot. The 4:10 gears and 18-inch rubber certainly help get the drop-top moving and if you can catch it sitting still you'll spy the Saleen body package on it too.

From hot all-Ford racing action in heads-up bracket classes, to the huge all-Ford car show and vendor/swap areas, the NMRA events are the place to be for true Ford fanatics. Where else can you take in the hottest Mustangs and Ford-powered cars on the planet showing off on the show field, let alone letting it all hang out on the racing side of things? Taking a stroll through the vendor area and show field is a great way to get ideas for your next project car or upgrade on your current ride. Be sure to bring a camera and a notepad and ask a lot of questions. Owners are more than willing to share just how they got it done and you'll be one step closer to getting your project done too. So check out www.nmradigital.com for the NMRA event near you and be sure to check it out. You won't be disappointed.

Modified Mustangs & Fords Editor's ChoiceJim and Sheila Walsh's '66 Mustang Shelby GT350Baltimore, MDWhatever your feelings about Carroll Shelby are today, there's no denying the history of his company and his early relationship with Ford and what it did for the Mustang. From that one hanger at LAX Shelby American changed history by building cars such as SFM6S2335, owned by Jim and Sheila Walsh. This '66 GT350 was shipped to Archway Ford in Baltimore, Maryland, and has stayed in the area ever since, including a stint as a display vehicle on the showroom floor of Schmidt Ford Sales in Baltimore.

The Ivy Green fastback sports Wimbledon White stripes, professionally applied by Conover Racing & Restoration in Hanover, Pennsylvania. The Shelby has 78,000 miles on the clock now (including a few years as a quarter-mile killer in the mid '70s), yet still retains all of its original equipment, including the rare dealer installed Paxton supercharger system. Besides the Paxton underhood, the Shelby features the usual Shelby goodies like Tri-Y headers, Cobra finned valve covers, Cobra T-pan, 3.89 geared 9-inch with Traction Master bars, Cobra 9,000 rpm tach, and more. The Walsh's even have the original window sticker for the Shelby! As you can see by the photos from expert lensman Paul Rosner, the GT350 looks as fresh as it did the day it left Los Angeles. That's a time capsule we're glad the Walsh's enjoy sharing with others at events such as this.