Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
January 25, 2010
Photos By: Paul Rosner

If there's a poor economy affecting us it certainly wasn't evident at the 11th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA World Finals at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, this past October. We arrived on the property early Thursday morning before the official start of the event and we were greeted with great weather in the mid 60s, a light breeze, and plenty of sun-a precursor to the event weekend. As the racers rolled into the event Thursday and Friday we actually saw several show cars arriving early (the All-Ford Auto Show is Saturday and Sunday only) to stake out a premium show spot for their ride. We knew at that point the host club, the Bowling Green Mustangs, would have its hands full all weekend keeping the car show running smoothly.

Saturday came bright and early and we were greeted by a jam-packed show field that had overflowed into a second lot and so many spectators the track owners had to open a back-up parking lot they've never had to use before in the NMRA's 11-year history to handle the influx of spectator parking. We can only fathom that the attendance was partly due to the fact it was the final event of the season and that winter would soon dampen the motorsports activities of many Mustang and Ford enthusiasts, and that goes for the show car attendees as well. Within a few weeks it would soon be time to put their show cars into a winter slumber and keep them off of the salted northern roads as well. Whatever the reason for the huge turn out, the race pits, show car field, and the grandstands were completely packed with Ford fans of all ages and walks of life at the NMRA World Finals. It was most likely the best event weekend many have had this year.

The 11th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA World Finals
It was most likely the best event weekend many have had this year. The race pits, show car field, and the grandstands were completely packed with Ford fans of all ages and walks of life

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Modified Mustangs & Fords Editor's Choice
Brett Russell's '65 Falcon Futura

Walking the show field first thing Saturday morning, we spied a huge crowd around one of the cars in the front row of the show. As we moved in for a closer look we imagined this might be one of those jaw-dropping situations where someone wrinkled some sheetmetal on the way to an event. But once we got close enough to slip through the crowd and get a look at what was stopping everyone in their tracks we were relieved to see it was "only" a super clean Pro Street-looking Falcon. We don't know if it was the stance, the super wide rubber out back, the killer paint, or the fully finished street interior in the car, but once the hood went up the crowd only got thicker trying to get a better view of the blown EFI small-block motivating the Falcon. Once we found Brett Russell, the owner, we had to learn the details.

Having owned well over a dozen Mustangs over the years Brett's last purchase was a '96 Mustang Cobra. After dropping a blower onto the 32-valve modular, throwing some gears out back, and having some fun, the car got a little too well known if you catch our drift, and the insurance premium on the Cobra was too much to bear with the weight of all those tickets on Brett's license. It also didn't help that you couldn't swing a crankshaft without hitting another SN-95 Mustang that looked just like it-not what some people call original. Brett decided to build something dif-ferent; still fast, but something that got a ton of looks too and you wouldn't see on every street corner or parked next to him on the show field. That's when he found the Falcon.

Brett, shown here with his dad, Howard, spent 5 years building the Falcon. It was a very solid car when he found it, allowing him to put more money in suspension and engine upgrades instead of dumping a lot of cash into metal repairs. Some of those upgrades include wheeltubs situated over a 3x2 back-half chassis with coilovers built by Green County Speed, which allow the huge Mickey Thompson's out back room to breathe when the go pedal hits the carpet. Up front, a Rod & Custom Motorsports Mustang II assembly, also using coilovers, was installed by Brett himself.

Under the hood resides a small-block machined by King Performance and screwed together by Brett. Displacing 347ci and helped with a set of Trick Flow Twisted Wedges force fed by a Vortech V-2 pulled for 12 psi of boost, Brett uses the Anderson Ford Motorsport Series 4 PMS to control the EFI to his liking.

Inside, a full interior using late-model Cougar sport seats and cut down rear seats, Vintage Air A/C, a full stereo, carpeting, and more make the car a pleasure to ride in. Finished about two years, it might look wild, but the Falcon is actually a very tame car if you stay out of the boost. Brett even takes the family in the Falcon to Sunday church when the weather is right.