Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
June 1, 2006

The National Mustang Racers Association is closing in on 10 years of putting on some of the best all-Ford Heads Up and Sportsman drag racing a Ford enthusiast can enjoy. Tie in a killer manufacturers' midway, a swap meet, and a two-day car show, and you've got one all-encompassing Ford brand event.

The NMRA has always been heavily late-model Ford centric, with classes for racing that are specific to late-model Mustangs, Ford trucks, and modular-powered Fords, but if you pay attention to some of the other classes, notably Open Comp and Bracket, you'd be surprised at the amount of classic Ford iron attacking the 1,320 with a fervor. We spotted several cool rides, including Falcons, Rancheros, early F-Series trucks, Cougars, and of course, Mustangs. However, we also encountered a few classics among the other more late-model centric classes as well, including Hot Street and even the top-rung Pro 5.0 class.

Of course, if you really want to find some sweet-looking classic Ford rides, all you have to do is head to the other end of the track and check out the NMRA car show. We'd hazard a guess the car show was about 30 percent pre-'73 Fords, including such rarities as a 429-powered Torino GT convertible, a '64 Fairlane Pro Street T-Bolt replica, an original-owner Shelby, a Grabber Maverick, and more. For a late-model oriented event series, we were quite happy with what we saw, and we look forward to bringing you more coverage of the NMRA series throughout the year.

Editor's Choice Award
Our Editor's Choice award went to Rob and Lisa Kohlbacher of Dayton, Ohio, for their stunning '64 Fairlane. They also took home Best Race Car and Pro Street on Saturday and Sunday, and a Top 20 on Sunday. Over the course of several years, Rob and his father, Dick, took the ailing Fairlane and made it into the dream machine you see here.

Chassis work came first, with a tubular Mustang II front suspension conversion and a ladder bar rear suspension, with a 9-inch rear stuffed with a Detroit Locker and 3:50 gears hung from the bars. Disc brakes up front and big drums out back were added to the mix, with 15x4 American Racing Salt Flat specials up front, and 15x8 Wheel Vintiques Cruisers out back.

With the chassis handled, a 460 built by Ohio George Montgomery was placed into the engine compartment. Putting 575 hp to the tire isn't an easy job, so an old-school Super T10 four-speed was employed to transfer the power back to the 9-inch. The exhaust system is a custom 3-inch setup with an x pipe system and Edelbrock mufflers for a distinct sound.

Once Rob could put the power to the ground with his new drivetrain and chassis, it was time to make the 'Lane look as good as it moved, which is where Mayabb's Hotrods & Hawgs took over. The guys at Mayabb's expertly sprayed House of Colors Sunset Pearl over every square inch of metal for an impeccable look. While the paint was being shot, Dennis Gamble of Sew What stitched up a killer interior and custom console.

Rob and Lisa drive the Fairlane to many events, often logging over 100 miles each way to a cruise or show. But don't think this is another Pro Street poseur, no sir-this brute can click off 10.90 e.t.'s all day long with little effort.