Modified Mustangs & Fords
10th Annual Bradenton NMRA Ford Nationals - Fun In the Sun
The NMRA Season Opener Blew Us Away--Literally
Depending upon where you live, you may have had a rougher winter than others. There's nothing more depressing than wanting to get that prized ride out for a cruise or to wake up that sleeping race car from its hibernation and it being single digits and blowing snow outside. Even here in Florida, the winter cold spells we get keep many from attending cruise nights and hitting the track. Sure, the cruise nights and tracks are open all year long in many Southern states, but it still isn't until spring when the attendance at both jumps dramatically.
This is the 10th year for the NMRA Ford Nationals, and we were there for the Keystone Automotive season opener March 14-16 in Bradenton, Florida. With rain scheduled for late in the week, everyone from the racers to the spectators to the car-show people were worried that the event might not happen. Luckily, it rained only Friday night (putting a damper on the annual Hooters party), but the wind was a big problem all weekend. Friday saw a serious head wind for the racers (we witnessed more than one late-model Mustang drag car's front nose collapsing from the pressure), while on Saturday and Sunday the heavy winds had people looking for cover to stay warm or to prevent wind burn. A few (including yours truly) were caught off-guard between the spotty sun and heavy wind, and went home with a nice face burn.
The NMRA series has a full schedule of events, and each one includes all-Ford drag racing, a two-day car show, a burnout contest, a huge manufacturer's midway, and more. For full details on the NMRA series and where there might be an event near you, check out www.nmradigital.com.
Mustang & Fords Editor's Choice
Reed and Patti Johnston, Sarasota, FL
'70 Cougar Eliminator
Reed Johnston likes his cars. There's no doubt about it as you listen to him rattling off some of the Big Three's rarest iron ever to roll down the assembly line that have been in his possession at one time or another, including Hemi cars, big-block Vettes, and more. While his collection of Fords is just beginning, he's already off to a great start with a Ford GT supercar, a Royal Maroon '69 Talladega 428CJ, and his latest find, this Competition Blue with black interior '70 Cougar Eliminator. The Eliminator is righteous enough on its own merit, but this blue beauty is powered by the G-code Boss 302 engine.
Johnston purchased the car shortly after the original owner had completed the restoration on it. Once he got it home, it took about six months to work out a few post-restoration bugs (wrong clutch, some rattles, braking issues, and so on), and he has put a scant 16 miles on it since then. The Cougar came with all of the top options for 1970, including a 3.91 geared 9-inch with Traction-Lok, a four-speed trans, a Sports Console, power front discs, and an AM radio. Besides fixing a few issues, the only things Johnston added to the car are the quarter-panel decals, as he wanted something to distinguish the car's Boss powertrain without it being permanent.
The NMRA's season opener Auto Show & Shine was Johnston's first car-show outing with the fresh Cat, and he took home the trophy for Best Full Size Ford '49 and Up and a Top 20 award.