Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
November 1, 2009
Photos By: Paul Rosner

Chicago is a hot-bed for Mustangs and Ford performance, so it's not surprising that there was a large turn-out for the car show portion of the Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing, held July 16-19 at Route 66 Raceway in nearby Joliet. In fact, there were so many cars that the NMRA was able to present nearly all of its over 100 weekend show awards. Even though the combination NMRA/NMCA event is billed as a major drag race, the All-Ford Auto Show attracted a packed show field of Mustang and Ford owners from around the Chicagoland area.

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Editor's Choice
We have to say that photographer Paul Rosner made the right choice for Mustang Monthly's Editor's Choice award at NMRA Joliet. On Saturday, fellow participants voted Dave Matteson's '68 Shelby GT350 as the Best Special Ford, Second place for Best Interior, and the Peoples' Choice award, while the NMRA show director presented Dave with the Director's Choice award. That was just for Saturday. On Sunday, Dave's Highland Green GT350 beat out all of the gorgeous, brightly-colored late-models for Best of Show.

Dave says he spent 10 years searching the east coast for a '68 Shelby, only to find this one in a barn just 10 miles from his home in Mazon, Illinois. He felt pretty good about the condition until his paint and body man, longtime friend Brent Query from Brent's Auto Restoration, said, "I think I can save it."

Dave disassembled the Shelby, then delivered the body and panels to Brent for bodywork, which required frame straightening and sheetmetal repair from a wreck sometime in its past. When the body was straight and sprayed in fresh Dark Highland Green, Dave brought the car home for reassembly.

When we asked why he thought the car did so well at NMRA Joliet, Dave replied, "The paint is phenomenal. Everything is straight, and the undercarriage and engine compartment are as clean as the exterior. But most of all, I'm very lucky."

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