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1969 Ford Mustang Trans Am - Racing Into The Past
When not on the Russo and Steele auction block, you’ll find Drew Alcazar on the track with his former Warren Tope ’69 Trans Am Mustang
Drew Alcazar burst onto the Mustang scene in the mid-1980s as the owner of Concours Restorations, where he produced MCA concours-quality Mustangs out of his southern California shop. He closed the doors in 1995 to join Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auctions for five years, leaving in 2000 to start Russo and Steele as an "enthusiast-based" collector car auction. These days, you'll find the white-haired, white-bearded Alcazar in the middle of his "auction-in-the-round" concept that brings bidders right onto the floor with the cars for sale.
When Alcazar is not on the auction block at one of his four Russo and Steele auctions, he's often found at Historic Trans Am events with his historic '69 Boss 302. Although not one of the familiar Bud Moore or Shelby team cars from the 1969-1970 era, Alcazar's Mustang was originally owned and campaigned by independent racer Warren Tope, who drove it in SCCA A-sedan competition in 1969 before having the car updated, both mechanically and externally, for the 1970 Trans-Am season. Tope entered the Mustang in five 1970 Trans-Am races, registering his best finish, ninth, at St. Jovite.
Interestingly, Tope's Mustang was built before the first factory Boss 302 race cars, which started life as 351-powered SportsRoofs before being sent to Bud Moore Engineering and Shelby Racing. According to the paperwork in Alcazar's possession, the Tope Mustang started out as a well-optioned '69 Mach 1 before being sold via inter-company transfer to Ford's Transmission and Chassis division, which was headed by Tope's father, Donald. Initially, the Mustang was modified for 1969 A/Sedan racing, then updated for 1970 Trans Am at Kar Kraft and Tope's shop, which he shared with fellow independent Mustang racer Ed Hinchcliff. No doubt thanks to his father's connections at Ford, Tope's Mustang also spent time at Bud Moore Engineering, the shop that built and campaigned the 1970 Trans Am championship Boss 302s driven by Parnelli Jones and George Follmer.
Vintage race enthusiasts will recall that Tope acquired George Follmer's 1970 Trans Am Boss 302 Mustang, driving it for much of the 1971-1972 seasons and winning the A/Sedan championship. (Notably, Tope won the championship after switching back to his earlier '69 car). Later, Tope stripped the ex-Follmer car and installed the parts in a '73 SportsRoof, one of the few big-body Mustangs to race in Trans-Am and IMSA competition. Tope died in a 1975 crash while driving a McLaren Can-Am car.
Alcazar purchased the Trans Am Mustang from John McClintock, a well-known vintage racer who restored and prepared the former Tope car for today's vintage racing. During the restoration, McClintock installed a race-ready 302 built from a Ford Racing A4 block and topped by '69 dry-deck Boss 302 heads with a pair of 1,100 cfm Holley Dominator carbs, as run on the factory Boss 302s in 1969. Many of the vintage race parts are still intact, including the lightweight glass, off-set distributor (to clear the induction system), Kar Kraft spindles, full-floating 9-inch rearend, and a Kar Kraft "white stripe" Top Loader four-speed, which carries an unusually tall 2.13 First gear to assist exiting corners.
Today, Alcazar enters the Mustang in "eight to ten" Historic Trans Am events eac year, competing against other former T-A race cars and continuing Warren Tope's legacy.