NRMA Ford Nationals - Like A Heat Wave
Great Weather And Great People Highlight The 5th Annual NMRA Spring Ford Nationals
From the June, 2006 issue of Mustang Monthly
All contributors: Mark Houlahan
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.
When it comes to the big-power,...
When it comes to the big-power, 6-second race cars, it's rare to see any sort of classic Ford in the NMRA series. But Tom Jacobs has been campaigning his "Grounded" '67 Mustang Pro 5.0 race car with a 638-cube big-block since last year. Running a 6.75 at 202.11 mph at this year Ford Nationals was a real treat for the crowd. Unfortunately, Tom ran into parts trouble and didn't finish the race, but we'll keep our eye on him and his beautiful Mustang as the season progresses.
There's nothing like boiling...
There's nothing like boiling the balonies and staging for a blast down the quarter-mile. Jim Brown and his 351-powered '70 Mustang came all the way from Missouri to the NMRA Spring Ford Nationals in Florida to take home the Open Comp class win with a 12.11-second e.t. on an 11.98 dial-in at 110.26 mph.
We were never able to track...
We were never able to track down this racer while trudging through the pits, but this little '64 Falcon certainly put on a show. The big 'n' littles on this car weren't just for looks, either, with the car putting down mid-11s at over 100 mph during the pass we saw.
For all of you Cougar fans,...
For all of you Cougar fans, it was a real treat to see this '67 Cougar nearly yank the front tires clear of the track surface. Owned by Dale and Susan McClenaghan, the Cougar features a 410 Marauder-based engine (using a Gapp and Roush crank) built by Susan, and backed by a Jerico trans and a Detroit Locker-equipped 9-inch rear, putting the car into the low-12s at 111 mph. The Cougar's GTE hoodscoop was raised 11/42 inch and was functional as well. Susan is Jack Roush's daughter and curator of the recently opened Roush Automotive Collection (www.roushcollection.com).
When it comes to the NMRA's...
When it comes to the NMRA's Show and Shine, the car count and even the type of cars is dependent upon the location of the event. The season opener in central Florida meant we would have a decent showing of classic Fords. As you can see here, there were a hearty number of trophies up for grabs, including a Top 20, a Best Classic Mustang, a Best Daily Driver, an Under Construction, numerous popular-vote awards, and a huge Best of Show trophy.
When someone mentions "restomod,"...
When someone mentions "restomod," the first thing that comes to our minds is a '65/'66 Mustang fastback with polished Torque Thrust II wheels. While it might be a bit clichd, it's a hands-down winning look. This fastback fits the name perfectly with the aforementioned wheels, a killer stance, and a bright-red topcoat.
After walking a row of mostly...
After walking a row of mostly '99-and-up Mustangs, it was a refreshing surprise to see this stunning '69 Torino GT of Dwain Revard from Palmetto, Florida. A big-block 429 car, the drop-top was drop-dead gorgeous. The hideaway headlight nose on these cars has to be one of the slickest looks from that era. Dwain's Torino was a hit with the crowd, too, taking home awards for Top 20 and Best Midsize.
A few rows over, we came across...
A few rows over, we came across the familiar '65 hardtop owned by Carlos Caraza. Carlos' way-hot ride has some subtle yet ingenious custom touches. We liked his car so much, we gave him our Editor's Choice award at the NPD/Silver Springs show earlier this year. A full feature on Carlos' '65 is in the works, but for now you'll have to be satisfied in knowing that this sweet, little ride earned him the Best of Show trophy, Best '64-'70 Mustang, People's Choice, a Top 20 award, and Best Body and Paint. Whew!
We think the Maverick is a...
We think the Maverick is a really cool car, and you can build a nice little runner. Just like most any car line, some years are better to build off of than others. Many Maverick/Comet enthusiasts prefer the early "small bumper" versions, such as the '72 Grabber shown here of Jeff Bannes from Cortez, Florida. His sweet-looking Grabber took home awards for Top 20 and Best Compact.