Traditionally the second stop of the racing season, when the NMRA series comes to Commerce, Georgia, and Atlanta Dragway, a great crowd usually always follows. With people looking to debut their winter work and show off their new builds, the car show field is always a solid one.
This year, even with rain in the forecast, the Sunday car show field at the 10th annual NMRA/NMCA All Star Nationals was as solid as ever. Full of cool Fords, we were tasked with picking out our five favorites and it was no easy task! We finally decided on five, but there were plenty more worth looking at!
Be sure and check out our gallery at the end for all the other awesome Fords that did not make the top-five cut!
5. 1972 Maverick
The Ford Maverick is often overlooked and overshadowed by its older cousin, the Mustang. The V8-powered Mavs, however, were sporty cars in their time and are slowly growing in popularity with collectors. Derrick Harp’s 1972 Maverick refuses to be overlooked thanks to its bright shade of green. Once you get up close, you will find no disappointments here, this is a first-class build that could hold its own in any show field full of Mustangs.
This Maverick is a solid build from one end to the other. The engine bay is clean, simple, and to the point. The interior matches the wild attitude of the exterior with alligator-skin inserts in the seats and an incredibly green Hulk sitting on the dash. The trunk is carpeted and features a nice stereo system for those long trips to car shows.
4. 1961 Fairlane
John Willoughby’s 1961 Fairlane is the perfect example of what Ford muscle cars were all about in the 1960s. Big-block power, manual transmissions, and classic looks. The early ’60s Fairlanes featured a boxy look that would precede the more NASCAR-friendly aerodynamic fastbacks to come in the mid-’60s in the Galaxie. John’s car is painted black and features minimal chrome, giving it a wicked look to back up the 390-cube big-block under the hood.
Two fours, mag wheels and four on the floor, it may sound like a Charlie Daniels’ song, but in reality, it makes this Fairlane one wicked piece of Ford Muscle. The 390 big-block is topped with dual four-barrel carburetors and is backed up by a four-speed manual transmission; a combination that should be plenty to melt the tires on these period-correct mag wheels!
3. 1967 Mustang Fastback
We were too busy drooling over this 1967 fastback to catch the owner’s name, but what we can tell you is this is one wicked machine. The exterior of the car is painted in a classic, two-tone black and grey and has had all the chrome either removed or painted. Under the hood, the car features a fuel-injected 557 cubic-inch Jon Kaase engine. The interior is just as nice as the rest of the car, featuring a set of driver-hugging bucket seats along with dozens of custom touches throughout.
A big-cubic-inch Ford engine is intimidation enough under the hood, but when you see legendary big-block Ford engine builder Jon Kaase’s name on the valve covers, you know its all business. Known worldwide for his heads and big-block Ford powerplants, this Kaase-powered 1967 fastback is surely a monster on the street.
2. 1994 Saleen S351
Even though we spend a lot of time wandering the car show fields looking at beautiful Ford Mustangs, what we really enjoy is driving and enjoying them. The only thing better than that is running across an owner who drives and enjoys their Mustang like it was meant to be enjoyed. George Gast’s 1994 S351 Saleen is a pretty rare piece to begin with. It is one of only six R-code optioned S351s built in 1994. Bumped up from stock form, the car makes 645 rear wheel horsepower. Remarkably, the car still features its original paint and interior, both of which are in awesome shape.
A windshield full of event decals from car shows to Tail Of The Dragon events shows us that George Gast enjoys his Saleen Mustang as it was intended. There is no doubt this car is a winner both at the track and the car show. If we had the chance, we would love to strap in that racing harness and take it for a quick pass down the quarter mile or maybe even across that dragon...
1. 1968 Mustang
Who doesn’t love a barn-find Mustang? Pulling up a garage door and finding a Shelby or Cobra Jet or anything cool! Sadly, those cars are getting rarer every day. Cars are only original once. For better or worse, most are getting restored on factory-new condition on the regular, so when we see an original at a show, we flock to it.
Not knowing exactly what to expect when we walked up on this 1968 Mustang GT, we were blown away by what we found. Owner Larry Williams bought this 1968 Ford Mustang GT in 1975. He drove the car for four years before sticking it away in his garage until 2017. With only 54,000 original miles on it, the car features most of its original parts, including the dealer-installed Cobra Jet. Larry recently decided to revive the car and pull it out of the garage. We are certainly glad he did. It quite a treat to see this original Mustang in person.
Larry tells us that as the story goes, this car was sitting on the lot new in 1968 when a customer came in wanting a Cobra Jet Mustang. The dealer was having trouble getting in a new Cobra Jet, but they could source the engine and parts to build their own. The rest, so they say is history !