Our twice-a-year trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and the Pigeon Forge Rod Run always brings out some of the nicest cars in the country. While thousands of cars and trucks were on display through out the town of Pigeon Forge, the main show was in the center of town at the LeConte Center.
It was there that we went in search of our five favorite Fords from the event. Check out this awesome lineup we were able to put together. Plus a few that did not make the cut, but were just too good not to show you in the gallery below…
5. 1963 Big-Block Sleeper
John Jinnings’ 1963 Ford 300 is the classic ’60s sleeper. The cheap, stripped-down version of the Ford Galaxie, the 300 is bare-bones, no-flash, no-frills machine. A car typically ordered by a businessman by his company, this particular 300 boasted some interesting options, including the 427 big-block and Borg-Warner four-speed manual transmission to name a couple.
With a conservatively rated 410 horsepower from the factory in Q-code trim, this 427 probably won its fair share of stoplight battles against the more flashy, but underpowered muscle cars of the era.
One of only 1,038 Q-code 300s ever built and one of 10 or so known to still exist today, this Ford 300 is a true piece of muscle car history. It was painstakingly restored, with over 95 percent of the original parts, to like-new showroom condition.
4. 427 Side-Oiler F100
The right stance makes or breaks any vehicle. When we first walked up to Chuck and Mickie Kanhel’s 1966 Ford F100, we fell in love with it. Once we saw the legendary 427 Side-Oiler stuffed under the hood, all we could hear were wedding bells.
An engine made famous in NASCAR, at Le Mans in the GT40s, and in Carrol Shelby’s Cobras, the big-block looked right at home in the Kanhel’s pickup with the factory power steering and air conditioning still in place. The killer stance is thanks to the work of Fatman Fabrications in North Carolina, who were in charge of lowering the truck a total of seven inches below the factory levels.
Topped with some killer, period-correct valve covers adorned with the legendary Holman Moody monike,, this 427 Side-Oiler carries legendary status no matter what the vehicle it resides in. Featuring a main bearing oil gallery on the side to improve oiling to the 427’s cross-bolted main caps, these 7.0-liter FEs were extremely durable in racing applications, which resulted in their dominance in both NASCAR and Le Mans.
3. 1989 Special Service Fox
It’s always hard for us to pass up an Special Service Package Mustang for our top-five lists, especially one in all-original form. Monty Seawright’s 1989 South Carolina State Trooper car is in as-serviced condition and features and amazing amount of original items from its days on patrol. One of only 65 original South Carolina SSP Mustangs, this coupe underwent an extensive, 900-plus-hour restoration that took over four years to complete.
Even more rare than finding an SSP Mustang is finding one with so much original service equipment in it. Many of these light bars were state and year specific — not to mention the radios and other pieces — making them almost impossible to replace. Keep in mind, the majority of these cars were totally stripped of their police equipment before they were sold, leaving future owners to track down all the correct parts and pieces.
2. Clean 1965 Mustang Coupe
As with many car events as we attend on a yearly basis, we see our fair share of really nice Mustangs. While the majority of the cars we bring you here are modified and most of the time heavily, sometimes we come across a completely stock car that is just too nice not to share.
Barbara and Larry Kanalas of Lincoln Park, Michigan, took on the task of restoring their late uncle Bruce’s 1965 Mustang — and they did an amazing job! From the color combination to the cool story to all the factory correct goodies, this car is just plain cool.
Manual transmission, tons of cool original markings, air conditioning, orange paint, a white vinyl top, and a great story, the list just goes on and on for this near-perfect 1965 Mustang coupe. Barbara and Larry Kanalas’ Uncle Bruce is definitely smiling down on this one...
1. Boss-Powered Pro Street Cobra
When we assemble these lists, we often have no idea leaving the event what order they will be in. Sometimes we do not even have it narrowed down to the finalist. When we returned home from the Pigeon Forge Rod Run and started going through our photos, however, one car screamed at us as number one right away.
It is a bit over the top, and a bit impractical, but it screams Ford Muscle. It packs classic Shelby styling, a big-block Boss 429 engine, a manual transmission, huge tires out back, and a presumably loud exhaust via those twin side pipes. Art Fuhrman’s 1966 Pro Street Cobra is one bad machine. Featuring a 568-cube Boss Nine engine topped with twin Holley carburetors and a 6-71 BDS blower, we would love to take this bad boy for a spin around the block.
Tons of big-block power, light weight, and a manual gear box is a combination that was perfect in the ’60s when Mr. Shelby originally designed these cars and one that still works today. We cannot help but believe that if Carroll was alive today, and building competition Cobras, he would definitely be turning out versions similar to this one.
Be sure and check out our gallery for more photos of our favories and a few vehicles that almost made the list…