AutoMatters & More: “Fabulous Fords Forever”, with a DRIFTING video of tire shredding and wall pounding
Recently, “Fabulous Fords Forever” – showcasing the rich history of the Ford Motor Company and presented by the Ford Car Club Council – celebrated its 36and anniversary. When I first started covering this event, it was being held in a large parking lot outside Knott’s Berry Farm. The show eventually passed Knott’s parking lot and moved to its current location: Irwindale Speedway.
Walking towards “Fabulous Fords Forever” from the parking lot (or, if you were lucky, from where you parked on the Irwindale race track), you couldn’t help but notice the the sound of roaring engines and the screeching of tires from drifting cars, as they emanated from the grandstands just inside the lounge and to your left. To our delight, this was going to be more than just a major motor show – it was also going to be an exciting and action-packed motorsport event! To see the exciting video (two minutes), follow this link to the “AutoMatters & More” YouTube channel:
1,000 Ford, Mercury and Lincoln vehicles were on display, ranging from a Ford Model T to a corporate display of current Ford cars and trucks. Exhibitors came from seven states and Canada. There were also many stalls of vendors.
By far the largest model represented was the Mustang, with 596 cars!
Many vehicles caught my eye, including the old custom 1949 Ford F-5 gravel truck built by Mitch of Simi Valley, California. Before, there was a dump bed. You could see the original BOM on the side of the truck. To complete the five-year restoration, Mitch grafted two wrecked dump trucks together. He’s been driving it for 15 years. It is powered by a 7.3 liter Power Stroke diesel engine, with the running gear of a 1996 Ford F-350. It has suspension seats and a chopped (3-1/2 inch) top. The two rear tanks hold approximately 32 gallons of diesel fuel. More advanced than a typical “Rat Rod”, it has modern features such as anti-lock rear brakes, a full set of on-board computers that manage the engine and operate the fuel injection system, and a smaller snail on the turbocharger so that it makes more pressure. It produces around 400 horsepower and 700 lb-ft. of torque. It is said to work very well and to be very maneuverable. It was last shown about 14 years ago at Fabulous Fords Forever, when it was held at Knott’s Berry Farm, as well as a Goodguys event.
As I had just seen and shot a video that included an incredibly well handled Ford Maverick at the “Goodguys Del Mar Nationals” autocross, I also spoke to Javier – the proud owner of a red, custom 1972 Ford Maverick which he has had for about 20 years. This car is built for autocross, with a 352hp 347 Stroker engine (at the wheels) and Tremec five-speed, 3.70-speed, Wilwood 6-piston front brakes with 12-inch rotors (eleven at the rear ), power steering, subframe connectors, coilovers (front and rear height adjustable) and an RS 3-link rear suspension kit from Australia. The seats, equipped with power bolsters and lumbar support, are from a 1991 Corvette ZR-1. He had custom Maverick patches made to cover the Corvette. He bought this set of seats (new price: around $3,400) for only $200 during a swap meeting! He’s his daily driver, and he’s driven him to Mexico City and Las Vegas. You have to believe him when he says this car feels like it’s on rails and is LOTS of fun to drive!
The Ford Car Club Council is made up of 38 member clubs, with support from Ford Motor Company and Southern California Ford dealerships. Without the support of each of them, this fantastic car show could not exist.
It might embarrass him to be recognized, but I would like to give special thanks to John Clinard – extraordinary car enthusiast, occasional senior concours judge and long-time representative of the Ford Motor Company – working even in his so-called and well deserved (I can appreciate doing it, as I’m in a similar situation). John was instrumental in granting me free press access to Ford when I started my column and met him 20 years ago. Thanks John!
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