Limited-Edition Print of 350 ( 13x19) print
Signed and numbered by the Artist.
In 1965, Ford won the "Manufacture Of the Year" award, as their new SOHC 427 was a dominating powerplant in all the forms of motorsports. I find these two Fords, one of the more interesting stories in the history of the altered wheelbase FX match racers!
In 1965, the Automotive Manufactures wanted to get heavily involved in Drag Racing. Chrysler and Ford were going to go at head to head, with one small problem...
NHRA mandated, that the new Factory Experimental (FX) cars, could have no more then a 2% wheelbase alteration, this was carried out by Ford, and their new Mustangs. However, the 2% rule was passed an enacted, only after Chrysler had already built a fleet a radically altered wheelbase Coronets, and Fury's. The new FX Mustangs were no competition for the radical Chryslers; so Ford put-out a press release announcing that their FX Stangs would not be allowed to compete against the radically Altered Chryslers. NHRA backed up Ford, and stuck to their 2% rule for the FX class. The radical Chryslers, were relegated to the C/Dragster classes at the NHRA National Events.
Outside of the NHRA National event scene, the Match Race circuit was barnstorming the country side, as the new Altered Wheelbase (soon to become known as "Funny Cars") FXers had captured the hearts of race fans everywhere! This didn't sit well with Ford, as the AWB cars were stealing shows and the 'Limelight," leaving the Mustangs out in the cold.
Since NHRA was only running 4 events throughout the year, that would leave 48 weekends where the Fords would not compete, and that wasn't about to happen. The answer was simple; the Ford contingent would have to build some match race cars to compete with the Chrysler and Chevy FXers...
Ford point-man, Dick Brannan, was given the task of building some FX Fords to compete against the Chryslers. Holman and Moody (of NASCAR fame) were already under contract with Ford (as they were the ones who built the 2% FX Factory legal Mustangs), so they got together with Brannan to see what they could come up with...They decided to build two cars, one would be a more radical Mustang, that Dick would drive. The second car would be for teammate Phil Bonner, and would be an altered wheelbase Ford Falcon; built to compete directly with the likes of Chrysler's Love-Child, Dick Landy, and his "Show Stopping," bumper dragging, injected 65 Dodge Coronet.
The MUSTANG "Bronco": Brannan's legal FX Mustang was named "Goldfinger"; the new match racer would be dubbed the "Bronco," as I suppose they thought this car would be a "Bucking Bronco," or at least help bring in some Bucks! The car featured Ford's powerhouse 427 SOHC, using twin Holly carbs in lieu of injectors on gasoline...The wheelbase was stretched to 102 inches, the rear wheels were moved forward 10", and the fronts were moved 4". This car would serve as the "proto-type" for the new 66 FX Mustangs, driven by likes of Gas Ronda, Tommy Grove, and Bill Lawton to name a few...The 66 fleet of Stangs would dominate in 66.
The FALCON "Daddy WARBUCKS": As stated, Phil Bonner's Falcon, was to be Ford's answer to the likes of Dick Landy and Ronnie Sox... The Ford bird would run the same engine combo as Brannan's Stang, running carbs and gas. Phil said the car would run 9.90s, to 10 flat, all day long with the carburetors... The rear wheels were moved forward 9" to give the car an even 100" wheelbase...Later the car would become injected, and run nitro, but at this time there was no need, as Phil's Bird could take the best that any of the Chryslers could dish out!
The Painting and the Race: The scene is the 1965 AHRA Championships at Lion's Drag Strip in Long Beach California. AHRA, held their "Championship" race (Basically like the "World Finals") at the beach for the first time, and they broke-up the event into two weekends. The first weekend would be for the Stockers, and the second would feature the Dragsters and all the rest. Much to AHRA and the promoters surprise, the "Stockers" weekend, drew a larger crowd then the following week when the Dragsters ran.
AHRA had a more relaxed attitude toward the "AWB" Stockers, and allowed a "Run-what-ya-brung" moratorium for the class...Brannan and Bonner's Ford marched through the field of FXers undauntedly. Bonner's Falcon, was the fastest car on gas at the event, running 10.02 et. at 139...
On Sunday, Bonner out did Bud Faubel's injected "Honker" Dodge, and Brannan out ran Cecil Yother's "Melrose Missile" Plymouth, putting both Fords in the "Unlimited-Stock" final...As the race goes; At the green Bonner's Falcon stood on it's tale, allowing Brannan's "Bronco" to run for the bucks...Dick ran a 10.08 at 136 to take the win, as Phil's Ford carried the wheelstand past half track before it came crashing down, tweaking the front-end.