Fearsome Two Million Dollar Mustang A/FX Drag Racer
Updated April 29, 2016
These 10 highly modified Mustangs were built to smash through the loose drag racing regulations of the early ’60s, win races, and sell more Fords on Monday.
In order to control the OEMs and their distribution of special race parts to drivers in what were supposed to be stock classes, the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) created three Factory Experimental classes, the fastest of which was A, and the class name became A/FX.
Fan went crazy for the A/FX cars and despite the fact that the NHRA had created specific rules as to what parts and portions of the cars could and couldn’t be modified, the OEMs pretty much ignored the rules. Knowing the fans were paying paying to see the spectacular A/FX cars, they weren’t turned away. And the next weekend a different manufacturer would stretch the rule that much further.
In regards to the Ford Mustang A/FX cars, 10 (or 11, depending upon who you ask) fastbacks were shipped to Holman and Moody in North Carolina. Holman and Moody was Ford’s primary technical partner in NASCAR, but would be brought in for other programs include the drag Mustangs and the Le Mans GT40s.
When the cars in NC, they were further stripped down to a bare shell. At the rear an entirely new drag racing specific suspension set-up was created utilizing the original rear axle. The axle itself was moved forward three inches and the wheel wheel radiused to fit the larger drag tires. All components were built on a jig so repair parts could be quickly manufactured and shipped to teams, knowing it would fit the car.
At the front, Ford specified the 427 SOHC engine be installed, but there wasn’t enough room under the Mustang’s hood. The Holman and Moody crew torched off the inner front fenders, shock mounts and all, in order to stuff the big Cammer into the Mustang. The crew then installed a clever torsion leaf suspension to provide springing at the front end. The motors were installed with two four-barrel carburetors, per the rules.
A Ford SOHC 427 V-8 at Holman Moody ready for one of the 1965 Mustang A/FX cars. Note the Holman Moody sticker above the Ford oval.
The hood, fender, bumper and apron were all formed from fiberglass. The interior featured nothing more than a dashboard, steering wheel, seats, shifter, and roll bar. Windows were plexiglass.
The cars were assigned to members of Ford’s Drag Racing Council, who were leading drivers at the time. A letter from Ford accompanying each vehicle stated “to be used only in drag strip events, sold to the individual for the sum of one dollar”.
Converting one the A/FX Mustangs to Fuel Injection at Holman Moody
Five to seven (again, depending upon who you talk to) of the cars were fitted with new 427 SOHC engine, which were scarce at that point in time. The remaining three were given the 427 wedge Hi Riser engine until more of the SOHC engines could be built.
Categories: Gear Grinding