Once again this we made the seven-day, seven-city trip known as the Hot Rod Power Tour with a few of our closest Mustang buddies in search of the coolest Fords in the country. With over 5,000 cars making the trip with us, we were sure we would find some killer Fords along the route that took participants from Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky, to Zmax Dragway in Concord, North Carolina, with five more cities in between.
As usual, we were right and found way more cars and trucks that we could ever highlight in one story. Somehow we managed to narrow it down to five as well as a few honorable mentions we just could not leave out. Keep on reading to check them out…
2018 Power Tour Stops
Day 1: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Day 2: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Day 3: Hoover, Alabama
Day 4: Darlington, South Carolina
Day 5: Hampton, Georgia
Day 6: Raleigh, North Carolina
Day 7: Concord, North Carolina
5. Gulf Racing-Livery Coyote Fastback
The rest of our top five list consist of cars that completed every stop on the tour, the “long haul” as they call it. As far as we know, this beautiful Mustang fastback was only at the Darlington stop, but it was just too cool not to have on our list.
We spotted this thing from a mile away pulling in and immediately went to it once we were parked ourselves. With a Ford GT40-style, Gulf Racing-inspired paint scheme, this fastback begs for your attention. And, with big brakes, a race-inspired interior and a Coyote shoved under the hood this ride does a good job at keeping your attention. This is one gorgeous and unique Ford Mustang.
4. Coyote-Swapped SVO
The Power Tour is often used to debut and show off aftermarket vendors’ latest builds and creations. While some never see any road besides inside the company trailer, others are tested, abused, drag-raced and auto-crossed along the seven-day journey to show off just what the companies products will do.
Event sponsor Ron Francis Wiring chose to do just that with its freshly built 1984 Ford Mustang SVO. Long gone is the turbo four-cylinder and in its place is a modern Coyote 5.0-liter engine. The car was able to complete the entire journey, logging 2,400 miles in total all while managing a 12.3 e.t. on a hot quarter-mile and sipping down an impressive 30 miles to the gallon.
3. 406ci Big-Block Falcon
Big-blocks ruled muscle car era in the ’60s and early ’70s, when the more cubic inches your car had, the better. While most of these monster engines were found in Galaxies, ’Cudas and Chevelles, occasionally, a big-block would find itself shoehorned into a smaller model, either from the factory in limited numbers like the famed Super Stock Hemi Barracudas of the late ’60s, or in a custom application like this 1964 Ford Falcon.
However they got there, large displacement in a lightweight car works. Not only does this car have a cool engine combo but the owners drive it. This car was on the long haul for the entire trip. We were never able to catch up with the owners, but we want to give them a big pat on the back for not going the normal route with this build!
2. Driven Shelby Convertible
We spotted and fell in love with this first-generation Shelby Mustang early on in Bowling Green, Kentucky. With the hectic nature and wide variety of schedules participants take on the Power Tour, we never got a chance to see it again until the photo above when it was pulling into Zmax Dragway in Concord, North Carolina, completing the 2018 long haul.
What we saw was enough to know that this red beauty belonged in our top five. A car that could have easily been a trailer queen is driven and we love it. That is what these cars were built to do, just as Mr. Shelby intended.
1. Blown Aussie XC Falcon
Seeing this car for the first time is one of those Power Tour memories we will not soon forget. This trip is not just about the stops themselves, but the journey to the events. Every small town gas station turns into a car show each morning, and it was at one of those that we first laid eyes on the Mad Max-inspired creation that is Australian Grant Hodgson’s XC Falcon.
Grant had the car shipped over here in the early 2000s just for events like the Power Tour and the Street Machine Nationals. Although some mechanical issues derailed him in the early years, this Australian beaut’ tackled the long haul this year and drew a crowd everywhere it went. The car features a blown 351 Cleveland backed up by an original bull-nose Boss 429 Toploader four-speed manual transmission. Pretty cool, huh?
We did not run into this car again until we saw it pulling in off the long haul in Concord so we are thankful we ended up on the same fuel stop schedule as this Australian beast. This car is an easy number one for our 2018 list.
Of course with almost 2,000 miles on the road and nearly 5,000 cars total on the tour, we ran across more than just five cool Fords. Be sure and check out our full photo gallery below as well as these honorable mentions…