Ford Racing History

"Dyno" Don Nicholson and Dick Brannan

Ford performance enthusiasts  owe many thanks to names such as Brannan, Glidden, Holman & Moody for their contributions to Ford racing and the impact it has had on street performance.

Dick Brannan was the pioneer of the original Ford Drag Team, which was sponsored by Ford, beginning in 1962. (A special thanks goes to Dick Brannan, for his gracious contribution to this web page.) Some of the original Drag Team drivers were Gas Ronda, Les Ritchey, Mickey Thompson, Phil Bonner (Warbucks), Al Joniec, Ed Terry, Len Richter and Dick Brannan.

Click on the thumbnails to view the full size images:



The "FORD DRAG TEAM" was Ford's factory drag racing team for 1969 and 1970. The team was quite active, running super stock and match races, and giving performance seminars at Ford Dealers. The eastern Team Captain was, the "Georgia Shaker" himself, long-time Ford pilot Hubert Platt. Platt's teammate was Randy Payne. The western Team Captain was Ed Terry partnered with Dick Wood.

Kent and Al Joniec.jpg (68374 bytes)     Kent Magruder and Butch Leal.jpg (65255 bytes)     Kent_Hubert_Jesse.jpg (70020 bytes)     Phil Bonner_Kent Magruder.jpg (66649 bytes)

      Al Joniec              Butch Leal           Hubert Platt             Phil Bonner

Al Joniec won the 1968 Pomona Winternationals in a 1968-1/2 Cobra Jet Mustang

Butch Leal (California Flash) raced a 1964 427 Thunderbolt Fairlane

Hubert Platt  (Georgia Shaker) the Eastern Ford Drag Team Capt.

Phil Bonner (Warbucks) raced several cars, including some fast Falcons

Jesse_Magruder_ Dick_Brannan_ Kent_Magruder.jpg (52222 bytes)  al_joniec.jpg (48457 bytes)       jesse with brannans 63 ford.jpg (72533 bytes)        dyno dons mercurys.jpg (69995 bytes)

Dick Brannan   Al Joniec's Mustang   Jesse with Dick's Galaxie  Dyno Don's Mercs

Jesse Magruder and current Ford Drag Team Capt. Kent Magruder with the original Ford Drag Team Capt. Dick Brannan at the 2007 FordSouth show in Atlanta. Of course, Dick and the others had the distinction of being factory sponsored.

magruder_stokes_bonners.jpg (64731 bytes) 

(L-R) Kent Magruder, Colorado's "Fast Eddie" Stokes, Melanie and Phil Bonner


Pictures courtesy of


Using two 1969 428 Cobra Jet Torinos and two 1969 428 Cobra Jet Mustangs in Super Stock, and two 1969 Mustang fastbacks equipped with the famous 427 SOHC for match racing, these cars were drag strip terrors. They were painted blue with white hoods and white '69 Boss 302 style stripes and also a flip-flop scheme of white with blue stripes. The match-race SOHC cars also featured a huge Boss 429 style hood scoop, and American Torq-Thrust wheels. Both SOHC Mustangs were converted to 1970-style front end and rear taillamps after the '69 season concluded.

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