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Car Profiles

Rodney Ward and his "Rattle Can Baron"!

May 22, 2012 by Chad Houghton
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Rodney Ward from Muncie Indiana has owned his 65 fastback since the early 80's.

Back when he bought it Rodney fixed it up and drove it back and forth to school.   At night and on the weekends Rodney would head out on the cruising scene and that lead to street racing.  Light to light Rodney had earned a reputation and not so much in a good way.  After being pulled over 18 times in one month the decision was made to pull it off the road and become strictly a race car.  "I got pulled over 18 times, many of those times was by the State and County Police who heard about the car and they just wanted to look at it.  I had one State Policeman actually thank me for not running away because he knew that I knew this car would out run him," says Rodney. 


After being pulled over 18 times in one month the decision was made to pull it off the road and become strictly a race car.


With no trans break it is very impressive that this car can pull the front wheels with stock 65 shocks, springs and drum brakes all around.
Rodney really got his racing career started back in the old Fun Ford Weekend days.  Starting out with the close ones at Norwalk, Ohio (now Summit Motorsport Park).  Rodney then started to travel and race exclusively FFW for 6 years as well as most of the World Ford Challenges.  Rodney was at the very first WFC in Bowling Green KY and that is one of his most memorable races.  For the past two years Rodney has been racing the NMRA Trick Flow Open Comp class and in 2011 placed 5th in points.

The power behind this classic race car is a pretty stout 302.  Rodney filled the block with a Eagle forged crank. Scat rods and a set of Ross forged flat top 9:1 pistons.  A Lunati camshaft was selected to help the Edelbrock Victor Jr. heads and intake inhale and exhale.  A Holley 735 vac Secondary carb sits as the cherry on top and the fuel is provided by a good old tried and true Holley Blue pump.  To help make sure the engine burns the fuel a MSD 6al ignition box was installed as well as an Excel Super coil.  Bolted to the motor is a Scat SFI cert flex plate with a TCI 4500 stall Convertor.  The trans is a Rodney built C4 with a TCI reverse manual valve body and changes gear with a B&M Quick Silver shifter.  With no trans break it is very impressive that this car can pull the front wheels with stock 65 shocks, springs and drum brakes all around.  In order to take the abuse of the wheelie popping 60fts Rodney built a 9" rear end to handle the job.  A 4:56 gear set with Moser 35 spline axles and spool were set in place to make sure the show is going on down the track rather than being pushed back off the track.  The wheels of choice were a set of Weld Pro Stars that are wrapped in a set of M/T 26/10/15 slicks.



Rodney built the gauge cluster and switch panel.

Rodney has built himself one fine looking race car that gets attention where ever it goes.  With his dedication to racing and willingness to win makes him a serious threat to the guy in the other lane.  That being said Rodney Won the season NMRA opener in Bradenton Florida and is well on his way to placing high this year in the final points!

The original paint on the car was burgundy but looking at the pictures there is something different you just can't quite make out.  That's because this car is painted with a rattle can!  Yes I did say that right!  Being a race car the years have taken it's toll on the original paint and paying for an expensive show car paint job on a race car was out of the question.  So Rodney bought a whole bunch of Krylon spray cans and went to town.  It took about a month to do it.  The car has 3 coats and after every coat got wet sanded with 1200 grit then he buffed it and put a coat of wax on it.

 

For more photos of this car click here!

(Authors note: when I first saw the car in 2010 at NMRA Atco event I did not believe it was spray painted until I saw one and only one flaw then I could tell the paint was from a spray bomb, he did that good of a job).