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  Ford Factory Sponsorship

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Author Topic:   Ford Factory Sponsorship
SG236
Gearhead

Posts: 416
From: Jasper, TN, USA
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 02-04-2001 09:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SG236        Reply w/Quote
I have a chip on my shoulder about FORD. Robert Patrick out there busting his *** trying to compete with the other factory sponsored cars. GM and Mopar sponsoring more than their share of "factory" hotrods. Makes me sick!

I don't buy the company line of we sponsor John Force in NHRA. Well that's fine but it's crap. GM and Mopar sponsor PS, TF, and TFC.

Anybody else pissed about this?

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Rory McNeil
Gearhead

Posts: 1889
From: Surrey, B.C. Canada
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 02-05-2001 12:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rory McNeil        Reply w/Quote
Hate to say it, but when it comes to sponsership."Bang for the buck" Ford really missed the boat. They dropped Bob Glidden when he didn`t dominate, no support for a PS truck program.They don`t seem to give a damn about Stock, S/Stock, only about Forces Ford bodied, Mopar powered plastic car. They had that dismal Budweiser-Motorcraft deal in the 80`s that didn`t result in much other than Bernstein & 1 win for Jim Van Cleves Mustang Comp. elim. car.You would have thought that a few years back Ford would have promoted the heck out of the 5.0 Mustang with factory sponserships like Olds & later Pontiac did with these FI Firebirds, but nope. Kinda sad.Robert Patrick Should be given MAJOR $$$$$$$$$, but instead Ford concentrates wasting money on F1 & Indycar stuff that the average guy can relate to in the showroom. Yeah right.

Fordwiser
Gearhead

Posts: 535
From: Metamora, Illinois
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 02-05-2001 05:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fordwiser        Reply w/Quote
Maybe we should tell Ford we'll remember where the factory suport is when we're looking for our next tow vehicle or daily drivers! Roger

SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 48752
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 02-05-2001 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere        Reply w/Quote
They should realize that it's the pride of a successful '65 Mustang or '86 Capri race car, for example, that makes us drive to Ford dealerships to buy 2002 F-150s or Tauruses or Mustangs.

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'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip
'97 Probe GTS 2.5L Disposable Commuter

kid vishus
Gearhead

Posts: 7251
From: middle of NC
Registered: Oct 2000

posted 02-05-2001 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kid vishus        Reply w/Quote
This whole thiong ticks me off too, but they don't really care about drag racing. They have NASCAR. Thats where the majority of their factory backing goes. As soon as they become non-competitive, they redesign a body or design a new set of cylinder heads for them. The NHRA Pro stock guy(s) struggle to compete and they help a little at the most. Their attitude strikes me as "we don't care, we have John Force." Or they would rather spend millions on indy cars, which are about as interesting to watch as watching paint dry.
Yep, sure p***es me off

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 02-06-2001 12:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
FoMoCo's involvement in motorsports overall is rivaled by no manufacturer. For that I am thankful. Their alienation of drag racing can be attributed to one person. If I told you who you would all be in shock. One man single handedly wiped the slate clean for all future FoMoCo drag racers because of his ego. It all started in 1988 and built from their until the powers had enough. If it was not for that one man, I would probably be campaining a well financed 2000 Mustang SS/GT superstocker and a 2000 Mustang 4.6 stocker. Am I bitter? Yes! Do I hold it against him? No! He stood by his convictions and let his ego get the best of him. Been there, done that!

------------------
Alex Denysenko Co-Administrator and Moderator NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
Fleet of FoMoCo products
Moneymaker Bio
US Class Nationals link

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 02-08-2001 06:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
Well, here goes again. In the early 1980's a new regime came into power at FoMoCo and was spearheaded by several performance enthusiasts. The most well know of the group was Edsel Ford II. he was president of LM division at the time and had a lot of clout with his dad William Clay Ford. The Mustang GT was introduced in 1982 and was a huge hit. A star was born! Ford racing was in sad shape at the time. Factory involvement was non existent the only bright spot was in Drag Racing where Bob Glidden was winning with his Fairmont. Even Bob Jumped ship in the 1978 season for Chrysler because FoMoCo would not offer and financial support. They came around after Bob won the championship with a Plymouth Arrow. Bob started the new performance 80's with an ill handling EXP and a new F-8000 truck and trailer compliments of FoMoCo. For 1983 FoMoCo had entirely new cars. The new aerodynamic T-Birds and Cougar, The Mustang GT, Factory available FI on all the V-8's. Sales were booming. To keep their name out in front FoMoCo created the SVO group and decided to return to the "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" Total Performance program which was so successful in the 60's. They solicited racing teams and drivers all over the world in every venue of motorsports from Monster Trucks to Formula One. Being that Bob Glidden was in the cat birds seat a deal was struck with FoMoCo and the Southland corp. for sponsorship. This same sponsorship was extended to the Wood Brothers Nascar team. Southland was better know as Chief Auto Parts and 7-11/Citgo. Fuel drag racing entrepreneur Kenny Bernstein had negotiated a deal with FoMoCo and Budwieser to sponsor a "Super Ford Bud Drag Team" made up of himself, and one car for every class of NHRA Drag Racing with a body. Some of you might remember the Bernstein EXP and Tempo Funny cars. Frank Ioconio was tapped as the Pro Stock driver of this team. Kenny and Bob continued winning races and making FoMoCo proud with their accomplishments. With nearly identical T-Birds, Glidden and Ioconio set off for the season opening NHRA Winternationals in 1983. As Frank Ioconio struggled in qualifying the FoMoCo and SVO racing brass went to Bob Glidden and asked that he loan an engine to the Bud Ford team car. this did not set to well with Glidden, but he new what side his bread was buttered and he obliged. Frank not only qualified, but went on to win the entire event. Ford was happy, Bob was not. he never loaned any of his engines again. Glidden went on to capture the 1983 championship and subsequent years. As the Bud Pro Stock team struggled, Bob offered little assistance. This did not set well with FoMoCo as Glidden was very well funded at this time Lincoln Mercury also got into the act with Roy Hill and his mercury Capri Pro Stocks and later Topaz units. By 1985 a Pro Stock racers from the IHRA began to attract FoMoCo's attention. Ricky Smith had always been a FoMoCo driver and was winning in the IHRA Mountain motor Pro Stock class. Ford liked what Ricky was doing as an independent and tapped his services. Now there were several well funded FoMoCo Pro Stock teams in both NHRA and IHRA. GM was doing the same thing with it's Olds, Buick, chebbie, and Pontiac divisions. With Glidden on top in NHRA and Smith in IHRA everything looked great for SVO and FoMoCo racing. Roush was racing Mercury's and winning, Bill Elliot was dominating Nascar with several other FoMoCo teams. Enter 1986 and a gentleman named Billy Meyer decides he has had enough of NHRA and proceeds to buy the IHRA. He wants to turn it into a major sports entertainment organization and has the money to do it. He alienated the entire sportsman division by eliminating all of their classes. He went to an entire .90 dial in format. His plan was to attract more cash spending spectators and give them mega Pro Shows. In order to do this he had to offer large purses to attract the NHRA big guns like Glidden, Warren Johnson, Bernstein, Prudhome etc. The Nitro fuel class rules were the same but the Pro Stock rules allowed the use of huge displacement engines. At that time the Pro Stocks only carried one car so the NHRA regulars had to develop and switch engines between sanctioning bodies. In 1987 FoMoCo decided that Motorcraft was a natural sponsor for many of their race teams, so the cars were all adorned with the familiar red and white logos. Ricky Smith was given a full tilt Motorcraft deal with truck and transporter. the cash was equal to Gliddens and that really upset Bob. Ricky was to IHRA what Bob was to NHRA so it only seemed appropriate. As Ricky was getting a serious amount of ink and glory his position was strengthened with FoMoCo daily. He gave good interviews and promoted the product. Most of all he won races. by now IHRA and Billy Meyer had negotiated a deal with ESPN to air the IHRA events. This proved to be a fantastic move and the exposure was tremendous for all concerned. Ford bought advertising air time and Ricky won races. Ricky would set records in the IHRA and give out press releases to the media. The non race media would report that Smith had the worlds quickest and fastest Pro Stock. They never differentiated between IHRA and NHRA and the 100+ displacement disparity. Glidden tire quickly of Smiths media attention and decided he wanted a taste of the IHRA money and exposure. Rick was the record holder in IHRA Pro Stock at the time with an identical T-Bird to Bobs except for the power plant. Bob shows up at an IHRA race and qualifies #1 and proceeds to win the event beating Ricky in the final. this made FoMoCo happy as both Motorcraft cars were in the finals and it made for great TV and Monday newspaper adds. Ricky went on to the next event and set a new record and won. Bob did not attend as he had a conflicting NHRA race. At the next race Bob rolls his T-Bird out and proceeds to BOMB the IHRA Pro Stock record and run the sports first Pro Stock 190 MPH run. All of the drivers suspected Bob of cheating, but none elected to protest him. IHRA owner Billy Meyer confronts Bob in the pits and demands a tear down and inspection. Bob refuses sighting the rules require a formal protest and fee. Meyer sites his being the owner and demands that Bob tears down of be ejected. the Glidden family would not comply and left. They were subsequently banned from further IHRA competition. This news made motorsports headlines all over the world and the FoMoCo brass were not happy. They were embarrassed by Bob's lack of tact. Bobs' only intention was to make Ricky look bad and show that he was the undisputed king of Pro Stock. Bob sited his reasons for not tearing down and said that the IHRA would be gone by years end anyway. he was wrong. Billy Meyer attracted fans by the millions, but drove away all of the sponsors. he destroyed the IHRA Winston relationship that Larry Carrier developed among many others. Ford stayed on as the demographics fit their requirements and Ricky was winning championships. By 1988 Glidden had won another NHRA championship and seemed unstoppable. Ford was in the process of introducing another new car for 1989 and NHRA/IHRA Pro Stock was the perfect theater to showcase it. Two new 1989 Probes were commissioned with the Motorcraft livery on them and delivered to Glidden and Smith. The cars were readied in secrecy as to surprise the media and the fans. Glidden was to debut the new car Labor Day weekend at the NHRA US Nationals and Smith was to do likewise at the following IHRA event. The week prior to the US Nationals Smith was at the IHRA Summer Nationals and his T-Bird was not running up to par with the new 89 Camaros and Firebirds. he withdrew the T-Bird and entered the Probe. The car was sensational and he won the event. Bob got pissed! he was livid! Smith had stole his thunder and Bob was not going to stand still for it. Even though Smith had disobeyed orders from FoMoCo, they weren't to mad at him because he won the event. Bob did not take it as well. By the end of the 1988 season Glidden demanded that Smith be removed from the program or he would leave FoMoCo. Ford did like hearing that, but the new probe was selling very well and Pro Stock was the only venue that they could race it in. Bob got his way. Ricky turned in the truck and trailer at the end of the year. It was given to the Jordan Bros. by Ford. they had developed a Ford powered alcohol funny car that was showing some promise. Enter the 90's and Glidden is still winning and getting more arrogant every year. By now he had persuaded FoMoCo to vent all of it's drag racing dollars his way. FoMoCo bet on a proven winner and agreed. All other FoMoCo drag racing contracts were canceled! Bob is having personal problems with the boys and a business venture with an in law is going awry. Both boys married, had children and got divorced almost simultaneously. This hit Etta the hardest. Etta had her own identity problems and was tiring of racing. They had amassed a fortune by now and she wanted some of the good life. Bob began making public derogatory comments about FoMoCo and their lack of support in the development of the new wedge engine for Pro Stock. He blamed Yates and the Nascar bunch for eating up all of the funds, and to an extent this was true. he claimed that the Boss was at the end of it's horsepower development. FoMoCo execs did not take to kindly to reading about these comments in the media. Non race publications like Sports Illustrated and USA today took some of Bobs comments out of context and printed them. His intention was to get some of the attention away from his personal life. He began loosing favor with the brass, but nevertheless kept on winning. He was on a 3 million dollar a year plus deal with FoMoCo at this time. Per FoMoCo's instructions Bob began to build T-Birds so that the Ford program was in sync with Nascar. Bob was happy as the wheel base was longer and the Bird was easier to drive. Enter 1993 and the arrival of the SN-95 car was on the doorstep. FoMoCo invested a lot in the new car and wanted it showcased everywhere it could. Trans Am, SCCA, and of course NHRA Pro Stock. Ford also signed famed funny car racers Candies and Hughes to campaign a Nitro Funny car. They received FoMoCo and Camel sponsorship jointly. Bob contacted Jerry Haas to build the first 1994 SN-95 Mustang Pro Stock. the car was gorgeous. Bob took the car out testing and was unhappy with it;s performance. He sighted poor aerodynamics and ill handling. Bob and the boys them proceeded to cut the front end off of the car and reconstruct it themselves. the car was then junk according to Jerry Haas. Bob arrives at the 1994 NHRA season opening Winternationals with a new transporter adorned with a mural of the NEW Quality Care 1994 Mustang Pro Stocker. I was there when he pulled the rig in and was as excited as everyone else. All of the reporters from every newspaper and magazine lay in wait, cameras in hand. Bob and Billy opened the doors and out comes last years T-Bird. We all assume that Bob is kidding around and the Mustang is in the front of the transporter. NOPE, another T-Bird is in the front. Bob blows every one off for the time being and says that he will hold a press conference later. he does and proceeds to lambaste the SN-95 car in every way that he can. he blames FoMoCo for not doing their job in the wind tunnel and spending too much time on the Funny car effort. He makes the statement that "You will never see Bob Gliddens name on the side of a Mustang!" The new car is junk! This was printed not only in the magazines, but in the next days USA Today. It was the headline on the sports page. FoMoCo was livid and embarrassed. Bob had just signed a new 3 year contract and it was for big money. He was told to make a retraction and corrective statement, but he refused. he said that he spoke the truth and now maybe FoMoCo would give him some help. That did it for Bob and FoMoCo in Drag Racing. FoMoCo vowed to never be embarrassed by a racer that way again. When Bob's contract expired, there was never any talk of re upping it. He won his last race in 1997 after his heart attack and a fan letter writting campaign forced FoMoCo to offer him a token $600,000 deal for 1998. he declined. There is more but it gets personal with the boys and the nitrous, his divorce and other problems. This saga turned FoMoCo on NHRA/IHRA drag racing for good. Many have tried to turn things around John Force being one of them. FoMoCo will never back anyone but a guaranteed winner and a sponsor friendly "yes man" again. Robert Patrick needs support, but there are too many "Glidden Shadows" still lurking and the sting still hurts the FoMoCo brass. Maybe if they build a 8.2 liter Mod motor they might just get involved again.

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Alex Denysenko Co-Administrator and Moderator NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
Fleet of FoMoCo products
Moneymaker Bio
US Class Nationals link

SteveLaRiviere
Administrator

Posts: 48752
From: Saco, Maine
Registered: May 99

posted 02-08-2001 06:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SteveLaRiviere        Reply w/Quote
What a great read! Excellent job, Alex!

What is Bob Glidden doing now?

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'72 Mustang Sprint Coupe 351C 4V/FMX/4.30 Trac Loc
'94 F-150 XL 5.8L/E4OD/3.55 Limited Slip
'97 Probe GTS 2.5L Disposable Commuter
"If it's not a Ford, it's not mine!"

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 02-08-2001 07:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
Bob is working part time at Steve Shmidts Pro Stock Engine emporium in Indianapolis. He is living in an apartment last the I heard and comes to Whiteland to visit the grand child and his old shop 2 or 3 times a week. Billy got all of the equipment and the shop from Etta. He currently works out of it.

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Alex Denysenko Co-Administrator and Moderator NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
Fleet of FoMoCo products
Moneymaker Bio
US Class Nationals link

SG236
Gearhead

Posts: 416
From: Jasper, TN, USA
Registered: Dec 2000

posted 02-08-2001 09:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SG236        Reply w/Quote
That is a sad story for us diehard blue oval racers and fans. I had heard a few tidbits by people over the years but never gave it much credence. I heard just a while back that Bob said the NASCAR crap just wasn't for him and quit in the middle of an engine program and the team is not happy.

I just can't see him being as arrogant as WJ!

Thanks for setting the record straight Alex.

Russ Hood

TomP
Gearhead

Posts: 6376
From: Delta BC Canada
Registered: Dec 99

posted 02-09-2001 04:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for TomP        Reply w/Quote
Thanks Alex

I had heard snippets of much of it,and rumors too. He sure did rattle everyone with his hatred of the 94 Mustang... which struck me as odd at the time, he was claiming the the car needed something like 100 more horsepower just to be as fast as the Probe or T-Bird, i didn't think a van would be that much..... obviously the IHRA guys had no problems that way.

A case of biting the hand that feeds you

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 02-09-2001 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
That was the obvious point that FoMoCo made to Glidden Tomp. The IHRA guys had no handling problems with the cars at well over 200 MPH.

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Alex Denysenko Co-Administrator and Moderator NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
Fleet of FoMoCo products
Moneymaker Bio
US Class Nationals link

Doc
Gearhead

Posts: 466
From: Redwood City, Ca. USA
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 02-09-2001 03:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Doc        Reply w/Quote
Well told Alex. Like most I had been aware of much of it, but you filled in some gaps for me. Just as a side note. I think Ford would be a contender in NHRA Pro Stock today with split Dominators, all cars would benifit but Ford would excell with them. Again it's just my opinion but I think the port entry is a stumbling block with the Ford. I'm sure Sonny (Patricks engine builder) already knows if this would help. I'm not a fan of penalties like how NASCAR evens out their deal and NHRA tried when Ford was dominant. I've always contended "rules" make one car quicker/faster than another and a simple rule change could make Pro Stock exciting again.

Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 29200
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 02-09-2001 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker        Reply w/Quote
Ironically Doc, Holley now makes split Dominators in house for sale to anyone through their normal distribution network. I too would like to see the carburator show it's full potential before the switch to EFI is made in both sanctioning bodies.

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Alex Denysenko Co-Administrator and Moderator NHRA/IHRA/SRA member
Fleet of FoMoCo products
Moneymaker Bio
US Class Nationals link

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