2017 FE Race and Reunion – Beaver Springs Was Bristling With Killer Ford Powered Hot Rods

2017 FE Race and Reunion – Beaver Springs Was Bristling With Killer Ford Powered Hot Rods

(Words and photos by Joe Grippo) – Hardcore. That’s what this weekend was, totally hardcore. Imagine a drag race and car show event centered around a single engine family that’s been out of production since the mid-70’s. Now hold that event at an out of the way, quaint little dragstrip in central Pennsylvania. You would think you could expect what, maybe 20-30 cars and it would probably be a onetime deal, right? But we are talking about the Ford FE series and the faithful contingent of devotees who are keeping it alive and thriving. 2017 marked the 5th time the FE Race and Reunion was held at Beaver Springs Dragway, in Beaver, Pa and close to 175 race and show cars poured through the gates!

Action kicked off with a test-n-tune on Friday afternoon followed by a ridiculous free food spread of brats, beans and beer for participants. Mother nature played along with sunny 80 degree weather, a perfect day. The wet stuff moved in overnight and forced a late start for Saturdays eliminations, but that provided welcomed time for chatting up your fellow FE friends, some of which traveled from Australia, Sweden, Canada and other exotic locales like Florida, Michigan and Minnesota. Racing got rolling around 11am with some time shots for the three classes: Cool FE (12 flat and slower), Hot FE (11.99 and faster) and the Cobra Jet Shoot-Out (any car originally equipped with a 428CJ). A few specialty races were held also, the quickest 8 Hot FE guys ran off in Pro FE for a bonus purse and a free “Bird Race” let any first round loser run off for a cool die-cut sign of the famous FE logo.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more – Check out the photos below and click to enlarge ’em!

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5 thoughts on “2017 FE Race and Reunion – Beaver Springs Was Bristling With Killer Ford Powered Hot Rods

  1. Bob J

    I was there with a friend. The 58 Fairlane (Black & White) is a consistently strong performer, running in the mid-eights. There were several nice rides, and of course the 422 cars were running strongly. The car that impressed me most was a 67(? could’ve been a 68) Dark blue Mustang sportsroof running in the mid 10’s that looked nearly stock. I think that car was from Canada (again, could be in error). I would venture that he’d be a killer on the street (not that THAT ever happens nowadays ;^) ). Mostly I saw cars and drivers that were a bit rusty on the lights (which did malfunction and gave some a red-light, which they did correct and allowed them to re-run). Beaver Springs is a really nice track. It’s a shame it’s so far away from where I live (DC area). My friend and I make it a point to see the FE Race and Reunion every year. If you haven’t made the trip, and you’re a Ford fan, I’d highly recommend it. There were a lot more attendees this year, and it’s steadily growing.

    Bob J

    1. marc

      I also liked the black/white \’58 Ford, but just to clarify, it\’s not a Fairlane. It\’s a Ford Custom 300. The Fairlane and Fairlane 500 have completely different side mouldings. I owned a \’58 Custom 300 about 50 years ago.

  2. Steve Savage

    Excellent story and spot on as to the event and the many race cars that show up every year to put on the greatest FE show on earth. One glaring omission, however. The FE Race & Reunion attracts not only \’killer Ford-powered hot rods\’, it also attracts some of the biggest names in FE Ford drag racing history. This year, none other than Dick Brannan, Al Joniec, Ohio George Montgomery, Sam Auxier, Jr., and Bill Coon graced the event with their appearance and were readily available to racers and fans alike with autographs and stories of the era when FEs ruled the nation\’s drag strips. At the FE Race & Reunion it\’s as much about the people as it is about the hot rods. A special tip of the hat to the proprietors of Beaver Springs Dragway, Donna and \’Beaver Bob\’ McCardle. These fine folks know how to run a race track and offer some very fine central Pennsylvania hospitality. It\’s my 2d year to attend and I came all the way from Florida. Well worth the long trip.

  3. David

    My mechanic friend and I made our first trip to Beaver Springs this year after I stumbled onto the mention of it while reading on the Ford FE forum.

    Knowing that the FE forum is chocked full of guys that are a lot smarter than I am when it comes to the big block that is under the hood of my \’66 Mercury S55, I knew we had to attend this show. What a fantastic weekend that was filled with more early Ford muscle, in one place, than I could hope to see at a hundred car shows. My interest in muscle cars that were produced – before the term \’muscle car\’ was invented – was more than satisfied when I saw 406 powered examples of solid lifter goodness at this event.

    I also want to thank the organizers and the track official \”Beaver Bob\” for holding this event and sending me back home to NY with energy and focus as we look forward to this season in the garage and on the road. This type of event is so specialized and I applaud them for giving us FE fans a venue to enjoy our power and early FoMoCo history.

  4. Jim Wysocki

    There is no place better than this event to get your FE fix. Second year attending for myself and a friend from Ma. Great weather this year, (only really a threat of rain). Awesome swap meet also here. Just one vendor had more FE parts than one could find at an entire swap in the Northeast and of course there were multiple vendors there.
    The roar of FEs could be heard and felt all weekend. Nirvana!

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