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Ford of Canada Presents
Cobra Jet Mustang
For the 1969 season, Barrie Poole fielded a Cobra
Jet Mustang with the coupe-style body. Purported
not to be as good as the fastback-style body, the
“Border Bandit” proved them wrong by cleaning
house with the coupe. (Barrie Poole)

The other half of the “Border Bandits,” John Elliott,
drove the more conventional fastback Cobra Jet
Mustang. The familiar bumblebee-stripe paint
scheme was being called “invasion stripes” by U.S.
racers. (Barrie Poole)
In the 1960s, Ford of Canada operated independently of the parent company in Dearborn and as a
result a number of unique product variations appeared north of the border.

Although our Canadian cousins got a late start in the performance arena, they made up ground
quickly and delivered a number of Ford’s all-time best drag cars and drivers. Transplanted from his
Prince Edward Island birthplace to Toronto, young Barrie Poole began to make a name for himself
preparing and driving George Masicotte’s big red B/Stock 1964 Galaxie 427. A successful season
and a Canadian National Record for Poole drew the attention of Sandy Elliott, the owner of
Canada's largest Ford/Lincoln-Mercury franchise. Elliott sought out Poole via Ford of Canada and
brought him to Chatham, Ontario, as performance advisor for the dealership.
At about the same time, Rankin Ford of London, Ontario, had taken delivery of an extremely rare
vehicle that would later go on to win wide acclaim on both sides of the border. The 271-hp
high-performance 289, initially introduced as an option for the 1963 Fairlane, was never offered in
Falcons built stateside, but a limited number of high-performance Falcons were produced by Ford
of Canada in 1965. Longtime racers and employees of Rankin Ford Ev Rouse and John McIntyre
joined forces to campaign one of these rare birds with dealer backing. Dubbed Wild Child, the
Falcon was fitted with class-legal fiberglass body components and initially ran in the B/FX class with
its small-block powerplant topped off with four Weber 2-barrel carburetors.
Ford Falcon race car
The restored Rankin Ford Wild
Child A/FX Falcon arrives at
Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 2004.
Note the period-correct 1965
F-100 tow vehicle.
Consistent 11-second elapsed times at 117 mph made the Falcon competitive on both sides of the
border. A notable match race in 1965 pitted the Wild Child against the London, Ontario-based Top
Fuel dragster of Scott Wilson. With the power of a supercharged SOHC 427 Ford engine, Wilson
held the title of Canada’s fastest fuel dragster, having recorded times in the low 7s at over 210
mph. Given a considerable handicap start, the little Falcon held on for the win against the dragster.

For the 1966 season, the Wild Child underwent further modifications and received a 427 Wedge
engine in place of the 289. This was later followed by the addition of a SOHC 427 and the alteration
of the car’s wheelbase as the competition grew stiffer.
Also in 1966, Barrie Poole fielded his first Sandy Elliott-sponsored machine in the form of a 1966
Comet Cyclone convertible dubbed The Collector. Powered by the 335-hp 390-ci engine and
backed up by the newly introduced C-6 automatic transmission, the Comet fit into the D/Stock
Automatic class in NHRA competition. While contemporary accounts consistently disparage the 390
Comets and Fairlanes as no competition for the General Motors middleweights, apparently
someone forgot to inform Mr. Poole as The Collector collected 34 class wins, a Top Stock
Eliminator trophy, and a semi-final round appearance at the NHRA Nationals. This car was followed
early in 1967 by a 427-powered 1966 Fairlane. After a few disappointing outings with the new car,
Poole received some helpful hints from successful American Ford racer Dave Lyall. Shortly
thereafter Poole set the MPH record in A/Stock with the Fairlane.
1966 Comet Cyclone 427 powered Fairlane
Here is Barrie Poole with his first Sandy Elliott-
sponsored racecar. This 1966 Comet Cyclone
competed in C/SA and launched Poole’s
successful drag-racing career. (Barrie Poole)
Barrie Poole followed up the 1966 Comet with
this 427-powered Fairlane. With some pointers
provided by Dave Lyall, Poole soon had the
Fairlane running under the class index. (Barrie
Warning: The account of how Barrie Poole’s next race vehicle came to be may not be suitable for
certain readers. This is particularly true for those who appreciate the rarity and current value of a
427 Comet 202.

The Sandy Elliott team decided to mount an assault on the newly established Super Stock
Eliminator classes of the NHRA for 1967. As it turned out a non-factory-available, but class-
allowable, 427-powered Comet station wagon would fit quite nicely into SS/C. So, if you are Ford of
Canada’s largest Ford/Lincoln-Mercury dealer how do you make a vehicle that the factory says
does not exist appear? Simple, all you have to do is remove the drivetrain from one genuine 427
Comet 202 sedan that you just happen to have in your inventory and mate it with your standard
small-block grocery getter. Thus The Collector II came to be. As for the performance of the hybrid
wagon, Poole posted the quickest SS/C time at the 1967 NHRA Spring Nationals and garnered a
runner-up spot losing a close race to Bill Jenkins in the final.
1967 brought a new addition to the team. Sandy’s son John came on board with a 427 Comet of his
own and promptly copped A/SA class honors at the NHRA Winternationals. At 17 years old, Elliott
became the first Canadian to win a stock class at a major U.S. meet. John went on to set both ends
of the A/SA record, win the NHRA Division 3 points championship, and qualify for the World Finals.
At that event Elliott took the class win, reset his own record, and lost only after reaching the Top
Stock Eliminator semi-final round.

The introduction of the 428 Cobra Jet Mustang in 1968 found Barrie Poole right in the thick of
things with his radio station CHYR-sponsored SS/EA fastback. The competition had little to “CHYR”
about as Poole proceeded to blitz the existing NHRA class national record, lowering it to 11.87
seconds. He followed this up with an NHRA Division Points Meet victory at Indianapolis Raceway
Park. For the season-ending Nationals, the car was converted to a 4-speed transmission and Poole
promptly posted the quickest time in SS/E at 11.82. A third-place finish in the NHRA World
Championship points series then qualified Poole for the World Finals in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Ford fans at the 1969 Winternationals in Pomona, California, saw Poole wheel the 1968 Mustang to
an 11.16 elapsed time and the SS/G class victory. Shortly thereafter a 1969 Mustang coupe
replaced the fastback and the SS/I and SS/J class records went home to Canada with the Sandy
Elliott team. At the NHRA Spring Nationals, Poole took on all comers and advanced to a runner-up
finish to Ronnie Sox in the Super Stock Eliminator final. At this same event John Elliott claimed a
class win with his 1969 Mustang fastback. The two cars, painted with their signature black-and-
white bumblebee stripes, had become both fan and photographer favorites. By this time the lads
from Canada were being called the “Border Bandits,” due to their propensity to raid U.S. drag strips
and carry their numerous trophies back home.

A report in Ford of Canada’s Racing News dated June 16, 1969, gave proof that the Border Bandits
were not the only Canadian Ford racers making incursions into the lower 48 and taking home gold.
The team of Valt and Dixon brought their screaming H/SA Mercury Cougar to New York’s Niagara
International Raceway for the New York State Spring Nationals. With the ability to run more than a
tenth of a second under the existing class record of 13.18, the Canadian Cougar carried off the title
of Top Stock Eliminator from the meet. The previous weekend at Cayuga, Canada, saw Barrie
Poole win the Super Stock Eliminator title over Ev Rouse in the Rankin Ford Cobra Jet Fairlane.
John Elliott came home third to complete the Ford sweep.

This has been a sample page from

Total Performers Ford Drag Racing in the 1960s Total Performers: Ford Drag Racing
in the 1960s
by Charles Morris
The 1960s was arguably the most important decade for
drag racing. It had exciting cars, thrilling races, and most
importantly, factory participation. Among the best high-
performance cars and engines were those coming from
Dearborn, Michigan. Ford Motor Company’s “Total
Performance Years” saw a breakthrough as drag racing
helped the younger, performance- and style- conscious
consumer to begin receiving some recognition.
Factory participation in drag racing pushed the
envelope for high performance developments. Ford's
FE-series engine, Police Interceptor, GT 390, Single
Overhead Cam, Cobra Jet, and Boss 429 are all
covered in detail. See the cars and the drivers that
made them famous – Dick Brannan’s Goldfinger, Bill
Lawton’s Mystery Mustang, “Dyno Don” Nicholson’s
Eliminator Comet, Gas Ronda’s stretched Mustang, Al
Joenic’s Batcar, and more.
Click here to view sample pages from
each chapter.
Chap. 1 - 1960 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 2 - 1961 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 3 -
1962 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 4 -
1963 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 5 -
1964 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 6 -
1965 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 7 -
1966 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 8 -
1967 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 9 -
1968 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 10 -
1969 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap. 11 -
1970 Fords in Drag Racing
Chap 12 - Ford of Canada Drag Racing
Accomplished journalist and life-long Ford aficionado
Charles Morris takes you back to the Total
Performance Years through first-hand accounts as well
as over 400 rare photographs. A drag racer since
1966, Morris has run cars in both Stock and Super
Stock classes. He is currently the owner of the original
Norristown Ford 1963 _ lightweight Galaxie and races
the car in Nostalgia Super Stock as part of the 422
Motorsports Drag Racing Team. This book is a must
read for all drag racing fans, not just Ford enthusiasts.
10 x 10"
192 pages
130 color & 290 b/w photos
Item # CT407
Price: $Discontinued
Click here to buy now!
This is a great book any Ford
enthusiast will love!

Other items you might be interested in

Mercury Comet & Cyclone Portfolio 1960-1975
This portfolio encompasses the first decade and a half
of the Lincoln- Mercury Divisionís Comet and Cyclone,
one of the American auto industryís responses to the
compact car phenomenon of the early 1960s. The
models featured include Comet S-22, GT, Caliente,
Cyclone-GT, Cobra Jet, Montego, Convertible, and
Mercury Comet & Cyclone Portfolio 1960-1975
$ 27.95

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