Eye of the Storm: The Beaver Springs FE Race and Reunion

Every year, on the weekend nearest April 27th, FE-oriented gearheads travel from near and far to Beaver Springs Dragway in Beaver Springs, Pennsylvania for the FE Race & Reunion. For two days, FE cars take the tree to prove that they’ve still got it 60 years later!

Discovered just two weeks ago in a barn, this incomplete Ford was a 1964 Winter Nationals runner-up, and has been gone for 40 years. In an amazing twist of luck, the new owner was approached at the event by the man who had the car's original engine. Over the weekend, the car's new owner bought the engine to return it to its rightful place.

The event features several classes catering to Cobra Jets, 11.99 and quicker, and 12.00 and slower, as well as Pro-FE Quick 8, and an FE Bird gamblers race. The only rules of the event are that competitive vehicles must be FE-powered with no electronics. The race and reunion also included a massive FE swap meet, giving owners a chance at finding rare parts needed to complete their projects. Participants in the car show portion of the weekend were given one free quarter-mile pass with admission – the perfect opportunity for those with show cars who enjoy the occasional fun run.

The "Bat Car" run by Al Joniec was restored about two decades ago and was originally built by Holman Moody. It's powered by a 427 SOHC.

Enthusiasts came from all around – from as far west as Washington within the states. But those trips dwarf in comparison to the guests who flew from Australia, Germany, and the UK (the furthest trips we know of). While they were forced to leave their FEs overseas, they brought with them all of the enthusiasm of their American counterparts.

Top: The stunning tube chassis 1964 Fairlane Thunderbolt replica is powered by a big-inch FE and owned by Vernon Grizzle out of Georgia.
Bottom Left: Recreation of the Platt and Payne "The Going Thing" Torino. Owned by Andrew Shetselaar.
Bottom Right: Super Stock G Automatic Mustang powered by a 428 cubic inch FE. This Mustang is an NHRA record holder.

Unfortunately, the weather in Beaver Springs this year did not lend itself to a good racing environment, and Friday was a wash. Saturday, temperatures floated around 50 degrees with strong 50 mph winds. Again, not ideal racing weather. Perhaps due in part to the wind, the fastest car at the event – an 8-second 1958 Ford – encountered a nasty wreck, rolling over the guard rail as it went.

This 428 Cobra Jet Mach 1 was found outside in a bad neighborhood of Philadelphia. Its owner has affectionately named it the “Hood Stang.”

For some, the conditions were just too dangerous to chance putting their FE in harm’s way, so they sat it out and spectated. This gave us plenty of time to walk the pits and find some really incredible cars, with truly spectacular stories. We’re excited for next year’s event and hope for better weather so that we can enjoy all it has to offer.

This original 1966 Fairlane 427 R-Code was brought to the dragway from New Jersey by Scott Davies and his son, Scott Davies Jr. They intended on running the rare Ford (1 of 57), but the wind kept them at bay.

Tyler Polaski bought this 1963.5 Galaxie 500 Lightweight (of which about 100 were made). He drove from WI to NH to make the purchase, before stopping in at the reunion on his way back home. He's looking for the history of the car, so if anyone has the series of 1989 Hemmings Motor News, reach me via email below!

About the author

Stephanie Davies

Stephanie Davies got her start in automotive media while studying at Rutgers University and eventually landed at Roush Performance outside of Detroit, where she now resides. She writes for various automotive outlets, works with rescue dogs, enjoys driving her Roush-charged Coyote-swapped 1992 Fox body Mustang race car, and is convinced that absolutely nothing in the world beats a sunny weekend at the track.
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