Throwback. Old school. Nostalgia drags. Call it what you will, but whatever you choose to label it, you can rest assured that Hampton, Virginia’s Ralph Rowland embodies it. The 30+year drag racing veteran comes from an era when parts were built and not bought and there was no greater satisfaction than knowing that the car you raced was the car you built yourself.
Case in point is Rowland’s cool new 2007 Mustang Cobra. As nice as the car might appear on first glance, it is even more impressive when you realize that pretty much everything you see is the result of Rowland’s tireless efforts out of his modest two car garage. It is guys like Ralph who give drag racing’s next generation hope that not everything on the strip needs to be a six-figure turnkey build CNC machined in a high dollar shop. Using ingenuity, creativity, and good old fashioned drag racing wherewithal, Rowland’s Horse proves that the roots of hot rodding aren’t dead yet, not even close.
The build started in 2009 when Rowland decided it was time for a new car. At the time, the likeable Virginian was piloting a 1990 Probe in Top Sportsman, but the new Mustang bodies that had begun popping up in the Pro Stock ranks captured his attention. “I saw cars like Rickie Jones’ and decided it was time to build one for myself,” he said. Rowland promptly contacted Hairy Glass, who had been sourcing carbon fiber Mustang shells for professional race teams. “I was on a budget and I also knew that repairing fiberglass was way easier than repairing carbon fiber, so I requested the same 2007-2008 Mustang body in fiberglass,” he added.
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