January 27, 2023


Still car-crazy after all these years

Competition + Flip Top Funny Car

Competition + Flip Top Funny Car

The mystery of the Competition + Mustang funny car

Known as Competition +, this was likely the first flip-top Mustang funny car in existence. Who drove it and why is it so difficult to learn more about the car
Competition + Mustang Funny Car
The SOHC powered Mustang funny car known as Competition + at the ’67 Detroit Autorama. Tom Bonner photo (Instamatic 126)

Last time around I posted about what I believe was the very first Camaro flip-top funny car. The 1967 Detroit Autorama also boasted what may have been the first Mustang flopper; the Competition + funny car.

Strangely enough, I can find no information about this car, despite exhausting my usual sources.


UPDATE: I was able to compile a list of facts about Steve McKesson and the Competition + Mustang. See the update post here.


Draglist is my goto source for this type of information, but I couldn’t find even a scrap of knowlege about a 1967 Mustang named Competition +. I dug through old copies of Car Craft, Super Stock & Drag Illustrated, Drag Racing, Drag Strip…with no results. Repeated Google searches came up blank for “Competition +.”

This car is a phantom…except for these photos and a couple more taken at Detroit Dragway, I can’t find any proof the car ever existed. Nor do I know who drove the Mustang and what happened to it.

(additional photo after the jump)

What’s so strange is this appears to be a top-of-the-line funny car. It has a Logghe chassis (confirmed by a photo at Detroit Dragway with a LSC sticker on the side.) The body and aluminum work look first class. Assuming that SOHC Ford engine had the right stuff inside, this Mustang should have been a strong competitor to the factory Mercury Comets. If you could run with the Comets in 1967, you could run with anything in the funny car ranks.

The car is set up so similarly to the Mercury machines of Nicholson and Schartmen, that it had the potential to be one of the top funny cars in the country in 1967. Yet it apparently received no exposure, and somehow disappeared into the mists of time.

Competition + Mustang funny car at Autorama
Notice the stock appearance of the tail lights on this colorful Mustang funny car. Wish I knew who drove the car. Tom Bonner photo (Instamatic 126)

The only time I saw the car run, a couple of months after I snapped these photos, Competition + prevailed against a field that included several blown, nitro funny cars.

So what happened? How could such an outstanding machine fall off the radar?

Surely some Ford fan will come forward to identify the driver of this incredible Mustang.

Tom Bonner