WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., April 15, 2008 – When the smoke cleared on the Ford Motor Company stage at the 6th Annual Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event in West Palm Beach, Fla., on March 29, John Porto emerged as the winner of Ford’s first ever simulated drag racing tournament. Porto, a resident of Stuart, Fla., and an avid automotive enthusiast, was awarded a new V6 Mustang from the South Florida Ford Dealers for his impressive driving. Following the victory, Porto upgraded to a Ford Mustang GT that will soon be fitted with Ford Racing’s FR1 power upgrade package and FR3 Handling Pack.
“We aim to excite at Barrett-Jackson and the Ford drag racing contest took the entertainment value of our Palm Beach auction to the next level,” said Steve Davis, President of Barrett-Jackson. “For the final race, hundreds of people surrounded the stage, creating the buzz and anticipation of an actual big-time drag race. In addition to the new contest, Ford also sold some amazing cars for charity, which helped bring our charity total for the entire Palm Beach event to over $1 million.”
Ford created a “drag strip” at the event with a pair of actual Ford Mustang Bullitts in front of an NHRA style “Christmas tree” set of lights that simulate a quarter mile drag strip. Individuals entered a drawing for the chance to compete in a series of eliminations where the winner was determined by a combination of reaction and elapsed time. With SPEED cameras capturing live coverage of the championship race, Porto recorded a remarkable quarter-mile time of 13.01 seconds, earning the title and an attractive addition to his garage.
“This was the experience of a lifetime,” noted Porto. “I’ve been attending Barrett-Jackson every year since it started in Palm Beach and this was without a doubt my most memorable trip. Ford has been extremely accommodating during the entire process, including quick delivery of the car. I gave the new Mustang to my wife, so I’ll have to defend my title next year and win one for myself.”
Porto received his Mustang GT from Advantage Ford of Stuart on Sunday, March 30, just one day after winning the drag race at Barrett-Jackson. The Ford Racing FR1 power upgrade package and FR3 Handling Pack that will be added to the car were part of the original prize from Ford.
“Ford Motor Company and the South Florida Ford and Lincoln Mercury Dealers are proud to partner with Barrett-Jackson to bring this exciting drag racing event to Palm Beach,” said Rob Johnston, Marketing Manager, Ford Motor Company Florida Region. “The entire weekend was a huge success for our team. Collectively, we were able to raise money for the Ford Salute to Education Scholarship Program, a partnership with the South Florida Ford and Lincoln Mercury Dealers that’s been in place for nearly 14 years. The program has awarded nearly $3 million in scholarships to deserving high school seniors over that period, and together with Barrett-Jackson, we were able to bring more awareness to the program.”
Established in 1971 and headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Barrett-Jackson specializes in providing products and services to classic and collector car owners, astute collectors and automotive enthusiasts around the world. The company produces the “World’s Greatest Collector Car Events™” in Scottsdale, Palm Beach, Fla. and Las Vegas. Visit www.barrett-jackson.com for more information.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 245,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
Luke DeRouen [email protected] or (214) 520-3430 ext. 301(www.tprm-usa.com).