Article and photos by Stefan Daniël Kotzé
The 3 Slooten brothers have been very well known in the local drag racing community, especially for having some mean big block V8 American cars that are all hellishly fast!
While Mark Slooten loves his Chevy Camaro and Simon Slooten his Dodge Challenger, the third brother, Jeroen Slooten and also his son Bradley Slooten, are pure Ford fanatics. A father and son building and racing cars together is always great to see and it’s also quite special. The 1972 Mach 1 Mustang is Jeroen’s pride and joy, while the 1979 Fox body Mustang belongs to Bradley.
Before Jeroen got hold of his Mustang, it had been raced at Tarlton International Raceway for most of its life, as it belonged to @Mick Van Rensburg, the owner of Tarlton Raceway. When Mark and Simon had completed their drag cars and starting racing, Jeroen felt it was time to get in on the rubber and fuel burning action. For a very long time, he had his eyes set on the 1972 Stang belonging to uncle Mick, largely because Jeroen’s father a similar car to that one. After some serious negotiating and waiting for almost a year, the car was finally sold to him.
This was going to be no walk in the park though, as the car was looking properly rough. Firstly, it had been fitted with a body kit (who the hell puts a bodykit on a classic Mustang?) that really made the car look tacky and even the hood of the car had been cut to pieces; sacrilege really. So instead of trying to fix things which are already so wrong, they decided to do a full rebuild instead. The entire car was stripped down to bare metal and surprisingly it wasn’t in too bad shape. Besides a few rust patches in the usual paces the car was solid. It was sent to @DeBeer spanelbeaters in Tarlton, where they got the body back into shape and finished it off with the iconic Canary yellow paint. It just happened to be the colour that his dad had owned, many years ago, how cool is that?
Along with the paint it was given the Iconic Mach1 stripes, chin spoiler, boot spoiler and a new fiberglass hood with scoop. The cars original interior was just too perfect to think of gutting the car so they just fitted a new carpet brought in from the states and left the rest the same. The 460 big block Ford powerplant was stripped down and rebuilt with a few new pieces by Mark Slooten, The C6 gearbox that the car had in already, was pretty decent so they just had it upraded by Ron Wagner. The diff was already y fitted with a solid spool so they just went with a ratio change from a 4.11 to a 4.55.
The car needed to be completely rewired and again Mark Slooten did this, from the new MSD Performance ignition system to the original lights, it was all re done. A new system was plumbed in, from a new 30l fuel cell,
Holley fuel pump and lines to go with. The car was never intended to be the fastest car at the track especially with it weighing over 1.8 tons and before Jeroen had the car, its best e.t was a 13.5 second pass, which they eventually got lower, to run a 12.9 second pass naturally aspirated. The car and Jeroen took home 1st place in regionals and 3rd in Nationals in 2016 which up until now was the last round of competition. The car needed a little more oomph so being a Slooten, an Edelbrock Performance Nitrous kit was installed along with a new bucket seat and harness, Bradley likes to make jokes and give his dad nonsense that he’s trying to launch a building, but they way that ship launches off the line is really amazing.
The car currently runs a small 100HP shot on the plate kit, because they ran into some issues before getting the chance to try the 150 jetting but hopefully soon they can get on that. The aim of the car was to keep it simple, fun and consistent and that is exactly what the car does the only added extra is it looks extremely sexy running down the quarter mile. Jeroens car is a testament to the old school foot braking bracket racer; run the car the whole day load it up, put it under a cover and wait for the next time the fun can begin. Proper old school quality, that you’ll never get today
Then we get to Bradley’s Foxbody, which he says has been the Foxbody that can! After watching and being a crew member over the years, Bradley finally convinced his dad to help him build his own race car. They initially started out together. with a Ford Capri body that was rusted in every panel on the car. They slowly began work until one day Marks boss at the time lost interest in a Foxbody Mustang project he was busy with, he asked Mark to ask around if anybody would be interested and let’s just say, his dad and himself weren’t going to wait around. So they purchased the car and made sure the ugly, rotten Capri was never to be seen again. The fox was in a great overall shape. The bodywork had been completed, the blue paint was fresh, basically what they call a “roller” in the States. A great chassis and body, just missing the motor. There is not really a better roller then the most used car for drag racing in America the Foxbody Mustang. Mark got to work cooking up his combinations for the car and he went up going for a 302 stroked to 347;
On this sexy blue number, everything is new in the motor besides for the stock block. The next issue was transmission as they were constantly searching but coming up short till one day, a friend of Marks was looking to sell his fully built TCI c6 transmission for a small block Ford and again they jumped on the opportunity and the Fox coupled to its Hughes converter has a great little engine transmission combo. The car came with a M75 DIFF which they were told within the first couple runs but they decided to stick with it and just fitted a solid spool and a new prop shaft. The car was also fully rewired front to back running the same ignition system as the
72, with an entire new fuel system too.
Since the car had no interior it was very simple and easy to keep it light. Mark built a custom 6 point roll cage, they then installed a seat and that’s about what you’ll find in the Fox, all you need then! Drag racing is a sport known for things to break often and go wrong at every opportunity, but through the whole build of the Fox it went seemingly too well, everything came together as if it was meant to be. The first time taking the car out to Tarlton in 2015 went almost as easy as the build after only ever running the motor about 5 minutes before its first hit down the track, Bradley was advised by about 10 people to take it nice and slow … The car ran a 12.7 no prep, no burnout first time ever at open throttle and from there the times just kept dropping, the car was running consistent 12.3 second passes all N/A but why stop there? Currently a 15HP shot of nitrous is used in the car. Even with all that nitrous the m75 is still going strong along with a completely stock rear suspension. The car has run a 10.78 with the shot and if you want consistency it has now run out of its last 14 passes 11 of those have been a 10.9 pass, that’s a bracket car for you, allowing Bradley to place 2nd in Nationals in 2016, only missing out on the top spot by a small margin. Not bad at all for a first year of competition
Right now the cars almost never get used, with Nationals not being back yet, but I’m sure once Jeroen and Bradley gets the first chance to go burn some octane fuel if the Nationals return, they will not hesistate to go show the crowds what these two Ponies are really capable of! I mean who wouldn’t wanna drive such badass cars and get that adrenalin pumping through all your veins!