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 are 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.
Article and photos by Stefan Daniël Kotzé
Before Jeroen got hold of his Mustang, it had been raced at Tarlton International Raceway for most of its life. It belonged to @Mick Van Rensburg, the owner of Tarlton Raceway. When Mark and Simon had completed their drag cars and started 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. Mainly because Jeroen’s father had 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. First, it had been fitted with a body kit (who the hell puts a body kit on a classic Mustang?). This 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 were already wrong, they decided to do a full rebuild instead.
The entire car was stripped down to the bare metal and surprisingly it wasn’t in too bad shape. Besides a few rust patches in the usual places, the car was solid. It was sent to @DeBeer panel beaters 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 same colour as the car that his dad owned many years ago. How cool is that?
Along with the paint job, it was given the Iconic Mach1 stripes, chin spoiler, boot spoiler and a new fibreglass hood with scoop. The car’s original interior was just too perfect to think of gutting the car. Therefore, 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 upgraded by Ron Wagner. The diff was already 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. Wiring was redone from the new MSD Performance ignition system to the original lights. A new system was installed, from a new 30l fuel cell and a Holley fuel pump and lines to go with it. The car was never intended to be the fastest car on the track. Especially with it weighing over 1.8 tons. Before Jeroen had the car, its best e.t was a 13.5-second pass. They eventually got it 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 the way that ship launches off the line is really amazing.
The car currently runs a small 100HP shot on the plate kit. This is because they ran into some issues before getting the chance to try the 150 jetting. Hopefully, they can get on that soon. The aim of the car was to keep it simple, fun and consistent and that is exactly what the car does. The added extra is that 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 continue. Proper old-school quality, that you’ll never get today anymore.
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 on every panel on the car. They slowly began work until one day Mark’s 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.
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 great overall shape. The bodywork had been completed and the blue paint was fresh. This is basically what they call a “roller” in the States. A great chassis and body with just a motor missing. There is not a better roller than the Foxbody Mustang, the most used car for drag racing in America. Mark got to work cooking up his combinations for the car and he went up going from a 302 stroked to 347.
Everything is new on this sexy blue number, apart from the stock block. The next issue to tackle was the 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. The Fox has a great little engine transmission combo, coupled with its Hughes converter.
The car came with an M75 DIFF and 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 entirely 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 running the motor for about 5 minutes before it first hit the track, Bradley was advised by about 10 people to take it nice and slow. The car ran a 12.7 with 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 the first year of competition
Right now both cars almost never get used, with Nationals not being back. But I’m sure Jeroen and Bradley will go burn some octane fuel the minute the Nationals return. And they will not hesitate 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!