STREET MACHINE OF THE YEAR
Jimmy Shaw’s 1971 Ford Maverick galloped into the 22nd PPG Nationals in Columbus as a major contender and raced ahead of the street machine pack to emerge from the weekend as the Goodguys 2019 PPG Street Machine of the Year. It was crowned the winner at a special awards ceremony Saturday afternoon at the Ohio Expo Center, less than a month after running more than 200mph at the Arkansas Mile land speed race. The term maverick is often used to describe someone or something that’s unorthodox and independent and it’s an apt adjective for this potent Ford built by Greening Auto Company. The former economy car has been stirring up attention since being unveiled at the 2018 SEMA Show, where Shaw and Greening announced their audacious goal of hitting 200mph top speeds. With a design penned by artist Eric Brockmeyer and a laundry list of parts from top aftermarket companies, the little Maverick had all the right elements to capture the attention of the hot rodding world. The heart of this thoroughbred is a twin-turbo 427c.i. Ford V8 based on a Windsor block and capable of 1200 horsepower. It was built by Bennett Racing Engines with dual Precision turbos and a host of high-performance internals. The electronic fuel injection is guided by FAST engine management that can be switched between a race tune and a street tune that makes the Maverick as docile as a pony for cruising around town. A Bowler-prepped 4L80E overdrive transmission is more than capable of handling all the power from the potent small-block. Keeping everything sure-footed is a Roadster Shop chassis incorporating a front suspension designed for handling and an independently suspended Currie rearend. Big Baer brakes with XTR rotors bring things to a rapid halt, while the one-off 18- and 19-inch wheels were cut in-house at Greening and wrapped in Pirelli 295/30/18 and 355/30/19 rubber. The Greening crew had the advantage of starting with a pristine 27,000-mile car, so they avoided rust repair and other busywork and could dive right into achieving the design Brockmeyer had illustrated. This involved a wealth of custom fabrication, including flares on the front fenders and rear quarters and a clever forward-tilting hood with custom louvers. Aerodynamic enhancements include a custom front valence and spoiler, carbon fiber side skirts, custom rear diffusers in the lower pan, and a custom rear spoiler. It’s all covered in “Go Fast Greening Gray” paint with white and satin black accents. A combination of race- and street-oriented elements make up the cabin, where M&M Hot Rod Interiors wrapped custom bucket seats in leather with Alcantara inserts. Stroud race harnesses and a complete roll cage provide safety, while a Kicker audio system keeps Jimmy entertained at triple-digit speeds. There’s even a Vintage Air system providing climate control on those high-speed blasts. A carbon fiber dash pad, RacePak IQ3 digital instrumentation, and Momo steering wheel round out the competition vibe. We’ve come to expect incredible levels of detail and precision fabrication in the Street Machine of the Year competition. When you can back that up with proven, reliable, supercar-level performance on both the street and on track, you’ve got a potent combination that’s tough to beat.