Hubert Platt’s Ford Drag Team Mustang
Georgia Shaker was born in the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina in 1931. Not exactly drag race central for someone with Hubert’s skills but in the mid-1950s, there was as much demand for fast cars and good drivers as there was plenty of bootleg liquor to be transported. Hauling moonshine earned Hubert a few bucks but the one last haul cost him his car and a hefty fine.
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Late in 1958, he moved to Atlanta where he discovered his real talent was on the quarter-mile. He caught the attention of Don Nicholson in the early 1960s and teamed with him in 1963, running Chevys before General Motors pulled out of racing. The first car to carry the Georgia Shaker name was a Z-11 Chevy but it was all Ford after that.
A Frank Vego Ford–sponsored Thunderbolt preceded the now-famous Georgia Shaker Falcon, which debuted in 1965. Hubert earned a factory deal in 1966 and ran the gamut of Ford-backed cars, starting with a long-nose Holman-Moody Mustang followed by a 427-powered Super Stock Fairlane. He took delivery of one of the original Cobra Jet Mustangs that debuted at the 1968 NHRA Winternationals.
Late in 1968, Ford decided to follow in Chrysler’s footsteps and start a drag clinic program of their own. The idea, similar to Chrysler’s, was to create two “Drag Teams” with each visiting dealerships during the week, pushing the manufacturer’s muscle parts, drawing crowds, and setting up Ford drag clubs. On the weekend, they’d visit the local strip for some match-race or Super Stock action. On the West Coast, the program was headed-up by Ed Terry in conjunction with Dick Wood while Hubert led the East Coast team with Randy Payne. Ed and Hubert each campaigned a Cobra Jet Mustang in Super Stock and a second SOHC Mustang for match races. Dick and Randy each wheeled a Super Stock Cobra Jet Torino.
Even though the cars fared well in Super Stock competition, the match-race cars were the ones that really turned heads. The February 1970 issue of Super Stock & Drag Illustrated reported that Hubert’s match racer was good for 9-second 140-mph quarter-mile times. Not your typical drag ’Stang by a long shot. The Holman-Moody– prepped 427 car was built around a 428 CJ, sport roof body, and featured such lightweight items as fiberglass fenders, hood, Boss scoop, doors, trunk lid, and lightweight side-window glass. Of course, the car was delivered sans radio, heater, and all those other ET-robbing add-ons.
Hubert’s 427 featured a Crane cam, ForgedTrue pistons, 12.5:1 compression, Mallory ignition, and Doug’s Headers. Helping to drop some of the 427’s 680 pounds were factory-supplied aluminum heads, water pump, balancer, and tunnel ram manifold. The Georgia Shaker’s original SOHC engine disappeared years ago; current owner Bob Perkins went to Ohio George Montgomery for a replacement. Backing the 427 is a rare, close-ratio Toploader transmission and a 9-inch rear end containing 4.86 gears.
The Drag Team Mustangs were given a face-lift in 1970; they took on the new Mustang front clip and taillights. Hubert ran the Mustang in the new NHRA Pro Stock category through spring 1970 before debuting his purpose-built Maverick at the Nationals. When Ford pulled the plug on its racing activities in 1970, Hubert sold the match racer and focused his attention on his Pro Stocker.
The Mustang went to Tom Sutton of South Carolina, who continued to race the car into the late 1970s with a 428 Cobra Jet. Bob Perkins purchased the car from Ford enthusiast Jacky Jones who, with word from a truck driver hauling new cars, discovered the car wasting away in Tom’s shop. Bob has owned the car since the mid-1990s and completed the meticulous ground-up restoration on the rust-free body. Bob got lucky with this one as many of the factory trick parts and original race parts remained with the car.
Through Tom, Bob was able to retrieve the original tempered windows, tach, and formula race seat. Through Hubert, Bob was able to obtain the original headers and tunnel ram manifold. In 2012, the restoration was completed and Georgia Shaker made its debut at the Mustang Club of America Grand Nationals held in Mustang, Oklahoma, of course.
Written by Doug Boyce and Posted with Permission of CarTechBooks
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