Driver Hubert Platt was on top of the drag racing world in 1969. Known for his on-track showmanship and cars lettered with his “Georgia Shaker” nickname, Platt had risen through the ranks, hitting the big-time in 1962 as a Chevrolet Z-11 teammate with “Dyno” Don Nicholson before going professional with a Ford Thunderbolt in 1964. That attracted Ford’s attention, and in 1966 he landed a factory ride in a Holman-Moody built long-nose Mustang followed by a ’67 427 Fairlane in the Super Stock class. In late 1968 when Ford decided to promote its drag racing clubs, not to mention the new Muscle Parts program, they brought in the popular Platt as part of a six-car Ford Drag Team.
To cover the United States, the effort was split into two teams—east and west—with Platt selected as the captain of the Eastern team. He drove one of two ’69 Mustangs—a 428 Cobra Jet SportsRoof for Super Stock competition and another powered by a 427 SOHC for match racing—while fellow Georgian Randy Payne drove a Super Stock CJ Torino. For the Western team, Ed Terry drove the Mustangs with Richard Wood in the Torino. Eastern team cars were blue with white; western cars were the opposite, white with blue. Both teams used modified Ford ramp trucks (see this month’s “Rare Finds”) to haul the Torinos with one of the Mustangs, depending on the type of race, following behind on an open trailer.