PAUL GLADDEN RACING
A Ford Lover’s Dream Team
IF YOU’RE A FORD GUY AND PLAN ON ATTENDING A WEST COAST RACE, GET THEE TO PAUL GLADDEN’S PIT AREA. What awaits will have you licking your chops. His Top Sportsman Mustang and Top Dragster entries feature mega-horsepower Ford Hemi engines.
Gladden is a dyed-in-the-wool FoMoCo stalwart. The two classes in which he competes are awash in bigblock Chevy variants whose high level of performance is widely acknowledged. It would have been so much easier (and cheaper!) to join the herd, but Paul would have none of that. No expense has been spared in the construction of these unique power plants, right down to the dragster’s jewel-like billet, engraved and polished valve covers (see accompanying tech info, pgs. 30-31).
To a casual observer, the most notable feature of Gladden’s pit area is the Mustang’s paint/ graphics. His reason for the military-themed design isn’t to grab attention, but to honor family members who have honorably served our nation. His son, Tech. Sgt. Jaime Medina, is a highly decorated member of the USAF’s Special Operations Force. Jaime’s grandfather, Army Sgt. Albert L. Walter, took part in World War II’s D-Day invasion and Gladden’s father, Army Sgt. Irvin F. Gladden, fought in the Korean Conflict.
Gladden, who counts F/C shoe “Fast Jack” Beckman as a friend following his tutelage at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School, hints that a faster ride may be in his future. We wonder how a Ford Hemi would perform on nitro.
One final note (and perhaps the most important) Paul would like to thank his wife, Martha, for her enthusiastic support of his racing endeavors.
The Mustang’s passenger side, featuring modern aircraft, pays tribute to Paul’s son, Tech. Sgt. Jaime Medina. P-51 Mustangs, which flew in World War II and Korea when family members Albert Walter and Irvin Gladden served, adorn the driver’s side. Graphics and paint are the handiwork of Chuck Buckler.