NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


65 years of the Ford 9-inch

The race car component so good, it rewrote brand loyalty in the Sportsman racing world
17 Feb 2021
David Kennedy
65 years of the Ford 9-inch

Car companies didn’t invent brand loyalty, but they certainly perfected it. The badge on the car, the engine under the hood, even the tattoo on the owner’s arm all matched—for life. But in drag racing, the need to win is stronger than assembly line DNA, and the best performing parts get used in all kinds of race cars.

The Ford 9-inch rear end (that debuted during 1956 in the ’57 models) is arguably the most universal drag racing component ever created. All drag cars need a way to transmit torque from the drivetrain to the rear tires, and for most racers, a Ford 9-inch-based axle is that way. They offer more strength than a GM 12-bolt, less weight than a Dana 60, and can be bolted together in your garage to create the perfect rear axle for any application.

Strange Engineering 9-Inch

While Ford made these rear ends from 1956 to 1986, the aftermarket continues to produce every part needed to build a complete 9-inch. Perhaps no company outside of Dearborn, Mich., has ever offered more Ford 9-inch components than Strange Engineering. Strange has been upgrading and modifying the Ford 9-inch for more than 50 years. From the days when its owner, Bob Stange, was checking ring-and-pinion patterns inside a two-car garage in the late ’50s to today as the company has evolved into a drivetrain manufacturing company housed in a 120,000-square-foot site. The family-owned business says it’s “still based on the principles the company was founded on; quality product, quality service, and a true enthusiasm for the performance industry.”

From Strange Engineering’s 182-page online catalog, racers can research, spec out, and order a brand-new Ford 9-inch-based third members or an entire rear-end assembly for nearly any application. Whether that’s a reproduction stamped sheet metal housing, a fabricated steel housing, or a cast-aluminum rear end for a dragster or four-linked car, Strange has them all.

Complete Coverage of Sportsman Racers

In addition to its 9-inch products, Strange supports Sportsman racers with complete product coverage of the GM 10- or 12-bolt, Dana 60, Ford 8.8-inch, and Mopar 8 ¾-inch rear ends. Strange Engineering products and customers are found at every NHRA race. Through a partnership with NHRA’s exclusive streaming service, NHRA.tv power by National Dragster, Strange Engineering is helping to share those races with the world. Beginning in 2021, NHRA.tv will offer complimentary viewing of select NHRA Sportsman events.

Strange Engineering will play a significant role in that NHRA Sportsman streaming and will be a partner for select Lucas Oil Series divisional events, Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing Series events, and Summit Racing E.T. Divisional Finals streamed events. For more than 50 years, Strange Engineering has been delivering torque to the racetrack, and now it’s helping to deliver that racetrack action to all.


Strange Engineering