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The Forgotten Fox – Mike Dezotell to Return to NMRA Racing | Presented by Nitto Tire


Multi-time NMCA champion Mike “Dez” Dezotell is a name many old school NMCA and NMRA racers should recognize. Dez parked his Real Street ride back in ’06, and has been busy building engines, cars, and helping others (including NMRA Edelbrock Renegade racers Aaron Bates and Chuck Bartholme) in the interim with his business, Dez Racing. Now, it’s time for Dez to get back to his roots.

A resident of Massachusetts, Dez had been working with Dennis MacPherson at DMC Racing to build another project car… and, when he came to pick it up, realized the trailer he needed to get it home was already full – with his old racecar. “We realized the old ’88 GT was still in the box, so we decided to swap ‘em and leave the GT here and build that and make it a real car instead,” laughed MacPherson of the rolling exchange between Dez’s two cars.

After sitting in storage for over ten years, Dez’s Fox body was in surprisingly good shape but definitely needed a lot of updating. The guys decided on a 25.3 SFI certified chassis to end up with a killer X275-esque car, and have agreed to figure out the rest of the project as it evolves and progresses.

There’s no deadline on the build, which has just gotten started, but MacPherson is eager to get going on the forgotten Fox. “We stripped it this week and it’s literally an empty shell right now. Next week, we’ll start cutting everything and put it back together slowly,” he noted. Currently, plans are that the car will utilize a stock-style suspension setup with a tubular front-end and mini-tubbed rear.

“One thing I can guarantee, it’ll be a small block Ford and a ProCharger, but other than that, nothing’s really locked in,” Dez shared of the build plans. He will likely also go with “some sort of a Turbo 400” from Proformance Racing Transmissions and a Neal Chance converter, along with a Holley EFI system and Menscer Motorsports shocks and struts. “The one new thing I did buy for it was a Racecraft 9” rear end.”

MacPherson expects that a new roof will be added, as the car currently houses a sunroof. He also predicts a one-piece nose, fiberglass doors, and that the vintage paint scheme will remain.

Although Dez and MacPherson have only just gotten the ball rolling on this, the expectations are already high for a car of this caliber. It’s likely Dez will reappear in NMRA VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw and NMCA Vortech Superchargers Street Outlaw, although he’s hinted that his 18-year-old son, Jacob, may wind up driving it instead.

In the interim, Dez has been busy preparing for Bates’s return by putting together a new 400 ci Ford Windsor engine with high port heads and a ProCharger that’ll be legal for NMCA Edelbrock Xtreme Street and maybe even NMRA Edelbrock Renegade.

With fourth months left in 2018, the 2019 season is already shaping up to be an exciting one.

Mike Galimi
Mike Galimi is the Director of Content & Marketing at ProMedia Publishing and Events with nearly 20 years of experience in motorsport writing and photography.