Ford documentation describes the car as "To be sold to Jim Tibbitts, Austin, Tex., for $3500.00". Other documentation describes it as being picked up from the Wixom assembly plant on January 6, 1968, by Holman & Moody Truck for delivery to Holman & Moody-Stroppe in Long Beach, CA. 8F02R135054 is one of the two 135 cars (8F02R135050 is the other) that were entered in the 1968 NHRA Winternationals. Driven by Gas Ronda, it made it to the SS/EA class final, where Ronda lost to Dick Landy. Ronda lost to Landy again in the first round of stock eliminator.
A recent owner of this car purchased it in 1988 from Lloyd Bray and D.G. Gilliam of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. After the 1968 Winternationals, Leo Roy purchased the car for $1.00. Leo drove it to the Division 4 championship in 1970. Lloyd Bray and D. G. Gilliam purchased it in 1971 and over the course of the next 17 years they set the following NHRA national records:
- July 25, 1981, Brainerd International Raceway, SS/F, 10.45 seconds at 128.74 MPH.
- April 23, 1983, Pueblo Motorsports Park, SS/G, 10.44 seconds at 127.55 MPH.
The car was pictured on the cover of National Dragster on July 20, 1984. A centerfold and article appeared in Muscle Car Review in the winter of 2006 and in Old Cars Weekly on September 4, 2008.
The restoration was completed in time for the 100th anniversary of Ford show in 2003. As Bray and Gilliam's efforts were also important, the car was restored to look like it did in 1968, but with some of the performance updates intact. The car was still using circa 1975 S/S technology (small wheel tubs and leaf springs), and these were left in place. The 575 HP engine was built by Lloyd Bray & D. G. Gilliam and R & R Restoration did the complete restoration. The odometer shows just 5 miles after having been disconnected at Holman Moody Stroppe. Unlike the others seen in the Pomona group press photography, Ronda's car had no windshield wipers (though the cars were wiper motor delete, the other entries did have wipers in place). Bray recalls hearing that the four cars shipped from San Jose arrived at Holman-Moody-Stroppe in Long Beach without front fenders and hoods.