Ontario Ford Aficionado

For Venice Perno, who is the owner of highly reputed Ontario-based speed shop Performance Cellar, his passion for drag racing the “Blue Oval” is very well known.   In 2013, Perno is dream-chasing and writing the latest chapter to his ongoing brand tradition….

Perno’s  long history of owning and racing Ford products includes Pinto, Maverick, Mustang and Thunderbird models.   He is however very excited about his new Mustang which is decked out in a Boss 302 scheme and which is campaigned in Super Stock eliminator as a SS/CS.

Venice reports that his new car was about a 3-year project from concept to reality and that it first hit the drag strip late in 2012.

Venice Perno's Ford Mustang has already set multiple NHRA class records.

Venice Perno’s Ford Mustang has already set multiple NHRA class records.

“Unfortunately I had an accident with my Thunderbird Super Stock back in 2008 and that set me back for a time,” Perno explained.  “I got very hungry for ET and that ended up causing the accident.  After that happened I watched intently and saw how Ford was getting back into drag racing heavily.  Then with the ongoing support of my wife Lorraine, help of Jesse Kershaw (at Ford) and Fred Smith (Smith Performance Specialties) I was able to get a body in white and started the car’s construction. This Mustang is a direct result of the help I got from a lot of people.  Last September we got the motor on the dyno and things went so well there that we installed in the car and went out and made a few test runs.”

Perno’s start in the car has so far been rather amazing.  To date he has set three NHRA class records – the 1/8th mile ET mark and the ¼ mile ET mark — twice.  He recently lowered that SS/CS mark to 9.35 secs during the LODRS event held at Indianapolis.

That success has got Venice’s blood flowing towards what is an ultimate personal goal for him.

“Over the last four years I have been going to the NHRA U.S. Nationals (at Indy) to watch Stock and Super Stock class racing,” he revealed. “It’s been a dream of mine to be able to go and race there.  I think that now I have a car that would be capable.   So my focus is to try to get as much NHRA divisional points this year so I can qualify for and enter the Indianapolis event (over next Labour Day weekend).  I don’t want to go there and walk around any more – I want to go there and play.”

Venice is continuing his long time tradition for drag racing the Ford brand.

Venice is continuing his long time tradition for drag racing the Ford brand.

Venice also plans to run his spectacular Mustang within  Eastern Canada’s awesome Can-Am Stock/Super Stock series.

“What Fred and his staff are doing for Stock and Super Stock racing in Canada is truly a phenomenal value and I am going to support that great circuit too all I can,” Venice affirmed.

Venice is also but one of a number of  Canadian drag racers from coast to coast to evolve into the late model factory Super car wars which is revolutionizing and adding in great new interest to NHRA’s Stock and Super Stock eliminators overall.

Venice and his wife Lorraine own and operate the Performance Cellar (Stoney Creek) which has for a long time been the destination of choice for drag racing and high performance car enthusiasts in Southern Ontario.


To visit Performance Cellar click:  HERE

Posting and photos by:  Bruce Biegler