Tag: Mustang

Smithology: Mustang memory, Shelby snapshot – Sam Smith @Hagerty

Smithology: Mustang memory, Shelby snapshot – Sam Smith @Hagerty


The author (left) and friend, with a car then owned by the former. He would never look so cool again. Michael Darter

Sam’s columns are usually around 1500 words, a few minutes’ reading. Sometimes, though, he trips a breaker in his head and goes long, and we let it run. This is one of those times. It doubles as one of our Great Reads. Enjoy! —Ed.


You probably know the story. If not, maybe the name rings a bell. At minimum, you can probably pick an early Ford Mustang out of a lineup.

The shape means something. Add that name, it means something else.

Shelby American built just a few thousand GT350s for 1965 and 1966. Thirty-four of those machines began life as race cars, a GT350 R, the bare-bones factory competition variant. Shelby people call them R Models, and every single one is now worth seven figures. Which is not to paint the ordinary cars as less than special. Even in road-going form, they were Fords but also not, Mustangs but also not, an uncommon version of a common object.

September 27, 1965: An SCCA race in Riverside, California. The man at the wheel is Trans-Am ace Jerry Titus, a former journalist. (Ha!) The “B” on the door is for B Production, a racing class. This is GT350 #5R002, the first Shelby Mustang to win a race, the famed Ken Miles “Green Valley” car, and one of two R Model (competition) prototypes that Titus drove to a ’65 SCCA championship. It sold at auction last year for $3.75 million. The Enthusiast Network via Getty Images

Google says this site has run the phrase “Shelby GT350” on more than 500 separate pages. We come back to that name for many reasons. For one, our readers love Mustangs. Still, the GT350 story is different.

Unlike many high-dollar 1960s performance cars, the Shelby was not hammered into life in some artisan’s shed; it was based on a Ford sold in the literal millions. Its origins hold lessons on the power of romance and origin, and on how a simple marketing exercise can, without much planning, come to represent something far more important.

A few nights ago, I was digging through an old hard drive, looking for snapshots from an old vacation. In the process, I stumbled onto a long-forgotten folder of photographs of the first GT350 I ever drove. That folder also held an interview I once conducted with Chuck Cantwell, the GT350 project engineer at Shelby American. 

The thoughts and images below—some of the Cantwell chat, bits of trivia, some drive notes—contain no grand thread. There is no great reason behind their assembly, not even an anniversary to celebrate. If you do not already love the car in question, you will not find yourself converted, may wonder why I spent so much time on a simple Ford. 

All I can say is, the kind of person who can unconditionally love an old machine is also often the type to get lost in memories and story. Perhaps you can relate.

Read on

The 5.2-liter Voodoo V-8 Made Magic in the Modern Ford Mustang GT350 and GT350R –


A free-flowing intake and heads, aggressive cams and high compression did a lot of heavy lifting while the exotic flat-plane crank grabbed headlines and helped make lyrical exhaust sounds

The engine produced 526 naturally aspirated horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 429 lb-ft of torque at 4,750 rpm, while making beautiful music up to an 8,000-plus rpm redline. At the heart of its howling exhaust note was a flat-plane crankshaft — so called because its connecting rod journals (and weights) were positioned 180-degrees opposite of each other, instead of at 90-degree intervals like the cross-plane design used in most American V-8s. Flat-plane cranks are not new or unusual. Four-cylinder engines have them and Cadillac’s 314 V-8, which debuted in 1915, used one.
The flat-plane crankshaft from Ford’s 5.2-liter Voodoo V-8.

In theory, the flat-plane design delivers a V-8 with less reciprocating mass, and superior breathing, which should make an engine lighter, more compact and capable of building rpms very quickly. But it also delivers a lot of what’s known as “secondary vibration” and that paint-shaker quality increases in proportion to the size of the pistons and the speed that those pistons are moving. In a race car, it’s a reasonable tradeoff – especially if there’s a performance advantage to be gained. In a 21st-century street car, stickering north of $60,000, customers are likely to complain about shaking steering wheels, buzzing shifters, blurry rearview mirrors, etc. So, Ford incorporated bits on the GT350 that you wouldn’t find on a race car, like exhaust dampers and a dual-mass flywheel, to help smooth things out.

While the Voodoo’s flat-plane crankshaft grabbed all the headlines, this engine would’ve made tremendous horsepower if it had been built with a cross-plane crank. It inhaled through an 87-millimeter throttle body, the largest ever used on a Ford engine. The cams were aggressive, producing .55 inches of lift with 270 degrees duration and using low-friction roller followers to bump the valves. Compression is key to making power and, with a lofty 12:1 compression ratio, the Voodoo had plenty.

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The Fox-body Ford Mustang is the best blank canvas pony car | Buyer’s Guide – @Hagerty


Hagerty’s Editor-at-Large Sam Smith takes a look at the Fox-body Ford Mustang and offers a general overview of the highly affordable but highly variable third-generation pony car. With an easy-to-modify structure, Sam not only covers the pluses and minuses of the Mustang’s massive aftermarket, but also the nuances of owning, buying, and maintaining this iconic classic.

Episode chapters:

Finding America with no particular place to go and a Mustang convertible to take you there – Steve Swanson @Hemmings


Myrtle’s Café still bears advertising from the days before Henry’s gasoline carriages. Under its antique tinned ceiling, hot coffee and a gratuitous wedge of raspberry pie staved off the after effects of a nine-hour flight. Across the street, my Mustang rental waited in the shade of a red brick store. Princetown, Illinois, is just one small town off the I-80. I reminded myself I had a Mustang and the whole Midwest to go play in.

It created a strong desire to hit the road again.I was back to write a story about a family and a car, but two days before the wheels of my Boeing touched down, that story fell apart. I didn’t have anywhere to be and no plan to follow. Some people would see this as a disaster. I thought otherwise. After all, what does a car guy do with two spare weeks and a rental Mustang?

Sure, it was a convertible, which for some is inexcusable, and no, it wasn’t a 5.0. I say beggars can’t be choosers. Compared to the neutered, heavily taxed, four-cylinder shopping cart I had left on the other side of the Atlantic, this car was an unexpected win, and hardly a slouch. I’ve driven a lot worse rental fodder. I’ve owned some desperate daily beaters. Well then, let’s enjoy!I

Brimmed the tank at Iowa-80 Truck Stop, pausing to admire the serried ranks of long-haul heavy metal waiting like ships in port for their next voyage. A lady trucker, looking like a wartime “Rosie the Riveter” in denim overalls and work boots, sprang up into the driver seat of a bug-splattered Kenworth. I trailed along behind her down the westbound ramp of I-80 before sweeping past, the Mustang mirrored in the chromed wheels of her rig. Unlike her, I had no destination, no timetable to follow. I chose a random exit off the highway and plunged into Iowa.

The first time I visited Iowa was early March of 2019. The state was just recovering from five months of what it called “Hell Winter.” Everything was grey. I mean everything. Trees, grass, snow, skyline. It reminded me of grainy footage of a post-disaster Chernobyl. Now it was August and everything was green. Iowa Green, to be precise. A verdant sea of corn and peas running alongside the interstate for mile upon mile, stretching down every side road for acre upon acre, punctuated at random intervals by a square of trees affording shelter to a farm house, silo, and barn.

Off the Eighty, small towns stretched out like a chain of islands amidst the corn. Each one added a fresh piece of the story of rural America. Danish towns, Norwegian farms, a miniature Holland, all united under the flag. Each barn anointed with the geometric precision of its barn quilt.

I crossed the Mississippi, stopping at Le Claire, to climb the decks of a preserved paddle steamer and stand behind the helm. The great river lay just yards away. Idle thoughts of Twain and Huck Finn were shattered by the dual-tone wail of a locomotive horn. An earlier incarnation of that wail sounded as a death knell for the steamboat’s whistle.

Read on

Ford Will Reprint Original Window Sticker For Fox Body Mustang – Jacob Oliva @Motor1.com


This might be the missing piece to your Fox-body Mustang rebuild.

In 2019, the Ford Mustang was declared as the best-selling sports coupe in the world for the fourth consecutive time, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the pony car gets the same accolade this year.

new ‘Stang may be due in 2022 buy out of the Mustang generations, the Fox-body Mustang, which was produced from 1979 to 1993 is probably one of the most iconic versions. It was loved for what it was hated for, particularly because of its deviation from the classic look of its predecessors. It’s also substantially smaller than before.

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Visit Mustang Alley – @FordSocial


If you’re anywhere in the vicinity of Detroit on the third Saturday in August, you’ll get to experience the Woodward Dream Cruise, the largest single-day gathering of gearheads in the world, according to event organizers. Hot rods, musclecars, customs, and every other kind of wheeled conveyance you can think of, in addition to roughly 1.5 million spectators, will invade Woodward Avenue for a day of cruising and hanging out.

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Pangbourne College Classic Car Show


An excellent well organised car show in a beautiful location, cars of all shapes sizes and ages were present.


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Here’s the US related contingent of attendees. Classic wise the Galaxy, and the early red Mustang deserve a particular mention. On the modern  front the Bullitt Mustang and the Ford GT stood out. There were also a couple of very nice 32 Hot Rod roadsters.



This 1973 Ford Mustang was built to race in the Trans Am series, with a heavy duty tubular frame developed by the Le Mans-winning Ford GT40 veterans at Kar Kraft, a highly modified Windsor 351 V8 built by Jack Roush, a close-ratio 4-speed transmission with a Hurst shifter, and a 4.11:1 locked differential.

From a historic perspective this car is quite significant, it’s one of the very last chassis Kar Kraft designed prior to Ford terminating their factory-supported racing program.


Although Kar Kraft was technically an independent company, they were essentially a de facto Ford racing division. When Ford’s plan to buy Ferrari fell apart at the last minute they decided to take the fight to the Maranello racing and sports car manufacturer by challenging them at the most important race in Europe – the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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