Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
December 16, 2013

Horse Sense: Prior to drag night, your favorite magazine hosted its first-ever dyno challenge event within the confines of Mustang Week. Sponsored and operated by Pro Dyno, the Battle at the Beach brought out nine of the hottest street 'Stangs in Myrtle Beach to see would put the most power to the rear tires. You can check out complete coverage of the BATB in our Jan. '14 issue, on sale November 15, 2013.

One of the best parts of the gig here is getting out to so many events throughout the year to mingle with enthusiasts and see their cars. Seeing the cars and people really helps motivate us through those times when the deadlines have us feverishly pounding away at the keyboard. It makes the pages come to life.

There are always events that get circled on the calendar. They are special. In years past it was mega races like the World Ford Challenge (which many of you probably don't remember). These days the biggest circle on my calendar is around the middle of July. It is then that over 1,000 Mustangs converge on the hot pavement of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to celebrate our favorite pony car.

A celebration is exactly what this event is about. After years of encouragement by the Mustang Week team, I finally came out five years ago, and I couldn't get over how much fun everyone was having. The event has fused the automotive excitement of multiple Mustang events —autocrossing, cruising, oval-track laps, drag racing, and car showing—with the laid back fun of a vacation. Families can stay at the beach while the hardcore Mustangers head out for the events. It truly is a happy combo.

This year's event expanded with additional events like the autocross school and our own Battle at the Beach (more on that next month). It also expanded with vendors and spectators. While the car-show attendance has a fixed 500-car limit, the vendor area has expanded deeper into the parking lot at the Myrtle Beach mall, and the number of attendees seemed to swell even larger, with an estimated 10,000 spectators during Saturday's cruise-in.

If it keeps going at this pace, next year is sure to grow even larger, so mark your calendars and book your rooms, as Mustang Week is slated for July 14-20, 2014. See you there.

Meet 'N' Greet

One indication of Mustang Week’s popularity is the length of the T-shirt line at the Meet N’ Greet on Tuesday. We had to laugh after seeing how far the line extended beyond the “Line Starts Here” sign. What’s even more impressive is the line seemed to stay this long until the day’s festivities wound down.

Mustang Week’s Mike Clay put his head together with Tony Barron at Palmetto Ford to fashion a Mustang Week Edition ride. This year’s version, based on a black ’14 GT, featured Vossen wheels from Cruizin Concepts, badging and stripes from Bullitt Auto Detail, a Borla exhaust, and much more. The result was a menacingly cool combination that celebrates Mustang Week every time it’s driven.

Obviously a fan of the Coyote engine, Al Davis of Cape May Court House, New Jersey, brought out his NMRA Super Stang racer, a turbocharged ’11 GT. Al runs out of the JPC Racing stable, and JPC’s main man Justin Burcham made a return trip to Mustang Week. This time Justin drove up in his 1,200hp turbo Coyote from Maryland. Now that’s a street car!

You know we love engine swaps here at 5.0&SF. Even a subtle swap will turn our heads. Such was the case with this Fox GT that runs with a transplanted Terminator engine. At first glance, you might just think the car was born with this engine—that’s the sign of a good swap. The car also runs features and SN-95 dash and console. We ran across the car at several MW events, but didn’t see the owner, so if that person is reading, nice job!

Autocross School

Before the official opening of the week with the Meet ‘N’ Greet, BFGoodrich hosted its first autocross school at the local speedway. I pulled up in the my GHIG ride with the thought of snapping some photos and covering the event, but the fine folks at BFG invited me to participate. OK, twist my arm. So I made a few laps and received instruction. It was a good time, but per usual, my first lap was my best. I really need to work on not trying too hard.

Not only was the BFG school fun and informative, but there were prizes. The top five quickest drivers in the school were put in a random drawing to win a complete set of BFGoodrich tires. As luck would have it, David Wooldridge and his ’12 Boss 302 made the quickest work of the course, and he also won the new tires. That made for a good day in the cones.

Autocross & Fun Runs

It’s hard to beat the sound of a Roots blower whining around the oval during the speedway fun runs. When that sound emanates from a New Edge GT stuffed with a Lightning 5.4, it will get the attention of our cameras every time.

The tag on Daniel Pierce ’03 GT might say its for show, but the Virginia Beach, Virginia-resident clearly enjoys a spirited drive around the cones. His droptop GT isn’t just a run of the mill ride either. There’s a fully chromed and polished Four-Valve topped by a Kenne Bell supercharger lurking under its hood.

A sponsor of the autocross, MRT showed lots of people the quick way around the cones in its various project cars, from a prepped six-cylinder to this modern Coyote.

It’s hard to go wrong with a New Edge Mach 1, and this one looked great lapping the speedway. One thing that stood out at this year’s event was the proliferation of action cameras. It seemed like every car had one or more GoPros or other cams mounted on it. There must be thousands of Mustang Week videos on the Interrnet by now...