Mustangs at the 1966 Pikes Peak Hill Climb
Hindsight: Mustangs kicking up dirt at Pikes Peak
Every July 4 since 1916 cars, trucks, and motorcycles have raced to the top of Pikes Peak in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), also known as The Race to the Clouds. Pikes Peak is one of the most insane things to do with a car that we’ve ever seen, as the 12.42-mile-long road starts outside Colorado Springs, Colorado, at 4,720 feet of elevation and climbs to 14,110 feet (way above the tree line) on grades averaging 7.2 percent. Oh yeah, and until recently the road was all dirt, the penalty for a mistake was a deadly tumble down the mountain, and there were no guardrails. The road is paved now, unfortunately, but there are still no guardrails. The PPIHC is not a race for the faint of heart.
The hill climb features everything from purpose-built race cars to production cars and trucks, motorcycles, sidecars, electric cars, and even semi-tractors, but it’s the production cars that turn us on the most, and back in the ’50s and ’60s especially it was a playground for factory muscle, like these Mustangs we found while digging through our photo archives. These photos were shot by Hot Rod magazine publisher Ray Brock at the 1966 running of the hill climb, but unfortunately we can’t find any information on the cars or drivers. Perhaps a reader knows something about them? The number 8 fastback appears to be the most dedicated race car of the three, with a Thunderbolt-ish hood scoop and a mini windscreen in place of the windshield. The #12 G.T. 350 is sponsored by Bay Area Auto Sales, but that’s all we know.