Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
August 5, 2016
Photos By: Team Mustang360

Mustang Week is the event every Mustang enthusiast this side of the Mississippi looks forward to each year. It has become the SEMA or PRI to Mustang enthusiasts. Meaning, it is the event at which people unveil or debut their new Mustang build. Manufacturers always have new products ready for SEMA and PRI, and Mustang Week is now the event for new or updated builds.

We see and hear it every year: “I just finished the car last week,” or “It’s only been running a few days with the new combination.” People add new wheels, new paint, an updated engine and transmission combination, and the like, just in time for the event that takes place each July in Myrtle Beach. This year, the event’s 15th anniversary, we noticed this more than ever, and hopefully the trend continues.

Mustang Week is like spring break for Mustang enthusiasts. Officially, Mustang Week lasts from Tuesday to Saturday; however, unofficially, it lasts from Sunday to Saturday. There are premeets for premeets. This year’s premeet took place Sunday night at the Hard Rock, and then there was another on Monday night at the same location.

The car of Mustang Week was undoubtedly the most recent Shelby GT350. Most enthusiasts hadn’t seen one in person before the event, but there were several in attendance for people to drool over. The cars are still new enough that seeing one made people stop in their tracks. The GT350 will enjoy this popularity until a new Shelby GT500 is introduced, hopefully sooner rather than later.
One thing we noticed at Mustang Week is that the quality of builds gets better each and every year. People are really outdoing themselves these days, and we’re eating it up. This is the engine compartment of Stephen Floyd’s Cobra. He spent countless hours to get the car in its current state. We got up close to the Cobra, so look for a full feature on Floyd’s car both on mustang-360.com and in an upcoming issue.

Officially, Mustang Week’s meet-and-greet took place at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, which features a large parking area. Thankfully, a new parking lot section was added recently; without that addition, there is no way it would have held all the Mustangs and enthusiasts pouring into Myrtle Beach. The meet-and-greet presents everyone with an opportunity to catch up with friends and fellow enthusiasts and to get a new Mustang Week T-shirt, or widget. It also gives you a chance to check out all of the new builds from the past year.

After the meet-and-greet, most attendees look for a shady spot to hang out after being out in the hot sun most of the day. Most seek refuge at the Beaver Bar in Murrell’s Inlet, south of Myrtle Beach. The bar welcomes all Mustang Week attendees with open arms, making everyone feel like a part of the family. The Beaver Bar meet offers attendees a chance to drive in packs and further catch up with fellow enthusiasts.

On Wednesday, Mustang Week heads to Myrtle Beach Speedway for the first day of Stifflers Fun Runs, the Gateway Classic Autocross, and later in the day the SVTPerformance.com Burnout Contest. The track is packed with Mustangs making autocross runs and parade laps, and features drift stars Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Justin Pawlak, who make all of us look like rookies. Watching them kill tires all day long really gets the crowd going and showcases their world-class drifting skills. Then they take breaks to sign autographs and memorabilia for the fans.

Wednesday comes to an end with the SVTPerformance.com Burnout Contest. Now, this isn’t your usual burnout contest where everyone does a stationary burnout. Oh no, not even close. Participants are encouraged to use the speedway’s entire front stretch to show the fans what their Ford is capable of—a standstill burnout won’t get the job done in this case. The winner is decided in the most scientific manner possible: by applause. Therefore, every participant must play to the crowd in order to take home the crown.

Thursday is a busy one for Mustang Week enthusiasts. It starts off with our own MM&FF Pro Dyno Battle at the Beach Dyno Challenge at the Myrtle Beach Mall. This year we had 11 contestants (along with a couple alternates) ready to show everyone what their Mustang was putting down. After the smell of burnt race fuel and E85 died down, Jeff Scofield’s 2014 Shelby GT500 had won the competition by putting down 1,231 rwhp. Randy Koon’s 427-inch SN95 Mustang finished Second Place with just under 1,100 rwhp.

Back in the Fox days, you didn’t have the ever-growing choice of wheels Mustang enthusiasts enjoy can pick from today. Back then our choices were pretty limited, but these days wheel manufacturers such as Verde have seemingly unlimited designs to choose from.
Speaking of the way-back machine, we used to see Mike Murillo only at NMRA events, but with his recent celebrity status he is a regular at Mustang Week signing autographs for young and old fans alike. Of course, he brought his latest star car with him, which was recently built using a donor car after he crashed the previous Star Car.

After the Battle at the Beach, it was time to head to Darlington Dragway for the Mickey Thompson Drag Night. This year everyone met up at Myrtle Beach Speedway for the cruise to Darlington; the drag night lasted from 4 to 11 p.m.

This year, Friday was the 13th annual Mustang Week Car Show, sponsored by Latemodel Restoration. The car show takes place at the Myrtle Beach Mall, with classes for just about every Mustang and late-model Ford. After Friday’s show, the happening place is the House of Blues for the SVTPerformance.com party. Everyone who’s anyone is there to bring the week to a close, even though the week is far from over.

To close out Mustang Week, Saturday morning kicks off with the Southeastern Foxbodies cruise. This year, 155 Fox Mustangs took part, helping to raise money for cancer research, and to just have that many Fox Mustangs in one large cruise—155 Fox Mustangs in one line is a sight to behold. After the Fox cruise, Mustang Week culminates with the awards ceremony, where class winners are presented with hard-earned hardware. The awards ceremony signals Mustang Week’s end, and most everyone heads home except for those that choose to put off the inevitable by staying till Sunday morning.

To sum up Mustang Week’s 15th anniversary event, it was hot and muggy, but if Mustang Week was held every week, we’d gladly be there, and we wouldn’t be alone.

Brian Carr is a Mustang Week regular in his Four-Eye Fox coupe. Carr’s 1979 Mustang coupe is painted Black Cherry and features a carbureted small-block.

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Mickey Thompson Drag Night

On Thursday after our Battle at the Beach dyno competition, everyone met up and headed to Darlington Dragway for the Mickey Thompson Drag Night. Here are some highlights from the event.

Competition Auto always puts on a good show for the crowd at Mustang Week Drag Night at Darlington Dragway.
Fastlane Motorsports had many customer cars tearing up the Darlington strip.

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