Patrick Hill Associate Editor
November 20, 2007
This year's event was held in May to avoid the weather issues we had thepast couple of years. The whole weekend had perfect weather, with mostlysunny skies, pleasant temperatures, and only close calls with a rainshower or two.

Horse Sense: If you think Year One only sells restoration parts forvintage Mustangs and other cars, you're mistaken. The company has anextensive catalog for '79 to '06 Mustangs. If you're looking to spruceup your Fox, SN-95, New Edge, or S197 Pony, visit www.yearone.com

Working on 5.0&SF and its Web site, my job is always exciting. Frombeing around the hottest Mustangs wearing the Pony badge and coveringevents to the occasional test drive of something spectacular and farbeyond my financial means, it's a job I can't complain about--except forbeing the butt of most of Editor Turner's jokes.

Sitting in my cubicle a week before I was supposed to leave for the YearOne event, I was caught off guard when 5.0&SF Publisher Bruce Jones cameto see me with Air Ride's Brett Voelkel and Peggy Vernon. They neededsomeone to drive the Air Ride Suspension '05 Mustang of ForzaMotorsports Challenge fame to the Year One show. It took about half asecond for me to volunteer for the job. Who wouldn't? A chance to drivea race car on the street and experience the ego-inflating euphoria ofpeople scrambling to get their camera phones out in parking lots orwhile on the road? It's a car guy's dream.

This was my view driving the Air Ride Mustang from our Tampa office tothe show. Open roads ahead, rice-burning imports sucking my exhaust.

I packed my bags and headed for the North Georgia hills. Along the way,people pulled alongside the Mustang to snap a quick photo and give thethumbs up, and there were a few incidents with rice burners getting aharsh lesson in reality. It's amazing how many people think awhoopee-cushion tailpipe and a Type R decal is a performanceenhancement. The deflated looks on their faces as the Vortech-equippedMustang left them in the dust was amusing.

Being the first time I'd ever driven an air suspension-equipped vehicle,I was blown away. If it hadn't been for the controller on the dashboard,I'd never have known the Mustang didn't have a coil spring suspensionunderneath. In fact, it was even smoother than a standard suspension. Onthe stretch of I-75 from the Georgia-Florida border to Macon, I didn'teven notice the millions of tar expansion joints and their mind-numbingthump-thump-thump along the way.

The number of S197s at the '07 experience was bigger than ever. Here's apic of the Stainless Steel Brakes Mustang out on the Road Atlanta courseshowing why its brake products are so popular. Unfortunately, the blown4.0 V-6 in the car was running too lean, and during this run it ate apiston and turned the V-6 into a V-5, ending its track activities forthe rest of the weekend.

Once at Road Atlanta, I had to surrender the keys of the heartaccelerating, adrenaline-pumping horse so it could go on display at theAir Ride Technologies booth. After the show was over on Friday andSaturday night, I took the Mustang back to my hotel. That proved to be agood thing, since the folks at Air Ride had their gorgeous '67 RS Camaroripped off from their hotel parking lot by some scumbags. On Sundaymorning I surrendered the keys for the last time and returned to theworld of being a driving mortal. It was a hard high to come off of, butgave me new appreciation for all the times I get to drive bad carsbecause of my job.

For the third year in a row, the Year One Experience was held at RoadAtlanta and Atlanta Dragway, both racetracks located near Year One'sBraselton, Georgia, headquarters. Taking place in May, we had beautifulweather the whole weekend, countless parade laps run on the road Atlantacourse, and more than 1,600 tire-scorching and brake-melting laps on theAir Ride Technologies-sponsored autocross course. Meanwhile, StainlessSteel Brakes was sponsoring the 0-60-0 challenge for those interested inwhoa and not just go. After one day of the event, you could smell thebrake pads cooking like bacon on a griddle all across the Road Atlantagrounds.

While the prestigious Year One Cup was again taken by a car wearing abow tie, it was still a great weekend of fun for the late-model Mustangsand their owners.