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2014 Ford Mustang TdF - Return of Holman & Moody
A legendary name from Ford’s racing past is back with a new ’14 Mustang TdF to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mustang’s first racing victory
Lee Holman was only 20 years old when he traveled to France with his father's race team, Holman & Moody, to work on the Ford GT40s during the 1966 24 Hours of LeMans. Henry Ford II had demanded that Ford beat Ferrari at the world's most famous endurance race, enlisting both Holman & Moody, famous for their NASCAR success, and Shelby American, known for their road racing expertise, to oversee the effort. To stress the importance, and to hopefully stand proudly at the podium with the winning Ford drivers, HFII traveled to LeMans with his new wife, Cristina, and 18 year-old son, Edsel Ford II.
And so it was that Lee Holman and Edsel Ford II became friends as the slightly older Holman showed Edsel the ropes in and around LeMans, where the Ford GT40s finished 1-2-3 in a dominating performance.
Forty-seven years later, the longtime friendship between Edsel Ford II, now on Ford Motor Company's board of directors, and Holman, now president of Holman & Moody, has manifested itself with the 50th Anniversary Holman & Moody TdF Mustang, named for the 1964 Tour de France auto rally (not to be confused with the bicycle race) where the brand-new Mustang claimed its first racing victory with help from Holman & Moody (see "First Win" sidebar).
"We had formed a new company, HM Performance, to design components for the new Mustangs," Holman told us during a visit to the H&M facility in Charlotte, North Carolina. "About six months later, Edsel stopped by for a photo shoot. He stayed for 3½ hours and said Ford should take advantage of the Holman & Moody history with Ford. So he asked, ‘If I can get something stirred up, will you cooperate?' He stirred it up quite nicely. It was nice to go to Ford and have the meetings open up with someone saying, ‘Mr. Ford thinks this is a good idea. What can we do to help?'"
The timing was perfect. When Edsel and Lee realized that Holman & Moody had contributed to the Mustang's first-ever racing win in 1964, it was a natural to recognize the upcoming 50th anniversary with a special H&M edition '14 Mustang.
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Holman explained, "The concept was to try to come up with something affordable that maintained the Ford warranties, yet was a performance vehicle to drive on the street or to have fun on a track day. The Mustang itself is such a nice car. It's a lot easier to make cherry pie if you start with cherries."
More than an add-on kit, the post-title Holman & Moody TdF package must start with a specific Mustang with its own order code, 54F, which specifies a Race Red hardtop with dark gray interior, manual transmission, SYNC, and navigation. From there, the TdF package adds handling capabilities with Ford Racing progressive-rate lowering springs and adjustable struts/shocks, plus H&M's own HM Performance adjustable front and rear sway bars. The 5.0-liter Coyote engine remains untouched, although performance is enhanced by loading a PCM tune from the '12-'13 Boss 302. Because the Boss 302 utilized a special high-rpm intake, the tune increases low-speed torque with the TdF's stock induction system.
"The Coyote engine is a beautiful piece," adds Holman. "The computer package modifies the torque curve a little. We're about 40 ft-lbs of torque more than the Boss at 2,500 rpm. You can also switch back and forth from the track to the street application."
Externally, the TdF package stands out with its gold side stripes and custom spoked wheels wrapped in Continental performance tires. A TdF emblem replaces the faux gas cap on the rear panel, while classy Cloisonne "TdF rally 50th anniversary Holman Moody" emblems replace the factory's 5.0 emblems on the fenders.
There are three ways to obtain a Holman & Moody TdF Mustang: order the Mustang (using H&M's 54F code) from your local Ford dealer and have them install the kit, deliver a 54F Mustang to Holman & Moody in Charlotte for the installation, or purchase a completed TdF Mustang from H&M. Starting price for the TdF package is $9,896.