Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
December 9, 2010
Photos By: The Modified Mustangs & Fords Staff

There was a time when dragstrips and road courses across America were bustling with the sounds of screeching bias-ply burnouts and solid-lifter crackling, and lead-infused fuels burned under high compression. The muscle car era was in full swing, and the manufacturers waged war in battles of horsepower and cubic inches.

At some point though, it seems like those with the vintage cars threw in the towel and stopped showing up, leaving the late-model crew to have all of the fun. Now we're not saying that you should be hanging out at the track all the time, but you should be able to enjoy all of that high-horsepower hardware that you've installed under the hood, and taking your car to your local racetrack offers that opportunity in a very safe environment.

For some of you, going to the track may be old hat, but for others, it could be your first time. In either case, this story will be both a good refresher, and a basic introduction to drag racing. Once you have your feet wet in full-throttle, straight-line fun, you can check out your local road course to see if there might be even more fulfillment in turning at speed, and we'll be covering that end of the spectrum at a later date.

Sure, you'll hear a lot of people talk about how valuable the cars are, and that it's not the best idea to drive one in such a manner. Our cover car this month certainly bucks this trend, and the vision of this relatively rare automobile melting rubber will certainly cause some anguish for some, but cars were made to be driven. Their sole purpose on this planet is to get us from Point A to Point B. So what's the harm in getting there fast?

If you think this sounds crazy, think again. More and more enthusiasts are enjoying their classic cars in more exhilarating ways. If you get a chance, check out an NMRA or NMCA race that may be close to you. You'll find a lot of very nice vintage firepower in the staging lanes.

Follow along as we take a classic Mustang out to the track and show step-by-step what goes on at the dragstrip. Once educated, you won't feel so intimidated and you'll enjoy the experience that much more. To find your nearest racetrack check out the links at the end of our story and then call the track to find out its track schedule. Be sure to write us and let us know about some of your on-track racing exploits.

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