Evan J. Smith
Mustang360 Network Content Director
December 6, 2013

The Ford Mustang is one of the most-personalized vehicles ever built and it shows every weekend as enthusiasts show, cruise, or race their pride and joy. The madness helps us provide content for the pages of MM&FF, and our digital outlets on Facebook, Twitter, and at musclemustangsandfastfords.com. Mustang and Ford events happen every weekend, so one of our toughest tasks is deciding what to cover. This issue is slathered with personalization and real-world performance, as we’ve packed the pages with unique customization, massive power, and the most basic performance mods.

It wasn’t that long ago when doing heads, cam, and intake on your LX set you apart from the crowd (okay, maybe it was that long ago). A few-thousand-dollar investment was a big deal (okay, maybe it still is), and it brought real-world performance and a smile to the owner’s face. Today, it’s not uncommon to have upwards of $20,000 to $50,000 in aftermarket mods, or $100,000 wrapped up in a Mustang—be it a custom build or a Shelby Super Snake like the one we featured last month. Thankfully, it’s still cool (and affordable) to build a basic 5.0L Mustang, or a Two-Valve or Three-Valve GT. No matter what type of Ford you get your hands on, the possibilities are endless.

You may wonder, where do we find cars for features? We found this month’s cover car at the NPD car show in Ocala, Florida, in January. It’s owner, Robert Matuszko, was shining his ride when we rolled up on him and starting asking questions. We were attracted to the classic coupe look and its rockin’ stance, but on closer inspection realized the high level of detail and customization. The blown stroker was fully polished, the interior was crisp, and it runs 9s. Weeks later the LX was in our studio with the lovely Kelsey Hernandez—a magazine cover was born.

Likewise, it wasn’t hard to spot Trevor Jackson’s GT (page 44), as it was the only Sharpie-scribed Mustang at the AmericanMuscle.com car show last August. This Mustang makes a statement, with over 70 hours of hand-laid artwork on it.

No issue would be complete without tech and we packed in our usual “how-to” stuff including a five-lug/Cobra brake swap, a custom rollbar, and mini-tub story, plus a huge Wilwood brake install for the Fox crowd.

For those looking to go fast at the strip, our story called “The Driver Mod” will unlock the secrets of speed and reduced e.t.’s. This story offers tips from our many years of racing and testing Mustangs and it will knock tenths off your own elapsed time.

Yet another winner is Elisa Coon’s piece on running 10s with her Roush-charged 2013 GT. With just three, well, four (if you count the tires) modifications, she blasted into the 10s at 130 mph. I know… we were amazed, too.

Techies can turn to associate editor Marc Christ’s “Talkin’ Technology” for a cutting-edge story that reveals the hottest technology as it relates to late-model Ford performance. The last few years have brought us the return of the 5.0L engine and Launch Control, and with the 2015 Mustang about a year away we can only imagine what Ford will create.

Ford got it right with the fabulous Fox, and the breed improved with the SN-95. Sure, it stumbled with the Two-Valve GT at first, but made up ground with the Lightning, the New Edge (especially the Terminator) models, and the many iterations of the S197 “retro” Mustang have been a smashing success.

Now we’re on the cusp of an all-new S-550 global chassis that will be fitted under the next-generation Stang. There have been many guesses at the styling (you can find dozens of “guesses” on the Internet), and according to our sources, some have been close, but none exact. The 5.0L and IRS is all but confirmed and we expect an interior that will knock your socks off. Will it be smaller and lighter? Sadly, don’t hold your breath, but we hear a power increase is in order and we hear the brakes and handling will be amazing.

We’re confident Ford will get the formula right. Many enthusiasts are screaming for the continued retro look, but personally, I am tired of it. I want the next Mustang to be modern, but with classic cues. If you want a ’69 Mustang, there are plenty for sale. My request: build us something representative of the times and I’ll be in line to buy one. EJS