Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
September 1, 2013

House Party

April is a significant month in the world of Mustang. On April 17, our favorite car was born, and that means there are a lot of Mustang shows anchored around that date. In Southern California, it brings about the biggest Ford show around, Fabulous Fords Forever, held at the Knott's Berry Farm park.

Last year, we decided to host our own little celebration by opening the doors of the Source Interlink Media Tech Center in El Segundo, California, for our 5.0 West Open House. This year we did it again, bigger and better than before, in celebration of this magazine's 20th year.

Not only does our event kick off the storied Knott's weekend, but it serves as a celebration of the magazine and a thank you to our loyal readers for riding along in the passenger seat with us on this high-performance Mustang journey. This year we had 60 cars on display and about 130 people roaming around the SIM Tech Center. Everyone enjoyed checking out the Mustangs, sharing a nice lunch, and, of course, having the chance to win some really sweet prizes from the aftermarket, including Afco Racing, BBK Performance, CFR Performance, Comp Cams, Creations 'N Chrome, Dynatech Performance Exhaust, Eibach Springs, FAST, Ford Motor Company, Ford Racing Performance Parts, GTR High Performance, Hotchkis Performance, K&N Performance, Maximum Motorsports, Mechanix Wear, Meguiar's, M&M Towing, Mothers, Nitto Tire, Raceland, Raceskinz, SCT Performance, Stiffler's, Strange Engineering, Whiteline, Wilwood Brakes, and Zex.

We relish the opportunity to mix it up with our readers, check out their cars, have a few bench-racing sessions, share a nice lunch, and give away some cool prizes. It really is one of the most fun things we do all year. If you're in the SoCal area or plan to be for next year's Knott's show, check these pages and our online outlets for news on next year's 5.0 Open House. For now, head over to our website to see even more photos of this year's festivities.

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Brothers Show

Usually having a Florida car show in April is good planning. However, someone forgot to call Mother Nature and request clear skies for Brothers Performance's car show held April 13, 2013, at its facility in Deland, Florida. Thankfully, it wasn't the downpour Brothers experienced for one of its previous shows, but cloudy skies did scare some Mustangers away.

The weather didn't put a damper on the enthusiastic nature of those that did take a chance to come out and show off their Mustangs. Those brave enough to make it didn't have to deal with any rain whatsoever. They were treated to a mix of Fox, SN-95, New Edge, S197, and Coyote-powered Mustangs at the show. Brothers has also opened up the show to Brand X cars, as well, even though Mustangs still dominate the event, as to be expected.

The show featured an exhaust sound-off with $200 in prizes, a dyno competition on Brothers' in-house Dynojet for $300 in prizes, Winghouse girls, and of course, food and refreshments. Brothers Performance shows no signs of slowing down, and the company's next show, generally held later in the year, should be an even stronger event. See you there. —Michael Johnson

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1 Million Strong

As Ford lit up the candles for the Mustang's 49th birthday on April 17, 2013, it was also time to celebrate anther significant milestone—the production of the 1 millionth Mustang at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan. The birthplace of our favorite Ponies since 2004, Flat Rock paused the assembly line for just a moment to mark the completion of this historic Mustang. The car in question was a Ruby Red '14 GT convertible with the Brembo package. It was certainly a fetching combination, driven off the line by 27-year-plant-veteran Ed Salna, with Raj Nair, group vice president for product development at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant, in the passenger seat.

"Mustang is one of the most beloved nameplates in the industry, with fans around the world and throughout Ford Motor Company," Raj said. "The team here at Flat Rock Assembly has built an outstanding reputation for quality while producing one million Mustangs over the last nine years, and we expect that to continue for many years to come."

Perhaps even more significant than the 1 million cars produced so far is that the Mustang's birthday started the countdown to the car's extremely significant next birthday—the big 50. In less than a year, we'll all be celebrating with an all-new Mustang, and the plant is already prepared for that.

"Flat Rock has gone through an amazing transformation over the past year," said Tim Young, plant manager at Flat Rock. "We've invested $555 million, including a state-of-the-art, fully flexible body shop and an upgraded paint shop to make sure we're continuing to build the best of the best for the next 1 million Mustangs."

5.0 feedback

Preferred Project

I have no idea where to start with this email, but after reading your editorial, it struck a nerve with me. It's kinda funny, but the context of my story is a little bit different.

I have owned a '93 Mustang LX coupe since March 1996. Sitting next to it in my garage is a '71 Chevelle SS454. On the other side of my coupe is a Merlin 509, completely built to go into it. That is my forgotten car!

I originally bought my coupe to have a fun car to go to work in. Over the years it has been wrecked twice, stolen once, and used to take my kids to the babysitter and back. I've loved this car from the first moment I sat in it.

My black coupe has not been forgotten. Over the last 10 years it has slowly but surely become a street-driven drag car. It won the 2004 and 2005 Wild Street 12-second class at National Trails, and also made it in to Race Pages magazine by running a 0.013 average on three passes.

In 2006 the car started winning races, but it has been a love/hate affair with breaking parts and transmissions. In the fall of 2009 I bought an Astro A5 and my car's successes have become so numerous that Tony Sarvis at Astro Performance has sponsored me in 2012 and 2013.

I just thought I would share the results of a good story and what can be done. If you know anyone that is looking for a '71 Chevelle SS454, steer them my way!

John Koenig
Via email

Your Chevelle wouldn't be the first Brand X ride that was put out of someone's thoughts by a Fox coupe. Seriously, John, thanks for reading the column. I'm glad you are enjoying your coupe. It's sad to see any project fall by the wayside, but it happens. At least you chose the right car to continue on with. As for finding a home for your Chevelle, this might not be the right place to find potential suitors. Most of our readers don't have a garage divided like yours.


Hey, Mr. Turner. In response to your article in the latest 5.0&SF mag—yes, I have been to the point of burnout. Actually, I am there right now. I have a '93 GT that has been a work in progress since November 2009. I initially bought the car and built a motor based on a D.S.S. 308ci short-block. As soon as the motor was together, I discovered it had a bad cam bearing (probably something I did on assembly), thus it had no oil pressure. It had taken me about a year to get to that point. Then the rage of the Coyote motor hit and I had to do it.

The car is nearing the finish line, but I am flat burned-out on it. Part of it is dealing with shops doing the work, and part of it is trying to make sure every part on a 20-year-old car is perfect.

I've been working on that car for almost four years now. I bought and sold five Foxes in the meantime, just to have something to play with. Oftentimes I wonder why I don't just quit spending money on it and buy an '11 5.0!

Travis Smith
Pauline SC

I didn't expect to get quite the reaction I did from that column. I thought I might be the only one that had struggled with project motivation. It seems that it's something a lot of long-term project managers and builders struggle with.

It's great to hear that you have completion of your car within reach. Being able to glimpse the finish line might just be the push you need. It sounds like you are putting together quite a car. I get where you are at trying to make a 20-year-old Fox like new. As I have mentioned in other columns, making that your goal is admirable. However, you might never get there, and if you do, you might not be able to enjoy the car as a result. Perfection is a mirage. Just build a car that you love and enjoy, and you'll be happy.

It would be easy to buy a newer GT, but it's likely it wouldn't be as unique or special to you as the Fox you put all that work into.

Seven-Year Grind

Hey, Steve, I just read your June column about project cars ("Burnout Contest," June '13, p. 15). I've been working on my '90 GT for almost seven years now. I know firsthand the feeling of starting a project and how positive you are about it. I also know how it feels to be over your head in a project after years with no end in sight.

After a rough divorce and many years off misspent money, I managed to grind through it on my project, and I can finally see the end of this long road. It has a 400ci motor with a F-1R ProCharger, and makes 910 horsepower and 755 lb-ft torque with 14 pounds of boost at the moment. I still have a little more work to do before its on the road but it's almost done.

I enjoy your column and the magazine. Keep up all the great work.

Via email

Just a word of advice, they are never really "done." They reach different stages, but as long as you have it, you'll be tinkering with it. That said, it's cool that you have your car that close and making some really impressive power. The fact that you went through a divorce during the process and were still able to soldier on and get it to this point is a feat worth celebrating. Good luck getting it to that next level and thanks for the kind words.


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