Evan J. Smith
Freelancer
November 1, 2013

Horse's Mouth is presented by UPRProducts.com

Party Time! Mustang Turns 50!

Mustang enthusiasts know the 2015 Mustang is around the corner, and in 2014 the Ford Mustang will be 50 years old. To celebrate, thousands of Ford-natics from around the globe are expected to descend upon Charlotte Motor Speedway next year to mark the automotive milestone.

The Mustang Club of America (MCA) will host a Mustang 50th Birthday Celebration the week of April 16-20, 2014, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and organizers say the event is already drawing international attention.

"We've already received inquiries from all over the country and as far away as Australia, France and Germany," said MCA President Steve Prewitt during a press event at the speedway. "We're excited to be back here at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where we hosted the 30th birthday celebration in 1994 and the 35th in 1999."

Along with vendors and Mustang enthusiasts, organizers expect up to 7,000 Mustangs to be displayed during the celebration. Open track driving sessions will be an integral part of the activities, as well as dinners, tours, and concerts. Combined with the Charlotte AutoFair, April 3-6, and the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, April 11-13, the Mustang celebration will cap off back-to-back-to-back weekends of entertainment.

Registration forms for the Mustang celebration and additional details about the event can be found at www.mustang50thbirthdaycelebration.com. To stay up to date with everything going on at the greatest place to see the race, log on to www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.


Racin' Jason Revival

MM&FF recently learned that Joe Caldwell of Harrison, New York, purchased the '87 twin-turbo of the late Racin' Jason Betwarda with the intention of racing it again. The famed convertible GT ruled the Pro 5.0 ranks in the '90s with low 8- and 7-second performances. Mike Ragusa, who piloted the GT, is on board to return as the driver.

"The car made 5.0 Mustang history as the first in the 7s at 185 mph at E-Town [Englishtown Raceway Park] on March 31, 1995," said Caldwell. "On the 20th Anniversary in March 2015, Mike Ragusa and I, the car owner and builder, will look for a pass of at least 7.56 at 185, however with new technology and more motor, we are hoping for 6.99 at 200," he added.

Racin' Jason's Mustang was featured on the cover of the Dec. '95 issue of MM&FF and was the fastest 5.0 in the world at the time. According to Caldwell, the car is currently undergoing a complete chassis and suspension update and upgrade.

"I am so proud to have Mike Ragusa behind the wheel; Frank of PSI as the tuner and installer; Wild Bill Devine and C&F Race Cars on the chassis; Team Z with the new front suspension; and Brighton Collision of Brooklyn, New York, on the paint," he added. The team is looking to debut the car at the NMRA event in Bowling Green, Kentucky, for the World Ford Nationals in 2014.


Shelby American Goes Global With New Headquarters In Las Vegas

Shelby American, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carroll Shelby International, announced the legendary high-performance company will open a state-of-the-art global headquarters on December 1, 2013, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Located near the world famous strip and McCarran International Airport, the 135,000-square-foot facility will house all operations under one roof, positioning one of the strongest independent automotive brands in the heart of one of the largest leisure and convention travel destinations in the world.


U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition Ford Mustang Celebrates Aviation Team's 60th Anniversary, Supports Young Eagles

The engineering and design teams at Ford Motor Company have produced a unique U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition 2014 Ford Mustang GT. This car will be donated by Ford to be sold at the Gathering of Eagles charity event August 1 during the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Oshkosh 2013.

All proceeds from the car donation and sale will benefit the EAA Young Eagles program, which has provided free introductory flights to more than 1.6 million young people since 1992, helping inspire and motivate the next generation of leaders, aviators and innovators.

"The dedication and excellence displayed by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are qualities we also celebrate at Ford," said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of the Ford board of directors. "With this year's beautiful U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition Mustang, we've captured the recognizable symbols of their stature and paired it with the innovation our Ford design and engineering teams build into all of our products."

This unique U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Ford Mustang GT celebrates and commemorates the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the fastest, multi-jet flight demonstration team in the world. Thunderbirds fly the F-16 Falcon, known for its glossy red, white, and blue paint scheme.

The design of the one-of-a-kind, modified '14 Mustang GT 5.0-liter glass-roof coupe, VIN 0001, exudes a creative connection to the Thunderbirds, with a contemporary flair for the serious collector. The exterior will showcase a custom brilliant white paint with red and blue accents, as well as markings and logos tying it to the Thunderbirds' F-16 Falcon aircraft.

The unique treatment includes wide-body modifications and a handcrafted and painted belly pan that emulates the F-16 Thunderbird appearance. TS Designs handcrafted the front and rear wide body elements, Creations n' Chrome crafted the unique belly pan—plus applied the paint and markings—and Forgiato created custom 22-inch wheels to further differentiate this Mustang from anything else on the road.

Ford Racing components will boost the performance to an extraordinary level. Ford Design Manager Melvin Betancourt and Mustang Chief Nameplate Engineer Dave Pericak led the design and engineering teams that developed the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Edition Mustang GT.

To stay connected to all Ford EAA AirVenture news, connect with the Ford EAA AirVenture team on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FordAirventure.