January 17, 2014

Saleen George Follmer Edition

As a race driver himself, Steve Saleen has a great appreciation for the racers and cars that made up the Trans-Am series in the 1960s. In 2007, Saleen debuted his Parnelli Jones Edition Mustang, a Grabber Orange coupe that paid tribute to Jones’ Trans-Am Boss 302 from the championship 1970 season. Now Saleen is honoring Jones’ teammate, George Follmer, with a ’14 Mustang GT designed to resemble Follmer’s ’69 Trans-Am Boss 302 as part of a Saleen Heritage Collection, which also includes a Mark Donahue Camaro and Swede Savage Barracuda.

“As a specialty manufacturer and a driver myself, it is the perfect alignment of passions that allowed us to complete an entire collection of vehicles,” said Steve Saleen during the vehicles’ introduction at Laguna Seca Raceway last August.

The Follmer Mustang package adds more horsepower, up to 470, to the 5.0-liter engine with a “high rpm” intake, a 90mm throttle body, performance camshafts, and a Saleen Shaker hood system. In true Saleen fashion, the Follmer edition incorporates neat vintage details, like unique front chrome surround and “Minilite-inspired” wheels.

For more information, visit www.saleen.com.

A Few Minutes with Paul Breary

For the past 20 years, Paul Breary has hopped from assignment to assignment at Ford, working as a field service engineer in the Orlando region, moving to Sweden to take over product marketing for Volvo, and eventually landing a job back in the states in vehicle personalization, where he was involved with Mustangs like the California Special and ’12-’13 Boss 302. Now Paul gets to combine all of his experience into his job as manager of Cross Vehicle Enthusiast Marketing, where he oversees enthusiast events. Obviously, Mustang is a big part of the job.

We got a chance to learn more about Paul during the Mid America Ford and Shelby Nationals:

MM: Tell us about your job.

PB: I feel like I won the Ford lottery. I get to take all the things I’ve learned over the years and put them into one job. The job is kind of two-fold. There’s the more obvious part, which is sales and marketing—trying to get people to experience our vehicles and see them in a positive light. Then there’s also the aspect of understanding what enthusiasts like and appreciate about Ford. And how to bring that message back to marketing and product development so our future cars are better. A big part of the job is managing Ford’s participation at enthusiast events, like Mid America, Carlisle Ford Nationals, Formula Drift, and Barrett-Jackson, including the ride-and-drives. The list is pretty extensive. I would be gone every day of the year if I went to every event. But that’s why I like the job so much—because I get to go to the events.

MM: With “enthusiast” in your title, we would assume that Mustang is a big part of it?

PB: Absolutely. It may change over time because we now have a broader performance portfolio—Focus ST, Taurus SHO, Raptor, and even Explorer and Edge Sport. But over the past five decades, the most consistent performance product we’ve had is Mustang.

MM: Have you owned Mustangs?

PB: I’ve owned five. My first Ford after I joined the company was a ’91 LX 5.0. Then I had a ’03 GT convertible, followed by a ’10 GT convertible, a ’11 Cal Special convertible, and most recently a ’13 Cal Special convertible. As you can tell, I like convertibles. There’s something about going through the gears with the top down on a beautiful sunny day.

MM: How important is the enthusiast to Mustang marketing? There used to be a time when Ford said that was “preaching to the choir.”

PB: I think that has changed for a few reasons. The more obvious reason is that you can say that preaching to the choir makes sense because people listen to the choir. If anybody wants to know something about a car, even if it’s not a Ford, they’ll ask a car person, an enthusiast. It’s very influential. The other aspect of my job is listening to enthusiasts, understanding what they want. If you look at the previous Shelby, I don’t think a lot of people were going around saying that 550 horsepower wasn’t enough. But we did hear that people wanted it to handle a little better, so we changed the block to take over 100 pounds off the nose. And then for the next generation, we said, “Let’s see what we can do.” In the end, we’ve got an almost insane car with 662 horsepower. And I can guarantee that the next generation Mustang GT will be better because of enthusiasts.

MM: Tell us how the ride-and-drives help with that.

PB: This is the first year we’re doing the ride and drive at Mid America. We’ve got four dealers helping out and 15 or 20 vehicles. We find that people get into a car and say, “Wow, this is way nicer than I thought.” Or some will say, “It needs another cup holder.” And the next version will likely have another cup holder. So that part of it is as important as anything else.

Prototype CJ for Charity

During the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Las Vegas last August, Ford Motor Company auctioned the one-of-a-kind prototype for the ’14 Mustang Cobra Jet drag car. Sold for $200,000, the proceeds benefited the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The purpose-built factory race car carries a unique serial number of #2014 BJMS CJXX1 and, like other ’14 CJ cars, is powered by a supercharged 5.0-liter mated to a C4 racing transmission. Other equipment includes optional “wheelie” bar, 8-point chrome-moly safety cage, Cobra Jet-branded Weld wheels, three-link rear suspension, 9-inch rear axle, and custom Recaro seats.

Ford threw in some other goodies for the high bidder as well, like training at Roy Hills’ Drag Racing School and a tour of the Ford Product Development Center and Ford Racing with Mustang chief engineer Dave Pericak.

Countdown to the 50th

On April 16-20, 2014, the Ford Motor Company and the Mustang Club of America will celebrate the Mustang’s 50th anniversary with two simultaneous 50th Mustang Birthday Celebration events at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Related activities start two weeks earlier with Great American Pony Drives from seven locations cruising to Mustang, Oklahoma, for an official kick-off weekend followed by east-bound and west-bound Pony Drives to the Mustang 50th Birthday events.

Over the coming months in this space, we’ll keep readers abreast of the 50th anniversary happenings, adding updates as they become available. The official website, www.mustang50thbirthdaycelebration.com, includes registration and hotel information. Event schedules will be posted there as well as they become available.

Update: A Half Marathon and 5K has been added to the Las Vegas event, with the start/finish line at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Participants are automatically registered to win a ’14 Shelby GTS convertible. Visit www.mustang50thhalfmarathon.com.

April 4-11, 2014

Great American Pony Drives

Dearborn: Departs April 8

Jacksonville: Departs April 4

Richmond: Departs April 7

Boston: Departs April 6

Los Angeles: Departs April 4

Sacramento: Departs April 5

Seattle: Departs April 6

Visit www.ponydrive.us for complete schedules, routes, and activities.

April 10-16, 2014

Mustangs Across America 50th Drive

Departs April 10 from Los Angeles for a week-long cruise to Charlotte. Visit www.mustangsacrossamerica.com for route and schedule.

April 11-13, 2014

Official 50th Anniversary Kick-Off Party hosted by the Mustang Club of America at the National Center for Employee Development (NCED) Conference Center and Hotel in Norman, Oklahoma. Track event at the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department Training Facility, Friday evening Meet and Greet, Saturday night banquet with special speakers, and shuttles to shopping. More details to come.

April 13-16, 2014

50th Anniversary Pony Drives from Mustang, Oklahoma, to Charlotte and Las Vegas. Visit www.ponydrive.us for schedules and stops.

April 16-20

Mustang 50th Birthday Celebration events at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Shows, open tracks, special activities and displays, manufacturer midways.

April 16: Pony Drive arrivals, vendor set-up

April 17: Opening Ceremonies, birthday party, other activities TBA

April 18-19: Open track, drag racing (Charlotte), parade laps, themed dinner (Friday), evening banquet (Saturday), other activities TBA

April 20: Easter Sunrise Services, closing ceremonies

News Desk

Former Mustang chief engineer Art Hyde, who spearheaded models like the ’01 Bullitt and ’03-’04 Mach 1 while leading the design and development of the ’05 Mustang, has been promoted to Ford’s chief engineer for Global Product Development Systems. That puts him in charge of all of Ford’s global platforms.

In a ceremony held August 21 at the Fillmore Theatre in Detroit, Bud Moore was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame. Moore’s team, Bud Moore Engineering, built and campaigned Trans-Am Boss 302s for George Follmer and Parnelli Jones in 1969-70. Jones won the Trans-Am championship in 1970.

The second printing of Mustang Boss 302: From Racing Legend to Modern Muscle Car by Mustang Monthly Editor Donald Farr is now available. The revised edition includes the ’13 Boss 302. It’s available from Amazon or www.motorbooks.com. Autographed copies are available from the author at www.donaldfarr.net.

Rumors from Dearborn say the completely revamped ’15 Mustang will be 400 pounds lighter than the current model thanks to more abundant use of aluminum body panels.

Luck must follow Lawayne Musslewhite. You may remember him from our June 2013 cover story, “Amazing Rare Finds!,” about Musslewhite’s purchase of a 6,000-mile ’65 Shelby G.T. 350 after winning the Canadian lottery. More recently, Musslewhite’s name was pulled as the winner of the Shelby Museum (in Boulder, Colorado) raffle for a new ’14 Shelby GT 500.

Mold-A-Rama Mustang

If a visit to Dearborn’s The Henry Ford museum is in your plans, make sure you drop a couple of bucks into the vintage Mold-A-Rama machine to get a plastic injection model of a ’65 Mustang hardtop for your memorabilia collection. Mold-A-Rama machines debuted in 1962 but entered mainstream consciousness at the New York World’s Fair in 1964. The Henry Ford has several Mold-A-Rama machines in operation; each produces a different mold, including one with a Mustang.