Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
February 4, 2014

Racing Rivalries

Hard-core 'Stangbangers know there isn't much that matches the thrill of lining up a Pony (like the Edelbrock- supercharged Coyote seen here) against a Brand-X or imported ride and beating it mercilessly in a head-to-head drag race. While most of us are familiar with showdowns of this nature on dragstrips or quarter-mile stretches of desolate road, we recently had the opportunity to try heads-up street racing online using a new free-to-play mobile drag racing game from Cie Games ( and Nitto Tire (

Racing Rivals (, a new high-speed game that's played in real time over the Internet on Apple iOS devices, captures all of the action, emotion, and nuance of high-stakes street racing by allowing competitors to race for bragging rights, virtual cash, or even in-game pink slips. The game offers more than 40 of the world's most-popular cars, which can be customized and upgraded into thousands of different configurations for improved performance. In addition to modifying the cars, they can also be repaired to account for the wear and tear that comes from racing. Of course, your author selected the '13 Mustang GT during his tryout at the debut held in the Irwindale Event Center in Irwindale, California.

As an interactive game, players are encouraged to swap tuning tips on the official Racing Rivals forums and Facebook page to find out how to get the best performance out of any given car. (The '13 GT likes nitrous!)

Racing Rivals is available online through Apple's App Store at For more information, visit — KJ Jones

Of course, your author selected the '13 Mustang GT during his tryout at the debut held in the Irwindale Event Center in Irwindale, California.

Getaway Star

Have you ever watched a movie or TV show, and trained your eyes on background activity during street driving or chase scenes, hoping to catch even the slightest glimpse of a V-8–powered, late-model Mustang? We're not ashamed to admit we've done it... plenty of times. However, while we've never heard about there actually being any official tally, we suspect the sad truth is that '79-'13 ponies rarely appear on screens large or small.

However, Senior Tech Editor KJ Jones had an opportunity to check out one particular Mustang (a Shelby GT500 Super Snake) that has a starring role in the movie Getaway (, the action-packed thriller starring Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, and Jon Voight. The film's director (Courtney Solomon, middle), stunt coordinator (Charlie Picerni Sr., left), and hip-hop-artist/actor/car-guy Xzibit got together in downtown Los Angeles and discussed Getaway, and the action and stunt scenes in which the 'Stang (and a few-hundred other vehicles) is featured. All of the high-speed, perilous maneuvers were done by professional drivers in the streets of Bulgaria—it's not the computer-generated imagery that's common in most of today's action flicks. According to Courtney, a variety of cameras were used to catch all the action (from inside and outside the Shelby) in any given scene—cars racing, gear shifting, rubber burning, and glass shattering, but virtually no green-screen or CGI.

"Being able to put the audience right in the middle of the events, inside that amazing car, was enticing, but shooting real, high-stakes action made it even cooler for me. This movie had to be fast-driving and hard-hitting," Courtney said.

Based on the snippets of action that were shown and the looks of the 'Stang on display, we're pretty certain it is. While Getaway opened late summer 2013, it's probably available on DVD and for download now. See it today.

— KJ Jones

Coyote Modified

For the last couple of years, we here at the magazine have happily been the presenting sponsor of the Coyote Stock class run in the NMRA series. It's been fun to see the racing world quickly take to Ford Racing's sealed crate engine. However, as you know, here at the magazine stock is just a starting point for us. So, when we got an inkling that the NMRA was considering a move to another Coyote class that allowed significant modifications, we stepped right to the head of the line to be involved.

Well, that idea has become a reality, and these cars will hit the dragstrip in 2014. We're really stoked to be involved and excited to see a new era of Coyote development pushed forward by this new power-adder racing class. Since the class is geared toward streetable power adders and offers a fairly open rulebook, it should serve as a showcase for the baddest Coyote cars from around the country.

"As the biggest Ford drag racing series, we have a commitment to the racers and sponsors to grow sportsman, heads-up drag racing, and adding Coyote Modified is a big step forward," said NMRA Tech Director Dave Werremeyer.

"Last year we launched the first-ever sealed crate engine program in drag racing history with the popular Strange Engineering Coyote Stock," Dave continued. "That class is awesome, with over 25 Ford Racing engines sold, and we are looking at full fields in 2014. As we looked at the heads-up categories in NMRA, we offer two naturally aspirated classes with Nitto Tire Factory Stock and Strange Engineering Coyote Stock. Then we jump into the exciting world of Edelbrock Renegade with mid-to-low 8-second cars and the awesome AFCO Street Outlaw class that runs mid-to-low 7s. We felt if we are going to add a category, then it had to fit right in the middle of our current heads-up offerings."

He's not the only one that sees the new class as a big step forward. We have been covering the Coyote 5.0-liter engine since it was born, so to see it pushed to the outer limits of its performance in the NMRA's new Coyote Modified class will be truly exciting. We've already seen some of these cars perform at incredibly high levels, but to see them compete against one another is a tantalizing proposition. It's an idea our magazine team couldn't resist.

That's the truth. Since its introduction, the Coyote engine has taken the Ford world by storm. Shops from across the land have extracted eye-watering performance from these cars, many of them retaining amazing streetability. Seeing these cars race heads-up next season should create quite a buzz.

In the late '80s the excitement of watching wildly modified 5.0 Mustangs race is what propagated the Mustang aftermarket to the robust level it operates at today, With any luck, the NMRA's battle of modern 5.0 Mustangs in Coyote Modified will accelerate the rapid development of Mustang speed parts far into the future.

Is it March yet?


We usually don't look forward to rental cars. If the air works and it has satellite radio, we can survive any economy rental. However, if you're planning a fun trip and you want a fun rental, then Hertz ( has the car for you—the Hertz Penske GT.

"Working with Penske Racing, we're excited to introduce the Penske-inspired vehicle as the newest in a long line of American muscle cars in our rental fleet," commented Mark. P. Frissora, Hertz chairman and CEO. "There's nothing more thrilling than hitting the open road in a high-performance, American-built sports car. With this addition to our Adrenaline Collection, we are introducing a vehicle with race-car performance enhancements to give customers a unique travel experience."

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Following the template of Hertz's prior specialty Mustang rentals in its Adrenaline Collection, these unique cars are enhanced versions of the current Mustang GT. To that potent package, Penzke added a GT500-style, quad-tip exhaust system; a cold-air intake; 3.55 gears; and a performance calibration. Inside the HP GT features Black Recaro Racing Seats, a Laguna Seca gauge pod, custom floormats, custom door-sill plates, and a limited-edition dash plaque. Its unique visage benefits from Hertz yellow racing stripes, a Boss 302 front splitter, a GT500 rear valance, a graphics package, and custom Hertz faux gas cap. Its stance is thanks to a handling suspension upgrade.

"It is terrific that a classic American car is being transformed into a one-of-a-kind vehicle inspired by Penske Racing," said Roger Penske. "The Hertz Penske GT makes us even more excited for what is in store for our multi-year partnership with Hertz, and we are thrilled that our fans and Hertz travelers will have the opportunity to rent this special car."

5.0 Feedback

Heavy Lifting

I know this is late in regards to the September issue, but I want to comment nonetheless. One reason my response is late is that I didn't read the magazine as soon as I got it, in part because my own project had issues. After reading other's travails in Mailbag, I realize I got away lucky.

Without details, I had a guy build a sweet little 331 stroker that is everything I wanted out of the engine for my Emerald Green '90 LX 'vert, which has a white top. However I spent more money than I was anticipating.

After some gasket issues, which the guy did at his expense, the engine really runs nicely. There were times however that I almost threw in the towel and *%##-canned the car and bought a newer one.

I used the experience as a lesson in patience, and so far it's paid off. There is still much to do on the car (interior redo, stereo, new gauges, rear seat delete, paint, door refurbishing, and so on) but that isn't the same as a expensive motor not working. Having read your essays and others' responses was uplifting to me—to know that I wasn't alone. I wish no ill will on my fellow car guys, but it sounds like car projects are defined by the lack of meeting expectations—at least when and how we want.

Like I said, the end result so far is what I wanted. She passed emissions, gets 25 mpg highway, and pulls like stink from 3,000 to 6,000 rpm—perfect for a "touring" car that I want to drive.

So thanks for the knowledge that I wasn't alone in these types of endeavors. I really appreciate your essays; I've been a subscriber since 1993. Keep up the great work.

Laurens Johansen
Via email

Thanks so much for reading the magazine all these years, Laurens. You are certainly the first to ever admit enjoying my essays. My English teachers sure didn't appreciate them.

As for project cars, what makes them so frustrating is the same thing that makes them so gratifying when they are finished. The trick is to build a car you can enjoy and not sweat its perfection. Shooting for an impossible goal can really increase frustration. If budget is no option, you can get close to perfection, but doing it on your own means planning for a realistic result.

Short times

At the Barrett-Jackson auction held in Las Vegas last September, Ford auctioned off the prototype '14 Mustang Cobra Jet to the benefit of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "The money to found Ford Motor Company came from Henry Ford's only race as a driver, so you could say motorsports is in our blood," said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. "This COBRA JET is an awesome factory turnkey performer at the dragstrip. It's capable of approximately 9-second quarter-mile runs as delivered from Ford. And we will include several once-in-a-lifetime experiences to the winning bidder. For example, few get to see the inner workings of the Ford Product Development Center and Ford Racing to learn how to leverage the Cobra Jet's power. This information can then be taken to the track to immediately break into competitive racing." Along with a legitimately rare Mustang race car, the winning bidder also took home a class at Roy Hill's Drag Racing School, a tour of the Ford Product Development Center and more ... Ford SVT's Raptor pickup is still selling like hot cakes. Ford F-150 SVT RAPTOR, the ultimate high-performance off-road pickup truck, continues to find new fans and sales success. "What's helping drive Raptor sales is that Raptor delivers unmatched off-road performance to our customers," said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. "Raptor is also proof of our commitment to offer a truck for every customer and continuously improving them to meet our customers' evolving needs."