Introduction Hoof Beats Mark
Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
April 10, 2014

For some, writing an editorial column, be it a magazine or your Mustang club's newsletter, is a piece of cake, while others sit and stare at their keyboards trying to think of something to write about. I'm normally one of the former types—having written the editor's column for Mustang & Fords/Modified Mustangs & Fords for five years and my Mustang club's president's column and newsletter editor's columns for the last 20 years. That being said, my first Hoofbeats in Mustang Monthly is decidedly the hardest column I've ever had to write, as sadly Donald is no longer with Source Interlink Media.

Donald Farr has been at the helm of Mustang Monthly off and on since being the magazine's first editor outside of publisher Larry Dobbs himself way back in the Dobbs Publishing Group (DPG) days. While Donald moved to other titles and positions, including editorial director at DPG, he also had a stint outside of the magazine running a Mustang website for a while. It was when Donald was editorial director that I was hired as Mustang Monthly's technical editor way back in 1992. While I too moved around to other titles within the company, I returned as Mustang Monthly's technical editor two years ago.

Over the years I have worked with several editors at Mustang Monthly. Each one put a personal spin on the magazine, but the one thing they all had in common was Mustang Monthly's editorial direction and producing the best monthly magazine for Mustang owners possible. From Tom Corcoran to Rob Reaser, then Jerry Pitt and Jeff Ford, they were all passionate about Mustangs and our hobby, and I can assure you that you will see that same passion for the hobby continue on as a new chapter in Mustang Monthly's publishing begins with me as the brand's new manager.

Like each editor I mentioned, I too am a Mustang owner. While I don't own a Shelby GT 350 like Corcoran did, or a highly optioned Mach 1 like Ford had, I am still just as proud of my '66 Mustang hardtop and I twist the key on my '90 5.0L LX Sport hatchback every morning as my daily driver, which I bought new and have owned for 24 years. With two kids in college (Kyle, 21, and Shelby, 18) a new Mustang is a few years off, but my wife Dawn and I are certainly looking forward to that day (though she might end up with a '13 Fusion before I see a new Mustang, such is life.)

Now I know there's no way I can fill Donald's immense shoes, and I am not going to try to do so. Instead I look forward to also putting my own personal touch on Mustang Monthly. That said, I can assure you that there are no changes in Mustang Monthly's editorial content and direction on my “to do” list. What you will see is Jim Smart and all of our great regular freelancers like Eric English, Dale Amy, Jerry Heasley, and others continue to provide the greatest Mustang content they can, but we'll also continue to have Donald as an integral contributor to Mustang Monthly as well.

By the time you read this, the 50th will be in the record books and we'll all be back home recuperating and telling our Mustang friends what a great event it was. We plan to have a ton of 50th coverage both here in the magazine as well as on our all new website: www.mustang360.net. That coverage will include the Las Vegas event with Jim Smart and the Charlotte event with Donald Farr.

Finally, I want to give a big shout of thanks to our longest running columnist, Bob Aliberto. Bob has decided to retire, and this month's column is his final column in Mustang Monthly. Please join me in wishing him all the best. Bob's expert advice has helped countless thousands of readers since his first column in the July '81 issue. Beyond the Basics will continue as we seek out a new columnist.