Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
April 14, 2014
Photos By: Source Interlink Archives, Ford Archives

Pro 5.0

From a grassroots drag racing movement, 5.0-liter Mustang drag racing evolved into serious competition, including a Pro 5.0 class that pitted the top cars against each other in heads-up action. Competitors like Gene Deputy built cars in a variety of combinations, from turbocharged to nitrous, to eventually run sub 8-second quarter-mile times.

A Grand Effort

Steeda Autosports’ ’95 Cobra R, driven by Boris Said and Shawn Hendrick, won more IMSA Grand Sport races than all other Cobra Rs combined during 1995 and 1996. Led by the Steeda effort, the Cobra Rs missed the 1996 Grand Sport championship by one point.

Trans-Am Domination

Roush Racing Mustangs won all 13 races during the 1997 Trans-Am, including 11 by Tommy Kendall in his All-Sport Mustang Cobra.

May the Force Be With You

Professional Funny Car drive John Force switched from Pontiac to Mustang in 1997 and hasn’t looked back. He’s won nine Funny Car championships in a Mustang body. Well, it sorta looks like a Mustang…

Bringing Home a Championship

Ford put together a valiant effort for the new Boss 302 in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sport Challenge, but it was Paul Brown who earned a championship for the new Boss when he won the GTS class championship for the 2011 World Challenge.

Forty Years Later

Exactly 40 years after Al Joniec won the 1968 NHRA Winternationals in a ’68 Cobra Jet Mustang John Calvert drove a new Cobra Jet Mustang, based on Ford Racing’s FR500CJ, to victory at the 2008 Winternationals. As a tribute to the original Cobra Jets, the ’08 Mustang, owned by Brent Hajek, was painted and lettered just like Joniec’s car from four decades earlier.

Gittin with the Drift

The Mustang entered the relatively new world of Formula Drift in 2005, but it wasn’t until Vaughn Gittin Jr. took over the reins in 2008 that attitude merged with talent to place the Mustang among drifting’s elite. Gittin Jr. won the 2010 Formula Drift championship and remains one of the most popular drivers on the circuit with his ’14 Mustang.

Nationwide is on Your Side

With NASCAR’s switch to “musclecars” for its second-tier Nationwide series in 2010, the Mustang entered the big-time world of high-profile racing. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., in the number 6 Roush Fenway Racing Mustang, won the Nationwide championship in 2011 and 2012.

Shelby’s Sports Car

The launch of the Mustang in the spring of 1964 was an obvious success, but Ford’s Lee Iacocca desired more. With the introduction of the fastback in the summer of 1964, Iacocca wanted to polish the Mustang’s image as a sports car by competing in road racing. He turned to racer-turned-car-builder Carroll Shelby, who transformed 289 Hi-Po fastbacks into Shelby GT 350s. In January 1965, Shelby sent a crew, including drivers Ken Miles and Bob Bondurant, to Willow Spring Raceway in California to test the first GT 350 competition model.

During 1965, the Shelby “R-Models,” as they became known, dominated the SCCA’s B-Production class, with Shelby team driver Jerry Titus winning the national championship.