Mustang MonthlyNews & Views
The New Guy, For Real This Time! - Hoof Beats
Over the course of the last year, you’ve no doubt seen some instability at Mustang Monthly. This longtime baby of Donald Farr was shaken up when parent company Source Interlink had a major reshuffling that put Donald on the outs as editor of your favorite magazine, replacing him with veteran staffer Mark Houlahan. Mark wrote his first editorial column in the May 2014 issue then quickly followed it up with his last column in the September issue. For October, Marc Christ was in the editor’s chair and wrote his introductory editorial column, ending by saying it was also his last. For the November and December issues, Mark was back in charge on a temporary basis, and now it’s me, although to be honest I had nothing to do with this issue except for this column and one car feature; this issue is all Mark Houlahan and Henry De Los Santos, our content director.
You’re probably wondering, “What kind of operation are they running over there?!” I don’t blame you for thinking that, since it’s been a time of upheaval and mass re-organization company-wide at what was formerly Source Interlink and is now TEN (The Enthusiast Network). But the rocky seas are finally calming and the ship is upright and headed full-speed ahead now, with the guns loaded and their sights set on the future.
So who’s the new guy who’s highjacking your favorite Mustang magazine? Hi, I’m Rob Kinnan and I’ve been a hard-core gearhead since I was a little kid (which, depressingly, was a long time ago). I have built a number of cars from the ground up over the years, and have owned several Mustangs, both vintage and late model (’65 coupe, ’67 fastback, ’87 LX coupe, and ’94 GT). After getting a journalism degree at Colorado State University, I jumped into the automotive publishing world right out of school, way back in 1989. That was as a glorified receptionist at Hot Rod magazine, and after a few years of ladder climbing at Petersen Publishing (which eventually became this company, TEN) I became a full-fledged staff editor at Hot Rod where I obtained the label of “Token Ford Guy.” Another rung up the ladder put me as the editor of 5.0 Mustang magazine, concentrating on the exploding 5.0L performance and drag racing scene. A five-year stint at ProMedia and the National Mustang Racers Association (NMRA, and also current home of the NMCA) gave me a more solid drag racing background heavily immersed in the Ford world, and then I moved back to the Big Chair at Hot Rod where I served for seven years until one of those pesky corporate budget-cutting scenarios showed me the door. After three years of freelancing, I was called back to helm Mustang Monthly, and I couldn’t be happier.
As you’ve probably surmised, I’m a performance junkie at heart. I would never cut up or in any way modify an original Boss 302 or any other historic or otherwise significant Mustang, but give me a six-cylinder ’65 coupe and stand back. That means that you’ll start to see more performance hit the pages of the magazine. Are we going to be doing 1,200hp 460 buildups? Probably not, but a 750hp 347 with a turbo is certainly not out of the question, and neither are high-performance suspension and other drivetrain mods. We’ll probably even take on a project car or two but nothing that will be out of reach of the average reader. Meaning, you’re not going to see $500,000 ground-up projects here. While those kinds of projects are aspirational for sure, I’ve always thought they were out of place in an enthusiast magazine such as Mustang Monthly—after all, if you can’t hope to be able to do it yourself, why would you want to watch us doing it? Features on those types of cars are fair game however.
Resto guys can stop freaking out now, because as much of a speed freak as I am, I totally respect and understand the restoration and originality aspects of this Mustang passion, so that is most certainly not going away. This magazine will still cover restored and “barn find” Mustangs, technical stories on restoration how-tos, and everything you’ve come to love in the magazine. We’ll still do historical features, and might even sprinkle in some history that hasn’t been seen here much, namely vintage drag and road race Mustangs.
What you will not see any longer, however, are late models. Don’t get me wrong, I love the ’79 and later cars, especially the ’87-’93 Fox-bodies, but we have a magazine for that and it’s called Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords. MMFF will cover ’79-later Mustangs (and some Fords) and Mustang Monthly will cover ’64½-’78 Mustangs. Yes, that means you might see some Mustang IIs in here as well—I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for these oft-maligned little buggers, which I feel are significant members of the Mustang family that should no longer be ignored.
So that’s who I am and how I hope to steer Mustang Monthly in the coming years. The company has assured me that the game of editorial musical chairs has ended, and I’m looking forward to being your editor for a long time to come.