Mustang MonthlyNews & Views
Line Lock Launch: A Mustang Drag Racing Tradition Since 1965
Gas Ronda Launch Tips
It was breaking news for 2016; for the first time ever Ford’s Mustang would be sold in Australia through factory official Ford dealerships complete with right-hand drive, but there’s one option that’s not available in Australia, and that’s a line lock. Its not that Australians don’t like to drag race, it’s just the Australian government is a little ahead of the curve when it comes to spoiling a person’s fun through legislating repressive laws.
Historically speaking it was in 1965 when the first Ford Mustang was equipped with a line lock, but it wasn’t on a stock 1965 Mustang that rolled off the assembly line—it was installed on Gas Ronda’s factory experimental A/FX drag car.
As card-carrying members of the Hot Rod Club we were surfing Hot Rod magazine’s complete online archives and found a September 1965 tech article by Eric Rickman where Hurst Performance Products engineers installed Hurst’s Line Lock on Gas Ronda’s Poppy Red 1965 A/FX Mustang fastback. It’s likely the same car (but it would it be interesting to know for sure) featured in Hot Rod’s tech article that was the 427 Hi-Riser car Gas destroyed testing for the 1965 Winternationals when an axle broke.
Gas Ronda’s replacement car from Ford was one of five A/FX Mustangs powered by a 427-inch SOHC motor. As a 13-year old kid I went to the ’65 Winternationals at Pomona with my dad, and we watched Gas Ronda’s A/FX Mustang run.
After the 1965 Winternationals, I remember Gas Ronda’s ’65 A/FX Mustang sat parked out in front of Russ Davis Ford’s Covina, California showroom until it left for the AHRA World Finals, where it set a new A/FX class record at 10.43/134.73 mph.