Rod Short
December 1, 2004

Horse Sense:
eBay Motors is the world's largest online used-car marketplace. Since its launch in April 2002, eBay Motors has grown to the point that it now features 1.4 million new and used parts available on the site each month. An automotive part or accessory is sold every two seconds, with more than 600,000 parts and accessories available for sale each day.

Throwing parts and money at a vehicle doesn't mean it will go faster. Our mission was to find the right combination of parts to win the eBay Editors' Challenge. We already had a nice car. Now we had to get it up to speed to prepare for our showdown.

Our challenge was to find a Mustang and then modify it as part of a competition with other Primedia automotive magazines in a winner-take-all affair. The battle would take place on the road course and dragstrip at Fontana Raceway in California. Each team was given a budget of $25,000. The vehicle and the majority of the parts would have to be purchased on eBay Motors, while the progress of each team would be posted for readers to follow on www.editorscharitychallenge.com. Teams were allowed just a handful of sponsors, with a maximum contribution of no more $500 each. Once the challenge was complete, the cars would be displayed and then auctioned off, with the proceeds going to Charity Cars Inc.

The teams were split up as follows: 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords would anchor Team Mustang, with Popular Hot Rodding, Car Craft, and Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords providing a vast wealth of experience and knowledge. The other teams would go to war with real winners, including a '97 Chevy standard-cab pickup, a '94 Acura Integra, a VW Golf, a BMW M3, a Dodge 2500 pickup, and an early-model Nova. Things became weird when another team actually got a nostalgia front-engine dragster. Can't wait to see that on a road course!

Choosing The Right 'Stang
We knew that selecting our weapon of choice would be crucial to our success. With nearly 2.6 million Fox-body Mustangs produced between 1979 and 1993, there was no doubt we'd find a ton of high-performance and restoration parts for these cars on eBay Motors. The fuel injected '87-'93 models have always been the most desirable and, with just over a million made during that timespan, we felt comfortable about having a good selection of parts from which to choose.