Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords Magazine 20th Anniversary - 20th Century Fox
The 5.0L Mustang Spawned A New Age Of Performance.
The first copy was thought to be just a one-time thing, but that quickly changed when the results came back as overwhelmingly successful. The former owner of CSK, Steve Schneider, made the decision to forge forward with more issues of the mag. He named the late Steve Collison to head up this new phenomenon as its editor. Cliff Gromer is credited as being the first editor, but Collison took over from there. It took several issues for MM&FF to find its stride as the voice of the 5.0L market. Editorial Director (and former MM&FF Editor) Jim Campisano actually served as proofreader on the second issue. Early on, the magazine covered all years of Mustangs and everything Ford. It rivaled the dominant rag of the time, Super Ford magazine. Collison saw energy, excitement, and a future in the 5.0L market, and he pushed the book solely in that direction, despite rumblings from management. He left the door open for Super Ford to cover the rest of it, as he was adamant on bringing MM&FF to the forefront of the 5.0 craze. It worked.
Every accomplishment on the dragstrip and every new part that hit the market was covered extensively in MM&FF. Collison was a drag racer; he was hard-core and hired only hard-core guys and gals to work on the magazine. If you had only a passing interest, there was no place on staff. He thrashed cars to get the best track times, and that creed is followed today. You'll rarely, if ever, find a car tested that runs a quicker published time. Credit our driving ability and what we learned from Collison and Campisano for that.
MM&FF was quickly recognized for pushing the envelope with Mean Mr. Mustang, the very first 5.0L Mustang project vehicle that started in Super Stock and Drag Illustrated, then Cars Illustrated, and was carried over to MM&FF when Collison took the helm. That car paved the way and showed the average guy and gal how to go fast with simple mods. The 5.0L movement just kept growing and growing, and so did the magazine.
In October 1993, Jim Campisano took the reins and picked up where his friend Collison left off. Current Editor Evan Smith was also on board as a freelance writer/photographer and a dedicated Mustang owner. As the market progressed, so did the magazine, as it blossomed from a small rag to a giant one, with well over 200 pages and a massive circulation. Before anyone knew it, the magazine increased to 250 pages, and CSK was bought out by McMullen-Argus Publishing (turned Primedia and now Source Interlink Media). The buyout only helped push MM&FF ahead as the clear market leader, as McMullen-Argus execs saw gold in the title.
Thanks to the 5.0L and the new modular-powered SN-95 Mustangs, MM&FF continued to prosper as it covered all the happenings and wild racing events. At times this magazine swelled to over 300 pages of tech, features, event coverage, and the biggest companies that cater to the Mustang crowd. In 2006, MM&FF saw only its fourth editor in its 18-year history as Evan J. Smith took over for Campy. Our godfather, Campy, still watches over his baby as editorial director. To have so few editors is astonishing, as attrition usually takes its toll at other car enthusiast magazines. On average, an editor's term lasts only three or four years.
Drag racing is a mainstay in this magazine because that's one of its founding principals. Before chassis-dyno testing, the only way to chart if a part worked or not was through dragstrip testing. Other titles didn't do it-the reader had to take its word-but the Cars Illustrated/MM&FF editors were at Englishtown nearly every week, putting new parts through their paces. That concept still thrives today, as the current staff follows the same principals and backs it up with chassis-dyno testing. It's part of the magazine's mantra for being the 5.0 and 4.6 (as well as 5.4) power source, and we carry that sentiment into every editorial meeting and article