During my former life as a magazine associate editor, I set up and implemented the build of one of the first Coyote swap Mustangs in the wild. It had to be probably the second or third swap ever performed. This was in early 2011 right after the Coyote-powered Mustang GT made its debut, and the fine folks at Ford Racing asked us what we would do if we had a Coyote engine at our disposal. My idea was to drop it in my 1994 Cobra. It would be a sleeper since no one would suspect a 1994 Cobra of having a 400-rwhp Coyote under the hood, and with a Tremec Magnum transmission behind it, the car would, and did, get excellent fuel mileage.
At that point in time I only knew of maybe two other cars in the build stage, and I think one might’ve been running before my Cobra. One thing I am relatively certain of is that it was probably the first Coyote-swap to have fully-operational A/C, power steering, and power brakes. Did I know for sure? No, it was impossible to know who had built what at that time because no one really kept track of that stuff. But you know what; I didn’t, and still don’t care that much if I did in fact have one of the first Coyote-swap cars in existence. Lamotta Performance did an excellent job on the swap, and the car was an animal with the Coyote under the hood. On more than one occasion, when asked what I had under the hood, all I would say was, “Just a stock 5.0.” I wasn’t lying, but I was a tad misleading about which 5.0 was under the hood.
I have a hard time with someone going to a test-and-tune at their local track, and all of a sudden they have a record.
A former colleague joked that if someone took their Mustang to the track, and ran a number; as long as 10 of his Facebook or forum friends were there, it could be established as a record. Who really knows if the “record” they “established” was indeed, a “record?!” They don’t. What if there’s someone out there that ran quicker on stock tires, but didn’t have 10 of his internet friends at the track with him to “establish” his own record?! It’s impossible to know if you have the quickest, fastest Mustang with stock electronics, or stock PCM, or stock blower, or stock clutch, or stock tires, etc.
In this guy’s humble opinion, the practice of “establishing” internet records is out of hand. Back in the day, records were established via the NHRA, at an actual event, tech’d by actual NHRA officials to make sure the vehicle in question was in fact legal, and exactly what the owner said it was. Otherwise, it was just the best pass they could get out of the car. Like from magazines of the day, if they had a great pass, that’s all it was. They didn’t “establish” that pass as a record, it was just a great pass.
In this day and age it seems no one needs a tech official, or anyone to oversee the pass, and the car’s combination, to “establish” a record. The only current record that has any clout is Mark Duber’s quickest six-speed Shelby GT500. That’s because Duber accomplished it at an actual event, with tech officials present. Were the tech officials there to tech Duber’s car for the record? No. Is the record officially recognized as an NMRA record? I don’t think so. I don’t think the NMRA concerns itself with records not pertaining to its heads-up classes, with points ramifications at stake.
I know a guy that at one time thought his 1995 GT was the fastest of that breed with a stock clutch, and he would brag about that fact to anyone who would listen. No one I know cared if he had the fastest stock-clutch’d, pushrod SN95. Mostly because no one cared, period. Stock clutch? Who would keep track of that stat, anyway?! Not me, or anyone I knew.
So, what is it? Is it just a reflection of the current society we live in to award everyone a trophy just for participating?
Well, how do we fix this? Does anyone really care about these “records” beside those “establishing” them? What should be done? Should there be a board of trustees put together to help waddle through the list of supposed records, and the different combinations of supposed records?
This is nothing personal with anyone that is proud of their hard work, and how their Mustang performed at the track. I am all for being proud of what any Mustang runs. So your Mustang ran great, that’s awesome. Why does it have to be a “record?” Shoot, I was happy when my own personal, and mostly stock 1993 LX ran a 13.9 in street trim. I know it’s not even close to being any kind of record, and that no one cares that a 1993 LX ran a 13.9. I bet it’s the only 1993 LX with a 1995 GT engine and a Fox intake running 13.9s, but I digress.
So what do you think? Am I being a stick in the mud? Am I being too harsh? Am I off base? Does anyone care about these so-called records? Am I the only one bothered by them? I know I’m not the only one because I have had this conversation with many of you, and you are in agreement. What say you?