2014 is drawing to a close, and we can’t help but look back at some of the biggest moments of the year, it’s our top 14 Mustang moments of 2014. It’s been a big year for the Mustang, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the car that started a revolution in the auto industry. We’ve seen a lot this year, so let’s get right to it, in no particular order here’s our top ’14 Mustang achievements of 2014.
At the Mustang 50th Anniversary bash in Charlotte, NC, the Mustang faithful gathered to celebrate the car’s iconic anniversary. Over 800 cars gathered, in spite of the rain, to set a new world record for the largest cruise anywhere. Our pal, and regular contributor, Courtney Barber, of Team Mustang Girls, was on hand to take part.
The 2015 Mustang finally started hitting dealer lots all over the USA the last week of September and first week of October. Its entrance has ignited a firestorm of performance parts, and races to be the first at many things with the new car.
It didn’t take long, and while Ford Racing brought many Mustangs into the 12s, 11s, and 10s, before the cars were even officially on sale, there seemed to be a race on. The race to the 9s was won just a few weeks ago by the guys at BAMA performance, when they managed to rocket their 2015 GT into the 9s.
John Urist’s Street Outlaw Championship
John Urist dominated Super Street Outlaw for nearly a decade. His winning ways made him a household name for most hardcore Mustang enthusiasts. With Super Street Outlaw passing into the history books, and a new class taking its place, Street Outlaw presented a new set of challenges for all racers involved, including Urist. After narrowly missing the championship in 2013, Urist made major changes to his car for 2014, and came back strong. In a heated battle against Phil Hines that went all the way to the semi-final rounds at the NMRA World Finals, Urist secured the championship with the event win.
The GT350 Debut
Ushering in a new era for the Mustang, and the first factory prepped specialty Mustang of the S550 era, Ford Performance rolled out the GT350 this November. With a flat-plane crank 5.2 producing over 500 hp, and a redline of 9,000 RPM, we expect big things from this track bred pony. No word yet as to whether this is THE Halo Mustang, or if there will be a GT500, but rumor has it this is the top of the line model, at least for the foreseeable future.
The Six Speed Record
It happened unexpectedly, and the whole thing almost seemed hushed. There was however, a contest to see who could go the fastest in a six-speed equipped GT500. After trading back and forth with Evolution Performance, Mark “BirdDoc” Duber, and his London Chassis Dyno massaged, BES powered, and Kenne Bell breathed on GT500 locked up the title with an 8.80 at 164 MPH. It happened last spring at the NMRA race at Maryland International Raceway.
The Carb’d Coyote Cobra Jet
Controversial would be an understatement. The CCCJ has been one of the wildest, and most popular engine builds we’ve ever undertaken. We decided to build a Coyote engine, take away the variable cam timing, and slap on a custom built Rich Groh sheet-metal intake and Holley carburetor, just to see what would happen. The end result was 590 hp and 447 ft-lbs of torque at nearly 8,000 RPM.
What might be even crazier was what followed. After we converted the engine from carb to fuel injection, and put the variable valve timing back into play, we netted even more power. Our end result at a screaming 7,800 RPM was 625 hp and 462 ft-lbs.
Faessler Makes A Big Splash In NARRA GTU
For the uninitiated, the NARRA GTU class is dominated by Corvettes and Viper ACRs. Many of these teams are multi-million dollar operations, coming to races with big rigs, and the latest tech. That’s why when Brian Faessler secured the first pole ever in a Ford in series history, it was a big deal to us. His turbo Coyote powered racer was built by Brian and his father Paul Faessler, at the family’s performance shop, Paul’s Automotive Engineering, just outside Dayton, OH. The Faesslers don’t have a millions to dump into their program, and Brian is a young man working on a college degree, who spends as much time in the classroom, as he does under cars at his dad’s shop.
With a fresh 2015 Mustang build well underway we’re looking for big things from Faessler in 2015.
Bad Bart Goes 7s
It was only a matter of time, and Bad Bart Tobener was the man for the job. The 7-second barrier has been officially eclipsed in NMRA’s Renegade class. We can remember when these cars were just knocking on the door of 9s, Pro 5.0 cars were barely in the 7s, and Super Street Outlaw cars were running high 8s. How times have changed.
Tobener was on a mission this year, with only one acceptable outcome, win the Renegade title. He accomplished that mission through hard work and sacrifice. What does next season hold? Possibly some new contenders to take on Bad Bart, and the rest of the Renegade regulars. They’ll all have to work at least as hard as the champ if they want his crown.
The GT500 Super Snake Signature edition, is the last bite, at least for now, from the most venomous Mustang ever built. Cranking out 850 hp with the help of a new blower, and plenty of other mods, Shelby will build just 50 special, Signature Edition versions. It’s a fitting tribute to the last car “old Shel” laid his hands on, and great way to send out what is certainly a legendary car.
Gittin’s Back to Back Wins
Vaughn Gittin Jr looked to be on track for a seriously huge season in Formula Drift. He scored back to back wins, which were huge for him, especially considering he’s now also running his own team. Acting as owner, CEO, and driver, for a motorsports organization this size is no small task. We suspect Gittin has a S550 chassis in the works for 2015, and we’ll be interested to see how he fares in the points.
Coyote Stock Record
We witnessed history at the NMRA World Finals this fall. As temperatures fell into the low 40s and even upper 30s during Saturday night qualifying we saw the Coyote stock record reset three times in the final qualifying round. In the end, the record belonged to Hi-Po Joe Charles, netting both the ET and MPH records with a 10.29 ET at 130.27 MPH. Remember these are sealed, stock Mustang GT crate engines. 10 years ago if you’d have told us that a real, stock, sealed, factory engine could do that, at 3,100 pounds, we’d have laughed in your face.
New Hope For 4.6 Owners
We saw one of the coolest developments for 4.6 liter Mustang owners in nearly half a decade at the PRI show. Ford Performance’s release of the all new 5.3 liter Modular stroker short block brings with it the promise of big horsepower potential, in an engine that is swappable to 13 years, and three generations of Mustangs that were equipped with it. Only one other engine lasted longer than the 4.6, and that was the pushrod 302. It’s nice to finally see some new speed parts debuting for the hundreds of thousands of 4.6 powered Mustangs on the road.
2015 Mustang Horsepower Wars
The introduction of the S550 Mustang has ignited a whole new set of horsepower wars among shops and tuners int he Mustang world. We’ve seen Evolution, Hellion, and All Out Automotive all put down over 900 hp to the rear tires, with the stock engine internals. No one seems to have found the limits of the 2015’s upgraded Coyote engine yet. We’re curious to see just how far these cars will be pushed with stock and built engines in the coming year.
2014 has been a year full of incredible moments for the Mustang. We’re looking forward to what 2015 holds, and can’t wait to start digging into the projects we have planned, as well as seeing what everyone else is up to over the winter.