Each year in early December, we leave behind the comfortable confines of sunny Florida to check out the latest speed goodies from the automotive aftermarket at the Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis, Indiana. For 2003, it was again beautiful when we walked out on the tarmac to board the Buddy Holly express, only to be greeted by frigid temps once we hit the ground in Indy. This is the one time of year the 5.0&SF staff gets to dig deep into their closets for those warm winter coats that would otherwise never see the light of day. Thankfully, we stayed at the Canterbury hotel, which is linked to the Indianapolis Convention Center and RCA Dome (home of the Indianapolis Colts) via indoor halls where PRI is held. While we weren't terribly inconvenienced by the weather, it was still cold outside. Some things never change.
But a few things were different for 2003. For one, usually the entire 5.0&SF staff attends PRI, but Tech Editor Houlahan pulled up lame with a kidney stone just days before we were supposed to leave, while Editor Turner had the enviable job of driving the '05 Mustang in Detroit the Wednesday (our usual fly-in day) and Thursday of the show. As such, Houlahan was put on the injured list for the event, and Turner arrived Thursday night so he could brush up on his patented trade-show stare for Friday before leaving Saturday. This left Associate Editor Johnson carrying the load at PRI, which we all know has to trouble those in authority.
Covering the ever-growing PRI show is a daunting task for one person, but with writing help from Houlahan (now returned from the injured list), we think we circled the performance wagon. Here's what we found for your next Mustang buildup.
Accurate Technologies (ATI)
Builders of a wicked '03 Cobra-powered Focus, the guys at Accurate Technologies [(248) 848-9200; www.accuratetechnologies.com], hopped out from behind the wheel long enough to have two new products at PRI. First up is the IGTM-2000 Ignition Timing Meter, which allows you to see where your timing is throughout the rpm range. The meter also allows for data acquisition and is compatible with most engine ignition systems. The second product is ATI's SmartTach, a universal speed measurement tool. SmartTach measures engine rpm, vehicle speed, chassis dyno roll speed, frequency, period, pulse width, and duty cycle. The SmartTach can be programmed by the user as to the type of measurement, the engineering units to display, and individual sensor pulse width.
Quickly making its presence known outside that of drag racing braking systems, Aerospace Components [(727) 347-9915; www.aerospacecomponents.com] had everything but the kitchen sink at PRI. Along with the company's braking systems, there was also its full line of fuel pumps, billet nitrous bottle brackets, billet battery trays, the Ultra Pro Powerglide shifter, water pumps, AN wrenches, and much more. Oh, yeah-who could forget Alan Dudley's Fun Ford Outlaw car in attendance as well. Sportin' a big turbo and bright red paint, Alan's car kept the Aerospace booth busy during the entire show.
American Racing [(866) 273-7223; www.americanracing.com] needs no introduction to Mustang fans. Now the company offers its new Trakstar line of drag racing wheels. Available in sizes 15x4 to 15x16, they're perfect for Mustang applications. As is the case with all American Racing designs, these wheels look awesome and the finish is top quality. You can thank American Racing's involvement and sponsorship in NHRA drag racing for this new line of wheels.