Ed Hohenberg of Wolf Performance...
Ed Hohenberg of Wolf Performance Engineering (standing at the microphone) listens intently to Ford Racing's former Director of North America Motorsports Brian Wolfe's (third from the left, with microphone) comments on the wide range of engine options that will be available for NHRA Stock and Super Stock competition in 2010 during the roundtable portion of the 2009 Advanced Engineering Technology Conference. Modular Ford engine technology was the focus of the annual three-day gathering, which kicks off PRI week in Orlando each December.
Over the years, the AETC has awarded several Lifetime Achievement Awards recognizing individuals who have dedicated their lives to the high-performance industry. The award's first recipient was the late Don "Sully" Sullivan, the man responsible for originally designing Ford's legendary Flathead V-8 engine (back in the early '30s), who was still punching the clock at SVO (after two retirements) when he received the award at the inaugural conference in 1989-at age 85!
Knowledge is good." We're pretty sure a lot of you are too young to recognize this quote as the motto of Faber College, the fictional institute of higher learning where John Belushi and his maniacal fraternity wreaked havoc in the 1978 comedy-classic, Animal House. While the statement may have come about a long time ago, there's certainly no disputing its premise. Knowledge, indeed, is good, and it's something any Mustang enthusiast worth his salt will always seek.
We meet and hear from many of you who think that we magazine guys (Editor Steve Turner, Associate Editor Mike Johnson, and your tech editor) know everything there is to know about late-model Mustangs. While our crew, as a collective unit, does know quite a bit about '79-'10 'Stangs, we're always seeking additional information, whether it's through our work with various aftermarket parts manufacturers or even directly from many of you. When we see some of the technical innovations that you apply on your personal Ponies we love to learn more.
There are instances when our quest for additional knowledge takes us beyond simply gaining it through hands-on experiences. Sometimes we learn new things through telephone conversations and e-mail correspondence. Occasionally we even have the opportunity to actually sit and talk about all-things Mustang with the folks who actually make things happen for our favorite ride.
The huge networking opportunity...
The huge networking opportunity definitely is one of the cooler aspects of the AETC. During the break sessions, attendees at the 2009 gathering were able to engage in one-on-one conversations with mod-motor product developers like Al Noe of Trick Flow Specialties (right), as well as "magazine guys" such as Car Craft's tech guru, Jeff Smith (left).
Your tech editor recently had the pleasure of experiencing this type of unique opportunity at the 20th Annual Advanced Engineering Technology Conference (5.0 Mustang & Super Fords was a Platinum sponsor), which was held at the Orlando Convention Center prior to the Performance Racing Industry trade show.
The AETC is a three-day symposium on engine technology, during which insights on various topics such as combustion efficiency, valvetrain stability, ring sealing, gasket sealing, carburetion, rods and pistons, and more, are shared. Attendees range from featured speakers to engine builders, racers, engineers, salesmen, and media. By way of your favorite magazine, you can now get a taste of that knowledge too.
Yes, after many years of diverse discussion platforms, modular Ford engines were the headliners at the '09 AETC gathering. A panel of 13 industry types, highlighted by Ford Racing's former Director of North America Motorsports Brian Wolfe, were on hand for the casual but educational chat with attendees.
We're not sure when AETC will be 100-percent Fordcentric again (circle track racing is the featured topic for the 2010 conference), but we strongly recommend you check the event's official website from time to time for details about future discussions that may be of interest to you.