Mustang Week 2012 - Going To Eleven
In its 11th year, Mustang Week takes the volume to a new level
From the February, 2013 issue of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
By Steve Turner
Photography by Steve Turner
At its zenith, Mustang Week swelled the Myrtle Beach Mall with 2,500 cars and 10,000 spectators, but it’s more than a big gathering. It’s just a fun celebration of Mustang culture.
We always look forward to getting out into the world and seeing Mustangs in their element. It's always a great time to get out, see cars, and talk to enthusiasts. Events are great, but there are always a few that receive special attention on our calendars. For your scribe, the top event on the calendar has become Mustang Week.
You know an event is starting...
You know an event is starting to reach critical mass when the major players come along to introduce new products, and that’s just what happened as Vaughn Gittin Jr. debuted his ’13 RTR Mustangs to an appreciative Mustang Week crowd. We’ll have more on these cars later, but they look great and Vaughn is really proud of the unique RTR exhaust system on this car. It will be available for non-RTR owners as an aftermarket part.
For years, we couldn't seem to justify an entire week out of the office to cover one event. That was until we made it to our first Mustang Week several years ago. The paradigm shifted from that moment, and ever since we can imagine not carving out a week to head up to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for this annual celebration of all things Mustang.
For the uninitiated, you might not get it yet, but those that have become Mustang Weekers, there's a different vibe to this event than any other we have attended. Not only does it encompass a number of different events -- showing, auto-crossing, drag racing, and more -- in one event, but it also fuses all that with the fun of a family vacation.
That's probably why the feel is far more upbeat and fun than it is competitive and back-biting. Everyone rolls into Myrtle Beach to enjoy Mustangs and have a great time. That's always our mission too, but part of our good time is attempting to capture the goings on in words and pictures. If you were there, enjoy the reminders that follow. If you weren't it's time to put Mustang Week on your bucket list.
Meet 'N' Greet
This year’s kickoff to Mustang...
This year’s kickoff to Mustang Week moved to a new location, The Palace Theater, and it was a good thing. This was our first indicator that 2012 was gangbusters. The parking lot was packed with Mustangs—we didn’t even see a couple hundred cars hiding on the other side of the building.
We regret not looking this...
We regret not looking this one over to see if it was a post-title convertible conversion of an early Fox or a later Fox convertible converted with an ’82 GT nose. Either way, this blue Fox is a sharp ride. It’s unique under the hood as well, as it’s equipped with a Paxton Novi 2000-supercharged EFI 5.0 with circuitous inlet tubing.
We ran into Chris Howard of...
We ran into Chris Howard of Derwood, Maryland, who was attending his first (but not last) Mustang Week. He actually used to live in California and sought advice from our own Tech Editor as to how to mod his Tungsten Gray ’07 Shelby GT500. We certainly approve of the path he took. A generous dose of carbon fiber and a set of True Forged Chicanes accent the exterior. Underneath it wears Eibach springs, Whiteline suspension bits, an MGW shifter, a Bassani Xhaust, a JLT cold-air kit, and more. Nicely done, Chris.
With any luck, more people...
With any luck, more people will put a 5.0&SF dash sign in their car at next year’s event, as we often run across cool cars without their owners. This clean and simple SN-95 Cobra features a bolt-on 5.0 with a BBK cold-air intake, MSD ignition bits, Redline Tuning hood lifts, and more. The chrome, Saleen-style wheels really look great working with the curvy SN-95 body lines.
People like to get their gear early in the week before the availability of sizes starts to shrink. This line snaked around the Palace Theater for hours. After all, if you are going to Mustang Week, you want your friends to know it.
Autocross & Fun Runs
Our friends from Latemodel...
Our friends from Latemodel Restoration Supply were out in force at Mustang Week. Not only did they sponsor the big car show, including over 100 Awards of Excellence, but they participated in every event with a posse of project cars and even provided their own elaborate video coverage of the action. Running the autocross is the company’s 777 Race Car, an ’11 GT converted to an RTR. Besides the RTR gear, 777 features a host of performance upgrades. You can see the parts list, build blog, videos, and more at 50resto.com.
The autocross was far more...
The autocross was far more popular this year, and it continued on while the speedway fun runs began. In all, 265 participants and 1,800 spectators enjoyed the activities at Myrtle Beach Speedway. Throughout the course of the event, we saw several silver Terminators, and this 10th Anniversary coupe entertained on the speedway as it sped around, sharing its supercharger whine with the audience.
Everyone enjoyed participating...
Everyone enjoyed participating in the Autocross and Fun Runs, but a highlight of the day was seeing Vaughn Gittin Jr. drifting his demo car around the speedway oval. As always, Vaughn put on quite a sideways smoke show. He also took time to sign autographs and take photos with fans. Then he headed straight to the airport to head for the Formula Drift event in Monroe, Washington. Just as it did for Kenny Powers, the Myrtle Beach warm-up must have helped with the move to the bigs, as Vaughn took First Place in the Pacific Northwest.
The SVTPerformance.com Burnout...
The SVTPerformance.com Burnout Contest is always a highlight of the second day of Mustang Week. More than just burnouts, this contest is a wild ride of drifting, popped tires, overheating, and whatever it takes to wow the crowd.
This year’s winner, Jonathan...
This year’s winner, Jonathan Nerren, took the show to a new level as he stopped to throw T-shirts into the crowd. Combined with an impressive burnout that led to his car overheating, Jonathan’s showmanship garnered the $500 gift card from Discount Tire Direct.
While Thursday night is Drag...
While Thursday night is Drag Night, there are pre-race daytime gatherings at the Hooters and Cali Baker’s Firehouse in front of the Myrtle Beach Mall, which is where we first noticed Ricky Williams’ nicely appointed ’90 GT. This Fox puts down 522 at the tire courtesy of a Vortech-blown 347. You see more of Ricky’s car in a future issue, but it looks pretty great posing with the Cali Baker’s fire truck.
Two hundred cars and 2,000...
Two hundred cars and 2,000 spectators flooded Darlington Dragway for Drag Night. It is held on Darlington’s regular test ’n’ tune night, so there’s a mix of locals and hardcore Mustang Weekers pounding the 1,320 in the summer heat. Drag night is more about having fun—there are no classes or racing, just good times. Most of the participants are having fun in their street-driven rides, so big smoky burnouts are few and far between. Fortunately, this ’04 Mach 1 put on a show for our cameras.
Gerald Skinner’s brother Melvin...
Gerald Skinner’s brother Melvin runs Fastlane Motorsports, so it stands to reason he would have a fast car too. His is an Electric Green X275 ride powered by a built 4.6 filled with CP pistons, Oliver billet rods, and a forged Cobra crank, topped with ported Terminator heads. It is boosted by a 76mm Borg-Warner turbo. It runs mid 5s in the eighth and looks great doing it.
Mustang Week regulars Competition...
Mustang Week regulars Competition Auto wow’d the crowds with the shop’s striking Outlaw GT500 racer. This 5.4-powered S197 is boosted by a 106mm Precision turbo and a 25.2 cage. Not only does the car look great, but it cracked off a 7.65 at 186 mph in the sweltering South Carolina heat.
Not only is Mustang Week packed...
Not only is Mustang Week packed with its own events, but it inspires plenty of associate cruises, meet-ups, and general good times. The crews at Blow-By Racing and SVTPerformance.com joined forces to host the 2nd annual Coyote Cruise on the day of Drag Night. A line of modern-5.0-powered GTs and Bosses took a scenic 30-mile tour of the back roads, stopping off at Waccamaw River, The Marina at Grand Dunes, and back to the mall. We would have gone along, but we had to load up our V-6 and head to the drag strip.
Look, we have seen a lot of...
Look, we have seen a lot of Foxes in our day, but this one might be the nicest to date. Charles Carterette took his Fox to Bizarro’s Custom Creations with the mission of bringing the Fox to the forefront of the show scene. He wanted to prove that these cars can transform into something special just like the older classics. Every inch of this ride is painted or polished, and it rightfully took home the Best of Show award. You’ll be seeing a full feature on this car in our upcoming Engine Swaps issue, as it rocks a turbocharged 4.6 under the hood.
Kathy Hardwell of Harrisburg,...
Kathy Hardwell of Harrisburg, North Carolina, displayed her nearly stock ’82 GT on the show field. It featured the optional Recaro seats and some period-correct rear-window louvers. It looked fairly stock save for the newer-model Pony wheels. This car brought back a lot of good memories for your author.
The juxtaposition of the unassuming...
The juxtaposition of the unassuming exterior and the menacing turbo underhood drew our camera to Justin Guertin’s ’03 Mach 1. Sure the black-chrome wheels look good, but it’s the 700 rwhp courtesy of stock Mach 1 heads and an intake ported by Justin himself, and a quartet of custom turbo cams. The turbo in question is a Borg-Warner 75mm unit, and the whole package works together courtesy of an Amazon Tuning Solutions custom tune.
Unfortunately, the owner’s...
Unfortunately, the owner’s name wasn’t visible on the dash card, but this slammed Grabber Blue Roush was my son’s favorite car on the show field. It’s definitely hard to go wrong with blue, especially when its contrasted by some black Forgestar hoops. Under the hood, the Three-Valve sports a few dress-up items, a cold-air kit, and a Zex nitrous kit.
The car show finally hit the big time, as the Blue Oval rolled its Mustang Customizer trailer onto the property. There was a line for days as people virtually customized ’13 Mustangs to their liking and took home free T-shirts for their trouble.
Saturday is a bittersweet...
Saturday is a bittersweet day as the event is almost over. However, before nearly 2,500 cars and 10,000 spectators moved in and out of the Myrtle Beach Mall, there were several groups that organized cruises to the official Cruise-In. One of the longest-running unofficial cruises is the Fox Cruise organized by the Southeastern Fox Bodies Club. Over 100 Foxes participated in 2012.
We’re used to seeing JPC’s...
We’re used to seeing JPC’s Justin Burcham at the NMRA races, so it was a nice change of pace to see him kicking back at the Cruise-In. He actually camped down in Myrtle Beach, and noted his chariot was a bit raucous for the neighbors in the campground. It fit right in at the Myrtle Beach Mall, however.
Barry Bettenhausen terminates...
Barry Bettenhausen terminates mosquitos for a living, but for fun he pilots an ’08 Bullitt. His is number 4889, but it’s no pristine stocker. Nope, Barry’s Three-Valve 4.6 is boosted by a Kenne Bell supercharger. On the outside, Barry stuck with the clean Bullitt lines, but added a set of ’10 Shelby GT500 wheels.
Look, we enjoyed Ghostbusters....
Look, we enjoyed Ghostbusters. Sure, we might quote a line from time to time, but Greg Faulkenberry really likes Ghostbusters. He fashioned his ’13 MCA Edition into a tribute to Slimer from the movies—the car is Gotta Have It Green, after all. Slimer features an Airaid cold-air intake, a Flowmaster exhaust, and a host of visual additions.
Last year your author said...
Last year your author said that if he had an award to give, it would have gone to Rob Miller’s T-top coupe. As you know, we did feature his car on these pages (“Level Up,” June ’12, p. 70). Well, this year the folks at Mustang Week were kind enough to honor us with the ability to present an Editor’s Choice award to our favorite car in the show. It was easy to narrow down the choices—it just seemed right to give the trophy to Rob. He had to head home to attend his daughter’s birthday party on Saturday when the awards were handed out, so we handed the trophy to his friend Brad Billings.
Fortunate would be an understated way of describing my Mustang Week chariots. I've been lucky enough to borrow a string of new Ford Mustangs to drive around the events of the week. From a GT500 to a Mustang GT to a Boss 302, the list is impressive to say the least. Each of those cars attracted lots of attention and compliments throughout the week.
This year my ride was a '13 Mustang. That's right, just a Mustang. Meaning it was a V-6 Mustang. One powered by the 3.7-liter V-6. Oh, and did I mention it was an automatic?
At first I was a bit disappointed. However, I've really wanted to spend some time in a sixer. I hadn't driven one in months. There was a time I wouldn't consider being caught in a V-6 automatic. Those times are long gone, however. The latest V-6 Mustang lacks the performance of its big brothers in the Mustang line, but it's still a fun car to drive.
Moreover, the latest Mustangs look great, and are available with almost all the toys of their larger-engined siblings. So, while we missed the power under the pedal, we surely appreciated the impressive fuel mileage as we drove all over the Grand Strand.
After spending a week in the car, I started considering it as a viable daily driver. Sure I'd want to mod it, but I certainly wouldn't be shy about owning one. It could be a really cool ride with the right upgrades.
|Palmetto Ford Best ’13
|Best Female Owned
||Mary Beth Holley
|Palmetto Ford Sponsors Choice
|Best ’10-’12 Shelby
|Palmetto Ford Best ’10-’12
|Best ’07-’09 Shelby
|best ’08 Bullitt
||Patrick C. Park
|Best Ford Specialty
|Palmetto Ford Best ’05-’09
|Best ’03-’04 Mach1
|Palmetto Ford Best ’99-’04
|Best ’03-’04 Cobra
|Best ’01 Bullitt
|Best ’96-’98 Cobra
|Best ’94-’95 Cobra
|Low Mileage Orig
|Best of Show
|Most Likely to Attract Law Enforcement
|Fox Mustang Restoration Best Modified ’79-’93
|Fox Mustang Restoration Best Original ’79-’93
|5.0 Mustang & Super Fords Editor’s Choice Award
||Robert S. Miller
||Mustang II Mach I
|Best ’69-’70 Boss
|Best ’69-’73 Mach 1
||James W. Bryant
|Bill Jones Award