DEARBORN, Mich – If you are a Ford fan and a savvy internet surfer, then you’re already a regular reader of the exclusive content found each week in the Enthusiasts section of Ford Performance.com. It’s there where we post hundreds of unique stories and photo galleries throughout the year as we comb the Ford enthusiast world for weekly perspective on the special cars, people, shows and events that make up our Blue Oval car culture. Before we begin filling out our 2019 Editorial Calendar, we thought this would be the perfect time to look back over the past year and choose what we consider to be the “Top 10” most significant Ford enthusiast stories that we’ve posted for you in the Enthusiasts Newsroom of FordPerformance.com. Before you commit to ringing in 2019 with us, it’d be a good idea for you to go back through these outstanding selections to see what you might have missed. Since picking just 10 finalists for this list is a near-impossible task after posting so many exclusive stories over the 12 months, we’ve added a “Top 5” list of “Honorable Mentions” as a way to keep us from second-guessing ourselves. So check out our Top 10 list below, in countdown fashion, to see if some of your personal favorites make the cut. Just click on the links to refresh your memory on the kinds of insider Ford content that you can’t find anywhere else on the web. Then plan on coming back every week for more memorable stuff in 2019.
DEC 13, 2018 | FORD PERFORMANCE STAFF
TOP 10 FORD PERFORMANCE.COM ENTHUSIAST STORIES DURING 2018
In 1969, David Pearson and Holman Moody carried on their winning formula from the previous season by repeating as NASCAR Grand National Champions for the second year in a row with Pearson driving the No. 17 Ford Torino race car. Not long after the 1969 NASCAR racing season ended, Holman Moody asked David Pearson to make a trip to the cooperate facility in Charlotte, N.C., to discuss plans for the 1970 NASCAR season.
My desire for a truck began after our trip in my Mustang to Alaska. The Denali Highway was a challenge for us; the 100-mile road that was meant for ATV's and off-road vehicles almost broke my car in half during the 12-hour long trek. I actually started looking at ranch wagons but quickly realized that would only accomplish half of my goal of finding just the right vehicle for that kind of drive. On our journey to the last frontier we had passed by so many places that would've been perfect spots to pull over and camp for the night. But between our luggage and tools in the back, the Mustang’s front seats would only recline about six inches. So my goal for our 2018 journey to the Top of the World, a.k.a. Tuktoyaktuk (an Artic community in Canada’s Northwest Territories), was to find something that could handle the newly finished 85-mile gravel road leading up to the Arctic Ocean. My search for a 1978-79 Ford Bronco began.
Remarkably, in a 10-month time frame, the famed “Bonner Thunderbolt” was transformed from a relatively unknown off-the-radar muscle car barn-find, to a show-stopping concours-restored, world class, race-ready drag car. And I was there to witness it all.
A neighbor of mine who knew that I’ve been a longtime Shelby enthusiast and club founder for SAAC-MCR recently asked me, “Being such a hard-core Ford guy, is there one that to you is the most special above all the rest?”
Sonny and Cher really rocked it in the ’60’s. This groovy husband-and-wife duo had charm, a knack for writing or choosing the right songs to perform and record, and legit musical talent. It helps that they were attractive too: Sonny, a compact guy, had the hair, the ‘stache, and the bellbottoms and Cher brought her own smoky brand of sexuality to the team. They were so popular that they ended up with their own television show in the early ’70’s, and even after divorcing, outlasted their legal parting to still get TV and concert audiences rocking in the isles throughout that decade and beyond. And they sure drove a cool pair of custom Mustangs.
The world's oldest known road-registered Mustang is also one of the most unusual: a short-wheelbase, triple-carburetor, custom-designed hot-rod prototype that survives today largely because it was stolen more than 50 years ago. But we are already getting ahead of our story.
We received some special information from our friends within Ford back in the spring of 2012: The prototype used by Team Mustang engineers to develop the 2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt still existed and was tucked away in a storage building on the Ford campus in Dearborn. But it wouldn’t be there much longer as it had a date with the crusher in the not-too-distant future.
In today’s modern-day automotive world, there are drivers, and there are drivers.Millions of people drive millions of cars millions of miles every day all across America and all over the world. Most of those people drive mundane vehicles with the sole purpose of getting from one place to another. Those folks are drivers simply because they need to get somewhere. They really don’t care much about the vehicle they drive beyond its functionality. And to them, the actual act of driving can be a stressful chore, a necessary evil, just to afford them the ability to get from Point A to Point B.
There are many, many personal Mustang and Shelby stories out there, but what began for me as an infatuation with a Shelby Mustang coupe has turned into an almost spiritual 30-year experience. That’s because the car known as “Little Red’ has brought car people together, made things happen at Ford, and is still creating far-reaching interest for Ford enthusiasts.
The last nine months have been HUGE for Steve McQueen fans, as circumstances have revealed a total of three much-rumored BULLITT Mustangs. The Bullitt snowball started rolling in March of 2016 and didn’t come to rest until this past Sunday, January 18, 2018.
TOP 5 HONORABLE MENTIONS: