The Mustangs were out in force at the 2017 Sydney MotorEx over the weekend of 22nd July!
And although it’s clear that this is an extremely popular sports car in Australia as it is around the world, one thing that is even more clear, is that a new Muscle Car War is brewing in this fine V8 Loving Land!
Whereas previously the V8 War that Australians loved was that between Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) Vs Holden Special Vehicles (HSV), the void left by their unfortunate departure appears to be filling with Mustang Vs Mustang !
There is a new market brewing to feed that Mustang War and the players are quite serious High Performance Tuners!
In the one show, we saw representation from each of these players;
Mustang Motorsports: Probably the most experienced and longest lasting in Australia if not the first, Melbourne based Mustang Motorsports are easily the go-to brand for Mustang modification. The example at the show was the Allan Moffat Tribute that paid homage to the “Coca-Cola 302 Mustang” driven by Moffat in the late ’60’s. This car was #2 with the black wheels to distinguish it from #1 which had chrome in a design reminiscent of the Bathurst Race Wheels.
In addition to the Moffat tribute, Mustang Motorsports are best known as the licence holders for the Shelby kits! Shelby American of course being traditional Ford partner with such classics as the Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500 of old! In more modern times, the GT350 and GT500 badges have been revived as has the top of the line version being the SuperCharged 750+HP Shelby SuperSnake! There were in fact two examples of ’60’s original GT350’s also present at the show.
Tickford: The sentimental favourite for Australia is Tickford, who is the predecessor to FPV and tuned an amazing Falcon variant in the form of the Tickford TS50 Series III in the early 2000’s. Tickford was unfortunately cut by Ford in preference to the Ford branded FPV badge, but has recently made a comeback thanks largely to Prodrive. At the moment they tune Mustangs and Ford Ranger but they have plans for expansion and we hope to see more of that in the near future. At the show, Tickford was represented by a Red Mustang with a 360Kw all naturally aspirated engine and subtle body trim.
It’s important to note also, that Tickford recently launched the Official Allan Moffat endorsed tribute, called the Tickford Bathurst ’77 Special. This tribute pays homage to the Falcons of Moffat Dealer Team who, in partnership with Colin Bond, finished in first and second place in the 1977 Hardie Ferodo 1000 at Mount Panorama Bathurst!
Hennessey: Besides Shelby, the other big American in high performance tuning is Hennessey ! Known for near lunatic horsepower enhancement of the modified Lotus GT Venom, Hennessey also has a number of Dodge, Chevrolet, Ranger and now Mustangs to it’s big power stables. Probably the most notable being the Camaro Exorcist which is in response to the Dodge SRT Demon.
At the show, Hennessey was represented by local tuning house StreetFighter, who had two Hennessey Mustangs on display; a Lightning Blue and a Red showcasing their supercharged HPE750 packages.
There were others as well, who seemed a little confused; a bright orange Mustang with scissor lift doors that also carried Shelby GT badges (why??) and likewise with an Eleanor copy with rego plates 6TSECS (as in `Gone in … ‘) that also carried the Shelby Cobra. Although that one made a little more sense, it’s hardly a Shelby … perhaps at best a Hollywood Shelby.
They were however excellent examples of the creativity that currently abounds the Mustang, and further proof of a brewing muscle car war for high performance supremacy !