The prominence of the Ford Mustang in American motorsports spans more than five decades. Its presence in road racing and on the drag strip—and from NASCAR to Formula Drift—has won devotion from legions of racing fans. And now, a new vision for Mustang prowess is being created in the form of the eBay Motors 1967 Mustang Fastback, powered by Ford’s legendary 427 V-8.
The eBay Motors Mustang will be unveiled at the 2017 SEMA show on Oct. 31. That’s only a few weeks away, so now is a great time to look back at the previous iconic racing Mustangs that served as inspiration for the eBay Motors ’67 Fastback built by NASCAR analyst Rutledge Wood and his crew.
1965: Tour de France
The first Mustang to establish a winning reputation was a 1965 hardtop that won the Tour de France, Automobile’s Touring category—covering nearly 4,000 miles at a breakneck pace over 10 days in September 1964. Automobile Magazine described the road rally as “the last of the bare-knuckled manufacturers’ battles before the complications of safety and money saw the event progressively downsized to extinction.”
1965: Shelby GT350R
The original Shelby GT350 was a terror on the road courses in the mid-1960s and wowed the crowd at its New York Worlds Fair debut (shown at the top of this post). The race-spec GT 350R dominated SCCA racing and captured the B-Production crown three years in a row. The GT350’s 289 cubic-inch V-8s produced 306 horsepower and was fitted with a Cobra high-rise intake manifold along with Tri-Y exhaust headers.
1968: Tasca Ford Super Stock Cobra Jet
Bob Tasca, a Rhode Island-based Ford dealer and drag racer, got the 428 Cobra Jet rolling with development work at his shop. That work inspired a factory-produced engine that was offered in the 1968 Mustang. The Tasca Ford Cobra Jet competed in the Super Stock class, covering the quarter mile in 11 seconds. The modern-day Ford Cobra Jet Mustang is a limited production car that’s “race-ready” in the NHRA Stock and Super Stock classes.
1970: Boss 302 Trans-Am Mustang
The SCCA Trans-Am series was a hotbed of competition. The Boss 302 Mustang piloted by Parnelli Jones nabbed the championship in 1970—just as the Larry Shinoda-designed street version landed in driveways across the USA.
1997 – 2014: John Force Mustang Funny Cars
John Force Motorsports earned a whopping stack of NHRA Funny Car trophies as a Ford team, with a remarkable eight consecutive series championships between 1997 and 2004. It racked up several subsequent wins before the relationship with Ford ended after the 2014 season.
2005 – Present: Mustangs in Formula Drift
Vaughn Gittin, Jr. has driven a Mustang in the Formula Drift series since 2005, landing a Ford Racing sponsorship in 2009. He captured the 2010 Formula Drift Championship in his RTR Mustang, earning a spot on the podium in six out of seven events. Chelsea Denofa joined Gittin’s RTR Mustang team in 2017 series in a second car and Justin Pawlak runs a Roush-sponsored Mustang in the series as well.
2010 – Present: Mustangs in NASCAR
The Mustang joined the NASCAR Nationwide ranks in 2010. While Chevrolet will bring the Camaro to the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup for the 2018 season, Ford will likely stick with the Fusion for the time being. Edsel Ford II, great-grandson of Henry Ford and Ford board member, was recently quoted by motorsport.com: “I think Mustang ought to be our race car, much like Camaro is General Motors’s race car. So, it seems to me that would be appropriate.” Will 2019 mark the Mustang’s ascent to America’s most popular racing series?