All your must have Ford and local news in one place!

ford_hot_wheels_rip_rod_1Last year at SEMA Ford unveiled a pretty nifty little car called the Rip Rod.  It was a collaboration between Ford, Mattel and the Bandito Brothers.  Last year all that we saw was a plastic full sized model pulled behind a Transit Connect and some cute little collectors hot wheels.


This year Ford has brought the Rip Rod to life with the award winning 1.0 liter EcoBoost unit which in its short existance has won the engine of the year award three times in a row.  There is minimal information on the specifics of what the Rip Rod is capable of, however there is this pretty great little teaser video!





Ford has just dropped the veil on two new special edition F-150s aimed at adrenaline junkies!  The F-Series trucks have won SEMA‘s “Hottest Truck” category for four years straight, and Ford is hoping for a fifth consecutive year.  What you see before you are the two contenders for this years competition, the Vaughn Gittin Jr. street truck and Deegan 38 pro driver models.

The image above is an off-road monster named for Ford Racing’s Brian Deegan, and it is designed for extreme motorsports enthusiasts.  Ford has yet to reveal the specifics on this beast outside of naming a list of partners that includes Addictive Desert Designs, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, FOX Racing Shox, KC Hilites, Mastercraft Safety, Full-Race Motorsports and SCT Performance.

Based on what we can see, we can see a lift kit, off-road performance tires, off-road lightning and a reinforced front bumper.  The bed also appears to be upgraded and includes some sort of dirt bike carrying system.

“This F-150 should inspire the vast off-road, extreme-lifestyle-loving fan base to push the possibilities of the kick-ass new 2015 F-150 and the awesome 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine,” says Deegan.


On the opposite end of the spectrum we have the neon-highlighted Vaughn Gittin Jr. street truck.  At first glance this ride looks urban-inspired, but was actually designed to blend professional-level street and off-road performance.  In addition to custom graphics and green wheels and trim, the truck also boasts an Air Lift Performance ride system and a Kibbetech custom suspension with King Shocks.  All of this creates a veritable air pillow chassis which gives the truck its dual street/dirt personality, making it a tool worthy of its namesake Formula DRIFT star.

“I love trucks, and to build one that has daily on- and off-road capabilities, as well as drifting and jumping capabilities is something I have always wanted to do,” says Gittin. “I am really pumped to get crazy in this F-150 at SEMA this year.”

So whats your favorite look?  Let us know below!


The 2015 Ford Mustang is about to premier in showrooms across the United States, and more importantly the showroom here at Mel Hambelton Ford!  But the question on everyone’s mind is what will the Mustang tuners do with this new pony car?  The three big players in the custom Mustang department; Saleen, Roush and Hennessey have all made news this week by showing off their newest Mustang creations.

As usual all of these Mustangs have seen a visual treatment, each in their own special ways, and two of them added a bunch of muscle under the hood, with all three oufits warrantying their modifications for three years or 36,000 miles.

So lets take a look at these beasts.



This is the tamest of the three pony cars and rightfully so as this is the RS (Roush Sport).  On this ride the modifications are mostly cosmetic and can be applied to the base 300-hp V-6 Mustang (RS), or the new 310-hp turbocharged four-cylinder model (RS Stage 1), and the lean mean, 435-hp GT (RS Stage 2).  Engine outputs do not change by a single horse.

All three of the RS models get new front and rear fascias, high-flow grilles, driving lamps, side sill extensions, a rear spoiler, embroidered floor mats and Roush badges all around.  The RS Stage 1 Mustangs also receive a performance exhaust system with quad pipes (one for each cylinder) and the Stage 2 ponies will receive all of the above plus a set of gorgeous five-spoke 20-inch “Quicksilver” wheels and Cooper RS3 performance tires.  These wheels can also be ordered on RS and RS Stage 1 cars, along with body-color hood scoops, blackout window scoops, billet aluminum pedals, Roush insignia ball shifters, Roush gauges and Roush plates on all the door sills.  Additionally Stage 1 and Stage 2 models can be upgraded to include a reverse sensing system, adjustable coil-over suspension, as well as an “Activ8″ active exhaust system.

Roush hasn’t officially said whether or not there are plans in the work to produce a more monstrous version of  the 2015 pony car, but we would be surprised if there wasn’t one in the works.



In case you have been living under a rock, Saleen and Mustangs go together like really fast peanut butter and jelly.  This beast is so new that we don’t even have real photos of it yet, just two renderings, although as SEMA draws near that will most likely change.  Here’s what we do know:

The base S302 “White label” is going to be powered by the Mustang GT’s 302-cubic-inch V-8, the engine has been reworked to produce 450 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque, up from 435 hp and 400 lb-ft.  Two additional variations names “Yellow Label” and “Black Label” will add a supercharger into the mix and raise the output to a beastly 640 hp and 565 lb-ft of torque.  There will be two transmissions offered: a six speed manual paired with a choice of 3:31, 3:55, or 3:73 rear ends or a six speed automatic with paddle shifters and either 3:15:1 or a 3.55.  Limited-slip differential will come standard on all variations.

On the suspension end all S302s will come with its “Series 4″ high performance suspension that includes specific front and rear springs, with a fully adjustable coil-over suspension is optional.  Also optional are slotted and cross-drilled brake rotors measuring 15.0 in up front clamped down by six-and four-piston calipers, respectively.  20 inch wheels are standard while 19-in Minilite-inspired wheels are optional (we think its strange too) all measuring 10-inches wide in the back, and 9.0 inches wide in front.

The rendering above shows the Black Label wearing Saleen’s trademark hashmark graphics on the front fender, as well as the huge 20 inch five spoke wheels, a tray like spoiler, and deep side skirts with rear brake cooling intakes.  The Black Label model also receives  unique front and rear fascias and a hood that features a “red butterfly” air intake.  On the inside the S302 White and Yellow Label will have embroidered headrests while the Black Label will receive  leather alcantara performance seats.  Both variations will receive white-faced gauges, boost and vacuum gauges, embroidered floor mats, Saleen door sill plates, steering wheel badging and a serialized dash plaque.  If thats not enough if you order a Black Label model, Steve Saleen will personally sign the dashboard.



Once again this mean machine only exists in renderings at this point.  The HPE700 Mustang GT by Hennessey Performance of Sealy, Texas, uses a supercharger, an upgraded throttle body, new fuel injectors, a new fuel pump, and revised exhaust system to push 717 hp and 632 lb-ft of torque out of the Mustangs 302-ci Coyote V-8.  With this power plant Hennessey claims the Mustang can go 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and blast past the quarter mile mark in 11.2 seconds at 131 mph.

As usual with Mustangs like this the exterior has been upgraded with HPE badges and a wealth of carbon fiber extras, including a ground-scraping front splitter, ducktail spoiler, and sculpted side sills.  Also available are a set of 20-inch 10-spoke Hennessey H10 wheels mounted by Michelin Pilot Super Sport 2 tires, as well as a Brembo brake package.  There are also two suspensions in the works, one for street cars, and one track-oriented, both including adjustable coil-over shocks and springs.

So there you have it, three monster machines fixing to roll out, we want to know which would you choose?


Camilo Pardo Sketches The Ford GT

Although Ford has yet to confirm it, the rumor mill has started churning that Ford has something very, very big planned for Le Mans in 2016.  As Road & Track reported in July, a GTE-spec Mustang project was once considered but since has been shuttered.  Returning to Le Mans with P2 engines was also considered, and Ford racing boss Jamie Allison expressed a favorable opinion regarding a global and domestic P2 engine supply last Monday.

However the other program that was being considered now appears to now be in play, as multiple sources have reported Ford’s factory GT program for Le Mans is indeed accelerating towards a debut in 2016.  So why the return of the GT now?  Because 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the brands victory at Le Mans with the Ford GT40 Mk II.

Recent meetings between GTE constructors on 2016 rules, as witnessed at Circuit of The Americas, have included a representative affiliated with Ford, and based on additional feedback, a launch of the Ford GT 24 Hours of Le Mans project would coincide with the introduction of the successor to the Ford GT.

Allison was asked if a Ford GT LM24 project was indeed in the pipeline, and he offered the following response:

“Our focus right now is, obviously, finishing the season on a high note at Petit Le Mans,” he said. “Our focus is also working with our partners. I do look forward into a future of some of the classes in the sport, including the P2 we just talked about. We really have our near-term lenses on our participating in the sport and that’s really the scope that we are focused on.

“Anything beyond that would be strictly endeavoring into… just propagating something that is not within the scope of what we focus on. In our realm and in the world of sports-car racing, [we’re] really focused on our EcoBoost-powered DP and focusing on the season here as it comes to an exciting end at Petit Le Mans.”

Obviously that wasn’t even close to a straight answer.  Notice that Allison did not say “No” anywhere in that quote.

A rendering of what the new Ford GT may look like, designed by Camilo Pardo -

A rendering of what the new Ford GT may look like, designed by Camilo Pardo –

Additionally Ford has some excellent in-house options to spearhead such a project Canada’s Multimatic is reportedly queued up to produce GTE cars, and with strong ties to Ford, Chip Ganassi Racing, and Michael Shank Racing the necessary pipeline is in place to put together one lean mean racing machine!

But when would Ford reveal this legendary successor?  The timing looks right for a reveal at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, this is only about 3 months away.



Ford has finally revealed the max towing and hauling ratings for the all new aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150 pickup.  Ford has promised from the start that the truck would set new standards in capability from the moment the truck was revealed in January.  Since we have never seen an aluminum bodied pickup before we had no idea what to expect, turns out Ford came to play.

According to the 2015 F-150’s offically stated towing and payload numbers, this beast will be able to tow up to 12,200 pounds and haul up to 3,300 pounds in the bed.  As a reference figure the Chevrolet Silverado can only haul up to 2,270 pounds in its bed.  The Ram 1500 pales in comparison only being able to haul 1,900 pounds.  On the towing side the new F-150 bests the Ram’s top tow rating of 10,650 pounds and squeaks by the Chevrolet Silverado 1500’s max trailer weight of 12,000 pounds.


Last weekend the last of the 1,964 special-edition 50 Years Limited Edition pony cars sold for a smooth $170,000 at the Barrett-Jackson auction.  The proceeds will benefit the Edith and Benson Ford Heart & Vascular Institute which is a branch of the Henry Ford Health System.

This particular mustang was based on the 2015 Ford Mustang GT with upgrades and a performance package.  Essentially this pony had every option in the book, along with a unique appearance package to set it apart in celebration of the Mustang’s 50th anniversary.  It’s available in two exclusive shades – Wimbleton white or Kona blue – with either a manual or automatic transmission.

Patriot RaptorWhat stands before you is the ultimate representation of patriotism.  This one of a kind Ford Raptor, aptly christened “The Patriot” was a custom creation that was auctioned off at Mecum Auctions a few weeks back for a mere $250,00.  All proceeds benefited The MobilityWorks Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides handicap accessible transportation to those in need.  The money will be donated specifically to their Cars for Troops Program which benefits disabled US Military members.

The truck itself began as a stock Ford Raptor, which was designed and built by West Coast Customs of “Pimp My Ride” fame.  They installed a custom grille, interior embroidery representing each branch of the United States military and an onboard computer provided by Bully Dog.  The custom American Flag paint scheme was applied by Ryan Ryno Templeton.  BDS Suspension provided a four-inch lift.  Additional sponsors of the Patriot included LM Tire & Wheel and Magnaflow.

Check out the video here for more info.

Right now you can see amazing vehicle on display here at Mel Hambelton Ford through Saturday (8/27/2014) so head out to the Big Corner of 119th and West Kellogg to see this one of a kind machine in person!

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