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2005 Ford Mustang - Auto News

Photography by Wieck Photo Archive

Mustang Racing Is Back
During Ford Racing's performance-parts development program for the '05 Mustang, engineers saw the opportunity to investigate a race version of the new car. The result could be a factory-supported Mustang race program. These photos were taken during the first prototype shakedown at Mazda Raceway at Laguna Seca to test the car's limits.

The graphics on this prototype should seem familiar to Shelby Mustang fans. The value of using the traditional white and blue coloration has not been lost on the Ford faithful. Rumors have circulated for quite some time that a Shelby version of the new Mustang is in the works, supposedly confirmed by a host of insiders. Now if they could just cut that same deal to build Hertz GT350s like back in 1966.

Corvette C5-R
Goes Undefeated in 2004 ALMS Racing
If this season is any indication, next year is gonna be great. The Corvette C5-R race team went undefeated in 2004, beating challenges from Ferrari, Saleen, and the Dodge Viper camps and taking the top prize in the American Le Mans Series class competition. The two-car team of Pratt & Miller (and supported by General Motors) won everything there was to win last season.

For 2005, the new-bodied C6-R Corvettes will roll out, the first challenge coming at the Sebring 12-hour competition. From insider reports, the new C6-Rs are about 0.10- to 0.20- second quicker than the C5-Rs at that track. Knowing the Ferrari guys don't like losing, we expect a bigger, stronger effort from them during the new year too.

We're also happy to report that the Cadillac CTS-V racing team did well in 2004 with Max Angelilli finishing seventh in the final standings. Two other Cadillac CTS-Vs finished 17th and 22nd overall. More impressive was the race for the Manufacturer's title with Cadillac missing the top honors by only three points.

Underhood Wood
Some gearheads wrench, Donnie Wyldes Jr. whittles. What began on a whim in 1990 has sprouted into a complete small-block with a Roots-style blower, and virtually everything is constructed from various types of wood. The only metal components are the fasteners and the valvesprings, and since It's tough to build a birch belt or pine plug wires, these are the only other pieces that didn't grow on trees. His next project: a fullsize Top Fuel engine.

High Banks
While touring the back lot at Gale Banks Engineering the other day, we spotted his latest project, a new GMC race truck powered by a diesel engine (still in development) with full race running gear and chassis work. It's clear that the owner and builder of the fastest truck in the world, Banks' 222-mph, record-holding Dakota Sidewinder pickup, is back at it again. This time he isn't looking to set records on the salt-this killer, slick-shod GMC diesel pickup is destined for the asphalt. Says Banks, "Our race truck will be a lot faster than the Craftsman race series trucks. In terms of high-speed performance, it won't even be close."

Craftsman Truck racing has brought new focus to truck competition. Gale Banks has made a business of improving truck performance, especially those powered by diesel engines. Involved with the legendary turbocharged, Corvette-eating GMC Syclone pickups from the early '90s, Banks and trucks go together well.

Musclear of the Month
'71 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 454
Luxury and Big-Block PerformanceOver the years, the Monte Carlo has seen various rebirths and reiterations, all based on Chevy's need to market a midsized performance sedan for the masses. A variety of NASCAR-inspired shapes have gone into making the nameplate a recognized performance symbol with the general public.

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