premiere commentary by Kent Ketcham
4th Quarter 2000

Why MustangCountry.com? Why Not?

When you have a total six Mustang enthusiast magazines to choose from on the newsstands and several "Mustang-enthusiast" websites on the internet--not to mention a complement of Mustang e-commerce websites--why MustangCountry? Quite frankly, because we're confident we have the background and the 'Stang experience to do Mustangs a bit better.

MustangCountry is provided by and for folks like you who can never get enough of America's favorite Pony Car. In other words, MustangCountry is written for hardcore 'Stang enthusiasts.

We're proud of the fact that we have at our disposal one of the country's top automotive writer/photographers helping us out on this project. Namely, Bob McClurg. Of course, Bob's reputation as a Mustang enthusiast, Mustang historian, and Mustang tech writer is etched into the automotive landscape. Bob is the former Editor of McMullen/Argus Publishing Company's MUSTANG ILLUSTRATED Magazine--where you can still frequently find Bob's byline--as well being the former editor and creator of McMullen/Argus Publishing's retired title, Ford High Performance Magazine.

We're pretty excited about having Bob help us out in this endeavor. And by the way, Bob possesses a solid handle on what "Internet Life" is all about. Bob was also the former Editorial Manager of HotRodCafe.com. Whenever Bob can carve out a few spare moments from his frenzied freelance magazine editorial schedule, he's promised to provide us a little directional "guidance."

Since the Mustang is a second cousin to the Cobra, it's only natural that some of that Cobra influence carry over, and in more ways than one.

For example, MustangCountry is the sister website to another well known internet portal, namely CobraCountry.com.

CobraCountry.com is edited by Cobra enthusiast and specialty car/kit car industry photojournalist and consumer-awareness advocate Curt Scott. Over the years, Curt and his wife Judy have championed the cause of not only the Cobra replica owner, but specialty car and streetrod enthusiasts as a whole.

The Complete Guide to Specialty Cars has for nearly two decades been hailed as "The Bible of the specialty car/kit car industry," showcasing the reputable specialty car manufacturers in the industry, as well as consistently exposing the practices of some of the industry's questionable apples.

Crown Publishing's companion publication, The Complete Guide to Cobra Replicas, is self-evidently a bit more targeted, as it covers the Cobra replica industry from "A-to-Z." Out of that second publication grew CobraCountry.com, which is 100% "Cobra-driven." In other words, if it has anything at all to do with Carroll Shelby or the cars which either he created or inspired, you'll find it in CobraCountry.com. That includes coverage of SAAC events and annual conventions--and Cobra replicar manufacturer listings. The site also boasts extensive coverage of Cobra-related component manufacturers and suppliers, Cobra club listings, events coverage, and news tidbits, and editorials.

To provide you with just one benchmark of how resoundingly popular CobraCountry.com is, at last count the site receives well over 60,000 'hits' a day. That "ain't whistlin' 'Dixie!'"

Getting back to MustangCountry: "subject matter" is the name of the game here. And, when it comes to classic and late-model Mustangs, there certainly is more than adequate subject matter to write about (and aim our Nikons at).

For example. Within the late-model Mustang segment of the "sport," you have "Father Ford," and all the contemporary pony car product offerings which Father Ford has created.

You have the entry-level 2000 2.8L, V6 Mustang. The 4.6L, 2000 Mustang GT, AND you also have the Special Vehicle Team, (SVT) with its limited-production 4.6L 4-valve Mustang Cobra, and VERY limited-production 5.4L, 4-valve Mustang Cobra-R.

However, Ford Motor Company's Mustang involvement isn't solely relegated to the manufacturing of motorcars, since you also have the folks over at Ford Racing Technologies--formerly Ford SVO--who produce an abundance of Mustang-related "goodies."

Then in the "privateer Mustang aftermarket" you have the likes of Steve Saleen, Steeda Autosport, Jack Roush and Kenny Brown. All four of these companies not only build cars and products, they also RACE what they build. So, from an editorial viewpoint, MustangCountry will cover both sides of that "coin," and you're the one who'll benefit.

The late-model Mustang segment is also full of specialty equipment manufacturers who service, and sell to the industry. You have--to name a few--Accufab, Auburn Gear, Baer Racing, BBK, Borla, Canton Products, Classic Design Concepts, Coast High Performance, Currie Enterprises, C&L Performance, Edelbrock, Flow Master, Kenne-Bell, SEMO Mustang, Paxton, Probe Industries, Texas Turbo, Vortech, Wiseco, and a throng of others.

In the late-model segment, you also have racing associations such as Bill Alexander's "Fun Ford Weekend Series," James Lawrence's "National Mustang Racing Association Series" (NMRA,) and the George Gonzales-promoted "World Ford Challenge." There is one heck of a lot going on in the late-model Mustang segment, and we'll be covering some of it.

Now let's talk about traditional pony cars. When it comes to clubs, interest groups and associations, in the forefront you have the Mustang Club of America (MCA,) and Shelby American Automobile Club (SAAC.) Each of these clubs promote or sanction a series of events--on both a national and state level--which encompass an entire year--and these events will provide this website with a wealth of coverage.

On the aftermarket manufacturers' side of the coin, you have companies and vendors such as American Mustang, CJ Pony Parts, Canadian Mustang, California Mustang, Custom AutoSound, Inc. Dallas Mustang Parts, Scott Drake Mustang Parts, Laurel Mountain Mustang, Larry's Mustang & Thunderbird Parts, National Parts Depot, Mustangs Unlimited, Mustang Parts of Oklahoma, the Paddock, Pro Products, Tony D. Branda Mustang & Shelby Parts, Virginia Classic Mustang Parts, and others out there ensuring that the 'Stang industry continues to thrive.

Of course by its possessing a 35+ year history, there are also plenty of things to write about Mustang from the historical perspective. Initially we're starting out at a trotting pace, but in a matter of a few months we'll be up to full throttle. Sure, we've got a lot to do. But we're applying our experience and our enthusiasm with single-minded abandon. Step back and watch our smoke.

Kent Ketcham