Dear reader, here is a new blog entry dedicated to the revered group 5; this time we will continue the thread left by the Zakspeed Ford Capri Turbo in the previous article. In this case, we are talking about its heir (mechanically speaking), since it was a continuation of it in all aspects: the Ford Mustang Turbo GTX. And throughout the article we will verify that mechanical inheritance not only occurs in the 1: 1 version, but in the 1:32 version as well!
What type of car was the Ford Mustang Turbo?
The Mustang Turbo GTX represented in 1981 the continuation of the Capri in every way. Zakspeed had been commisioned by Ford’s headquarters to develop a continuation of the Capri with a Mustang shell. This decission can be understood from various points of view: the sporting success of the Capri was an excellent platform for the return of Ford in an official way to motor racing. Various publications of the time reflect this, as Ford had been focused in the 1970s on other priorities such as emission reductions and fuel consumption, spurred by the famous oil crisis.
Through the Mustang, Ford again officially competes in championships such as the North American IMSA, within the GTX category, or occasionally in the German DRM. And from a technological point of view, an attempt was made to introduce into the American market a «european engine» in the form of a turbocharged 4-cylinder.
The IMSA Mustang Turbo would also have its street equivalent, represented by the Mustang SVO, with a 2.3 turbocharged 4 cylinder.
After the usual research , within the abundant information on this model, I highlight these entries for different reasons that I consider of interest to the enthusiast:
This post introduces us and presents the third generation of the Mustang, on which our protagonist is based: https://www.motorpasion.com/ford/ford-mustang-generacion-de-1979-a-1993
Octanepress, where the sporting dimension of Klaus Ludwig’s Mustang was discussed: https://octanepress.com/content/blue-oval-builds-gtx-monster-imsa
Notes and curious notes from a forum with a photo of the Miller Mustang, and commenting on a photo in which Ford’s return to competition is celebrated in a way: http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthread.php?173041-1981-Ford-Mustang-returns-to-IMSA-GT-racing
Photos from the well-known Racing Sports Cars website, where we can enjoy images from the Mustang era in its historical context
Another spectacular black and white photo of our protagonist:
As far as mechanics are concerned, we already know that it is the Ford turbocharged 4-cylinder BDA block, which after its successful sporting life in the Capri, was taken to new heights of power in the Mustang, the result of advances in supercharging and electronics that were gradually being achieved at that time. There was no longer talk of flirting with 600, but 700 horsepower instead.
The Mustang also had a more extreme performance version for competition, reflecting Ford’s clear intentions at the time in 1983. This would be the Mustang GTP.
Did it suceed on the track?
The track record was worthy, but it fell short of the success of its predecessor, the Capri, mainly due to reliability and race incidents that hurt its final position in the overall standings. It should be noted, however, and to give an idea of its potential, and after a problematic qualifying run, on its raceday debut, in the hands of Klaus Ludwig, it scythed through hords of Nissans, BMWs and Porsches, to finish the race in 2nd position just 0.14 seconds behind the winner, John Fitzpatrick, in his usual Porsche Moby Dick. This occurred at the 1981 Road Atlanta race.
1981 can be considered a very remarkable year in the track record of this racing car, with two victories at the Brainerd and Sears Point circuits. The development of this car and its feats on the track are unequivocally linked to a great driver like Klaus Ludwig, who was the Mustang’s ace driver against the cream of the Group 5 / Imsa GTX. We can learn a lot about Ludwig and his Mustang in this retrospective article from Speedhunters magazine: http://www.speedhunters.com/2009/10/retrospective_gt_gt_the_life_and_times_of_klaus_ludwig/
What about the slot version?
For this article we have the well-known Sideways iterations, which unless I’m wrong, are the only representatives of the Mustang Turbo in 1:32 slot form. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, it is hilarious that as happened between the real Capri and Mustangs, their 1:32 equivalents also share the chassis, cradle, mechanics …….. even the chassis engraving!!! Where we can read without fear of being wrong: «Capri Zakspeed». It’s another nod to the history of this car.
The mechanical specification is, of course, that of the Capri: the Slot it MN09CH engine in AW disposition, and an 11/28 pinion / crown ratio. If it works, why change ????
After diving for a few days on the net, I admit that it has been quite difficult to get YouTube footage of the Mustang IMSA GTX. There are countless videos with other versions throughout his life in competition, but it is curious that for this one, it has been quite difficult. Here is a selection of what I was able to locate.
We begin with an advertisement from the time in which we can catch glimpses of the mighty IMSA GTX Mustang, against its street version.
360º view of the slot version.
Some pictures from the time.
This is the only race footage where I was able to locate it. You can see it in 5th – 6th position in the grid , and afterwards, you can catch a glimpse of it at 2:59 (behind what I believe is a blue Lola).
So, as I was unable to find extra race footage, this virtual reality Mustang IMSA GTX will let you appreciate its splendor.
See you in the next blog entry, in which we will delight in another Group 5.
Greetings dear reader!