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Wake up Ford...

Grant 302

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The 3.7 probably takes some weight off the front end which would only be a good thing for these heavy cars.
Definitely does. It’s noticeable without driving them back to back against a comparable GT (on the same 255 summer P Zeros) and painfully obvious when driven back to back.

Supposedly the 3.7s hold up well to forced induction too, if that's your thing.
Not for this plan. I like forced induction, but not for road course work.

I was in line to get an extended warranty, I literally got my car back on Thursday, prepped it for a track day Friday and crashed it Saturday...so I never got anything. Luckily I made out on the insurance payout so there's that.
That is lucky you’re insurance kicked in.
 

cholmes1

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** Apologies for the length. I guess I had more to say on the topic than anticipated. Feel welcome to skip to the last two paragraphs for my quick perspective. If you have the tyme the other content remains for feedback **

I will always love automobiles and have greatly benefited from the current horsepower wars, but I have no delusions that my input or opinion will matter to Ford or any other billion dollar organization. At this point the best we can hope for is to find a manufacturer that continually appeals to us as customers and enthusiasts. I chose my Boss because I can fit, had limited production, it was the last of the live axle cars, it has some cool features (side exhaust, racing based engine, TracKey, etc), it can easily be worked on, and parts are cheap.

Being a greater fan of German cars and owned them throughout most of my life, the Boss is my first American vehicle. That said, there were many issues with this build and the lack of options was surprising and disappointing. That is a failure in customer knowledge, procurement, and satisfaction (and research on my part). Cookie cutter builds are not really an option in today’s sports car marketplace yet they keep coming from U.S. manufacturers.

I think Ford is doing what they feel is best for the bottom line knowing brand loyalists will stay with them. While most major manufacturers take the cost saving approach with bulk models they typically don’t rely on brand loyalty. That seems to be an American concept. With leases being the main method of ownership overseas for new cars, there is no implied loyalty. Add to that they typically always have options or models that build excitement across the brand while costing more with the image of ‘no corners cut.’ Ford and GM have been criticized for decades by automotive journalists around their cost saving/profit building efforts.

GM seems to be a bit more on the ball in that regard for 2020+ as the C8 is likely to change the sports car landscape and appears to have addressed many of the complaints with previous generations. I cannot think of the last Ford that could make this claim. Having ridden in a Ford GT it is truly an amazing machine but to believe it’s performance or technology is going to be $300K+ superior to the coming C8 Z06 or GS is kidding themselves. The C8 at even $75,000 will likely be a performance bargain. I will never own one due to my disdain for the brand and moniker but it does not diminish the platform. This means that Ford would need to create a new model to compete (very expensive), and the GT500 is not it, or admit their ‘hypercar’ GT was not appropriately priced at $450,000 for the future. They could also hollowly claim that the level of performance the C8 can/will attain is not of interest and they will continue to focus on the Pony Wars with occasional trips to LeMans every decade or two...

Since we are on the topic of issues, the performance badging has gotten way out of hand. Growing up, to see an M car, AMG, or S/RS was rare and exciting. Now they are option packages for every model, even SUVs?! Hell, you can even have partial packages that add exterior fluff with no performance to support it. Purely for profit. Ford and GM are not immune. The Ford ST and Chevy SS badges have gone way awry of intent. They also enjoy bringing back old model names to stir some excitement without much variance between them (GT, Boss, Mach 1, Bullitt, GT350, GT500, etc) v (SS, Z/28, ZL1, 1LE Package, Z06, ZR1, etc.) Just look at the TMO members that are wisely looking at 2021 Mach 1 performance packages to save the markup on the GT350 and achieve similar performance.

Tesla is now capturing marketshare because they know their customer base and continue to innovate in their wheelhouse. The Cybertruck is a deviation and will likely fail because of it. Also, reliability has suffered more as they have diversified the lineup, but they still continue to have a significant focus on customer satisfaction as opposed to pure sales volume which keeps these concerns at a lower volume.

To show how connected Ford is to its customer base, one of my favorite stories is from a Ford engineer recorded in Nebraska when talking to 2012 Boss owners complaining about the cooling issues. He stated, and I’m paraphrasing, “...we had no idea so many of you would race these - we thought they would be garage queens.” That is a big disconnect. When Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi make a track focused car like the Boss was marketed as, you can be certain the company engineers will not be surprised to see them racing.

I am not certain this is what the OP (Grant) was hoping for but I think all of the above is best summarized as, customer respect over profit. I know with so many businesses and manufacturers struggling or failing right now due to the pandemic it is difficult to discuss but when we emerge from this time in history we as consumers need to vote with our bank accounts. As Bill mentioned, when dealerships try to do the right thing they get push back and poor reimbursements. This is strikingly similar to our healthcare system where I ‘live.’

This means the only way American manufacturers will listen is if consumers constantly complain. For me my free time is too sparse and valuable to spend it complaining to a group that really does not care about its customers. Hopefully 2021+ will see a renewed focus from Ford on customers as opposed to volume sales.
 
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Grant 302

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Many good points above and thanks for taking the time to voice them Charles.

I’m not sure about the Mach 1 markups though. Dealers will be dealers and salesmen, well, aren’t likely to let the first Mach 1’s go at or below MSRP. And I expect there are better deals to be had on 350s right now.

Would be nice if Ford had better control over pricing...and dealers, in general.
 

BmacIL

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Definitely does. It’s noticeable without driving them back to back against a comparable GT (on the same 255 summer P Zeros) and painfully obvious when driven back to back.

Not for this plan. I like forced induction, but not for road course work.

That is lucky you’re insurance kicked in.
When I was first seriously looking at S550s back in late '14/early '15, I actually had an order in for a V6, manual w/ the 3.55 axle option. I much preferred it to the 2.3L Ecoboost and outside of the obvious power deficit to the GT, was actually a really enjoyable car to drive. The weight on the nose is similar to the 2.3L so it felt a lot lighter in stock form.
 

Grant 302

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When I was first seriously looking at S550s back in late '14/early '15, I actually had an order in for a V6, manual w/ the 3.55 axle option. I much preferred it to the 2.3L Ecoboost and outside of the obvious power deficit to the GT, was actually a really enjoyable car to drive. The weight on the nose is similar to the 2.3L so it felt a lot lighter in stock form.
@BmacIL - I did want to tag/mention you earlier in case you had any comments about how you think Ford could or should improve.

I was also thinking about a ‘15 Ecoboost, but the weight of the S550 chassis came in higher than was being ‘hyped’ at the time as a 200-300 (?) lb. savings that never really materialized.
 

Competition Orange

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I hope everything works out for you...hope you came thru the crash unscathed!!!!....I'm sure the car was less fortunate??...Your handle strikes a cord with me , since I have a CO Boss............Best of luck and fortune in your future!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks, this was April 2019, I was fine, car was totalled out by insurance and all is well. Thanks!
 

Bill Pemberton

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Dear Cholmes,

I have been struggling with one of your comments since you posted it as I believe I know the Ford Engineer that commented on some of the cars running hot and uncomfortably joking they expected more of them to be garage queens. The issue I think needs addressing is your comment on this being how Ford is not connected to it's customer base ,and the answer, in my humble opinion, is 180 degrees different than your example. Whereas you find they are not connected , I frankly think a human response , obviously very uncomfortable in a group of consumers , only shows a bit of embarrassment. This negates the fact that there were Ford Engineers who think enough of their customer base to drive down to a small town in Nebraska to race with fellow track rats, give Tech Talks and often give drivers advance notice of new products. This has continued for 10 years , and they will be in Hastings again this year. This shows a serious connection to their owners that I have seen very, very rarely in my 30+ years in the Industry. Many were not aware , but some of the Engineers participating were at the top of the Food Chain , and were there not only to be in touch with Mustang owners, but Mustang owners who seriously track their cars. I have heard more than once from various Engineers about how events like the Mustang Roundup give them real world testing that no amount of Manufacturer procedures always pull up. After seeing the extremely brutal paces they put a GT 500 throughout the 2019 event I am not sure how much more proof one would need that they seriously want our opinions, approval and eventual purchase.


Are the cars perfect, heck no, but the number one issue with folks who track their cars aggressively are heat issues. This is not a Mustang problem it is industry wide and I can name concerns with many, many vehicles that are double and triple the price -- and plenty of them are German. I know , when I have run at High Plains , Pueblo , Utah Motorsports Campus , the high altitude caused a plethora of cars to run hot or even shut down. I have seen many the same issue during hot Summer Days in Topeka or down near Tulsa ( at Hallett ), so it is an ongoing issue in the Industry and likely will continue to be.

But I will continue to applaud Ford for having Engineers come out and run with the owners, chat with the owners, and race their cars with the owners. What I don't want to see is for them to be guarded and be afraid to make comments with a group of gear heads and have enthusiasts take things out of context or not respect and understand they are there listening to us all the time knowing they are opening up themselves to some criticisms - as humans we are never quite satisfied and we love to vent our personal desires. They come willingly , openly, and participate to find out future desires and issues and that takes not just guts but the commitment you expressed they do not have. I politely disagree and I wish more companies would be this involved. Sure it is not perfect, but the company I worked at for most of my life has 18 Stores and I can only think of 2 other Manufacturers who had a similar level of track involvement and only one was at a similar level.

What is cool is that places like TMO give Mustang owners some ideas about how to get their car to run a bit cooler, and it is hard for me to name any of my serious track machines that did not need bigger fans, radiators , vents, etc. to help them run in a better range when being tracked all day. Funny thing is a little water wetter and a change in grill design ( or removal ) was all I needed to do to get my Mustangs ( 3 Bosses and 1 GT 350 ) to run quite cool and in fact I only had issues at Altitude with one Boss.

Enough said and I respect your time and thoughts, but I had to address this comment as it is so unbelievably cool that anywhere from 2-8 Engineers and Executives from Dearborn feel comfortable enough with avid Mustang Drivers to come down and share track time, listen to owners, and show enough respect for us to share future things.
 
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BmacIL

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My experience there is that they have a culture where you cannot tell the emperor he has no clothes on. That is not just the CEO, but at all levels from the chief engineer on up. This leads to sapped innovation and products with all the 'right pieces' on paper but have some issues with how they're integrated. The real greatness in engineering is not the obvious hardware, but the stuff you can't see without very, very close inspection.
 

Grant 302

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My experience there is that they have a culture where you cannot tell the emperor he has no clothes on. That is not just the CEO, but at all levels from the chief engineer on up. This leads to sapped innovation and products with all the 'right pieces' on paper but have some issues with how they're integrated. The real greatness in engineering is not the obvious hardware, but the stuff you can't see without very, very close inspection.
Yeah, it’s been my understanding that those corporate cultural issues are rooted deep within the company. I did like how Mullaly reportedly fought that culture when he came over from Boeing. Especially when I was a shareholder.

Thanks for the comments. I’d read a long post if you’re ever so inclined. It’s rare to get the glimpse of inner workings of any organization.
 

BmacIL

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Yeah, it’s been my understanding that those corporate cultural issues are rooted deep within the company. I did like how Mullaly reportedly fought that culture when he came over from Boeing. Especially when I was a shareholder.

Thanks for the comments. I’d read a long post if you’re ever so inclined. It’s rare to get the glimpse of inner workings of any organization.
Mullaly was special. I feel fortunate to have met and spoke with him, and I can definitely tell you that his retirement was felt within a few months. Things changed back to 'Old Ford' ways, as long time veterans told me. Joe Hinrichs leaving was a sad sign of things when I heard about it, too.
 

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I'm old school as it gets, I really don't care that the newer vehicles run EVERYTHING through the cars computer, at some point that will start to degrade, then, unless the aftermarket keeps up, will decide the fate of many of these newer cars. Back in the day (maybe my day) virtually everything on a car was rebuildable, even small items like starter solenoids, window motors, switches and other misc. items, it was like the car was infinitely rebuildable. Yes they didn't get the performance or mileage out of them, they were crude, but they were repairable. The fact that we have an entirely new "muscle car period" is almost completely due to modern fuel injection, electronics and engine design, but I must also question why must everything run through the car's ECM systems, just the engine controls would be plenty. I think this is one reason why the "restomod" movement is taking hold, older, lighter, fixable cars are being restored using modern engines, and those are unbeatable, especially with updated suspensions. I think this is one reason I enjoyed the movie Ford vs Ferrari so much, toss out the Mickey Mouse, connect the driver to the car, and off load a bunch of middle management, ..unfortunately, many managers have surrounded themselves with virtual clones of themselves, ensuring the managerial inbreeding continues forever.
I was just reading a book entitled "Engineers of Victory" regarding WW2, it was not the actual engineering that won the war for the allies, it was people taking various bits of engineering and putting the pieces together that exceeded to expectations of the engineers that designed them.(an example would be the Rolls Royce engine Mustang fighter plane, and the centrimetric radar, basically built with scrap parts) the question is, where are those guys now? are there any left? have they been forcibly obsoleted? but most importantly, what are we missing by not having their open minded big picture view?
I know the target has shifted, people are more easily distracted by "shiny things", I distinctly remember when the big 3 eschewed air bags as expensive, eventually the insurance industry and the FDOT changed people's way of thinking by changing the market values, but the fact is, the big 3 were right, and still are ,air bags will NEVER replace seatbelts for restraining occupants in an accident, IMO they are an extraneous bit of expense, they look good in adverts, but having responded to thousands of vehicle accidents I can say that in some cases they do more damage to the occupants of a vehicle, than one equipped with seatbelts, that are used. The car industry target is now the ones that want every electronic interface known to man, and some of the driving demographics no longer even have a driver's license,( something unthinkable in my day, as it was a right of passage and a display of responsibility). So I might ask, "Is there still room for the real car guy in today's vehicle manufacturing world?" , I think there is, but they are underutilized, and we are much poorer for it.
Even the modern production vehicle race classes are not immune, Joe Aquilante calls it "socialist racing" where you are only allowed to go fast until the rules are changed, I don't even know why they have engineers on modern production car (GT, GT2,3 and 4) racing, the homologation rules are so explicit, you can't change anything except in very small parameters, you don't need an engineer for that, all the "engineering" on a modern production car has already been done back at the factory. A few years ago we were running GT3 with a Porsche, we qualified just in front of Patrick Long in the factory car with some outstanding diving on the part of our driver, and our very experienced crew chief told us to put the car on the trailer, we were done. Well "done" in this case was about 8th on the grid, all of the Phoenix guys were incredulous, we wanted more out of the car, but the crew chief was absolutely right, Pfeiffer, having run in socialist racing circles for years informed us that until the BoP was changed, we were stuck in 8th. We outqualified, the factory car, it wasn't going any faster, it was bumping up against the maximum allowable BoP criteria.
This is how modern races are determined, not by actual performance, but by actual "allowable" performance, I wonder how much of this kind of thinking has migrated to actual automobile production criteria? Yet at the same time , performance data gathering has exploded, we could tell you everything about a car's performance based on the telemetry, but so what, all you can do is look at it, adjust a few minor bits, in the overall view it really doesn't mean much.
To me this all looks like, ...well this is awesome on paper, it makes good advertising, we have all this technology that we just have to use for SOMETHING, so let's create applications, and while we're at it, we'll also throttle the competition to make it more,,you know "fair". .It's like all the participation trophy guys are running the entire automotive industry right now.
There was saying around here when a guy comes into a bar all duded up with a foreign car.."That cowboy is all hat, no cattle".
 
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Ludachris

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Hopefully 2021+ will see a renewed focus from Ford on customers as opposed to volume sales.
Problem is, volume sales make money, and if they're selling in volume, they're giving customers what they want - which they can argue also means they're listening to, and focusing on their customers. They will never be able to appease the performance community because there is rarely a consensus - you try to appease one group and another faction complains. Everyone wants something different. Not to mention the performance segment tends to want what is usually not easy to make a business case for to mass produce. But when you raise the price to cove the cost, people complain about that too.

In the grand scheme of things, we're a small percentage of their customer base, and I fear we're a shrinking part of it at that. The fact that Ford still puts in the effort they do to connect with the enthusiast is commendable in an age where that's drying up more and more. Hopefully they'll keep doing it.

I wonder how different the negative culture a few of you have spoken of inside Ford differs from most companies these days. Seems every company I've worked for has had culture issues in some way. I suspect nearly all do depending on who you talk to. Every business ends up being a microcosm of society as a whole - which would tell you that culture issues should be expected.

I guess being relatively new to the Mustang world, I find quite a bit more to smile about because of how much more is available compared to my past platforms. Ford may deserve some criticism here and there, but they seem to still be doing a pretty good job overall. I still think it's a pretty good time to be a car guy.
 

Bill Pemberton

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Blacksheep1, for those of us acquainted with the Balance of Power ( BoP ) rules in SCCA, IMSA, etc. it is an insane struggle that we often know is settled by money and politics and not driver or team success. But, I hope you know, the reason so many of us respect you and Phoenix Racing is we understand how much you have done as a relatively small Team due to the passion and ingenuity of your group. I remember when Woodhouse Motorsports had one of your Vipers years back and Mark Jorgensen was working with your Team. He spent plenty of time chatting with Joe and others and he was impressed with how much you accomplished within the strict confines ---- you and I know alot has to do with Andrew's and Joe's talent. Chatted with a guy last night who ran into your Team at Watkins Glen and he was having a problem. Even though the Sahlens 6 hours of the Glen was just a day away , Andrew sent his mechanic over to help a TMO member ( this was 4-5 years back ). That says alot about the folks you work with and you also -- you spend alot of time helping folks right here at TMO. Off subject, but the BoP fight is notorious, yet for many of us it shows what can be done by some Teams with grit , talent and real passion ---- not money. Not saying that it is inexpensive to race, but the reason your Team ( Phoenix Racing ) is so well respected is many folks across the Country know you do so much with so much less. Sorry off subject , but our old owner , Bob Woodhouse , echoes your sentiments on BoP and we have talked on length about this years ago, but that is another story.

Yesterday was a weird day as I reached out and told some folks at Dodge and Ford that I had retired. Without sounding egotistical I ended up talking to some folks very high up in each organization. I am definitely not speciall , just a regular Pistonhead who is as passionate as everyone on this Forum , but I am also getting closer to 70 than 60. I knew so many of these folks when they were just Representitives ,young Engineers or Designers, so we just grew up in the Industry. I so agree that we ( performance enthusiasts ) are a small segment of the buyers out there as LudaChris mentioned. Yet ,when you view history we always have been, but luckily the vehicles we own are often " Halo" cars that draw folks to buy other similar models or even the Manufacturer's brand. All I can say is I came away from the conversations and texts with confidence that there are some real Motorheads still at the top fighting the same fight as Iacocca, Shinoda, and DeLorean did many decades ago. The
fight is not over and we will not be left out, though it is changing, but I ended the day quite optimistic there will be fun stuff far into the future. As LudaChris mentioned we will not all be happy about each change or model, but I too am pleased Ford ( and I will now get flamed ) and FCA still have folks putting in the effort for us. Love LudaChris's comment of " putting in the effort." because there happens to be a group of friends in each company that continue to do that because they are not employees , they are doing what they love ----- obstacles are made to overcome, not to surrender to. Sorry that last sentence is mine, I kind of like it, as it was how I tried to view life and found a kinship in others who shared the concept.
 
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BmacIL

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I don't even know why they have engineers on modern production car (GT, GT2,3 and 4) racing, the homologation rules are so explicit, you can't change anything except in very small parameters, you don't need an engineer for that, all the "engineering" on a modern production car has already been done back at the factory.
I know what you're getting at, but this is flat out wrong. The race engineer has so, so much to understand in order to make the right changes to the car to optimize for the driver on a given day/weekend. This is a very ignorant statement.
 

Bill Pemberton

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I think you are taking this out of context , as I think Blacksheep1 is being sarcastic in saying the rules are so stringent and frankly often stupid, due to the policy makers that it makes an Engineers job very, very limited in many race series. The Rules Makers take the data so much from factory specs that all the Engineering was already done. I know the Engineering Degree friends of mine that help racing teams are often frustrated by the rules that there is little to do in comparison to the old days.
 

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