Tomas de Vargas Machuca, Chairman of HERO-ERA who commissioned the build said; “I am blown away by the car, I am so happy with the result – although it nearly didn’t happen! I originally asked David Richards to see if Prodrive could do anything with our old Mustang, at first he wasn’t sure as it was a bit of a departure, but then thankfully he came with a positive reply. That was fifteen months ago, since then Prodrive’s enthusiasm, experience and skill have transformed a ‘basket case’ into a historic motoring masterpiece, ready to take on the best in the desert and be the flagship vehicle on our Arrive Drive fleet. It is a big thank you to David, Richard, and the team, it is a world first for Prodrive as this is their first historic American car restoration, and if it is successful as we expect, we may produce more!”
David Richards, Chairman Prodrive:
“This project started life a long time ago as a casual conversation with Tomas about my wife, Karen’s interest in taking part in the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge. The collaboration between Prodrive and HERO-ERA has resulted in a unique classic rally car specifically designed for the rigours of long- distance events. The Ford Mustang was a significant departure from our usual projects, but we have utilised all our rally experience and the result is testament to everyone who worked on the car at Prodrive. I’m very confident that Tomas and his team at HERO-ERA will enjoy the Mustang as much as we have enjoyed working on the project.”
Richard Thompson, Senior Engineer and Prodrive Legends General Manager
“Over four decades of motor sport, Prodrive has won multiple world championships and events over a wide range of disciplines. When we got the chance to prepare a rally car for HERO-ERA with the target of winning classic events like the Paris to Peking, we leapt at it! Although it is a bit of a departure for us, we loved reviewing the specs of cars already competing, immersing ourselves in the varied challenges the crews and cars undergo, and applying our know-how from rallies like the East African Safari, Hong Kong Beijing and the Acropolis, to ensure we built a quick, reliable and most importantly a safe car.
“We loved every minute of getting into the DNA of a mid-60’s US muscle car – from the detail build to hearing the beautiful rumble of the 302 Windsor V8 on our engine dyno. HERO-ERO has created a superb platform of competition, adventure and camaraderie that is missing in modern day WRC events and for that reason we are all excited to accompany the car on these challenges.”
Jackie Oliver, Le Mans winner and Can Am Champion, ex-FI driver and Arrows team owner
who attended the launch commented; “I am a big Mustang fan. I used to race them in period, winning races in the British Saloon Car Championship and latterly in Historic events. This car has been beautifully engineered and will be quick on the tarmac tests as it should be on the gravel due to the Prodrive magic.
“I don’t have any rally experience as such, but I do remember a Shelby Mustang finishing in the top ten of the Tulip Rally against the odds in 1966, crewed by John Kennerley and Digby Martland. That was quite a feat for a big American muscle car at the time, but I’m sure the HERO-ERA 1 will be at the top again 58 years later.”