HomeThe MarketSomewhat modified 1965 Ford Mustang ‘hoonigans’ Pikes Peak

Somewhat modified 1965 Ford Mustang ‘hoonigans’ Pikes Peak


The Urban Dictionary defines a hoonigan as someone who participates in a “reckless” style of driving, “not limited to drifting, drag racing and burnouts.” That probably means that at some point in your life — and perhaps quite frequently — you’ve been guilty of hooning.

But there are few of us who can hoon like Ken Block, the drifting demon made famous by his online videos of racing around unusual venues in rather unusual vehicles. His latest escapade was to have some fun driving up the Pikes Peak Highway, and working with film maker and Pikes Peak racer Jeff Zwart to produce a video, Climbkhana, about the adventure.

Fortunately for us, Block did his drive in a vintage vehicle, albeit his 1965 Ford Mustang has been slightly modified from stock configuration, what with twin turbochargers, burning methanol fuel, an all-wheel-drive setup and and more. The result is 1,400 tire-smoking horsepower, yet somehow the Toyo Proxes R888R tires got him up the 12-plus mile roadway without exploding.

Ken Block and his ’65 Mustang at Pikes Peak

Block and crew needed three separate trips to the mountain over a 12-month period to overcome weather and vehicle-development issues.

“This car is insane,” he said in a Toyo news release about the film. “I feel it genuinely wants to kill me!

“Before we added the twin turbos, it was the most fun car I’ve ever driven. Now it’s still quite fun to drive, but it melts tires ridiculously quick.

“To have this thing be such a beast and then take it to this very dangerous mountain, well, I thought I’d maybe finally taken on a project that might be too much for me to handle. This is the most powerful AWD-type car in the world to be driven this way, so I’m genuinely glad I didn’t die making this video!”

This wasn’t Block’s first run up the mountain. In 2005 he drove a Group N rally car during the annual Pikes Peak Hill Climb.

“It was an underwhelming experience because of the horsepower issue,” he said, “but I loved the road and mountain – and I had always wanted to go back and do it right.”

Right, indeed.

“I have raced at Pikes Peak for 16 years and through the years I thought I had seen everything,” said Zwart. “But to witness Ken’s skills on basically my home mountain and get to direct him at the same time, it was truly something amazing. Nothing but respect for him and his whole team.”

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. That is amazing!!! wow was that close to the guard rail …when he was ….. almost at the top GREAT DRIVING !!!!!!……Seriously and lets not forget the guy filming this whole journey….awesome photo shots

  2. Well it’s a show, much like NASCAR it’s a show nothing more, nothing less. Perhaps he should take this car and see how it would compete during the annual Pikes Peak Hill Climb. They claim it took three separate trips due to weather and vehicle issues. Be interested to know how many takes to bring it all together. While I agree that Block has amazing car control, I find it insulting to those who really compete there for him to say he wanted to return and "do it right".


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