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.
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.”
“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.”