We are not only at the end of a memorable year, we are at the headwaters of an all-new decade! 2019 was a really great year, and 2020 is our 25th anniversary! Over the quarter century, we have built a remarkable company, epic cars, and an amazing community. We’ve written stories with our customers that define us, and have earned our place in the proud legacy of motorsports accomplishments! More than anything, we have BUILT fellowship, memories, stoke, and charity! How proud of all of us I am!
Photo above left to right: Nate Johnson, Operations – 1997, Tony Zullo, Tech and Sales – 2012, Dave Smith, President, Jesper Ingerslev, Engineering – 1996, Jim Schenck, R&D – 1998.
My annual “Top 10 List” for Factory Five is humbling when I look back at what we’ve accomplished just this past year. To think back over all 25 years makes me more proud and grateful than I am able to express. As fun as it is to celebrate and remember the past, it is what lies ahead that matters most, and going forward, I cannot contain my excitement! So while you allow me a moment to pause and reflect on the amazing year it has been, let’s use what we’ve learned to set our sights on the decade ahead even higher! So here are some of the highlights of the past year. We’ve got a rolling start into 2020, and all I can think to do is to push the throttle wide open!
From everyone at Factory Five Racing, have a peaceful and Happy New Year and new decade!
#1: 25th Anniversary Factory Five Mk4!
Twenty Five years after we launched the very first “single-donor Mustang” Factory Five Mk4, we launched the very BEST fourth generation car to celebrate our 25th anniversary! We sold out of all 25 of these limited edition cars, and released them in the Fall a bit early so that we would have some completed cars in 2020! The very first car, #001/025, was donated in full to the Ohio Cobra Club for their charity raffle car in 2020 to benefit Cystic Fibrosis. Click here for full details on the 25th Anniversary Mk4 Roadster. If you want to see the car in person, it is in our showroom at Factory Five.
#2: Expansion! New Facilities, Robotics, and Responsible Manufacturing!
2019 was the year that we pulled the trigger on the largest re-investment in the company history. We are building an all-new facility on the acre of property next door. We have purchased new state-of -the art robotic trimming machines, air-handling systems, an all-new operating system of 21 computers, new server, and new operating software! Lastly we went online with our massive 400kW solar array that now powers ALL operations, our new facility, and will generate excess power! Along with our environmental commitment of solar, we replaced all lighting with energy efficient bright LEDs, and are replacing all of our HVAC to modern efficient heat pump systems. In 2019, the world’s best-selling “build-it-yourself” custom cars are made with the best tools, the best way.
#3: All New Factory Five Hypercar F9R!
In 2018, we developed the VR/CAD digital shaping process that would lay the ground work for the first all-new Factory Five F9R Hypercar! Jim in R&D teamed up with Phil Frank (designer of the Saleen S7) to design a beautiful shape, and the car was designed 100 percent digitally! The new all-carbon fiber body will be completed in early March, and production is slated to begin in 2020! Click here for more details.
#4: 850 HP Factory Five Hot Rod Truck with Joey Logano!
We’ve built some cool race cars with 2018 NASCAR champion Joey Logano! In 2018, we built a Mk4R Competition Roadster and a stunning Type 65 Coupe -R, the later which debuted on the season finale of “Fast N’ Loud,” and headlined the SEMA and PIR shows in Ford’s booth. This year, we took the build insanity to the next level with Joey and the crew from Snap-On Tools. The 2,400 lb./850 HP Factory Five Hot Rod Truck would go on to out run Joey’s Ford GT in a drag race, and be featured in Ford’s “Out Front” display at the 2019 SEMA Show. The build/drift videos would get over a million views! Check out more on this truck here.
45 seconds of tire shredding mayhem courtesy of Mr. Logano at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
#5: Hot Rod Magazine 1200 hp drift Rod Truck
2019 was the first full year of production for the new Factory Five ’35 Hot Rod Truck, and the sheer number of cool builds is jaw-dropping. Hot Rod Magazine’s Mark Gearhart’s car has grabbed a ton of attention with his twin-turbo 5.0L Coyote-powered blue nightmare drift Truck. It is the shiny pro-street brother to Logano’s matte-black beast. Read more about this remarkable build and get more pics here.
Hot Rod Magazine’s Mark Gearhart is interviewed and gives the specifics of his 1,200 HP Truck build!
One of the notable Hot Rod Truck builds is Freddie Simmons’ supercharged LS-powered Hot Rod Truck that was featured by Nitto Tires in a promotional photo shoot for a second year in a row.
#6: All-New Speedstar on Race-Proven Factory Five ’33 Chassis!
Meet the very newest Factory Five, the Speedstar! The Ridler Award-winning Speedstar body now drives as good as it looks with the proven Factory Five performance Hot Rod chassis underneath! We bought Rat’s Glass Bodies in 2018, and this all-new shape that debuted this year is the first result of that acquisition. Learn more about the Speedstar here.
Dave Smith discusses the newest addition to our Hot Rod line-up, the Speedstar at SEMA 2019!
#7: Charity St Judes Fed Ex and Ohio Cobra Club!
We donated two Factory Five kits this past year. One went to raise money for the children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the other to the Ohio Cobra Club for their annual give-away raffle car to raise money for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Two great causes, and Factory Five employee Tony Z. and pro-builder Ron E. donated a WEEK of their year building the car with the pilots of FedEx. The car would earn $120,000 at the FedEx/St. Jude Gala in July, and earn a second donation of an additional $120,000 to total $240,000!
#8: GTM Wins in Trans Am!
Driver Carl Rydquist drove the Team PDG Factory Five GTM to a 1st place Trans Am title in the West Coast in Super GT Class with multiple race wins and a strong finish at this year’s Nationals. Read more about their accomplishment here.
#9: Coupe R Test Mule on Engine Power Show!
We built a bare naked Gen 3 Coupe chassis to serve as the future test sled for PowerNation’s show Engine Power. Recently, Pat and Mike took this uncovered Factory Five chassis to LS Fest for some seat-of-the-pants dyno evaluations at LS Fest on the strip! Watch the episode on their website here.
#10: Customers of 2019!
Customers continue to do things in the field while we engineer better, faster, stronger parts here in the shop. It’s a good marriage, and this tradition continued strong into 2019. If you follow our Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, thefactoryfiveforum.com, or the “What’s New” pages on our website, you’ll read the stories of people like Karen, who are winning at the track, or Freddie who is at SEMA for Battle of the Builders. Go to any car show or race in the country, and you’ll likely see a Factory Five winning trophies or having that pesky checkered flag always waved at them. The tradition continued strong in 2019!
Honorable Mention: Interns of 2019!
Summer interns! We were lucky to have three hardworking interns for June-August this year. This continues a longstanding tradition of internships here at Factory Five. Many of our interns have gone on to bright careers in the auto industry.
Honorable Mention: Ford vs. Ferrari Premiere Fundraiser!
I was lucky to attend the Ford vs. Ferrari premiere with this guy, Joe O’Donnnell. Joe lost his 12 year old son Joey to Cystic Fibrosis more than 30 years ago and he has never stopped supporting the cause. His fund is the Joey Fund benefiting the CF Foundation. How many of us could suffer such a loss and turn that grief into action that has saved so many kids.. Including my own daughter? How do you ever say thank you? The event was held in Natick, MA, and raised over $1 million for CF. I was stoked because I got to see the awesome movie a month early. – Dave Smith
Honorable Mention: FFR Hot Rod Truck in Movie Hobbs & Shaw!
One of the many cool surprises at SEMA this year was this nasty, bad-A Factory Five Truck used in the movie “Hobbs & Shaw” located just outside Central Hall!
Show and Event Schedule 2020!
We want to celebrate big this year for our 25th Anniversary! Our annual Open House is back in June here in Wareham, and we are celebrating out west at Barrett-Jackson in a few weeks as well as the famous Huntington Beach Cruise-in scheduled for April 25! Please look at our 2020 show and events schedule, and we hope to see you!
The Best for Last: New Cystic Fibrosis Drug is almost a CURE!
Over the years, my family, and particularly my daughter Jenny, has been loved and supported by the FFR community in a very special way. Many of you have been with Jenny since she was born 21 years ago, and have been alongside thru her fight against Cystic Fibrosis. In 2019, a new drug was released by Vertex Pharmaceuticals called Trikafta that has been a virtual cure for CF, so effective it is! Jenny is on it, and doing well after a really really tough fall. Seems the new medicine arrived at the right time! To the Factory Five community and so many individuals who have raised money for the CF Foundation on behalf of Jenny and other kids like her, I just want to say THANK YOU! Job Well Done! There is still work to do, but your efforts have paid off huge, and I have a healthy daughter who loves Jeeps and a debt I can never repay.