Archive for October, 2009

SEMA Preview: Mustangs of SEMA 2009

Friday, October 30th, 2009
You can expect to see two cars out in force at this year’s SEMA show: the Mustang and the Camaro. Ford is the official sponsor of the show this year, while 2009 is the first year the Camaro has been on market. So far much of the attention has been on the Mustang’s bowtie-wearing rival, but Ford has just released previews of eight custom Mustangs they are bringing to the show.

Here is a quick rundown of Ford’s entries at this year’s SEMA.

2010 Mustang by 3DCarbon

This body kit was first developed for the 2005-2009 Mustangs and proved so popular that it is making a comeback for 2010. This full body kit is both aerodynamic and aggressive, without altering the lines of the 2010 Mustang too radically.

2010 Convertible by Galpin Auto Sports

Galpin Auto Sports, or GAS, may be best known for their presence on Pimp My Ride. They are also the largest volume Ford dealership in the States. Their wild concoctions often focus on the one-of-a-kind, and this wide body convertible is no exception. With a 550 horsepower supercharged engine provided by Ford Racing, it has the go to back up the show.

2010 Mustang by H&R Special Springs

This Mustang comes from the future, or at least that is what H&R claims. In looks more like it belongs on a racetrack, with that aggressive rear spoiler, racing stripes, and those big ultra-light-looking wheels. Plus, is that an intercooler I spy just above the chin spoiler? Perhaps.

2010 Mustang by Paul’s High Performance

While the previous three Mustangs have been more dedicated to show than go, the Paul’s High Performance edition promises nothing short of drag strip thrills. The functional cowl induction hood hides a high horsepower secret and there are meaty tires out back, but otherwise it looks stock. Will it run a supercharger or turbocharger?

2010 Mustang by Steeda

We have already previewed the Steeda Q350, which promises bold looks and track performance. Steeda has won more track races than any other aftermarket manufacturer, and 2010 promises to big another big year in their long history. Expect carbon fiber and lots of suspension goodies from the Steeda Q350.

2010 Mustang by Street Scene Equipment

I’m not sure what to expect from a company named Street Scene Equipment. Will this be just another tarted up looker without the performance to back it up? Or will they surprise everyone by packing a whopper of an engine under that powerdome hood?

2010 Mustang by Vaugh Gittin Jr.

The Mustang is no one-trick pony. While Vaughn Gittin Jr. had a less than stellar end to his season this year, he is still one of the best in the drifting business, and this Mustang has his fingerprints all over it. Called the Mustang RTR, this limited edition pony promises 550 horsepower, lots of suspension upgrades, and of course plenty of carbon fiber to shed excess weight.

2010 Mustang by Ford Vehicle Personalization

This final Mustang is all about looks. Inspired by designers such as Prada and Stella McCartney, it is both catchy and custom. The Carbon Black Metallic color is unique to this Mustang, but there is enough gold to make even Goldfinger lust. The 20-inch wheels, fog lamps, and even headlights have been tinted a golden hue, and even the leather seats inside get the golden touch.

We’ll be keeping an eye out for all these ‘Stangs and more come next week, so stay tuned.


LAS VEGAS – The Ford Mustang, America’s favorite muscle car, is also the most customized car in the $31.8 billion aftermarket industry, and there will be no shortage of polished-up ponies at this year’s SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show, which is being held Nov. 3-6 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“The Mustang is an iconic car,” said Melvin Betancourt, Ford SEMA design manager. “People always want to reinvent it, and everybody has an idea about what the next Mustang should be.”

According to Allison Revier, Ford Mustang marketing manager, much of Mustang’s popularity in the aftermarket is steeped in tradition.

“Many fathers pass down their classic Mustangs to their sons to restore,” she said. “They form emotional ties to the car and create special memories.”

But what really drives Mustang’s success is a universally shared desire among owners to make their steed unique, says Revier. “The Mustang is a ‘Look at me’ car,” she said. “You don’t want to have the same Mustang that the guy down the street has. You want to stand apart.”

In an effort to feed customization-hungry pony car enthusiasts, Ford recently launched the 2010 Mustang Customizer at, a Web site offering an online experience that allows people to create their own virtual Mustangs, choosing colors and decals to complement the all-new design.

“Since we know the first thing customers do when they buy a Mustang is customize it, we wanted to show them everything they could do,” explained Revier. “Some of it is concept – changing colors and stripes – but the site also gives us a chance to showcase our Genuine Ford Accessories as well as other aftermarket parts.”

The response has been overwhelming. In just two months, more than 1 million custom Mustangs have been built on the site. “The Mustang Customizer allows users to get closer to this new product, as well as connect to the brand in a creative way because they can truly make it their own,” said Adam Barrow, Ford digital marketing analyst. “Self-expression is what this brand is about.”

Self-expression is evident with the Mustang project vehicles on display at this year’s SEMA show, according to Revier. “They all look dramatically different, and that’s what I think is so great about it,” she said. “Everyone starts out with the same vehicle, but each aftermarket builder turns it into something completely distinctive.”

Ernie Bunnell, vice president of sales and marketing for 3dCarbon of Newport Beach, Calif., says his Mustang is unique because it is a modern-day version of 3dCarbon’s award-winning 2005 Mustang Boy Racer.

“We are introducing the 2010 Boy Racer – an evolution of styling from the old to the new,” said Bunnell. “With its bold, aerodynamic design, this vehicle is sure to turn heads.”

In addition to a 3dCarbon Boy Racer body kit, the red Mustang with white racing stripes features a front “E” grille, rear window trim, window louvers with gel decal inserts, headlight splitters and decklid spoiler – all created by 3dCarbon.

The official motto of Steeda Autosports, “Speed matters,” is most certainly reflected in the Steeda Mustang that will be on display at SEMA.

“The Steeda Q350 is embodied with the very soul of Mustang performance,” said Dario Orlando, president of Steeda Autosports. “It combines the dynamics and agility of a high-performance sports racer with the everyday practicality and comfort of America’s original pony car – all in one integrated package.”

The Steeda Mustang has an array of modifications, including a functional body kit with unique aerodynamic features, an upgraded street/track suspension system, numerous powertrain enhancements and a top-notch sport interior.

Ford Vehicle Personalization also will have a Mustang on display at SEMA. The vehicle, which features Ford Custom Accessories, sports a unique Carbon Black Metallic custom-colored exterior accented with satin gold 20-inch wheels and gold-tinted headlights and fog lamps. The interior continues the gold theme, with gold leather seat and door trim inserts, seat piping, steering wheel cover and shifter boot.

“Metallic gold is currently very much in fashion throughout the design world,” said Mark Conforzi, chief designer, Ford Vehicle Personalization. “There is a wide variety of modern gold finishes that can be seen in fashion apparel designs from Stella McCartney, Dior, Prada and Alexander McQueen. I would like to encourage gold finishes on our future products, in subtle and technical applications presented in a modern way.”

1934 Ford gets 400 HP EcoBoost

Friday, October 30th, 2009
Ford is really pushing their EcoBoost technology this year. The idea is to replace large, emission spewing engines with smaller engines (V6 and 4-cylinders), while still retaining the performance of their bigger engines. In an effort to push this forward, Ford is placing one of their new twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost motors in a hot rod built by Detroit Street Rods: a 1934 3-Window Coupe.

According to Autoblog, this is the first rear-wheel drive application the EcoBoost has been placed in.

Images: Autoblog

The stock twin Honeywell turbochargers fitted to the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost motor make for 400 horsepower and 400 ft-lbs of torque. These outputs are comparable to hot rods fitted with a typical 302 cubic inch V8. EcoBoost technology has been described as a way to replace displacement, while retaining performance. Ford has been able to achieve both 20 percent better fuel economy and 15 percent fewer CO2 emissions. Further, turbocharging technology allows for even smaller displacement, while providing even more boost to create more power.

The Detroit Street Rod’s 1934 Ford EcoBoost is fitted with a 5-speed manual transmission, and has had many modern conveniences added to it. The body of the car is actually a replica, and features all-steel construction, full fenders, running boards, electronic power windows, air conditioning, and custom bumpers.

The build is iconic, in that it shows how an old and analog-styled 1934 Ford can be combined with the advanced technology of a modern-day Ford.

Mustang Flips at Raceway, Frame by Frame

Thursday, October 29th, 2009
Racing is, without a doubt, a dangerous sport. Rocketing around a track in a 3000+ pound motorized bullet, just one wrong flick of the wrist or touch of the brake can be the difference between victory and total disaster. There is a reason many tracks require excessive amounts of safety equipment, such as fuel cells and roll bars.

Still, all the safety equipment in the world can’t correct driver error, as these pictures from Racers Web show.

Photo Credit: Nam Nihn Photography

The car in question here is (was?) the cover car for the recently released December 2009 issue of “5.0 Mustang”. This 2009 track racer has a mildly massaged engine with a cold air intake, SCT tuner, JBA long tube headers, and exhaust system sans the cats.

The suspension received the most love, with 4.10 gears in the rear end, Tokico D-Spec shocks and struts, Ford Racing sway bars and springs, and a whole bunch of other goodies. Alas, all that was not enough to keep it on the track.

This crash took place at the Hallet Circuit in Jennings, Oklahoma. Apparently it happened right around turn eight on a left-hand turn. The turn is on an incline, and this kind of crash can be caused by one of two things: excessive speed or poorly timed braking.

The car rocketed over the tire barrier, went nose first into the ground, and wound up on its roof. As I said before, they make roll cages for a reason! But even with a flat roof, the roll cage did its job, and there were no injuries from this fantastic crash. All in a day’s work.

SEMA Preview: Bring on the SHO!

Thursday, October 29th, 2009
As official sponsor of SEMA 2009, expect to see plenty of Ford products. The Blue Oval will be bringing customized versions of every vehicle in its lineup, from the Ford F-150 to the Focus, Edge, and Flex. Ford is making a big push to show just how customizable their vehicles are, with eight custom Mustangs on display. But Ford has other performers as well. There will be plenty of Taurus SHOs to gawk over, and Ford was kind enough to give us a preview of these exciting sedans too.

2010 Taurus SHO by Mobsteel

Mobsteel builds cars for mobsters, or at least wannabes. They got their hands on a Taurus SHO and turned it into the darkest, angriest Taurus ever conceived. This is the car Robocop should have had at his disposal. Massive 22-inch two-piece forged wheels and Air Runner struts form the basis for this slammed beast. A Magnaflow exhaust and JL Audio system give it sufficient pop and a few extra ponies. I think a better name may have been “Satan’s Sled.”

2010 Taurus SHO by MRT Direct

The MRT Direct SHO takes a more subtle course than the Mobsteel. With a vented hood and cherry-black roof, MRT lets the car speak for itself through an exhaust system upgrade. The suspension and wheels have been kicked up a notch, and the turbocharger system has been improved to increase power. Designed for comfort as well as speed, the “Best of SHO” will be hard to beat.

Ford is also bringing a bevy of turbocharged Fusions, Lincolns, trucks, and even a 500 horsepower Focus to the show, so keep an eye on PowerTV for day-by-day coverage.

Sometimes custom cars bring together odd bedfellows. On one side of this equation is Adam Carolla, car guy and comedic host of such classics as “The Man Show.” Then there are the Ring Brothers, the very proficient makers of some wild, award-winning rides, such as the 1967 Mustang fastback called “Reactor.” The two have teamed up to bring their unique vision of Ford’s Fairlane to next week’s SEMA show.

Motorator is reporting that Carolla and Ring Brothers have teamed up on a 1964 Fairlane dubbed “Afterburner.”

Photos courtesy of Ring Brothers.

Details are sketchy and scare at best, but one thing is for sure – a jet turbine isn’t strapped to the back of this car. The project progress pictures show an almost complete car, slammed to the ground, with lots of custom pieces such as the tail lights, custom cowl induction hood, side scoops, and those sleek exhaust outlets. There haven’t been many Fairlanes at SEMA in recent years, as many people focus on the Mustang, so “Afterburner” is sure to stand out.

As for what puts the burner in “Afterburner,” the only hint is the number 427 on the side of the cowl hood. An overhead shot of the engine bay shows a wide overhead cam-looking big block engine. Could this be a modern iteration of the famed 427 motor?

It would take a lot of stroking to take Ford’s modular motor up to 427 cubic inches. However, if the rest of the car is any example of the effort put into the engine, it will surely be a screamer. Look for this on the SEMA show floor next week.

Saleen to Unveil 2010 S281 Mustang at SEMA

Thursday, October 29th, 2009
Saleen Performance will unveil its 2010 version of the S281 Mustang at next week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. We recently had the opportunity to drive Saleen’s entry level 435S Mustang, and were given a sneak peak of the S281 rendering.

For more information about Saleen, visit the company’s website.

Photo Credit: Saleen

While the 435S has minimal Saleen body updates and focuses more on power and suspension, the S281 has the trademark S281 look with unique front fascia, blacked-out composite grille, Saleen hood, rocker panels, rear fascia with integral diffuser, and 20″ Saleen wheels. As with previous Saleen S281 models, the rear fascia and trunk upfit give the car that widebody look without actually changing the OE rear quarter panels.

The Saleen designers have stayed true to the design elements of past Saleen models, and have brought out some classic Mustang features like the Boss “style” grille treatment. In the rear, the split dual exhaust tips complement the vertical lines in the rear diffuser. At the 435S drive, we talked to David Byron, Saleen’s Design Director, about the S281 and can tell you he put a lot of hours into the car, in an attempt to mesh well with the 2010 Mustang update from Ford.

The 2010 Saleen S281 rendering released by Saleen does not have the trademark Saleen rear wing, but one may be in the works. The S281 model is being built in Michigan, at Saleen’s build facility, and will be available at Saleen dealers.

While we won’t know the full details until the unveiling at SEMA, we anticipate that the S281 will come with a Saleen screw-style superchager and Racecraft suspension. Power numbers from the 281 cubic inch modular engine should be in the 450 – 500 horsepower range.

The 22nd Annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show will take place from December 10-12, in sunny Orlando, Florida. PowerTV will be there to give you the inside scoop on the show, as it happens, from the North/South Building of the Orange County Convention Center.

This is the fourth year that PowerTV will be bringing you coverage and commentary on the world’s premiere get-together for all things racing. A full cadre of our staffers will be on hand to help you figure out your online marketing needs, so be sure to visit booth #3595, right around the corner from the service desk.

The 20th Annual Advanced Engineering Technology Conference will take place three days prior to PRI, from December 7-9. PowerTV is proud to sponsor this event through 2010, especially because this year’s special theme will be the “Advanced Ford Modular Performance Conference.” StangTV will bring you the chatter from industry leaders and world-famous performance experts about Ford’s Modular V8, including its development and future potential. With discussions on cylinder head design, advanced building and tuning tips for supercharged Modular motors, and unreleased information about Ford’s latest technological developments, it’s enough to make a Ford nut think Christmas just came.

Additionally, PowerTV will cover the welcome reception and all of the exclusive AETC seminars and roundtables. Some of the biggest icons in the performance automotive world will be present. It’s designed to be a relaxed atmosphere, where present and past engineering topics will be discussed with experts in the field. Also included will be a new Modular product manufacturer showcase and review, plus an insider networking cocktail party.

Of course, the “main event” is PRI, and what an event it is – over 3,500 booths featuring over 1,200 vendors and suppliers, exhibiting their wares to over 40,000 buyers from over 60 countries, in a place with one million square feet. That’s more new racing products than anywhere else on Earth – and PowerTV will tell you all about it! Think it’s too lofty a goal? Then check out what PowerTV’s roving reporters have in store for you:

• Dozens of product editorial reviews every day.
• Over 60 editorial-style product overviews to be produced for video.
• Previews of the future with the latest advances in racing products and race engineering.
• Highlights about how technology and data acquisition are making for more efficient horsepower delivery.

Since it’s a trade show, PowerTV will also give you an inside view from the buyers for the tens of thousands of racing retail stores, warehouse distribution centers, professional race engine builders and race car production companies, who will all be making their inventory decisions for 2010.

Over 450,000 racers in America – most at the grassroots level – rely on buyers to provide the best products for their local race store or race engine builder. Plus, thousands of professional race teams from all over the world send buyers to PRI, to ensure they are current with today’s race technology. This is a world that most guys on the street don’t get to experience, but PowerTV will bring it all to you, in all of its competitive splendor.

As the pace of technology is running faster than the race cars themselves, and as globalization begins to take hold on the sport, racers interested in having a competitive advantage must keep abreast of the latest offerings from the suppliers. You can count on PowerTV and our PRI coverage for positioning you at the leading edge in hardcore racing components for this rapidly evolving industry.

German Company Tweaks Focus RS to 345 Horsepower

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
The Ford Focus isn’t much of a performer in the traditional sense, at least here in the US. It doesn’t go very fast or handle exceptionally well. It is a basic people mover, Point A to Point B. In Europe, it is a whole different story, and one of the hottest hatchbacks in Europe is the Focus RS. Making 300 horsepower to the front wheels from the factory, this peppy car is just what America needs for fuel efficient fun.

Carscoop is reporting that German Tuner Loder1899 has managed to tweak the Focus RS to deliver a 15 percent bump in horsepower, with only a few minor modifications.

Images: Loder1899

The Focus RS gets its horsepower from a 2.5 liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine, derived from Volvo technology. The Borg Warner turbocharged puts out 20 psi stock, and for the most part, Loder stayed away from anything fancy with the engine. Rather, they concentrated on improving intake and exhaust flow, as well as tuning the engine to get the extra horsepower. Adding 45 ponies to this car also boosted torque output, though how much over the 325 ft-lbs stock, they don’t say.

The car was also lowered 40 mm to further improve stance and looks. They also added a set of custom 20-inch alloy rims to spiff up the exterior. The Focus RS comes equipped with the RevoKnuckle front suspension and a Quaife limited-slip differential. You almost wouldn’t know you’re driving a front-wheel drive car. Will the Focus RS make it stateside? We can only hope. It would be welcome competition to the Japanese tuners currently dominating the hatchback market.

Well the project is finished and the lights are on their way to Australia. Overall quite a quick and painless process.
This time I wanted to make sure that lights were extremely secure, and after seeing a cool HID Retrofit on an old mini and how they made an eclosure to protect the unit. With this […]

Don Bryant’s Clean ’65 Mustang

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
Don Bryant has had the Mustang since he was 17 – it was his first car. You might not know it from looking at him, but Bryant is a quiet, hard working man from Knoxville, Tennessee.

“I just kind of started hot rodding it little by little,” says the somber and serious voice of Bryant. “It’s really been my only car.” The Mustang came black when his dad gave it to him as a present, but Bryant had it sprayed turquoise almost 20 years ago. Most recently, Dustin Lee at Clyde’s Body Shop shot the car with a Turquoise Poly by DuPont.

“[The best part of the car is] just the way people have flocked to it,” says Bryant. “Regardless of whether they are a Chevy guy or whatever, most seem to like it.” Bryant recently completed his second race in a small 1/8 mile bracket racing series on the east coast, The King of the Street Series.

“We didn’t have a good show but man did we have fun down there,” Bryant said about his second try at the King of the Street Series. “We just wanted to come out to show support and let them know we’re coming next year.” He entered the KinMark, King of the Street series at Rockingham during the Holcomb 10.5 Civil Wars Shootout. It was the season ender.

He had a nitrous backfire on the rev-limiter that lost him the race in the early rounds of eliminations at Rockingham. “It’s the biggest class I’ve had to work with,” Bryant states, discussing stepping into a competitive class like the King series. He has raced on and off again for most of his life, but he has never been involved with this type of competition. “They have just been the most accommodating guys. I’ve only been there two times.” said Bryant. “They don’t make me feel like I am an outsider.”

Bryant has run the Mustang in only a few other races. He ran the three Pinks All Out shows, but with little success, making qualifying rounds but never TV time. “I guess you could say I have quite a bit [of drag racing experience],” said Bryant. “But never enough.”

He has driven for other owners and built engines for friends in his off season. You can see his name written on his valve covers, but Bryant found it too stressful to pursue engine building as his racing became more serious. Bryant used to build anything that made power with no regard to the brand, but today he sticks with Ford stuff. He works on the power train for his crew member’s car.

“I’m just kind of doing my own deal now. Just parted ways with that stuff,” said Bryant. “It was mostly when I wasn’t racing my own stuff.” Drag racing was not Bryant’s necessary initial intention with the car. He just wanted to build a cool Mustang, and he did. “Heck, I drive to work sometimes,” said Bryant. Though not too often, as he runs a C16 VP fuel that is rated at 114 octane.

Unfortunately, Bryant’s drag racing career has been on the back-burner recently; he works at the local Honda dealership selling parts. When he’s not working, he’s been caring for his mother, who has health issues. “I just don’t have the time to race like I want to. It’s hard for me to break away,” Bryant says. However he does find the time once in a while to take this ‘street car’ to the neighborhood cruise behind the local K-mart, and he sometimes participates in the occasional rod run in Pigeon Forge, TN.

There are a lot of unsung heroes of this ultra clean ’65 that have helped Bryant to make his high school car what it is today. David Gill with handled most of the fab work, Rob Urwand handles the hook-ups to the laptop and other computer tuning work, and Rick Anderson escorted Bryant to his first King of the Street run at Rockingham and handles the machining work. Finally, Rob Nockes and Don Dasha act has Bryant’s track day crew.


320ci Ford (smallest in class)
Edelbrock Victor heads and intake Pro Systems Carb

Doug Nash 5 speed with Liberty gears

Runs mid to high 5.00s on an 1/8th
Mickey Thompson 28X10.5
Tubbed chassis
Edelbrock/Steve Johnson Nitrous–180 shot and above


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