Not Your Typical Drift Car – 2011 SEMA Show
Drift champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. talks to MSN Autos about his new '69 Mustang RTR-X.
2010 Formula D champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. announced his presence at the 2011 SEMA Show in spectacular fashion yesterday. In front of a packed crowd, the self-taught professional drift racer slid his slick-looking '69 Mustang RTR-X around the makeshift drift-track setup at the Las Vegas Convention Center with tires screeching and rubber burning -- all while waving hello out of the driver’s window to excited onlookers.
Gittin built the RTR-X in association with the EA Sports’ Team Need for Speed -- yeah, the video-game guys -- with the idea to assemble a vehicle that could live in the real world but could also copied for use in virtual reality; it incorporates state-of-the-art technology while retaining a nostalgic feel.
“It’s a one-of-a-kind, fully functional street/drift machine that I can thrash in the real world, and gamers can virtual-thrash within the game,” Gittin says.
We sat down with Gittin last night to discuss the vehicle and what makes it a labor of love for him.
MSN: So what jazzes you most about the RTR-X?
Gittin: It is not a trailer queen. It was designed and built from the ground up to be driven hard. And we hope it helps spawn a new generation of Mustang fans.
MSN: What are some of the more notable features?
Gittin: The X started life as a brand-new Dynacorn '69 Ford Mustang classic body and Steen Chassis custom 3-link rear with Watts link. Now, it’s now a tasteful mixture of a classic street machine and modern performance and technology components. I don’t get to drive it as much as I’d like, but it’s a blast to thrash around in.
Under the hood is a tuned version of the Boss 302's 5.0-liter V8 that delivers about 400 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. It is coupled with Kinsler Individual Throttle Body injection, as well as a MoTeC M800 ECU. Power is transferred to the wheels by a Ford Racing Boss 302 R1 6-speed transmission. And Wilwood brakes supply the stopping power.
A custom Art Morrison front subframe coupled with a rear Maier Racing push/pull-rod cantilever suspension system allows the car to cruise the streets and be more than capable on the track at a very low ride height.
MSN: What cosmetic mods did you make? It doesn’t look like exactly like the replica body.
Gittin: Yeah, it was modified. We wanted it to look badass but also tasteful, not gaudy. We custom metal-formed rear brake ducts, shaved drips rails, flush-mounted the windows, tucked rear bumper, added Classic Design Concepts headlights and taillights, as well as Custom RTR-X carbon-fiber grille and surrounding trim and RTR-X chin spoiler and fender flares.
Inside, we gave it a Motec sport dash logger, a Stitchcraft Interiors custom interior and Sparco seats and harnesses
MSN: I know this is your personal car and won’t be available to the public, but how much did it cost to build?
Gittin: I lost count. It’s definitely pricey. I would say you’d have to spend around $300K to re-create the vehicle on your own.
you would derive from the fuel.
Well, see, if you were a crack head as much as you were a gear head you would understand.
That, there is an unlimited supply of power to crack hydrogen right here in the USA.
It is called: "The State of Nevada".
What ya gotta understand is that Nevada among other things is rich in two things:
First, Nevada is super rich in water. That's right. It is just underground instead of above
Second, Nevada is super rich in geothermal energy. It has been said that the State of
Nevada sits on a huge geothermal mound that if tapped could supply the entire energy
needs of the USA for the life of the planet.
So get crackin' whipper-snapper and build a truly leading edge super car.
Now that would be impressive.
I read a science article about Hydrogen. Scientific American I believe.
Anyway, most people are aware that hydrogen is the most plentiful element in the universe.
You could get .00025 MPG burning and driftin' to your hearts delight and there would be
no environmental impact except that the exhaust would be cleaner than the fuel that passed
through the engine.
No carbon build-up. No oil changes. No rebuilds between races.
Now, I enjoy cars and the imagination that goes into building your own car.
In my younger days, I owned a '69 Camaro SS that I worked tirelessly on and loved it.
The cops loved it too. Isn't that what driver school is for?
Well, the point being is: Car builders are the true leading edge of the automotive world.
My point is: if you put the same amount of research and development into burning hydrogen
as you did a petroleum car, you would truly lead the pack and even the most stiff-necked
environmentalist would have to take a bow.
Start building high performance hydrogen burning cars. You would truly have something
petroleum car, you would be truly leading the pack.
In other words, the real "Eco-Boost" engine Ford should have made.
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