I’m just about as shocked as you are to be witnessing a piece of American metal in pbskids—and not just any piece of metal, a freakin’ Mustang. The truth of the matter is, this battle of imports versus domestics has gone on for so many years—but why shouldn’t it? We hate Mustangs right? There’s a reason we choose to subscribe to pbskids rather than Modified Mustangs or Chevy 5.0. And there’s a reason we don’t pull up to local car meets and park next to the first Mustang we see—for that, we cannot blame you. Personally, when I hear “Mustang” I usually tend to think racing stripes, five spoke Cobra wheels, outdated styling and a bunch of other things I should probably keep to myself. But lets be real for a second; times are changing, new body styles are emerging and deep down inside, despite what your friends (or even girlfriend) might think, you know this Mustang looks exceptionally badass.
The thing is, this obviously isn’t your average run-of-the-mill Mustang. This is actually a project from one of our own, Sir Vaughn Gittin Jr. If you’re relatively-new to the scene, you’ve probably known Vaughn as the guy gettin’ squirrely in a Mustang on the Formula D circuit, but in fact, Vaughn has only recently moved over to the domestic “dark side” since 2005 or so. Initially growing up around cars and tweaking on imports, he started his career breaking the ice with a beastly S14 that was actually featured in these very pages a few years back. It wasn’t until late 2004 when the new Mustang body style was released that he instantly fell in love and began pairing with Falken Tire and Ford Racing to create his first Formula Drift Mustang. With a rich history of podium slides, lets fast forward to 2009 where the first RTR, or, Vaughn’s vision of a new generation of Mustangs, was put on paper and transformed into the monster you see today.
Attempting to blend genres and intertwine heritage, Vaughn created a production-ready 6 and 8 cylinder banger (aka the Spec-I and Spec-II RTR) to help Ford reel in a new generation of enthusiasts while continuing to provide appeal to the diehard, traditional folks. Though the Spec-III RTR on these very pages was actually a SEMA project in conjunction with Mothers for the 2012 season, it is still able to take a beating and provides a perfect example of what endless possibilities this new platform has to offer.
Starting with power, a Ford Racing blower was snapped atop the hefty, factory 5.0 V8 in addition to a set of American Racing headers and a 3" X-pipe leading directly to an RTR axle-back exhaust produced by Magnaflow. Though we’d like to include a detailed sob story of how much of a challenge it was to get this car up to a steady 650+ hp, it seems that just after a small tune from Revolution Automotive, the factory V8 handles the power like a champ and was consistently ready for a thrashing. You know that saying, “Built Ford Tough”—well, it came about for a reason, and Vaughn is living proof on a day-to-day basis: so, believe it.
Also, since the RTR platform is primarily targeted as a road race vehicle, Gittin paired up with JRi shocks and Ford Racing to personally test and develop all suspension components to ensure maximum stability and configurability. As if that wasn’t enough, Vaughn and the team elected to go with none other than a set of staggered, industry standard, three-piece HREs for a strong, yet contemporary stance.
The interior and exterior aesthetics of this project are also a great example of the dedication and soul that has been placed into this build. If you thought the exterior was some sort of vinyl wrap, you my friend, are wrong. It’s actually paint, real, one-of-a-kind paint formulated in a two-stage candy carizzma waterborne coat custom developed by BASF and the intuitive folks at Mothers. For added aggression, RTR carbon-fiber splitters and spoilers surround the body and conjoin with the unmistakable RTR carbon-fiber fender flares. While still expressing detail to the T, the interior was redone with RTR Spec-III front seats designed by Sparco along with an RTR rear seat delete kit to successfully house a rear crossbrace and rollbar.
So if you’ve ever thought to yourself, “Why in the hell is this world class Formula Drift driver still rocking a Mustang?” Well, now you know. It’s not due to some insane sponsorship or for the security of a solid paycheck, but for that fact that Vaughn Gittin Jr. truly believes in the platform, and is extremely passionate about diversifying the automotive culture, filling the void and bridging the gap between domestics and imports. Eventually, you’ll come out and admit your love for the new Ford brand. It’s ok, we won’t hate you for it; we know we have.
2013 Ford Mustang RTR Spec-III
Owner Vaughn Gittin Jr.
Location Huntington Beach, CA
Occupation Formula Drift Driver
Engine Ford 5.0L V8; Ford Racing Supercharger; American Racing 1-3/4" custom headers and 3" X-pipe; RTR axle-back exhaust by Magnaflow; K&N billet oil & air filter; Ford Racing radiator; AFCO heat exchanger Drivetrain Ford 6-speed MT; RTR carbon-fiber driveshaft; Exedy Hyper Twin Racing clutch; Currie Performance axle package w/billet housing ends; Ford Racing 3.55:1 ring and pinion and torsen differential
Engine Management Tuned by Revolution Performance
Footwork & Chassis RTR front/rear coilovers and front end shocks by JRi Shocks; RTR Tactical Performance four-way adjustable sway bars; Watts-link rear suspension; Whiteline Watts-link sway bar bushings
Brakes RTR front/rear; Ford Racing brake duct system
Wheels & Tires 19x10.5" (F), 19x11.5" (R), HRE Vintage Series 501 Modular 3-Piece wheels on 275/35-19 (F), 335/30-19 (R) Nitto tires
Exterior Mothers® Red BASF paint; RTR dry carbon roof, carbon-fiber rear splitter and fender blisters; RTR chin spoiler w/carbon-fiber splitter, rear spoiler and rear deck lid; Ford Mustang GT air extractor hood and front bumper w/RTR components; Shelby GT500 rear bumper w/RTR components
Interior RTR Spec-III front seats by Sparco and rear seat delete kit; RTR four-point Takata Racing Harness & rear crossbrace; RTR embroidered floor mats and custom serial number badging
Thanks You Special Thanks to EMI Racing of Huntington Beach and CorteX Precision Racing Technology of Sonoma, ASD Motorsports, Ford Racing and the entire RTR team, Revolution Automotive, Currie Enterprises, Exedy, HRE, Revo from Stitchcraft and Caleb Clark at Enemy to Fashion.