Horse Sense: "...be persistent. Persistence is the key. Just never stop believing in your dream." - Deborah Aquila, casting director for the big-screen version of Steven King's The Mist and several other major motion pictures.
One thing that never ceases to amaze us is the impact the Internet has on the late-model Mustang hobby and lifestyle that consumes so many of us. Thanks to the 'Stang-specific Web sites and message forums that serve as ports-of-call for like-minded voyagers in cyberspace, thousands of late-model Mustang enthusiasts are able to "meet" and communicate about their favorite ride, and in some instances, develop sincere friendships along the way.
Vinny "Vinny5oh" Changet was the type of 'Stangbanger with whom establishing true friendship was easy. As is the case for many of us, he always had his mind on something that pertained to modifying or racing a 'Stang. He shared his thoughts and insights with the rest of the 'Stang Nation through message forums on Hardcore50.com, the NMRA's Web site, and especially on Stanbangerz.com-the Internet home for a Cincinnati-area Mustang club, which Vinny played an integral role in building.
It's through the Internet that your tech editor established a friendship with Vinny many years ago, when both hard-core 'Stangbangers were in the initial stages of building radical Mustangs-Vinny's, a twin-turbocharged, show-quality, True Street '91 GT; and KJ's, a fast Drag Radial '90 LX. The Net allowed us to communicate about the progress of our projects-sharing information and advice, and offering encouragement whenever the going got tough. Vinny's motivation for building an ultimate street 'Stang was also fueled by his cousin, Gregg Changet, whose '92 GT was featured in a magazine.
While an e-mail or instant message of encouragement is one form of motivation for a Mustang build, we're sure that seeing a close relative's Pony in a major magazine puts a boost in a 'Stang nut's get-it-done attitude. "From that point on, he was really on a mission," Gregg says. "Vinny wanted to build a car that would go as fast as he could afford to go and beat mine in performance and appearance. He also wanted to make a lot of friends in the Mustang community, which he did through Stangbangerz.com and other Mustang forums."
Thanks to the mini-tubs, the...
Thanks to the mini-tubs, the Mickey Thompson ET Street rear tires sit neatly inside the wicked 'Stang's fenderwells. Weld's 15-inch Aluma Star drag wheels adorn each corner.
The build process took a lot longer than Vinny anticipated-he initially forecast two years for completing his GT. The Prowler Orange '91 'Stang of beauty with gray and gold accents you see on these pages was finally finished just prior to the start of the '07 Mustang racing season. It took six years of hard work, with help from Vinny's wife, Holly, his daughter, Amanda, he cousin, Gregg, and the many fellow 'Stang loyalists Vinny befriended through the Internet-including your tech editor.
In February 2007, a massive heart attack tragically took Vinny away from us before he was able to publicly debut his completed Mustang. Vinny was a true friend and a hard-core Mustang enthusiast. Thanks to the Internet, it's safe to say that nearly every member of our worldwide 'Stang Nation either knew him or had some level of awareness of his project.
Shortly after Vinny's passing, we learned that his plan was to show and race Twisted Twins at NMRA events, hoping Editor Turner would see the insane 'Stang and deem it worthy of a feature in 5.0&SF. There's no doubt that this twin-turbocharged sickness is beyond worthy.
It's our pleasure to honor Vinny's wish with this story on Twisted Twins. Our fallen friend's GT is, without question, a shining example of all the good that comes from hard work, dedication, and perseverance.
With its ladder-bar rear suspension,...
With its ladder-bar rear suspension, Twisted Twins relies on coilover rear shocks for support, along with subframe connectors and an antiroll bar to ensure square launches. Forgoing a 9-inch rearend, Vinny instead had a fortified 8.8 built for his project. The welded housing is filled with Strange 35-spline axles and 3.73 gears, controlled by a Detroit Locker differential.
Since Vinny planned to compete...
Since Vinny planned to compete with Twisted Twins in NMRA's True Street and similar cruise-type categories, he outfitted the cockpit appropriately with a perfect mix of race car and street car equipment. Interior highlights include a highly coveted factory black dashboard, door panels and carpet, Corbeau seats, Auto Meter instruments, and an Innovative boost controller. The B&M Pro Bandit shifter handles the one-two punch of the Performance Automatic Powerglide tranny that sits below it.
Street-car influences aren't...
Street-car influences aren't lost in the race-car hatch area, as OEM interior panels and carpet coexist perfectly with the GT's Rigid Race Cars 10-point rollcage and mini-tubs by legendary Outlaw 'Stang racer Gary Rohe. The big fuel cell is further proof that Vinny was serious about wanting to be able to drive the 'Stang for 30 miles or more.
Vinny named his 'Stang "Twisted Twins" for a reason-mainly for the pair of Garrett 44mm turbochargers mounted right up front and the ported Trick Flow Twisted Wedge cylinder heads that sit atop its Dart-based 331 stroker. The engine, built by '07 NMRA Pro 5.0 champion Tony Bischoff, features Eagle's forged crank and rods, as well as low-compression pistons from JE. A Spearco intercooler chills, and Trick Flow's "box" R-Series intake manifold receives the furious rush of airflow started by the custom headers feeding the turbos. MSD components provide the additional spark this bullet requires, and Aeromotive equipment serves the fuel. The engine's tune is made possible by FAST's XFI system.
Bodywork and paint were the Achilles' heel of Vinny's project. It took more than three years and three body shops (the car had to be repossessed from one shop that did Vinny wrong) to accomplish the blend of Prowler Orange and gray, with gold lightning stripes that Vinny designed, that makes Twisted Twins a real head turner. A 6-inch H.O. Fibertrends to-the-glass cowl hood covers the engine bay, and Rigid Race Cars' aluminum wing holds things down on the aft section when the turbos are at full spool during a quarter-mile blast. A parachute is in place for additional whoa power.
|5.0 Tech Specs|
|ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN||Converter|
|Bore||3.73 gearset, Detroit Locker,|
|4.030-in||Strange 35-spline axles|
|JE||SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS|
|Compression Ratio||Front Suspension|
|Trick Flow Systems Twisted||Springs|
|Wedge, ported by Tony Bischoff||N/A|
|Trick Flow Systems "Box"||N/A|
|R-Series, ported by Tony||Caster/Camber|
|N/A||Weld Alumastar, 15x31/2-in|
|Power Adder||Rear Suspension|
|Twin Garrett 44mm||Springs|
|Transmission||Weld Alumastar, 15x10-in|