As the old saying goes, first impressions mean a lot. Many long-term judgments are based on initial experiences, but in this particular instance, it's the second impression that matters the most. You see, this Pony has been a labor of love for Derrin Griffin as he's watched this GT transform over the years from showroom stocker to road course shocker.
It is no surprise that people approach him after each session with, "Dude, that was some great driving." However, it is often the reply of, "That wasn't me, that was my wife," that gives them plenty to think about. Talk about putting your foot in your mouth. Vicky Griffin sure loves the look on their faces as she glances over and adjusts her tire pressures.
The Griffins have worked on their Mustang together ever since they took delivery of this '99 back in 2000. Starting with the limited modifica-tions that the SCCA rulebook allowed for Solo2 autocross, they installed every legal bolt-on imaginable to help the car handle the cones with greater ease. The Stang remained mostly stock, but Vicky wanted more. She just didn't know where to turn (pun intended.) On one hand, she was becoming rather successful at attacking the autocross, but on the flipside, she was looking for a new passion to pursue.
Then, one fateful day during an SVTOA meet at California Speedway in 2001, Vicky found her want-her passion, if you will. It was called the open track, and once the high-speed hijinks got under her skin, it was road course action from that day forward.
In transitioning from Solo2 to open track events, Vicky soon found there were no restrictive rulebooks to adhere to. No longer were specific tire sizes, suspension components, and other items dictating the way her car was to be built. As a matter of fact, she took it upon herself to have the safest, best-handling GT she could afford. Working along with Derrin, a new game plan was set, and the toolbox was opened.
Vicky Griffin has come out hard with her GT, and as she continues to perfect and modify it
As with any road course machine, the bulk of the budget was spent on the suspension and chassis. Starting with the front end, the Griffins hired the help of good friend Gian Bowles to install the Maximum Motorsports caster/camber plates, bumpsteer kit, and aluminum rack bushings. Hans Racecraft subframe connectors tie the two halves of the car together and greatly stiffen up the ride. Boxed lower control arms with Delrin bushings connect to stock spindles to the holy grail of dampers, the Koni double-adjustables. Out back, Steeda's all-encompassing 5-Link suspension kit securely locates the 8.8 rear from all angles and gets beefed up with 31-spline Superior Axles and an Eaton diff.
The suspension is only as good as the tires it uses to contact the pavement, so Nitto NT555Rs are used all around. Measuring a massive 275/35x17, they give Vicky's GT plenty of stick. Luckily, the 17x9 Cobra Rs add form to function, allowing for perfect offset on the front end despite the ginormous footprint.
With engine mods open to anything an open tracker can afford, Vicky decided to keep reliable performance a priority without sacrificing instan-taneous power. Fundamentals include Hedman Tork-Step longtubes, MagnaFlow mufflers with turndowns, a 70mm Ford Racing throttle body, and an SCT Big Air 90mm meter in front of it. Big news is the Allen Engine Development Rev II supercharger that stuffs 6 pounds of positive pressure into the otherwise stock engine at any given moment.