Drivers>>vaughn Gittin Jr Blog Entry#3

WARNING!!! This should not be read by those with a weak stomach!!! 

I have been waiting for a long time to publicly tell this story and share this build to the world. Out of respect for my friends at Super Street and unwritten industry laws, I had to wait for the feature to be released before I could spill the beans. For those of you that haven't gotten the July 2008 issue of Super Street, pick it up and check out the story on my S14 – it has a bit happier ending than the following story!


I bought this car from a guy in Pennsylvania who bought it from the original owner and builder in California. The initial plan for me was to upgrade a few things, slap on some sweet wheels, put a kit on it, paint it, and use it as a practice and demo car. It was a standard S14 with an S15 front-end, a half-ass cage, brake upgrade, sr20, coilovers – all the normal things.  


I took the S15 front off and got the whole car repainted. I took it up to my shop in Baltimore, MD ( and we tore the car apart to do some of the upgrades we had planned. We came to an agreement that the initial build was just not going to be enough for us. So here I was with pretty much no choice but to build the S14 that I always dreamed of building but could never afford. We decided to build our version of the most insane S14 America has ever seen that would be fully capable of drifting for demos and competition, as well as a little time attack here and there.


We completely gutted the car, tore out the old POS cage – in fact, it would have been better to just start from a clean slate instead of backtracking. Anyway, a real cage was installed by our fabrication crew. The car was completely seam-welded and the front was tubbed to make room for some added steering angle and plus it just looked so damn sweet! Once the chassis was prepped it went off to be painted. My whole vision for this car was a tasteful red, white, and blue theme (which I feel I accomplished). Once the car was back from paint it slowly but surely started to be assembled.


After about two years from concept to completion here is the finished product. The monster was (yes, I said was) powered by a Brian Crower 2.2 liter solid lash SR20DET with right around 500 whp and weighing in at around 2400 lbs.


After a Saturday Super Street photo shoot (photos by James Pickett, the car was ready for its first full track day. I took it to Summit point in West Virginia for a Drift Practice day.


Let me tell you what a rocket ship it was. When the turbo came on, it sounded insane! I had a killer day and at the end of it all I pulled up to the trailer and looked over and saw my dad.

It was pretty cold and had been a long day. I thought to myself "I need to let my dad feel this monster I built!!" I offered my dad whom is an old school drag racer and hot rod collector to take it for a first and second gear straightaway pull. He hesitated and then decided to take me up on the offer. The crew that helped build the car  and I watched with excitement as my dad went to the start. He left the line a bit squirely, but recovered. He grabbed second gear and immediately he was sideways heading straight for the wall. The front left of the car slammed into the wall and the front-end exploded, then the rear left hit so violently the car spun and took the front right off on the return. Not only did I just watch my two-year dream explode, but my I watched as my father was getting rag-dolled in the car. I ran over to make sure he was okay and luckily he was…well, 3 broken ribs but okay for what it looked like.

The car has been parted out since and as you can see there is only some remembrance of the car hanging in the shop. I'm not trying to preach, but sometimes people forget how crazy we are with these machines we build and drive 110%. Some make it look just too easy. Please take two simple lessons from this story. No matter how good a driver you think you are, always respect a car until you get a feel for it. Most importantly, when you build an insane machine make sure you have the proper safety equipment; a good seat, quality harnesses, and a good cage are for sure what saved my dad from seriously getting hurt!

-Vaughn Gittin Jr



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That really sucks, Vaughn. Glad your Dad came out fine.


Sorry to hear about the car, but glad your dad is ok. Cars can be rebuilt - dads, not so much!!!! Thanks for sharing.


holy shit. thanks for your story


wow what a story. glad you dad came out alright.


wow, i just read the ss article and Im sad to see it destroyed. glad you Pops was ok and I cant wait till your next build!


Wow just Wow. I'm glad that your dad is ok, That sucks so bad, knowing all the hard work you put into it. I hope you guys build another one soon.



sorry to hear about the car, it was pretty good looking. sounds like it performed well too. lucky your dad was fine.


Sux about the car, but at least your pops was ok. The car can be replaced, he cant.


Man that car was sick hope to see the next build up. Glad your dad is fine. Drift ya later.


I honestly wouldn't know what to do, either kill my, or cry like a lil

I am very very sorry to hear what happen to your dream. I know how it feels, as I'm building a project myself right now, and I can only imagine what it would happen if someone trash my dream....

Best luck of you man !



Thanks for preaching about the importance of safety equipment in car building. I run a lot of drift events in WA and do tech inspection as well and it is scary how many cars are a laundry list of safety violations and crappy 5 year old beat up motorcycle helmets with all the money into the motor.

We need the top drivers to show people how important properly installed safety equipment (helmet, seat, harnesses, battery bolted down with + terminal insulated, cage, properly bolted together and maintained rig).

Do the research, spec your driver safety parts to SCCA/NASA road race standards, and never cheap out on safety gear! Get FIA/SFI certified parts only!

Your life depends on it.


I thought I saw the remains outside MA.


Man I feel your pain. all thoughs hours of labor to build the car you've always wanted, and in an instant it's gone. But like Jason D. said cars can be rebuilt dads can't.


Thanks alot for the condolences guys. This actually happened around March of this year so I was kind of over it and focused on other things until I shared the story with everyone. I have my new practice/demo mustang project and the Formula Drift season I am focused on which has taken my attention off of what was my best ever personal car build that was destroyed. Hopefully the final product of the Mustang will completely erase the s14 from my mind. My dad is fully recovered and I bust his chops a good amount now so I'm glad its something I\we can laugh about!

16 bummer on the car. A real piece of artwork. BUT, that's meaningless compared to the panic you must have felt about your father. I've watched in panic as my wife lost control of her new motorcycle, and I know the whole "screw the car/bike, is he/she ok?"

Cars are a passion, but they are just cars....a father is a million times more important. Glad he didn't get too seriously hurt.


Wow JR.... i saw the car at the shop but i guess you had already started piecing it out cause it really didnt look this bad!! Anyways, i think you learned your lesson - dad CANT drive it unless its painted flat black!!! jk. Ive yet to let him live it down :) Sorry bout the car and dad tho.


that car was insane


of course sorry bout your built to the hilt s14, but seriously fxck it because your Dad is alive and thats all that matters.


Ouch that sucks. Your dad must've felt pretty awful about it as well. Nothing good comes out of things like that.


man dude im super happy your dad was alright but as a fan i almost cryed looking at the picture of your s14. im a huge fan and supporter of drift alliance and i follow what you and your team do and i did get that issue off super street and was impressed with what you did and want to do the about the same things to my s13 hatch im in the process of "trying" to build but happily your dads ok rip the s14 and good luck with your next build '



dawm sucks for the car but your dad is fine thats the most important thing!


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