Car Feature>>vaughn Gittin Jr’s 2010 Mustang

No doubt you've already seen plenty of photos of Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s 2010 Ford Mustang competition drift car, but I thought could add a bit American flavor to our drifting features this month with a closer look at this unique beast. After being teased by videos earlier in the year, I couldn't wait to finally see this car in person during the Formula D Long Beach event earlier this month. The first exposure I got with the car was when JR took it out for practice on Friday morning. While drifting, the car moves more like an AE86 or Silvia than a V8-powered muscle car. A lot of this is due to JR's driving technique, but the car has also been built with an emphasis on agility. While a lot of the big engined cars in Formula D dip in and out of the throttle while drifting, JR keeps the throttle on the Mustang mashed as if he were running a 9000 rpm four cylinder instead of supercharged V8.

A bit later when I made it over the Team Falken pit to have a look at the car, I was genuinely amazed with what I saw. From a distance the car looks like a typical stock-bodied Mustang as it lacks a rear spoiler or other aero modifications, but a closer looks reveals just how thoroughly this car was put together. Like the Mustang he drove in the past (and a few of the other Team Falken drift cars), the new Mustang was built by Autosport Dynamics in Charlotte, North Carolina.

This what's responsible for the angry roar that comes out of the Mustang as it's drifting –  a supercharged Ford Racing "Aluminator" DOHC V8 that makes about 700 horsepower. Should you want to recreate this setup for yourself, you can purchase an identical Aluminator crate engine from the Ford Racing Catalog. I think it's nice that the Mustang keeps some ties to the production model, something that can't be said about some of the other factory-backed cars in Formula D…

The cockpit is 100% competition spec with a full cage, custom dash, removable steering wheel, and a pair of Sparco bucket seats – everything you need and nothing you don't. If you look closely though, you'll see a stereo mounted there under the dash. I'm sure regularly pumps out tunes from Motley Crue.

When the new Mustang drift car was first unveiled last year, like many others I doubted claims that car only weighed around 2,500 lbs. After getting a closer look at the car in Long Beach, I see no reason to doubt that figure. With the full dry carbon body and the extensive weight reduction throughout the chassis, you can see where all the excess fat was trimmed. It's actually a bit startling to look in the "trunk" and see this…

For the wheel and tire setup, there's a set of 18" HRE Comp21 wheels with Falken Azenis RT-615 tires. Some might like to see a bigger wheel and tire combo, but the 18" size performs well and I actually think the meatier sidewall fits right in with the rest of the car's looks. You can see the Wildwood brakes peeking out from behind the wheel.

In the end, everything comes together to make a car that's extremely-well engineered, very fast, and surprisingly nimble, all while managing to have it's own unique style. Throw in Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s aggressive drifting technique and you have one of the best things going in American pro drifting today.

I can't wait to see this car in action again at Road Atlanta in a few weeks.

-Mike Garrett



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that engine is beautiful! you are right, it is definitely great to see company backed cars with parts that are not COMPLETELY one off, sure makes the fans happier!


jezz i thought the saturn sky was chopped but this is crazy, he wouldnt want to tap many walls with that rear end and a few aluminum braces behimd the carbon skin


like the older (and really really old) mustang more.looking at the car doesn't make me hot or cold, the engine is nice.seeing the car drifting makes it look like it is driving around with concrete in the trunk.and the falken colour scheme had its time too. sorry to be so negative,


when i wanne see some American muscle moving around, tanaka racing comes up in my mind.


i like it better then his old car but the wheels look tiny and it should be lower


Speedhunters, do you guys read minds now? I was just watching a few videos on JR's 2010 Mustang in Japan, and lo and behold, Mike comes out with the Falken Mustang.

You, sir, have officially made me s*** my pants.


Nice to know that drifting somehow turned into fully prepped race cars and composite body panels. Good to know that normal people can still relate to pro drift cars.


I take everything I said about this car before.

It's got class.


yeah the old car looked 100times better this shit looks stock with wheels, and plus one to what ilia said


what are those holes in the front bumper for....

this car is insane.... i wish i could see it in person


so i've been wondering, is there an exact purpose for the holes in the front bumper? or is it just a "safer" place to mount a camera?


@Headbanger: Just like with some other cars, it's mainly to promote more airflow, but you know how there's reasons, then there's excuses. I think this is airflow.

@ilia and Jaime: I think the one he took to Japan looked a lot better, but I don't doubt that Vaughn's gonna shut us up later in the season.


The holes in the front bumber are there to further cool down the radiator/ engine.

Like I said, I am skeptical about the weight of the car, even after seen the trunk space.

I'd like to see what happen after Mr. Gittin taps the wall....


thats what i was thinking too, but i mean, i'm sure theres plenty of flow without it, and teh plastic/ carbon bumper adds virtually no weight for what was taken off


that trunk is totally baller.


i dont c speakers in there for that stereo lol


Thanks for the feature Mike! And thanks for the comments guys!

Just to clear up and explain a few things to you all that care.

The holes are for cooling, we found some cooling issues at our last test 2 days before the car had to leave for long beach so we did it in emergency.

The car is still coming along and you will see some changes come Atlanta. keep in mind this is the only race prepped 2010 Mustang out and we were more focused on making it work then look good. I have always been a function over form guy.

Ride height etc- You can't understand until you drive a good handling drift car like I did for the first time last year after working with ASD. Yes a slammed car can drift and be fun but not awesome! there is a time and place for slammed super gangster cars, when its time to compete I will rock a "Monster truck" if that is what works the best for my style in competition. By the way you'll notice the car is noticeably lower in drift rather then sitting hard parked. I think its funny how everyone acts like We don't know what sweet drift cars look like, if you think any FD driver looks at there car with 3 fingers of wheel gap and says that looks sweet your as insane as you think we are, It feels better then it looks and thats why we rock them that way. We are the ones throwing the car at competitors and walls around 100mph, would'nt you be more concerned how the car feels from the cockpit rather then how it looks parked?

Wheels- yea It could use some bigger ones but Falken RT-615's only go up to 18 and Im not switching to another Falken model, they rule!

With regards to the aluminum brackets and the cutout rear. It is engineered to handle hitting walls, Team Falken and ASD know my style better then to not plan for that... Those aluminum brackets are meant to break away and if I get into it real hard that frame would bend in and easily be bent back out or replaced and brackets replaced. look at the structuring of it and you will understand what I'm saying

Speakers are under the dash

ALEX- believe it....

Thanks for the support everyone, I sincerely appreciate you all.



Hey is the car Still Running on 5w20 as it says on the oil filler cap???

I doubt it bigggggg time!!


AHAHAHAHA. JR comes into the thread, rips on all the style over substance idiots and then slams all the "i can tell engineering by photos" fools.

thank u JR.


seriously awesome car JR, to match your serious skills, best car out there imo. i think the wheels look right as 18s, they suit the car. +1 to what WfanboiM said, lol


Not meant to slam just being real.

The car does indeed run 5w20 oil just as all Ford Modular Motors should.

Thanks again everyone!


The more I read Jr's articles and posts the more I get the feeling that he is a person that I would root for win or lose. Keep up the good work.


The fuck you can't have a slammed car with good handling. With all the work that went into this there is no reason you can't go lower and fix the suspension geometry.

Even time attack cars and dare I say D1 Japan cars are MUCH lower than FD cars...and they all seem to work fine. Drifting isn't just about how the car performs, it's a moving car show.

This car sucks

JR and his driving rules HARD


I cant recall how many times in the past month you guys have gotten on your knees for JR.

Yes he is a good driver, yes his Mustang is bad ass but please stop whoring it out.

I have noticed the lack of creativity the past few months here. From Antonio's countless reminders of how cool he is and how he is friends with all the top dogs in the industry.

Reviews about how the Toyota Yaris is so freaking cool!

Now is the pimping of JR and his Mustang.


Come on guys keep it real. Dont sell out too soon!


Leigh - Going lower is one of those "just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD" kind of things. It's also unnecessary, seeing as the car does just what JR wants it to do. And what's this about a "moving car show"? That's like saying that winning's not important, just as long as you look good while losing....


JR can drive, but this mustang is total weak corporate style.

"we were more focused on making it work then look good."

this is one of the things wrong with drifting in the USA.

Style and appearance should be top priority. I don't get excited looking at all the ugly cars in FD.


Leigh- If you have an idea how to engineer the car to be slammed within the rules and work well (work well meaning have good traction and be fast to keep up with the faster cars) Let me know. You might have yourself a job! Please understand good fast drift cars are pretty soft and time attack cars are much stiffer and require less weight transfer and susp. travel.

I agree, D1gp Japan cars are lower but most are not as fast on our tracks here in the states in certain sections as we are, If/when we are competing in Japan I might be able to get away with a lower car like my practice/demo car in the alabama video posted yesterday..

As far as my "make the car work rather then look good statement" You have to be a competitive person/driver to understand what that means. When you drive your ass off and can't keep up with some other drivers because of setup you want to do whatever it takes to stay on there door, Or in it for that matter!

Corporate? Absolutely I appear corporate on the track, I have great sponsors that allow me live my dream, The Falken tire. crew has been like family for 6 years. I am very proud to be out there representing there flagship scheme. Maybe one day we will decide to change it around since its been flying for so long in drifting but no rush to me.

Again, thanks for all the support and comments. Positive or negative I appreciatte them all aside from the obvious ignorant ones.


Interesting JR/ Faken is using Tein Super Racing coilovers.

There are WAY better suspension out there (Penske, Motons, Ohlins to name a few).....oh well....


"If you have an idea how to engineer the car to be slammed within the rules and work well..." tell your fancy ford racing engineers to make some dry carbon aero and fenders...bam instant cheater low

JR, no hate against you, i love your driving and DA in general...but your car is terrible


Leigh- Had we have done something like that we would be having a similar discussion about how its not really low. Halfway nice idea but not really. How would the car steer to full lock if there was a fender in the way just to look "cool"? I need you to give me some genius geometry changes within the rules to consider you for the job man!

One thing I've learned over my years of everyone sharing opinions to me, is that you will never ever please everyone. If I had a quarter for everyone that had positive comments and had to give a dollar for negative ones I'd be a rich man.

Alex-When Tein stop's meeting our performance needs we will consider switiching. They have been great for the 6 years we have rocked them. Plus the in car bump and rebound adjustment is SWEET!!!!

Once again thanks guys!, I do enjoy hearing both Love and Hate.


We get the picture..Blah..Blah..Blah...JR's car is ugly....This is old news...You have seen it before...Knowing that JR comes on here regularly just shows you are haters! Move on with your lives...Jesus. He can out drive the whole lot of you! That's what is important....DRIVING!! Not sitting at your computer with your slammed hunk o junk in the driveway waiting to bash on corporate drift cars..When it comes down to it............Your A S S obviously has too much time on your hands....Half of you don't even drive/drift...Just JDM fanboys...LOSERS.


LOL, can we please not argue here?

Just appreciate what JR is doing in FD, doesn't matter how ugly or "corporate" his car looks I'm sure if he cares more about the car than you guys will ever do. The most important thing though is just to have fun while doing it right?


OK People, keep this a happy place please!


Kudos for JR for coming on here and answering your questions/comments and claims. I've worked with quite a few drivers on projects in the last 20 years, and the number of pro-drivers who would do that....I can count with using just my thumbs!


Something tells me, there might be another JR post around the corner;)


Thank god GOOD suspension travel has finally found it's way to drifting...


cant get enough of this car


Ok let's move on and look at the professional drift cars for the 2009 Speedhunters Awards. We've chosen cars which have impressed us in one way or another this year. Some of the candidates are new builds which were competitive right out of the