Category Archives: Enthusiast Spotlight

Enthusiast Spotlight – Denny Scott

Denny Scott is the quintessential performance vehicle enthusiast.   An IBM Systems Engineer for 30 years, he is an exacting type of individual that appreciates the finer things in life and accepts no substitutes.  A dedicated Steeda customer for over two decades, Denny not only enjoys driving his performance vehicles on the street, but he also competes in local and SCCA Autocross events with his Steeda Mustang.  As a matter of fact, he makes it a family affair by having his son and daughter race with – and sometimes against him at these events !

It all started over 40 years ago when Denny was bitten by the performance vehicle bug and began competing in a series of Solo II autocross events.  That grew into participation in a series of competition driving school lessons to hone his driving skills, and eventually various stints in the Skip Barber / SCCA Formula Ford Race Series, several Sebring 6-hour Firehawk Races, and many other competitive races and events.  Having attained a IMSA Competition Drivers License as well as a SCCA Competition License and Solo I Competition License, as well as numerous championships and records over the years, there is no doubt that he is a true sportsman when it comes to competitive driving and the lust for the sport!

With all of this competitive driving experience, Denny can be very picky about the type of vehicle he drives and also how he wants his car to perform.   Not satisfied with the turn-key performance of regular performance vehicles, Denny has for over 21 years turned to Steeda Autosports for his performance vehicle needs.  His past stable of performance vehicles over the years has included a 1968 Mustang Coupe, 1967 Shelby GT500,1991 Steeda Q (Steeda Autosports 1st  complete car by the way!), a 1993 STEEDA Q, and then his current mount, a 2008 California Special Mustang.

When it came to outfitting his 2008 California Special for optimum performance, Denny consulted with the Speed and Sales Professionals from Steeda and the end result were the following items/modifications to his ride:

  • Steeda cold-air Intake w/carbon fiber elbow
  • Steeda billet strut tower brace
  • Steeda G-Track lower brace
  • Steeda front adjustable swaybar
  • Steeda front swaybar mount braces
  • Steeda Bump steer kit
  • Steeda X5 Balljoints
  • Steeda rear lower aluminum trailing arms
  • Steeda adjustable rear upper 3rd link
  • Steeda 3-Point frame rail and torque braces
  • Steeda rear swaybar
  • Steeda ajustable panhard rod
  • Steeds billet charge motion plates
  • Steeda underdrive pulley system
  • 3.73 Gears
  • Steeda Tri-Ax shifter
  • Alumninum 1-piece driveshaft
  • Steeda Lightweight radiator support
  • Steeda 18×9.5″ & 18×10″ Ultra-Lite wheels
  • Steeda 13″ Rear brake rotors
  • Steeda Hood Struts
  • Steeda White faced gauges

Suffice to say, Denny Scott is living life in the fast lane with Steeda Autosports !

SteedaSpeed Matters

Enthusiast Spotlight: Chris Ihara / Corral.net

As a devoted Mustang enthusiast, Chris Ihara is perhaps one of the most knowledgeable, diverse, and enthusiastic performance driving advocates in the industry today. Founder and Chief Editor of the extremely popular website: www.corral.net, his appreciation of performance driving ranges from racing his Steeda equipped 2000 Cobra Mustang racecar, running the famed “One Lap of America”, to chasing the “bad guys” in his day position with law enforcement. Chris Ihara is definitely living life in the fast lane – every day!

His great appreciation of speed and performance, seems to be genetic as his Grandfather made sure his Grandma was driving a ’65 GTO convertible, his mother fired up a ’66 GTO, and his uncle was flying the Ford colors proudly with a ’64 427 Ford AC Cobra (a REAL one!). With a performance foundation like that, it is of no surprise that in 1991 when it came time for him to get a car while in college – it had to be everyone’s favorite, a Mustang.

After much searching, he found a perfect candidate, a used ’87 Mustang GT (Midnight Shadow Blue with Titanium lower accents, T-tops, 60k miles) that was in excellent stock condition. The ‘Stang did not stay stock for long and it was just a short period of time until the engine received a few modifications and then Steeda subframe connectors were added to keep the chassis stiff. When extra “insurance” was needed to bring the ponies back under control a ’93 Cobra R brake kit (co-designed by Steeda) was adopted to the vehicle. Unfortunately the ’87 met its maker in 1999 when it was rear ended and totaled with over 190,000 miles of faithful highway, drag strip and road course service.

Still with the urge to keep riding the Mustang mount, Chris rounded up a brand new Laser Red ’99 Mustang GT that was a perfect candidate to quench his thirst for performance. Modified to his liking with a Steeda Tri-Ax shifter, Steeda camber caster plates, Steeda suspension braces, and other Steeda parts, the 4.6L 2V supercharged Mustang is planting down a solid 527 RWHP and is still his favorite sleeper ride to tool around in.

When it is time to go racing, Chris unloads his 2000 Mustang Cobra racecar, which is also equipped with a bevy of Steeda parts. From the mandatory Steeda Tri-Ax shifter, bump steer kit, to the famed Steeda 5-Link Suspension; Chris tells us that the 5-Link is THE main advantage he has over his competitors. He races at every available opportunity in the SCCA’s hotly contested American Sedan Series. In the car’s second year out he won the 2004 Regional Championship. Now, with free time a bit more scarce thanks to two jobs, he races when ever work schedules permit. Last year he entered 4 races and easily won 3 – not too bad for a “part time” racer with his Steeda equipped Mustang!

Chris’ other passion, the famed website: www.corral.net, began life as a hobby and a desire to further promote the Mustang brand and support others with the same passion. Originally started in April 1995 when a small website called “The SVO Pages” was about to shut down, Chris took it’s reins and launched www.corral.net. Supported by a host of all volunteer moderators, and staff “The Corral,” as everyone calls it, has a truly rich amount of information and forum exchanges that make it one of the most popular Mustang web-sites on the web today! With over 3,000 new posts daily, 4 to 5 million views every month, and over 1 million annual visitors, the Corral is definitely one of the resource tools every Mustang enthusiast should visit for valuable Mustang information.

With a diverse background of Mustang performance vehicles and the support work he does with www.corral.net, Chris Ihara is both an advocate and supporter of the Mustang hobby. Steeda Autosports wants to congratulate Chris for his many contributions that benefit all Mustang owners around the globe and also for choosing Steeda for some of his key performance parts.

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Enthusiast Spotlight: Scott Boda

Scott Boda, Steeda Autosports’ Director of Manufacturing, is a natural for the Steeda Autosports Team because of his unquenchable desire for perfection and his “need for speed”. An employee of Steeda Autosports since 1999, and a die-hard performance aficionado, Scott has worked his way up the “hard way” and is a great representative for all Ford performance enthusiasts at Steeda.

With a keen automotive sense and diligent manufacturing abilities, Scott’s driving force and leadership is a true labor of love as he practices what he preaches – for the past 12 years he races as often as possible (currently in the NMRA True Street Class), testing a variety of both production and prototype Steeda parts in real-world race conditions with his built 1990 Mustang LX.

Born in Fairfield Connecticut, Scott migrated to Boca Raton Florida 22 years ago where he graduated from Boca Raton High School and attended Florida State University with a minor in the all-out pursuit of speed.

Scott has owned a wide variety of Ford performance vehicles over the years – some for longer than others. His first car was a beautiful and equally rare 1986 Mustang V6 with T-tops that he had for only 28 days…it seams as if his love affair with that car ended prematurely when it “inadvertently met it’s final fate when it was attracted to a ditch – or that is what he told everyone! In short order he substituted another ’86 Stang and to keep the adrenalin pumping, he adding many bolt-on parts to pump up the power. That pony was later sold and replaced with a white ’89 GT that also was subjected to many performance modifications and quarter mile trips. While attending FSU, Scott’s addiction to the drag racing sport increased when he purchased a used, red 1990 Mustang LX that he has now owned for the last 12 years. It is this pony that today is his weekend warrior and also a developmental ride he uses to test his skills as well as testing many new Steeda parts at dragstrips around the country.

Not satisfied with the stock power in his Mustang (who ever is!!!), Boda has seriously upgraded his mount over the years so that today when he races in the NMRA True Street Class he is a competitive threat that bears watching. Today his pony has the following modifications:

Engine

  • 438 cubic inch Dart Block
  • CP Pistons
  • Eagle Crank and Rods
  • TFS High Ports Stage III from Bennett Racing
  • Super Victor Spyder Intake EFI
  • Custom Solid Roller from Bennett Racing
  • Kooks 2” headers
  • Dr. Gas 3” X pipe
  • Mac 3” exhaust
  • 42lb injectors
  • Complete Aeromotive Fuel system
  • Nitrous Express Plate system (100hp)
  • NOS NOSsle direct port (200hp)

Transmission

  • C4 Transmission from PA Racing

Suspension/Chassis

  • QA1 K-member
  • Steeda Coil overs
  • Steeda Camber Plates
  • Steeda Bump steer kit
  • Flaming River rack
  • Steeda Tokico 5 way Drag Struts
  • Steeda Power slot rotors
  • Steeda Hawk Brake pads
  • Steeda Caliber guide sleeves
  • Steeda Double adjustable uppers
  • Steeda Weight jacker lowers
  • Steeda Street anti roll bar
  • 3.73 Ford Racing gears
  • Lakewood 50/50 shocks

Tires

  • Nitto 325/50/15 Drag Radials

At the recent NMRA opening event in Bradenton Florida, Scott, testing a new suspension settings that were set to bury the power directly to the asphalt, was able to bang the fastest 60’ time in his class – a smoking 1.323 beating all 106 other competitors in his class in the critical launch phase of the race – a true indication that his ride is really hooking up and launching hard. His mildly prepared 702 hp engine was able to propel him to the traps in 9.16 seconds at 147mph – not bad for a former grocery getter Mustang that is his “baby” today! In subsequent testing, Scott has been able to improve his time to a personal best of 9.07 – a very respectable time for the class he in in.

In addition to driving a car straight down the quarter mile, Scott also has done his fair share of time taking corners in the past in the SCCA Solo Autocross Series. So he knows quite a bit about overall vehicle handling and performance. Call it a “Balance of Power”: Blasting down the quarter mile or throwing himself around corners at blazing speeds, Scott Boda, Steeda’s Director of Manufacturing, combines both work and pleasure in the pursuit of life in the fast lane!

If drag racing sounds interesting to you as a spectator or as a participant, Scott highly recommends checking out all of the great NMRA Drag Racing events at: http://www.nmraracing.com/steeda

SteedaSpeed Matters

Enthusiast Spotlight: Dario Orlando

Born into an automotive family that traces it’s roots to back to the very early years of the Ford Motor Company, it was only natural that Dario Orlando’s destiny would eventually lead him to build upon the great automotive inspiration his family bestowed upon him.

Dario Domenico Orlando was born to parents Domenico and Alice Orlando at Mount Carmel Hospital in Detroit. Growing up in suburban Allen Park, Michigan, he solidified his roots in the automotive industry that eventually would lead to the creation of Steeda Autosports – the World’s largest exclusive producer of performance equipment for Ford Motor Company vehicles.

Today, Dario Orlando is recognized by the Senior Management of Ford Motor Company as one of the most prominent names in Mustang performance industry today (along with the likes of Dan Gurney, Carroll Shelby, Parnelli Jones, and others) stating “…..he puts his experience into turning the Mustang into a world-class sports car. Today, Florida-based Steeda’s business spans the full spectrum of Ford performance upgrades, from professional and amateur racing to new turnkey vehicle packages.”

Proof that Dario takes the pursuit of designing, engineering, and building the best parts and vehicles very seriously.

The Formative Years

Dario’s families’ association with Ford Motor Company began in the early years his grandfather – Al Valeria originally started working for Ford Motor Company in 1910 – just seven short years after Henry Ford founded The Ford Motor Company. Initially an Industrial Manufacturing Foreman, Al dedicated himself to the Blue Oval by working for 46 years and never missed a day of work – a feat that exemplifies commitment and dedication and one that is rarely equaled today. Key to his commitment to Ford Motor Company was Al’s belief that for an honest day’s pay you must do an honest day’s work.

Dario’s father – Domenico Orlando, was also deeply involved with Ford Motor Company. After initially starting as a broomsweep in the post World War II expansion of Ford, he took drafting classes at a local University and was quickly identified as a natural talent at design by Senior Ford Management. After just six months into his Ford career, Domenico’s natural talents and drive for success led him to the famed Dearborn Design Studio’s of Ford where he was soon working with other great designers on advanced vehicles. Ford Management, awe inspired by his natural design ability eventually made him a Senior Design Stylist Director working on advanced concept, production, and race cars. Eventually his unique design talents found their way on some of the greatest vehicles of their time including:

  • The original Ford Thunderbird – The famed two seat roadster that became an instant classic and one of the most coveted cars of the 1950s. Domenico designed the …
  • Mercury Polomar Concept – A two-door hardtop station wagon that featured a roof with an opening rear section. When open, the rear seat rose and a small windshield popped up allowing the passengers to see over the roof. The concept car was named in honor of Mt. Palomar Observatory in California.
  • The 1964 ½ Mustang – the original pony car can trace many of it’s interior elements including the instrument panel, gauges, and even the door handle design to the creative hand of Domenico and his drawing board.
  • The Ford GT40 Mark IV (aka: The Ford J Car) – Domenico did extensive design work in the vehicle including work to incorporate improved aerodynamics, incorporation of advanced aluminum construction techniques. Dubbed the “all-American car” and. It was this same car that Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt drove to victory at 1967 Le Mans Race.

While Domenico was designing many great cars for Ford Motor Company, he and Alice also were instilling great wisdom and character into a young Dario Orlando who himself was very eager to learn from his father and mother. Domenico and Alice always preached to Dario that in life’s journey, you need to be a risk taker and not rest on your laurels….you need to be a man of your word and do what you say…..you need to take pride in your accomplishments…..you need to be a doer and not a slacker……and most importantly, you need to maintain complete integrity in everything you do. It was this type of upbringing that provided a sound basis for the character of Dario today.

After a fulfilling career at Ford Motor Company, Domenico Orlando’s continued quest for design led him to work assignment as an Advanced Designer for Chris Craft Boats in Florida. The entire family made the move to Boca Raton, Florida to start yet another stage in their life.

It was only natural that the passion Dario’s parents had for great design, high technology, great automobiles, and aviation would eventually find it’s way into Dario’s DNA as well. No doubt, it is these life lessons that have formed the character of Dario Orlando and provided him the foundation to further solidify his quest for automotive greatness.

The Driver Called Dario Orlando

Growing up, Dario developed a passion for vehicle design, mechanical engineering, as well as a love for automobiles, especially those that maximized their performance . Thru the years, this passion eventually led to the formation of Dario’s Foreign Car Service in 1975. Based in Pompano Beach, Florida and with a business plan that provided a steady income source from the repair and performance modification of vehicles, the same business plan also provided Dario the opportunity to finance his racing efforts – and racing he did! After getting his competition license at the young age of 19, he raced everything from MGs, Datsuns, and Toyotas, and in 1977, driving a bug-eyed Sprite won the South Atlantic Race Championship. In 1979 at the young age of 22 he competed in the FIA World Challenge for Endurance Drivers by competing in the 12 Hours of Sebring and entering the 24 Hours of Daytona driving an Alfa Romero GTV. During the years of 1980 thru 1984 Dario could be found racing in the South Atlantic Road Race series where he further honed his driving skills and passion for performance vehicles by winning countless races and championships and filling his trophy case with the many awards he has received.

Dario’s stealer performance on the race track was noticed by Ford Motor Company very early into his professional career. Keenly aware of Dario’s driving skills and his unique aptitude for vehicle tuning and performance both on the track and off, Ford Motor Company hunted him down and subsequently contracted him to be a lead test driver for the development of the European/US Merkur XR4TI program. In this role, Dario worked very closely with Ford Motor Company’s top engineers from around the world in the development and refinement of the vehicle’s suspension elements and engine tuning – with the intention of creating the best possible performing vehicle possible in it’s class. This was a prelude to other future collaborations that Dario would later have with Ford Motor Company in their quest to develop performance and race vehicles. It was a relationship that still continues to grow and foster as evidenced by Dario’s obsession for creating the very best performance automobiles and parts and accessories for Ford Motor Company vehicles.

Performance driving has always been a passion for Dario, although thru the years, Dario has had a variety of “white knuckle” experiences on the racetrack. Whether it was piloting the 1999 #20 Steeda Mustang at speeds of over 180 mph on the Sebring straightaway or hitting an unseen oil patch at over 140 mph and an ensuing 360 degree spin at a Daytona race, one thing he has refined over the years is a keen ability to pursue his goals and never—ever give up. Racing is a sport that has beaten many in their pursuits of victory, but Dario can proudly claim that Steeda Autosport equipped vehicles have won more races, set more records, and claim more championships with production based Mustangs than all of his competitors combined! More than Saleen, Shelby, and Roush together can lay claim to. What else would you expect from a man that has ancestry that is connected with Ford for almost 100 years.

Today, Dario still drives performance vehicles daily. It doesn’t matter if it is a weekend race at a local track, a blast down the dragstrip, or even the occasional street match-up – you can always find Dario behind the wheel of a performance vehicle taking it to it’s limit. He personally is involved in the design, engineering, testing and evaluation of all Steeda Autosport products and vehicles, constantly providing feedback to his outstanding team of Engineers and Developers in the quest of producing the very best products possible for his customers.

Further proof that racing is his true life’s passion !

The Start of Steeda Autosports

In 1988 Dario had the idea of creating a special high performance and limited edition Mustang line of vehicles that he wanted to call the “Sebring Mustang” series – no doubt naming it after the famed racetrack he had been so successfully at. Unable to legally obtain the “Sebring” naming rights for this special vehicle project, Dario with a check in the amount of $1,400 bought the naming rights to Steeda. Formally a manufacturer of high end tennis equipment, Steeda under the direction of Dario Orlando, was about to make a huge transformation from a company associated with a racket sport, to one that would provide the foundation for the development for what has become today the World’s Largest Exclusive Manufacturer of performance equipment for Ford Motor Company vehicles.

Initially the company produced a limited variety of aftermarket performance equipment for enthusiasts as well as limited production run of niche performance Mustang vehicles. The first Steeda Mustang, a 1988 model, today still makes historic appearances at various shows and races around the country.

Thru the years, the designing, engineering and development of “best in class” performance parts at Steeda Autosports has become legendary. Nobody in the industry today can even come close to the level of perfection and performance that Steeda has instilled into the vast array of performance parts they manufacture under strict ISO 9001-2000 guidelines. With a product portfolio that has grown to include thousands of parts, Steeda has grown to be the single best source for performance parts for Ford Motor Company vehicles today.

Their collection of serialized vehicles has grown dramatically from that initial 1988 Steeda Mustang to today a portfolio that includes Steeda Mustangs, Fusions, Focus, and F-150s and will continue to grow with additional product offering in the near future as Dario is fully committed to supporting Ford Motor Company and it’s customers. Ford Motor Company has recognized Steeda Autosports as having “…..a fully engineered, super high-performance (vehicles) that can deliver Ferrari—like acceleration for only a fraction of the cost.”

Dario’s continued support of Ford Motor Company is further exemplified when in 2007, Dario announced a massive corporate expansion of Steeda Autosports that will supplement their current World Headquarters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Valdosta Georgia was chosen as the site for a 25 acre automotive complex that will initially include a 100,000 sq.ft. facility housing engineering and marketing offices, as well as additional manufacturing and warehousing facilities. Scheduled to open later in 2008, this facility will be the most modern and up-to-date aftermarket facility in the world and will include a 1.2 mile test track, brake test area, and skid pad. With varying road surfaces, the complex will be extensively used to test performance and NVH characteristics.

Further proof that Dario takes his pursuit of Ford performance very seriously and that he is fully committed to servicing Ford Motor Company’s customers and enthusiasts for their performance needs. Many people might rest on their laurels, but Dario’s never quit attitude instilled into him by his father, provides the stage for great things to happen in the future.

Epilog

Dario Orlando is a man that firmly believes in honesty and integrity in everything he does. From the mantra instilled in him from his ancestors, he has learned that honesty and integrity with yourself and others is the key to ones personal success and attainment of true happiness in life.

Often quoted as saying “You can’t buy a winning Team – you build a Team” he has chosen to surround himself with the great people at Steeda Autosports who all share the same winning attitude, integrity, and character beliefs he has so that together they can continue to pursue their mutual goals with a commitment unlike any one else.

It is no doubt that Dario Orlando, the Leader of the Team at Steeda Autosports, is a driving force in the Ford Performance world today.

Steeda Enthusiast Spotlight: Chris Parisi

Chris Parisi’s, the Current Ultra Stang World Champion in the Fun Ford Weekend Series, passion for motorsports all started in 1990 when his father, Joe Parisi, let him take his 1985 Mustang GT down the quarter mile at a Fun Ford Sunday event at Gainesville Raceway. It is a moment that Chris says he is forever thankful for because “…that’s when I fell in love with Drag Racing!”. His Dad has always been a racing fan and usually took Chris and his brother Dave to many SAAC and other race events when they were in New Jersey.

Chris Parisi’s hands on devotion to drag racing began in the early 90’s with his first race car – a 1991 Mustang 5.0 LX hatchback – that was both a daily driver as well as a weekend-warrior at the local drag-strips. Thru the years and after many trips down the quarter mile later honing his reaction time and building and refining his race cars, Chris’s won the 2000 Sportsman Track Championship and was voted Most Feared Driver by his peers!

Chris turned up the heat in the ensuing years by continuing his streak of winning many other races and clinching other championships. As an example of how obsessed Chris is with the quarter mile shootouts, he even raced his father’s F-150 tow vehicle for several seasons, winning several national events and finishing top 5 in points every year.

In 2006 Chris decided it was time to make a chase for the Fun Ford Weekend Four-Six Frenzy Championship and won it with his daily-driver, a Steeda-Powered 2003 Focus ZX3. Chris credits Steeda for his championship win stating: “…..Steeda really came thru for me with high quality – performance proven parts for my Focus. My mods included a Steeda Tri-Ax/F Short Throw Shifter, Steeda Performance Sport Springs, Steeda High Flow Fuel Rail and the Steeda Cold Air Intake….all of these parts contributed to make my Focus a terror on the dragstrip!”

Then in 2007, Chris decided to up the ante further by purchasing a Special Edition V6 Mustang Heat and make an all out chase for the Fun Ford Weekend Ultra Stang World Championship. When it came down to a final round race in Ennis, TX last September, he won and took home the series Championship.

Early in 2008 with class competition getting even tougher, Chris turned to Steeda once again for additional assistance in taking his car to the next competitive level in hopes of securing additional future championships. After talking to the Steeda Tech Specialists, he decided to add a host of Steeda performance parts to his ride including Steeda’s Strut Tower Brace, Steeda Billet Lower Control Arms & Lowering Brackets, Steeda’s Throttle Body Spacer, and Steeda Ultra Lite Lowering Springs. To plant his power to the ground, he followed the Steeda Tech Specialists’ recommendation and mounted a set of Nitto 555R’s. The end result – a Mustang that is tame enough to be driven to the track, and wild enough to bring home championships!

Chris’ plans for 2008 are to run the Gainesville Raceway point’s series and a limited schedule of the Fun Ford Weekend events, NMRA events and several NOPI events. Currently he is leading the points at Gainesville Raceway in the ¼ Mile True Street Class, Chris gives credit to Steeda Autosports stating: “Steeda’s parts give me peace and mind knowing that I can still drive my car daily and be able to drive to and from all events I want to go to without any issues! Thanks Steeda for all your help!!!”

Steeda and Nitto – The winning combination for the dragstrip today

Enthusiast Spotlight: James Ray

James Ray is an avid automotive enthusiast with a keen eye for performance. A commercial airline pilot with US Airways for the past 24 years – James is the type of individual that has a unique perceptual sense as well as knowledge of mechanics and performance – both in the air and on the ground. He is a member of the Carolina Regional Mustang Club and is actively involved with the Mustang Club of America and NASA-South East as a certified instructor with open track events from February thru October every year.

James’ love of automotive performance lust began with his ’68 Shelby GT350, and over the years has included other great cars including a 2001 Bullitt Mustang, a 2003 SVT Cobra Mustang, a Roush Stage III Mustang, and his current ride, a 2007 Steeda Q-400.

James acquired his Steeda mount in November 2006 and uses it as his daily driver as well as his track car. “I went to my local Ford Dealer, ordered the color, interior and options that I wanted, and had the car drop-shipped to Steeda’s Florida location. After Steeda worked their magic and transformed this ordinary GT into a Q-400, my wife and I flew down and made a mini-vacation out of driving it home. James adds: “…one of the things that I really like is the ability to drive to the track with my Steeda, change from street tires to track tires, tighten-up the Tokiko Struts, pull down on my 5-way harnesses, don my helmet, pull onto the track and run against full race prepared cars – and beating most of them! When the weekend is over, I can drive my track car home in the comfort of a/c while listening to my favorite CD. This past weekend, I finished 2nd in class at the opening NASA-SE event at Carolina Motorsports Park, a 14-turn, 2.3 mile road course. The only car faster was a fully prepared racecar that finished 5th overall in last years One Lap of America. I had the fastest lap-time by more than a second over every other Mustang in the field, including the American Iron Race Cars! My son Taylor finished 3rd in his class with his 2001 Steeda GT behind a pair of BMW Race cars.

We have a growing stable. One of my Students, and now good friend Jim Edwards caught the fever last year. After a few High Performance Driving School weekends, he started adding Steeda parts to his ’03 Cobra. Every time he added a part, it handled better! Well before you know it, he drove 11 hours to Pompano Beach and had them add the full Stage-IV suspension to his Cobra! Our Steeda Mustangs really turn heads in the paddock with their performance and good looks.”

James added: “At Roebling Road last year, a gentleman driving a Turbo Porsche Race Car commented that “he has seen it all – he had a Mustang pass him in a corner, A MUSTANG!” When he found out it was my daily driver he almost fell off of his chair! It is a true testament to the quality of product that comes out of Pompano Beach.”

James’ Q-400 includes the famous Steeda G-Trac Suspension System that delivers a unique ride that does not rattle your teeth – yet it deliver uncompromising performance and grip on the racetrack. “I am not only happy with the performance of the Q-400, but I am also very proud of how my car looks too! Some other cars out there are a little over-done for my taste. I’m not a Boy-Racer.” I’m not into Bling. I appreciate the tasteful, yet functional body pieces that Steeda adds to their cars. They’re real head-turners!”


A car that pushes the performance envelope needs a competent tire. James’ tire of choice? The Nitto NT01. “I have tried many different tires over the years. The NT01 offers an outstanding balance between everyday use and part-time track star. I am surprised with the grip, and pleased with the durability that this tire has to offer.”

James Ray comments “…..of all the cars I have owned, the Steeda Q-Series of Mustangs are simply the best Bang-for-the-Buck that you will find at any price.”

“One thing that I want your readers to know is that I am very pleased with the personalized service that I get from all of the folks at Steeda. After a track weekend, I will usually follow-up with the Steeda Team. They are very knowledgeable, and always take a genuine interest in how our cars have performed, as well as how we can make them better. From Dario on down, the Steeda team is a family that I am pleased to be a part of.”

From the cockpit of the Airbus, to the cockpit of his current Steeda Q-400, James has driven or flown them all – and it is obvious his Steeda has found a sweet spot in his heart.

Congratulations to James for enjoying life and for his candid comments about his Steeda Mustang!

Steeda – Passion for Performance

Steeda Enthusiast Drives Mustang 1,500 Miles For Steeda Install

Mark Graves runs a great looking Mineral Grey Mustang GT out of his home town of Ludlow, Vermont. That is approximately 1500 miles from the Steeda Autosports Campus in Pompano Beach. The distance did not deter Mark when he wanted a new Vortec supercharger and have it tuned with the exclusive Steeda Ford Motor Company SEMA Technology Transfer initiative for engine management and calibration systems.

With this technology, Steeda can make over 2,000 calibrations to the Mustang processor and meet all emission and OBDTll requirements. Mark Graves will not have to drive 3,000 miles back to Steeda to have the Mustang diagnosed, he can go to any Ford dealer in North America.

While at Steeda Mark added a number of performance and appearance items ranging from a Bullitt fuel door to a Steeda Boost Pipe for his new supercharger.  The 2003 Mustang is equipped with Steeda G-Trac suspension plus many other performance parts Mark has ordered from Steeda since he purchased the car.  Now with over 400 horsepower, we know Mark is having more fun per mile than ever before.

A True Driving Enthusiast

A true driving enthusiast, Keith Mellen flew to the Steeda Autosports Campus in Pompano Beach Florida from his home in Joliet, Illinois to take delivery of his 2006 Steeda Q convertible. Even though he is based out of Illinois, Keith saw Dean Sellers Ford, located in the Detroit suburb of Troy Michigan, on the Steeda website.

After talking to Christie Parker, the dealership’s leading salesperson and Steeda specialist he decided to order a fully loaded Steeda Q convertible, complete with the Steeda performance hood and 14″ Brembo front brakes. The Mustang GT convertible was built in late August at the Auto Alliance Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan and dropped shipped to the Steeda Campus.

The convertible is part of the first run of 2006 Mustangs being built into serialized Steeda Q cars. Upon taking delivery, Keith’s last question to Steeda New Vehicle Specialist, Mike Morella was, ” Where is the Florida Turnpike?”  ” About 1/2 mile west of here” Mike answered.  Keith put the top down, fired up his Steeda, turned west towards the turnpike to begin his drive north to Joliet, Illinois.