For those that know Brett, know that his Mustang is extremely close to his heart. Friends do think that he takes some twisted joy in taking the car completely apart and back together grinning maniacally while downing Monster (ok, you got me, maybe that’s just me). While some say that this kind of constant tinkering is madness, others argue it’s completely therapeutic. What we do know is that this car is 100% hand built, showcases true workmanship, countless hours of wrench time, and unyielding dedication to the chassis. Freshly back from SCCA Nationals, it was no doubt we wanted to feature “Modzilla” as our Featured Domestic for October 2015 for apexjunky’s Garage Files as we wanted to see what all went into this build.
What type of car do you have?
1999 Roush Stage II; Build #3115
A lot of people give their cars nicknames/actual names. Do you have one for the Mustang?
It’s had a few nicknames over the years, it was originally called Poison Ivy after the Batman Character, but, has taken on the name “Modzilla” ever since the built motor went in. the “mod” part of modzilla comes from the name of the Engine series used in the car. “Modular Motor” or “Mod Motor”.
Is this car your daily driver? If not what is your everyday car?
Once upon a time it was daily driver, more specifically back in 2012. In 2013 I picked up a 1992 Mazda Miata for $400 and that’s been my daily ever since!
Mod List! Let’s have it!
- MMR 600 Short Block
- MHS Stage 3 Ported Heads
- MHS Stage 4.5 Bullet Cams
- Steeda Underdrive Pullies
- Accufab Plenum
- Roush 75mm Throttle Body
- JLT Ram Air Intake
- Port Matched OEM Intake Manifold
- MMR-Moroso Oil/Air Separator
- EGR Delete
- PCV Delete
- Moroso Coolant Overflow
- Odyssey PC-680 Battery w/ aluminum mount
- FRPP 42# Injectors
- 90mm Lightning MAF
- 2004 Terminator Fuel Tank w/ Pumps
- Mac Longtube Headers
- Mac Catted H-Pipe
- Dynomax Super Turbo Side Exit Exhaust
- T45Source Dogbox T45
- Fidanza Aluminum Flywheel
- Exedy Mach 500 Clutch
- Steeda Firewall Adjuster
- Steeda Adjustable Clutch Cable
- Steeda Quick Release Quadrant
- FRPP Aluminum Driveshaft
- Welded 8.8 Axle Tubes
- 31-Spline Torsen T2-R Differential
- Ten Factory 31-Spline Axles
- Strange Differential Girdle
- FRPP 3.73 Gears
- Trick Tuners e85 Tune
- N2MB WOT Box
Chassis & Suspension:
- Maximum Motorsports K-Member
- Maximum Motorsports MM3 Front Dampers
- Maximum Motorsports Forward Offset A-Arms
- Maximum Motorsports Front Coilover Kit
- Maximum Motorsports C/C Plates
- Maximum Motorsports Strut Tower Brace
- Custom Front End Alignment for Autocross
- 2000 Cobra R Steering Rack
- Kenny Brown Adjustable Front Sway Bar
- Maximum Motorsports Solid Steering Rack Bushings
- Maximum Motorsports Bumpsteer Kit (Cycled Bumpsteer out)
- Maximum Motorsports 4-Point Roll Bar
- Spintech Subframe Connectors (Welded in and Tied to Roll Bar/Roush SFC’s)
- Roush Subframe Connectors (Welded In and tied to roll bar)
- Kenny Brown Jacking Rails
- Maximum Motorsports Rear Coilover Kit
- Maximum Motorsports Spherical MM2 Dampers
- Maximum Motorsports Race Upper Shock Mount
- Fully Torqued Racing Watts Link
- Maximum Motorsports Heavy Duty Torque Arm
- Wild Rides Battle Box Reinforcements
- Maximum Motorsports Road Race Lower Control Arms
- Kenny Brown Anti-Squat Brackets
- Maximum Motorsports Adjustable Rear Swaybar
- FTR 14″ Working Man’s Brake Kit
- Porterfield R4-S Brake Pads
- Speed Bleeder Kit
- BTM AutoSport-Bimarco Grip Seat
- G-Force 6-Point Harness
- Roush Gauge Cluster with custom mounted Autometer Oil Pressure Gauge in Cluster
- BTM AutoSport Progressive Shift Light
- Florida 5.0 Radio Delete Panels
- BTM AutoSport HVAC Delete Panel w/ AFR+OBD-II Gauge Mounts
- BTM AutoSport Passenger Airbag Delete
- MOMO Steering Hub
- NRG Quick Release v2.0
- OMP od/1990/nn Steering Wheel
- PLX DM-5 Wideband Gauge
- PLX DM-100 OBD-II Gauge
- BTM AutoSport Rearview Camera
- BTM AutoSport Shifter Relocation
- Gutted Dash, Doors, and Trunk
- Removed Sound Deadening, insulation, etc.
- Roush Stage 3 Front Bumper
- BTM AutoSport Front Splitter
- Maier Racing Rear Spoiler
- Maier Racing Fender Flares (Cut and redone by BTM AutoSport)
- Steeda Q400 Hood
- Moroso Hoods Pins
- Roush Side Skirts
- Roush Rear Valances
- Roush Side Exit Exhaust System
- FTR Tow Hook
- SCF Carbon Fiber Wiper Cowl
- Headlight Intake
- HIDmasters 6000k Foglight Kit
- Mirrored Finish Radiator Panel
- Moroso Extended Wheel Studs
- ESM-007 18×11 Wheels
- 300/650/18 Avon Tyres
Without going into too much detail (as we know no one likes to give out every secret ;)) if someone were to come to you and ask you “How can I set up my SN95 Mustang for autocross” what your answer be? Are there ‘absolute musts’ that have to be done before the car even becomes remotely competitive?
Unfortunately in autocross, since the SN95 chassis is so dated, any class below Street Modified is going to be near impossible to be competitive in. CAM-C is a great location for these cars due to the open allowances for them and the tremendous room to grow.
Realistically if you want to be competitive with these cars, the rear suspension is the first thing that needs attention. It was designed in 1978 and nothing was changed all the way through 2004 except track width. It utilizes a 4-Link Rear suspension setup (2 lower control arms and 2 angled upper control arms). In a corner those upper control arms bind and cause snap oversteer. The appropriate and most cost friendly way to resolve this is to give Maximum Motorsports a call and they’ll set you up with one of their Torque Arm and Panhard Bar combinations! This realistically will bring the grip levels in the rear potentially higher than the front. Up front, a Caster/Camber Plate Kit from Maximum Motorsports will help promote front grip as these cars love camber and they love caster!
The car started out in Street-Mod trim, but now is running C-Prepared. What made you decide to change classing?
Starting out in Street Modified wasn’t what I had in mind when I first started autocrossing. Being that the car already had a motor swap in it, I had no other place to go. Although I did win an event in Street Modified in 2013, I knew that the better class would be C-Prepared since I’d be racing against cars that were just like mine, which I saw and still see as an advantage. Not to mention the rules are little bit more open, except for aerodynamics… really bummed about that one!
You recently went to the 2015 SCCA National Championships. As probably the youngest owner of a CP car, how were you treated by the rest of the field, some of which have been racing for decades? Is this an experience you would recommend to others given the huge undertaking that you went through in order to get there and back?
Most of the people in C-Prepared that I talked to were really helpful and encouraging, especially Dick Berger, the guy has been racing in the SCCA twice as long as I’ve been alive and was the nicest guy in CP I talked to all week. I would definitely recommend the experience to anybody to go out there and race, just don’t forget WHY you’re going out there. It’s supposed to be fun, I saw way too many competitors taking it all too seriously, and at that point… why did you go?
Many manufacturers seem to support the SCCA and other grassroots racing
programs. How do you feel about Ford not offering grassroots level support (as opposed to Mazda/Subaru/Honda/etc) to the community even though they are still raced today?
It’s actually a bit of a bummer that Ford and/or Roush is not supporting the efforts of the grassroots motorsports drivers. I feel strongly if they did, there would be a lot better development in the higher ranks of racing with their products. I do however enjoy seeing Ford taking more interest in building cars for our sport. They are no longer a single dimensional company, they are supplying to the majority that want a car that can handle.
Are there any sponsors you would like to acknowledge for their assistance in getting your car to the way that it is?
Where do I even start? Working with Maximum Motorsports, specifically Mike C. and Jack H., has been a dream that I never thought was possible. Ever since my first discussion with Mike back in late 2013, we have been keen on developing the car to race amongst the best, happy to say in 2014 thanks to Mike and Jack’s help, I took the win at the San Diego National Tour event in C-Prepared and I took the Regional Points Championship in Street Unlimited.
As of this year another big time sponsor that has come on board has been Roger Kraus Racing, a tire distributor / Race shop in Northern California. Roger and Brandon Kraus both have an outrageous amount of knowledge in tire setup, car setup, and driver development. In the time I’ve talked to them, I’ve learned more than I knew in my whole career about what I’m doing behind the wheel and what my tires are trying to tell me. Not to mention they get the tires I need to me quick and at a great cost for both the Mustang and the Miata! Both of these companies are going to be what take me to the next level of driving in C-Prepared, to have them on board with me is truly a gift and I hope to have them on board for years to come!
As most of raced cars undergo continuous changes, what are the next plans for the car?
After Nationals there are an infinite amount of plans running through my mind. One of the biggest things that will be worked on is developing the tire compounds with Roger Kraus Racing to match the car’s setup as best as possible, potentially going to an even wider tire as well.
Next would be driver development, having zero instruction ever since I started autocrossing has me feeling like I have hit a plateau behind the wheel. I want to overcome the plateau and continue to progress.
After that, it’s a matter of horsepower. Being one of the lowest horsepower C-Prepared cars really took its toll at nationals. I have a Coyote block in line to build into a 650+rwhp monster; it’s just a matter of working out the kinks behind the wheel first, THEN starting to move towards making the car faster and adjusting the car’s setup to the new horsepower with the help of Maximum Motorsports and Roger Kraus Racing.
Do ever see yourself running more HPDE’s, Time Trials with NASA, or maybe Redline Time Attack instead of autocross?
I used to run a lot of open track events back in my teens, it’s honestly just not for me. As the famous Randy Pobst once said, “Road Racing is all foreplay, while autocross is pure orgasm”. I would be interested in trying out Global Time Attack events maybe eventually but fun per dollar keeps me coming back to autocross, because nowhere in the world of motorsport is there any more competitive racing than SCCA Autocross.
Do you ever see yourself building something other than your car? If so what would you want to build?
Of course, I’d like to build a house and a family one day haha. But in all honesty, I’ve been wrenching on cars before I could even drive, I don’t think I’ll ever end up building anything other than cars. Once the mustang is “done”, the miata will be the next focus and so on and so forth.
Take a ride with Brett Modzilla!
Follow Brett on Social Media
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BTMAutoSport
Instagram – @btmautosport