Dale Amy
March 10, 2014
Photos By: Drew Phillips

Horse Sense: The Mothers Mustang RTR Spec 3 snagged the Best Domestic honors during the Gran Turismo Awards at SEMA 2012.

There can't be many of us here in gearhead land who don't have a selection of polishes, waxes, or cleaners from Mothers stashed away in our garages or trunks. Likewise, we'd bet only a scarce minority of the Stangaholics eyeballing these pages aren't at least passingly familiar with the sideways antics (not to mention the stylish Mustang RTR offerings) of drift champion, Vaughn Gittin Jr. Combine those two, and you've got a brand-recognition force to be reckoned with.

Capitalizing on that marketing power, Mothers and Vaughn came together to create this Mothers Mustang RTR Spec 3 for display in the prime real estate of Ford's own corporate booth at the 2012 SEMA show. But it's role as a show car was just the beginning: This is also a production prototype as well as a generous way to raise money for cancer research.

It all started a few years back when Mothers tagged Vaughn to rev up one of its commercials with his well-documented drifting prowess. Apparently, that spot was a hit and a relationship was formed. Then, over the 2012 show season, Mothers displayed one of his current RTR Mustangs on its big-rig show circuit. "We enjoyed displaying it as much as driving it on the Hot Rod Power Tour," Mothers' vice president, Jim Holloway, said.

This led to more conversations and, ultimately, collaboration in the creation of this Mothers Red Mustang RTR Spec 3, a follow-on variant to Vaughn's existing Spec 1 and Spec 2 RTRs, and a prototype of the production RTR Spec 3 model that officially launched in January 2014. During that same month, this one will cross the block at Barrett-Jackson's Scottsdale auction, with all proceeds going to the Barrett-Jackson Cancer Research Fund at the Translational Genomics Research Institute. In the meantime, this tricked-out coupe, which started life as a 2013 GT, will be on a year-long tour with the Mothers big-rig, so you may get to see it in the flesh before it goes on to do its charitable duty.

The Mothers RTR pops thanks to BASF R-M Onyx HD Two-Stage Candy Carizzma Waterborne Paint. Of course, some Mothers polishes and waxes brought out its full shine.
We enjoyed displaying it as much as driving it on the Hot Rod Power Tour
Save for inhaling via an FRPP/Whipple twin-screw blower and exhaling through American Racing headers, the 5.0-liter Coyote is bone stock, but is said to produce a healthy 650 hp.

To our eyes, the current Spec 1 and 2 RTRs are cool and capable packages, but the production RTR Spec 3 will be even more ready to rock on-track or off. To be specific, the Spec 3 will benefit from what sounds like a radically tunable suspension, starting off with coilovers engineered for the RTR by JRi Shocks, a company that may not be overly familiar in Mustang circles, but is prominent in nearly all forms of American motorsport. On the Spec 3, RTR is also introducing its Tactical Performance hardware line with a Watt's link rear suspension and four-way adjustable anti-roll bars. This is serious stuff from a guy who knows what he wants in a Mustang suspension.

Mothers vice president Jim Holloway was quick to take advantage of this handling prowess. Almost as soon as the coupe came off the SEMA showfloor, he had it at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada, for the Optima Batteries Ultimate Street Car Invitational, where the Spec 3's Ford Racing/Whipple blower no doubt added to the on-track excitement. A show car that goes.

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But it's not all about going fast. Mothers and Vaughn worked with various members of the aftermarket community on the project, one of which was Reus Audio, perhaps best known for its audiophile-quality Porsche, Mercedes and BMW sound systems. The system Reus engineered for the Mothers RTR Spec 3 is comprised of nine speakers driven by 540 watts, for sound quality that may well rival the performance of the car.

In summary then, what we have here is a 650hp Mustang equally at home on the show circuit, road course, autocross, or daily commute, all while destined to raise funds for a deserving medical charity. Seems like a worthy car for these pages—and your driveway if you have the loot to win its auction—don't ya think?

RTR Spec 3 (Sparco) buckets and a Reus Audio sound system headline a cabin that was upholstered by Stitchcraft Custom Interiors. An RTR rear seat delete kit makes this strictly a two-person ride.

Tech Specs: 2013 Mustang RTR

Engine and Drivetrain
Block: Stock
Crankshaft: Stock
Rods: Stock
Pistons: Stock
Camshafts: Stock
Cylinder heads: Stock
Intake manifold: FRPP
Power Adder: FRPP twin-screw supercharger, 9psi
Fuel system: Stock
Exhaust: American Racing headers w/ American Racing X-shaped crossover, and RTR/Magnaflow axle-back exhaust
Transmission: Stock six-speed manual w/ Exedy Hyper Twin clutch
Rearend: Currie axle w/ billet ends, FRPP 3.55 gears, and a Torsen diff

Electronics
Engine management: Stock w/ Revolution Automotive tune
Ignition: Stock
Gauges: Stock

Suspension and Chassis
Front suspension
K-member: Stock
A-arms: Stock
Struts: RTR coilovers, by JRi Shocks
Springs: RTR coilovers, by JRi Shocks
Brakes: RTR
Wheels: HRE Vintage Series 501 modular three-piece, 19x10.5-in
Tires: Nitto, 275/35R-19

Rear suspension
Shocks: RTR coilovers, by JRi Shocks
Springs: RTR coilovers, by JRi Shocks
Control Arms: RTR Tactical Performance Watt's link w/ RTR Tactical Performance four-way adjustable antiroll bar and Whiteline bushings
Brakes: RTR
Wheels: HRE Vintage Series 501 modular three-piece, 19x11.5-in
Tires: Nitto, 335/30R-19