Eddie Maloney
June 23, 2017

Brett LaSala’s story starts in a garage working on his father’s hot rods at the age of 14. The first experience of wrenching he recollects was when he helped his father swap a big-block Chevy and turbo 400 transmission from a 1971 Monte Carlo to a 1977 Camaro. Brett said, “From that moment on, I knew modifying cars would always be a part of my life.” This inspired Brett to take automotive classes during his high school years as well as work at a local speed shop at night. At 16, Brett owned a 1990 F-150 as well as a Trans-Am. He quickly traded those to a neighbor for a coveted 1990 Mustang GT with a 5-speed, which also turned into his first drag car. Brett owned a few different Fox-bodies as well as a SN95 since then, but quickly realized the costs were taking a toll on him. He transitioned into racing motocross, but still owned a 2002 Ford Lightning as a transport vehicle. The years of experience he gained working with his father and the local speed shop helped shape him for his current career as a Master Technician for Mercedes Benz.

When the Gotta Have It Green color came out, there was a love/hate feeling for it in the Mustang community. Per Ford, just over 3,700 GHIG were produced in 2013, which includes all models of the car. To this day, it is one of the most sought after paint schemes due to its limited production numbers.

In 2013, Brett was beginning to catch the four-wheel inspiration again. Social media was spinning up about turbocharged coyote Mustangs and Brett knew he had to have one. He decided to sell his 2002 Lightning and began the search for a white S197 GT. Instead, he found an immaculate 2013 Gotta Have It Green ride for sale in North Carolina. “My love for green, came from racing Kawasaki dirt bikes for many years,” Brett mentioned. LaSala flew to North Carolina and the car was exactly what he wanted; a GHIG base model GT, with Brembo brakes and an automatic transmission.

In March, he attended the NMRA event at Bradenton Motorsports Park to gather ideas for his build. From then, he purchased and installed a CPR turbo kit with the goal of running 10.50s on the stock engine. After the installation of the Borg Warner S476 80/96mm billet turbo, the Mustang made 700 horsepower on the dyno. Brett exceeded his expectations by running a 10.40 his first time on stock 18 inch street tires. After some more tuning on both the engine and the driver, Brett ran a best of a 9.53 at over 147 miles per hour.

Brett’s engine bay is as clean as rolled off the show room floor. Jim Braun fabricated the amazing looking custom coolant tank/catch can assembly to keep with meticulous theme of Brett’s car.

Knowing the limitations on the stock motor and chassis, Brett decided he needed to put more work into the car. He made the move from Port Saint Lucie to the Tampa Bay area, a stronghold of fast cars and knowledgeable people. Brett beefed up the internals utilizing forged Mahle pistons and Manley H-beam rods. The heads were outfitted with Manley valves and sent off to Brett Barber, who ported and polished the cylinder heads. LaSala opted for an E85 set up and installed Triple Walbro 465 fuel pumps and a set of Injector Dynamics 1700 injectors. Once the engine was complete, Brett headed over to Sai Li Tuning, where it made 1,032 horsepower at 20 pounds of boost.

While the car was down for engine modifications, Brett decided to upgrade the rest of the drivetrain and suspension. The factory 6R80 was freshened up with Exedy stage 2 clutches, billet intermediate shafts, and a Circle D torque converter. The front suspension features BMR tubular control arms, springs, and Strange adjustable struts. The rear suspension boasts BMR springs, spherical control arms, Viking double-adjustable shocks, and a TIG Vision anti roll bar. Brett welded and braced the stock axle tubes on the rearend and installed an Eaton Truetrac.

Now it was off to the track once again, only this time with a set of Weld racing RT-S wheels and Mickey Thompson rubber out back; after a few outings, the car went 8.43 at 165 miles per hour. Notice we never mentioned anything about a roll cage? It’s pretty obvious what happened next. At that point, Brett sent the car to David Dodge at TIG Vision to install a roll cage, window net, and a five-point safety harnesses to make it legal for drag racing. While the cage was being installed, LaSala decided to take out the back seat. The rear seat delete and roll cage are the only interior modifications done to the car.

The exterior of the car, it’s pretty much as it was from the factory. The Gotta Have It Green paint sitting in the Florida sun doesn’t go unnoticed. Well that’s besides the removable Stroud parachute and custom front bumper exhaust exit by Kevin Konchan at Fablogic.

The interior is immaculate and boasts all functioning factory equipment. Interior additions include an AEM wideband gauge, NHRA certified roll cage, rear seat delete, and RJS 5-point harnesses.

To date, with a 1,200-horsepower tune, Brett’s best e.t. and mph down the quarter-mile has been 8.21 at 170 miles per hour. He has also tried his hands in competition, running NMRA True Street and the Turbo Coyote Shootout classes. Brett went on to say, “I spent countless hours on the phone with Dustin Gregory from CPR Turbo and Sai Li the tuner, getting ready to be competitive. I have so many people to thank that helped me build this car, and I vow to keep the 6R80 transmission in this car until I reach the 7-second zone.”

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