Tom Wilson
April 1, 2008
Photos By: E. John Thawley III
Plenty of work, both mechanical and driving, takes place inside the Agent 47 AIX cockpit, so it has the expected race car "workshop" look. The aluminum framework atop the Kirkey seat gives a medieval vibe. Also easy to see is the Agent 47 dashboard, but it's perhaps not quite as visible as the Agent 47 carbon-fiber shift lever. It was laid out by Agent 47 to move the shifter knob back to where the driver can comfortably reach it, which is a rare thing in Mustangs since 1965. Not visible is Agent 47's rear sway-bar adjuster; there hasn't been time to hook it up yet.

Atop the trailing edge of the roof is a row of Agent 47 vortex generators. Their job is to produce vortices in the wind flow. The vortices, small horizontal tornados, organize and bend the airflow down the backside of the roof, keeping the slipstream more closely attached to the bodywork. This fills in the dead air space behind the rear window-the area that doesn't get wet when you drive down the freeway in the rain-thus reducing aerodynamic drag and increasing the rear wing's effectiveness.

The wing is not stuck up there for looks. Its mounts extend to the trunk lid, where underneath, they mate to a compact triangular, tube-steel truss on each side. The trunk lid is hinged at the front, but the back two "feet" of the trusses rest on pressure transducers, which are wired to a display in the cockpit. Thus, the rear wing/trunk lid assembly strains downward onto the transducers so Corey can read out the downforce the wing is producing at any time. It's backed up by a telltale feature that captures the highest reading should Corey's vision be otherwise engaged at the critical moment-which, let's hope, it is most of the time. It's neat, laboratory-like trickery and more technical than the method used to set the wing height in the first place. That was done by fitting an old trunk lid to the car, cutting approximately a 4-inch hole in its top, stuffing Corey underneath, then having Heath drive the car up and down the street while Corey stuck his hand and arm up into the slipstream until he could sense passing through the dead air layer and into the high-velocity slipstream. The team says the downforce reading system is useful in setting the wing angle and locating the vortex generators.

Cockpit highlights include the triangulated 'cage and the remnants of the Agent 47 inner frame. Some of this is slated for removal as a weight-saving measure since the inner frame was designed for non-'caged cars and is somewhat redundant in the pure-race chassis. The Kirkey seat is augmented with a halo frame to cradle Corey's noggin during "a big one." He also wears a HANS device in this brutally fast machine. A F.A.S.T. cool-shirt box sits on the passenger floor; Corey says the cool suit is "worth two seconds a lap" by itself because it fends off the suffocating heat.

Crowning the interior is Agent 47's instrument panel. It's a heavily dished design with plenty of acreage for instruments and switches. Corey designed it with a deep hood to reduce glare on the gauges.

So far, Agent 47 has won a couple of races, was leading the competitive Southern California NASA region AIX points chase, and broke the Infiniti track record by 4 seconds. Plans are to run as much as possible, getting Corey and the team dialed into the high-speed AIX scene, including the national championships at Mid-Ohio in September. Agent 47 is interested in stepping up its trackside support program for other American Iron racers, a further indication of this team's long-term intent for this exciting series dominated by our favorite car.

Agent 47's new A-arm front suspension is a cost-contained, bolt-in suspension for approximately $2,500. A stock SN-95 spindle is used, but the "spindle eye"-where the tie rod attaches-is cut off and reattached at a more upright angle to better accommodate the likewise more vertical spindle as located by A-arms (the stock strut frontend tilts the spindle). Camber is the only adjustment at the upper A-arm; everything else is adjustable via the lower control arm. The stock steering rack is retained, and the system is said to be one of the lightest on the market.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINStruts
BlockAgent 47 front A-arm
Iron 8.{{{200}}}-in deck 302Wheels
Cylinder HeadsKinesis 18x11-in
AFR, portedTires
DisplacementToyo, 315/30ZR-18 DOT road
331cirace
Intake ManifoldBrakes
Edelbrock Victor Jr.Baer Brake 14-in drilled and
Camshaftslotted discs, six-piston 6S
700-in-plus-lift mechanical-rollercaliper, Tilton double master
Power Addercylinders w/ balance bar
NoneRear Suspension
ExhaustSprings
Custom headers, collectors,AFCO coilover
pipesShocks
CarburetorAFCO double-adjustable
Holley Traction Device
TransmissionAgent 47 three-link w/
Tex Racing T-101 four-speedaluminum arms
RearendWheels
Speedway Engineering 9-inKinesis 18x11-in
 Tires
ELECTRONICSToyo, 315/30ZR-18 DOT road
Ignitionrace
MSD 6ALBrakes
GaugesOutlaw 12-in disc, four-piston
TR-1-NK load sensorcaliper
  
SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS 
Front Suspension 
Springs 
AFCO coilover