KJ Jones Senior Technical Editor
June 1, 2008
Photos By: Mike Johnson

Horse Sense: "...be persistent. Persistence is the key. Just never stop believing in your dream." - Deborah Aquila, casting director for the big-screen version of Steven King's The Mist and several other major motion pictures.

One thing that never ceases to amaze us is the impact the Internet has on the late-model Mustang hobby and lifestyle that consumes so many of us. Thanks to the 'Stang-specific Web sites and message forums that serve as ports-of-call for like-minded voyagers in cyberspace, thousands of late-model Mustang enthusiasts are able to "meet" and communicate about their favorite ride, and in some instances, develop sincere friendships along the way.

Vinny "Vinny5oh" Changet was the type of 'Stangbanger with whom establishing true friendship was easy. As is the case for many of us, he always had his mind on something that pertained to modifying or racing a 'Stang. He shared his thoughts and insights with the rest of the 'Stang Nation through message forums on Hardcore50.com, the NMRA's Web site, and especially on Stanbangerz.com-the Internet home for a Cincinnati-area Mustang club, which Vinny played an integral role in building.

"Vinny5oh" 1969-2007

It's through the Internet that your tech editor established a friendship with Vinny many years ago, when both hard-core 'Stangbangers were in the initial stages of building radical Mustangs-Vinny's, a twin-turbocharged, show-quality, True Street '91 GT; and KJ's, a fast Drag Radial '90 LX. The Net allowed us to communicate about the progress of our projects-sharing information and advice, and offering encouragement whenever the going got tough. Vinny's motivation for building an ultimate street 'Stang was also fueled by his cousin, Gregg Changet, whose '92 GT was featured in a magazine.

While an e-mail or instant message of encouragement is one form of motivation for a Mustang build, we're sure that seeing a close relative's Pony in a major magazine puts a boost in a 'Stang nut's get-it-done attitude. "From that point on, he was really on a mission," Gregg says. "Vinny wanted to build a car that would go as fast as he could afford to go and beat mine in performance and appearance. He also wanted to make a lot of friends in the Mustang community, which he did through Stangbangerz.com and other Mustang forums."

Thanks to the mini-tubs, the Mickey Thompson ET Street rear tires sit neatly inside the wicked 'Stang's fenderwells. Weld's 15-inch Aluma Star drag wheels adorn each corner.

The build process took a lot longer than Vinny anticipated-he initially forecast two years for completing his GT. The Prowler Orange '91 'Stang of beauty with gray and gold accents you see on these pages was finally finished just prior to the start of the '07 Mustang racing season. It took six years of hard work, with help from Vinny's wife, Holly, his daughter, Amanda, he cousin, Gregg, and the many fellow 'Stang loyalists Vinny befriended through the Internet-including your tech editor.

In February 2007, a massive heart attack tragically took Vinny away from us before he was able to publicly debut his completed Mustang. Vinny was a true friend and a hard-core Mustang enthusiast. Thanks to the Internet, it's safe to say that nearly every member of our worldwide 'Stang Nation either knew him or had some level of awareness of his project.

Shortly after Vinny's passing, we learned that his plan was to show and race Twisted Twins at NMRA events, hoping Editor Turner would see the insane 'Stang and deem it worthy of a feature in 5.0&SF. There's no doubt that this twin-turbocharged sickness is beyond worthy.

It's our pleasure to honor Vinny's wish with this story on Twisted Twins. Our fallen friend's GT is, without question, a shining example of all the good that comes from hard work, dedication, and perseverance.