Power in the hands of ARE
With its flared fenders and racing stripes, the American Racer looked ready for some hot laps, but it first needed some go along with the show. The solution came in the form of a race-trim Saleen Speedlab supercharger system complete with an upgraded fuel system. With the added boost, the Three-Valve puts out a tire-shredding 493 rwhp and 447 rwtq. For good measure, a nitrous system from Nitrous Express has been set up to work with the supercharger. Other performance modifications include a MagnaFlow exhaust system complete with x-style crossover, high-flow cats, and Magnapack mufflers. A Meziere electric water pump and an Optima red-top battery also found their way underhood.
True to its inspiration, the American Racer is set up to handle like a Koni Challenge car. It has been fitted with performance lowering springs and front and rear sway bars from Progress Technology, as well as Bilstein dampers at all four corners. Braking hasn't been ignored either, and upgraded stopping power comes from a massive Saleen front big-brake kit with 15-inch two-piece rotors and six-piston calipers. Putting the power to the ground are sticky BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW tires, P275/35ZR20 front and rear.
Safe And Sexy
The cabin of the American Racer carries over the theme of the exterior and would fit right in whether on the track or at a show. For the racer, a four-point Autopower rollcage has been installed, and lightweight Cobra Misano carbon-fiber seats complete with four-point safety harnesses keep both the driver and passenger firmly in place. A triple gauge pod mounted on the A-pillar houses Auto Meter gauges that keep tabs on the nitrous system and supercharger. Speaking of the nitrous system, dual bottles have been placed on top of the custom rear-seat delete just in front of the billet "American Racing" illuminated sign. It's one of the best uses of that space we've ever seen. Other interior features include billet interior accessories from UPR and a trick Infill G4 in-dash multimedia system that is essentially a personal computer with a 250gb hard drive. The interior trim has also been painted to match the outside, one of Cenora's personal touches.
As with most SEMA projects, the American Racer was more time consuming than originally anticipated. Even Cenora, who has much experience building show cars, felt the stress of completing the car on time. "As the builder, you're always faced with delays, but you must deliver the finished product on time regardless," he says. "I believe at one point, parts of this car were scattered in eight different locations having something done. All of this while holding a full-time job. Talk about total chaos!"
Readying the car for SEMA came down to the last minute. The American Racer was finally completed at 8:30 the night before it had to be loaded on the transporter. Even then, a few final details were finished on the show floor. "I really have to thank Jason Cenora and Keith from K-Dezines for toiling over the car hours before the show opened," Millunzi says.
The hard work and last-minute details were worth the effort. "At SEMA, people loved it," Millunzi says. "I don't know how many times I had to tell admirers how the paint job was done. Then they would see how clean the overall look was, that supercharger on the engine, and fall in love." American Racer was such a hit that one man even offered to buy the car on spot. Despite being told it wasn't for sale, he later returned and asked again how much the boys would take for it.
Everyone back at American Racing loves the finished car, too. "Almost every day I have someone in my office telling me why they need the car over the weekend," Millunzi laughs.
We don't blame them! The American Racer is a Mustang we'd love to have for a few days ourselves. The only debate would be whether we'd race it or show it. Decisions, eh?