Hello Friends, I know it’s been entirely too long since I posted an update to the site. Truth is, in 2013 I didn’t have a whole-lot to update you on. So, instead of spending a lot of time talking about what didn’t happen last year, here’s a little bit of info about what’s going on so far This Year:
Social Media: this is a constant battle for me, as it seems like there’s just not enough time to do it all. That said, I am making a concerted-effort to be more proactive with all of the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram “stuff”. Most people didn’t even know I had and Instagram account. Kind-of forgot about it myself to tell you the truth but with a good amount of prodding from Jon, Brian, Chris and a lot of other people, at SEMA I decided to start making something of it. Jon and I had a good laugh when I finally figured out my password for my account, it turned out that I had a whole “8 Followers”! I know… pretty impressive, right? Lol…
Fast forward to today, 9-weeks later and what do you know, if you post pictures on your account, people will actually “follow” you… Who knew! So I’ve now been able to ramp-up my account with a few post to include 340 people… I thought that was pretty good. Not sure if that and a $5 bill will get me much more than a cup of coffee at Starbucks but it seems pretty cool that people are interested in where I’ve been going and what I’ve been seeing… I’ll see if I can keep it going and maybe with a little help from you, together we’ll be able to grow it to a “count number” that marketing-types will care about as I continue my quest for those ever important sponsorship-dollars….
Speaking of SEMA, it was as awesome as it always is. This time I took my Crew Chief Jon Wilburn with me and we had a lot of fun. We did a little site-seeing, saw some really cool parts, made some new friends and reconnected with folks that I don’t normally get to see face-to-face through out the year. There seemed to be a real-air of optimism at the show. People were really feeling like the worst of this downturned economy is behind us and it’s time to start making money again… Can I hear an “Amen”?
Just before Christmas, my friend Chris Rhoad and I ran up to Indy to check out the PRI Show. This was a big deal as it was the first time in many years that the show was back in the United States “Home of Speed”. The show had spent the about 6-8 years down in Orlando, Fl. This was cool for people who hate cold but it was so far for most people to go, attendance had really dropped off the past few years. Especially after another group of guys had started up their own competing show in Indy called IMIS… Well, the fine folks at SEMA decided to first, buy the PRI Show, then bought out IMIS and finally combined the two bring the real PRI Show back to Indianapolis where I think it belonged. Now true, the Indy Convention Center isn’t as big as the building down in Orlando and it was “Eskimo-Cold” up there but I can’t remember a PRI show with as many quality vendors as there were this year. We froze our “u-know what’s” off but we saw a lot of cool stuff and again, made a lot of new friends… Next year, I’ll bring earmuffs…
That brings me to today where I am sitting in the Las Vegas Airport waiting to take the Red-Eye back to NC. In an effort to try and get “lightning to strike” (i.e.: find some sponsorship), I’ve just concluded my very first CES (Consumer Electronic Show). Now I’ve been to some big events in my day but this deal, Oh My Gosh was it huge! It takes place in the same rooms as does SEMA and it was kind-of weird knowing where everything is normally at to be completely a “duck out of water” at this event. Not knowing the actual numbers, it felt like SEMA has more separate booths but these enormous electronic companies seriously throw-down in terms of size of displays. Normally Ford and GM have the big displays at SEMA and even some of the wheel and tire companies have displays with 4-8 cars in them. Everybody else has some “good size” set-ups but nothing bigger than maybe 3-4 cars… CES on the other hand…. REDONKULOUS! Some, like LG, Sony and Samsung were so big, you could actually have put a few basketball courts inside them.
I don’t have the vocabulary or the space here to express how amazing some of these displays were. Not to mention, how “Geeked-out” I was looking at all the cool stuff that I now what in my house: curved/massive/ultra-high-def/3D TV’s, Sound systems that turn any room in your house into a concert hall or movie theater, Game consoles and hand-held game systems, phones and pads galore, etc., etc., etc…. I so have a case of the wants right now…..
Really good news about all this “trade show hopping”, I was able to add a few companies to our fine list of “product sponsors” and if “all the planets align with the stars” I might even finally be able to secure some much-needed monetary sponsorship that our program so-badly needs… K, this is where everyone is supposed to cross all of your fingers and toes for us….
So what of my plans for the car might you be wondering??? Well firstly, the Mustang has been going through same MASSIVE updates these past few months. Gone is the solid rear axle in favor of a super-cool Cobra IRS and a Tiger Racing Quickchange differential. The old driveline has been upgraded with a stronger QuarterMaster Clutch. This gets backed up by a new center-shift transmission which will feed power through a Driveshaft Shop driveshaft and a pair of their pro-level axles.
The KT Engine Development power plant is all-but completely new inside and out. I kept the block, crank, rods and timing chain cover but EVERYTHING ELSE, literally has been upgraded. The old engine never did make any power past 5600rpm and the “performance window” was so small that I was constantly over-driving the car to try and make-up for it. This new combination has just about every high-revving goodie known to man so with any luck it’ll really start to sing once it gets north of 7500rmp’s.
To help with the overall power output of the motor, I’ve always wanted to try twin-turbo’s on it so through my supporters at STS Turbo Systems, I’ve entered into a relationship with a very impressive California based company called Comp Turbo. They have some amazing wheel and housing technology that we’re going to try out and I am really excited to see how fast we can get a pair of twin-turbo’s to spool up. As always, we will be doing the assembly of the new system ourselves using all the fabrication products from Vibrant Performance.
On the top-end, a new set of Fox Lake ported heads plus everything that goes in them including some custom-made Ferrea valves & Comp Cams. Capping this off is a new intake manifold, billet-aluminum elbow and throttle body. Adding to the “bling” a little bit will be some sweet new billet aluminum pulleys from Metco Motorsports, a pair of red Aeromotive fuel rails (to go with the fuel pump and regulator) all feeding down to a set DeatschWerks injectors. As they’ve done for many years, Goodridge USA will be handling all of the fluid transfer with their lines and fittings and speaking of fluids, I am very excited to have Motul joining us this year with their line of lubricants.
On the suspension side, as most of you know, I’ve been marketing my own control arms and spindles for a while now so the car will be getting the latest generation of those fitted with Aurora rod-ends. With the introduction of the Cobra IRS, the big knock on them has always been flex and wheel-hop. These issues will be put to bed with bushings and other components from Full Tilt Boogie Racing. We’ll also be adding some racecar-style swaybars and my latest product, a new billet aluminum Cobra Upright or Knuckle. This with some additional parts from The Driveshaft Shop will make mounting my Wilwood brake calipers a lot easier and give me some nice adjustability. Finishing off the rear axle will be a JRI Shocks coilover package that will help us put all the new power to the pavement.
Cosmetically, not much will change, as I’ll be sticking with the AIT Racing body-kit that I’ve run for the past few years but the graphics package is being completely revamped in a joint effort by myself, CL Designs and Dale Averille at DA1 Design. It’s going to be something completely new and I’m really excited about the direction we’re taking.
Naturally as things become more complete, I’ll be doing a better job of updating you all here and on both the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dvanzmotorsports and now on Instagram: @DougVanDenBrink so please check back soon…
2014 is going to be a fun year and I really appreciate everyone keeping an eye on how things progress…
Talk to you later,