Meet the Competitors!

Detroit Speed’s First Ford

’66 Ford Mustang Fastback

There are an awful lot of firsts associated with this particular ’66 fastback. First and foremost, it bested all comers at our first MCOTY competition and took home the title of Muscle Car of the Year. It’s also the first in-house Ford test vehicle for Detroit Speed (DSE), and features their very first Mustang suspension system. Even the suspension itself is a first of its kind, with a cast-aluminum cradle that takes the place of the factory brackets and braces and creates an all-new pickup point for an SLA-style suspension. The world of vintage Mustangs just got a revolution.

DSE is known for testing their products prodigiously on the street, autocross, and road course before releasing them for sale to the public, and then continuing to test ad infinitum afterward to find any potential weak links after heavy hard use; and also just because DSE’s owners—Kyle and Stacey Tucker—thoroughly enjoy running their cars hard at any opportunity. True to form, this Mustang went through roughly a year and a half of development and testing before being officially unveiled to the public. Luckily, Kyle and Stacey are pretty tight with the car’s owner—the fastback actually belongs to Stacey’s dad, Ron Lyon.

Out at the MCOTY competition, the Mustang was competitive right from the start. Despite some traction issues off the line on the dragstrip, and with the suspension still tuned for autocross handling, Kyle quick shifted it to consistent 12.5s through almost all of his 10 allotted runs, finishing just barely behind Kenny Edwards and his ’66 Mustang, and YearOne with their twin-turbo ’73 Trans Am. After that though, it was the DSE show. Kyle snagged the lowest average e.t. in the speed/stop at 9.244 seconds, and ran the fastest autocross average with 51.550 seconds. There was both a GT3 Porsche and Viper on race tires in attendance, and neither could match the Mustang’s lap times. Actually, Kyle’s best run was an amazing 49-second blur, but a couple of downed cones put that run out of his top three.

Perhaps the most impressive part, however, is that once the event was all wrapped up and the awards had been handed out, Kyle hopped into the Mustang and drove it 400 miles back to Mooresville, North Carolina, without a single issue. To put that in perspective, after driving the Mustang to its limit and exhibiting stellar performance on all fronts and winning our MCOTY competition, as well as runner-up in the Goodguys Columbus autocross the previous day, Kyle stepped it up and proved how perfectly roadworthy the Mustang was. That right there, hot rodders, is the very definition of the type of car that deserves to win the title of Muscle Car of the Year.

“There was both a GT3 Porsche and Viper on race tires in attendance, and neither could match the Mustang’s lap times.”


Drag average:12.547 seconds (12.459 at 121.47 mph best)
Speed/stop average:9.244 seconds (9.180 best)
Autocross average:51.550 seconds (51.213 best)
Overall score:73.342

By the Numbers

1966 Mustang Fastback
Detroit Speed & Engineering; Mooresville, NC

Type: Roush/Yates 5.0L Coyote
Rotating assembly: Ford crank with Roush/Yates 11:1 forged pistons
Cylinder heads: Ford with porting work by Roush/Yates
Camshaft: custom grind Roush/Yates
Valvetrain: Del West valves with PSI springs
Induction: FRPP Boss 302 intake
Exhaust: Roush/Yates custom stainless steel headers
Engine management/ignition: MoTec
Output: 510 hp, 480 lb-ft of torque
Built by: Roush/Yates

Drivetrain Transmission: Rockland Standard Gear Tranzilla T56 six-speed, DSE shifter, Centerforce DYAD clutch, Dynotech 3.5-inch aluminum driveshaft
Rearend: 4-inch narrowed DSE 9-inch with Detroit Truetrac differential, Speedway Engineering axles, and 4.57 gears

Front suspension: DSE Aluma-Frame with tubular control arms, “Detroit Tuned” rack-and-pinion, remote canister double-adjustable monotube DSE/JRI aluminum coilover shocks with 400-lb/in springs, 1.5-inch splined sway bar, forged spindles
Rear suspension: DSE QuadraLink with DSE/JRI aluminum body coilover shocks with “Detroit Tuned” valving and 175-lb/in springs, Panhard rod, and 1-inch sway bar
Brakes: 14-inch rotors with Baer 6S 6-piston calipers up front, Baer 4T 4-piston in the rear
Wheels & tires: 18x9.5 and 18x11 Formula 43 with 275/35 and 315/30 Michelin Pilot Sport tires

YearOne: McQ’s Reboot

1973 Pontiac Trans Am

There must be something about dark green muscle cars and detectives: Bullitt, McQ, and even Spenser: For Hire. We don’t know what the common thread was, but all of those cars have strong followings among aficionados. For Kevin King of YearOne, it was John Wayne in a dramatic car chase in a ’73 Super Duty Trans Am that really stuck with him. That sounds cool enough, but this car was a little something different: Brewster Green, de-badged, only a small bird on the nose, Super Duty 455, and a four-speed.

Kevin is admittedly a huge F-body fan with a minor collection of notable cars brewing, and to him the perfect embodiment of a badass early second-gen TA was McQ’s ’73. Well, at least as far as looks go. Kevin had much bigger plans for the rest of the suspension and drivetrain.

The crew in YearOne’s Ghostworks Garage threw the DSE catalog at the suspension and chassis to make it a balanced handling machine, but it’s what’s lurking under the shaker that’s really eye-popping. A Chevrolet Performance Parts LS7 crate engine was force-fed a bunch of intercooled air by a pair of Turbonetics turbos to bring the power up to almost 800 at the wheels. That’s the daily driver friendly tune—it can do more.

McQ created quite a buzz at the 2011 SEMA show where it debuted, not just because of the color, but because all of the modifications were integrated so subtly that McQ strikes that perfect balance between restoration and custom. It’s impossible to not like this car.

Out at the MCOTY competition, McQ ran away from the pack in a hurry on the dragstrip, posting a best e.t. of 11.5 despite being severely traction limited. Set on kill with drag radials, it should be deep in the 10s. The story was the same with the speed/stop, where it posted a best of 9.179.

As for the real McQ Trans Am, one was obviously destroyed in filming, but we’ve heard that the second car used was later sold cheaply. Unfortunately, as the interweb rumor goes, it was destroyed while the owner was trying to evade the police. Kind of ironic, considering its past.

“For Kevin King of YearOne, it was John Wayne in a dramatic car chase in a ’73 Super Duty Trans Am that really stuck with him.”

By the Numbers

1973 Pontiac Trans Am • Kevin King/YearOne; Braselton, GA

Type: Chevrolet Performance LS7 crate engine
Rotating assembly: LS7 crank and rods with 8.5:1 Mahle forged pistons
Cylinder heads: stock LS7
Camshaft: stock LS7
Valvetrain: stock LS7
Induction: custom-fabricated Turbonetics twin-turbo system by YearOne/Ghostworks Garage
Exhaust: custom by YearOne/Ghostworks Garage
Ignition: stock LS7
Output: 780 hp to the wheels
Built by: Chevrolet Performance

Transmission: Bowler Performance 4L80E with YearOne shifter, custom driveshaft
Rearend: Moser 9-inch with limited-slip differential and 3.70 gears

Front suspension: DSE hydroformed subframe with tubular control arms, splined sway bar, Koni coilovers, and Eibach springs
Rear suspension: DSE QuadraLink with Koni coilovers and Eibach springs
Brakes: 14-inch rotors with Baer 6S 6-piston calipers, front and rear
Wheels & tires: 18x10 and 18x12 YearOne with 295/35 and 335/30 BFGoodrich KDW tires


Drag average:11.803 seconds (11.500 at 131.60 mph best)
Speed/stop average:9.267 seconds (9.179 best)
Autocross average:53.999 seconds (53.592 best)
Overall score:75.069