Inspiration Behind the Mustang RTR
VGJR: For me, I chose to jump in a Mustang. You know, our sport has always been import-dominated. Obviously, it started in Japan. For me, I just wanted to do something different, and bring some American muscle into this world. You know, I wasn't a Mustang guy growing up. I started in that 240SX. I just didn't want a Mustang, I wanted something different than what my parents had had. I was part of that scene that was almost like ... rebelling, and not accepting of American cars at that time.
"When I first drove the Mustang in 2005, when we decided to campaign one, I just fell in love with it. Over the years, I just kind of fell in love with the scene, and what Mustang represented. One thing that I didn't love about Mustang was that I kind of felt like the aftermarket styling of cars had gotten too traditional. There wasn't a lot of options for someone like me, from my generation, where I came from, that was appealing to me in the aftermarket. The base car was cool, and there were plenty of performance options, but aesthetically, it just seemed like everybody was doing the same things from the '60s and '70s. I just wanted to change it up. I wanted to get new eyes on the Mustang. I wanted my generation to start loving that car again.
"So, I just had these concepts in my head and worked with my designer to get them out on paper. I took influence from the things that I love of European and Japanese and American car culture, meshed them together, and ended up with what I feel is a very tasteful, aggressive car. It's crazy how far it's come, you know, to be compared to guys like Carroll Shelby is just mind-blowing to me. It's really just a project of passion. I've always been a believer that if you're passionate about what you're doing -- you know, the old cliche that "you never work a day in your life," -- it's not about money. It's just doing the things that I want to do. Fortunately, between professional drifting and building my own signature Mustang, it's worked out. And I get to have fun doing it.
"I definitely would be lying if I said I wasn't living the dream. Don't get me wrong; a lot of people see all the glitz and the glamour, but there's no doubt that when I'm not having fun in cars, and traveling, and doing what seems to be the fun stuff, I'm still behind a computer 12 to 15 hours a day, hammering on the business end. It's definitely a lot more insane than I ever thought it would be, being a pro driver, but I love it. I wouldn't trade it for anything."