Maier Racing Mustang: More grip than a GT3? – /BIG MUSCLE

Maier Racing Mustang: More grip than a GT3? – /BIG MUSCLE


[MUSIC PLAYING] MIKE MUSTO: What if I told you
that bigger wasn’t always better, that bringing a knife
to a gunfight can sometimes have advantages, and that that
old adage of “talk softly and carry a big stick” is one of
those rare and beautiful quotes that you can
live your life by. Mike Maier of Maier Racing is
not an overly large man. He’s not 6′ 5″. He doesn’t weigh in
at 300 pounds. And he’s about as soft
spoken as they come– that is, of course, when you’re
not talking about cars. You see, Mike is a guy that
doesn’t really care about a car’s bling factor. Get the man talking about how
to set up a car, though, and how to make it go around a
corner at speed, and you’ll soon realize that this
mild-mannered man with the little blue Mustang has the
ability to crush any professionalism you might have
and make you make sounds like, well, this. [CAR ENGINE] MIKE MUSTO: How do you
not love this car? My name is Mike Musto. Each week I travel the country
with the goal of showcasing the best and baddest muscle
cars and hot rods around. Every car has a past and
every owner a story. Welcome to the world
of “Big Muscle.” [MUSIC PLAYING. CAR ENGINES REVVING] MIKE MUSTO: Sometimes on “Big
Muscle,” we’re fortunate enough to come across a car that
we don’t hear about but we see in person. Mike Maier of Maier Racing,
his ’66 Mustang Coupe is such a car. I’ve seen a lot of pro-touring
cars run at different events. And while always impressive,
there’s one or two that usually you’ll look at, and
you’ll be like, I’d kind of like to see that. This one, however, really
kind of hit me. I’d also seen this car run at
the Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge in 2011. I decided, well,
you know what? I’m going to give him a call and
see if he’s interested in being on the show. So first off, he
was interested. Second of all, I was allowed
to drive this thing, which is fantastic. But what I came to find out is
not only is Mike one of the nicest guys in the hobby, but
he’s a true enthusiast that cares about one thing,
winning. Everything Maier Racing builds
is about winning. It’s about doing it right. This is not some big parts house
shop that goes out and says, we’re going to order parts
from here and do this, and we’re going to order
parts from there. They make everything in house,
which nobody does anymore because, honestly, nobody really
can anymore because they don’t have the talent. However, when you have 70 years
of racing experience behind you, that lets you
learn a few things. MIKE MAIER: My dad started
it in ’69. And he Trans-Am raced
from ’69 until ’91. And he did everything from
engine mods, transmissions, rear ends, suspension,
fiberglass, posters, emblems, oil pans. We did everything,
only Mustangs. So we do make pretty much
everything here, with the exception of a few items. So if a part doesn’t
fit, that was us. If it does fit, hey,
that was us. So the fiberglass, we
hand lay everything. Any carbon fiber work,
we do it all here. Molds, here. Plugs, here. Suspension, fixtures,
everything, here. This car here, my dad
bought in ’83, ’84. It was a ’79 four cylinder
burnt orange pile. He made it into one of the very
first of what I would call pro-touring cars. He put a wide body kit on it. It had 15-10s in the back,
15-8s in the front. Back in the day, that
was pretty fat. It had a 351 Windsor
with Webers. It had a top-loader. They came with these cruddy
old little three-speed overdrives back in
the early ’80s. He put a 9-inch with a
Detroit Locker in it. He put big rear drums, big
discs in the front. This car was a bad machine
in the ’80s. And I drove it a little bit,
and I really ruined it. I just hacked on it. And I cut it up. And I did a lot of really
stupid things to it. And I ended up really
cutting it up. One day, I stripped every
panel off the thing. I pulled the motor. I bought a suspension. It wasn’t what I was
thinking it was. So this was the first car
I did suspension on wholeheartedly. I made my own struts
with a good friend of mine, Guy Ankeny. He mainly did it. I made my own rear suspension. I did my cage. That is the very first main
hoop I ever put in a car. We’ve ended up winning Nationals
with this car several times now. We’ve won a pile of races. And this is the village
bicycle. We just drive the
snot out of it. And it’s evolved to this. It’s one of the fastest
cars in the nation. MIKE MUSTO: All right. So standing next to
me is Mike Maier. And we’re talking about
your ’66 Mustang. Now, when I was at the Good
Guys Show, I was kind of enamored with the fact
that you just kind of destroyed everybody. But then when I walked by the
car, the trunk was open, and that’s what really
caught my eye. So could you explain to me about
the suspension under here and how you developed it? MIKE MAIER: Sure. MIKE MUSTO: Cool. So what do we got under here? Because this is one of the
trickest systems I think I’ve ever seen. MIKE MAIER: Well, basically
when we designed the suspension, we wanted
to be able to drive the car on the road. And if we put the coil-overs
under the floor, the shocks and springs under the floor,
we didn’t think we’d have enough travel to hit
train tracks with a coffee in your hand. So there just wasn’t
enough room. So if we move them into the
trunk, we can have all the room we wanted to have a big
stroke of shock and all that good stuff. So we can hit bumps and not
pack out the shocks. MIKE MUSTO: So it was really all
about functionality, then. MIKE MAIER: Yeah, we
just wanted to drive the car initially. It had nothing to
do with racing. MIKE MUSTO: OK. MIKE MAIER: And then we stumbled
upon the geometry and everything that went
along with it. So when we got into that, all
of a sudden we started noticing all the benefits and
all the things that we could do with it. And it just grew from there. MIKE MUSTO: So let’s move to the
front of the car, and just give me an idea of– we
obviously know the back is pretty trick. Let’s see what’s
done up front. MIKE MAIER: Contrary to belief
in the back, I really think that suspension needs
to be simple. MIKE MUSTO: OK. MIKE MAIER: We really focused
on making sure the control arms were the right geometry. Geometry’s kind of the heart of
your suspension, the angles and all that stuff. Then what compliments it is
the spring and the shock. If you don’t put good icing on
the cake, nobody’s really going to be thinking
about the cake. MIKE MUSTO: OK. MIKE MAIER: So we bought
basically the best shocks you can buy. We got JRi shocks. We’re running a great
hypercoil spring. But the big thing with that is
it just allows the geometry to be accentuated. You need to be able to control
it with all that. So we didn’t go bonkers
up here. We just kept it simple and
really good and clean. [CAR ENGINE] MIKE MUSTO: Power-wise, we’re
talking about a 302 with about 300 horsepower, four-speed
top loader. It’s carbureted and
it really is good. I mean, you can see. You roll into it, we’ve
got the power. We’ve got the brakes
to throw it in. They’re manual brakes, Wilwood
calipers, but the handling on this car is truly sublime. It’s quick-steering. You can pinch it
in, hammer out. The car’s not going to skip. It’s not going to move. What you have to do is
you have to trust it. You’ve got to trust it to
throw into the corner. Feel the tires bite. Hammer out. Put your foot on the gas. I mean, just– it’s fun. This is a slot car
for the street. I can see why Mike wins. Most ’66 Mustangs, if you’ve
ever driven one in stock condition, they’re sloppy. You have all that play
in the steering. You have all that play
in the suspension. Because that’s what it was. Mike’s managed to take this
car and really do special things with it, to the point
where I’m on a back road. I want to take this
on the track. I want to take this on the
autocross, and I want to line this sucker out. The car tells you, drive
me at ten-tenths. You know what I mean? Let me do what I was
built to do. Now, unfortunately we can only
experience a little of that today because we’re
on public roads. But I can tell you, because I’ve
been driving cars for a long time, both on the racetrack
and on the street, that this car is well built. And the stuff that these guys
preach, take it to heart, because it’s true. MIKE MAIER: Basically,
predicting what the market wants, it’s a crap shoot. When the Eleanor thing came
through, the movie happened. It just happened. And all of a sudden, everybody’s
calling you wanting parts. That was a huge help
to our company. The pro-touring scene,
I think it was great. People got tired of just looking
at their car with these big balloon tires. They wanted to wheel it. They wanted to drive it. Well, we were already driving. We’d been doing that. So a good friend of ours, Brian,
said, Mike, you’ve got to take your Mustang
out and wheel it. And that’s how we got
started in it. But what I basically figured out
with predicting the market was, to hell with the market. Do whatever you do good. And if you do something good
and it’s worth attention, it’ll bring it. And if it’s not, then,
well, you’re ass out. [CAR ENGINE] MIKE MUSTO: One of the cool
parts about first talking to Mike is Mike is not a
self-promoter by any means. You know, a lot of these guys
you’ll speak to, and it’s, me, me, me, my business, my
business, we’re better than the next guy, and you’ll
constantly hear competitors– hey, thanks for pulling
over, Mr. Volvo. Appreciate it. Thank you. [BEEP] MIKE MUSTO: Basically what he
does is he just shows up, wins, and goes home. And then he lets people kind
of go, what just happened? Why did I lose when I just spent
all this money on a car? Well, you lost because there
are other guys out there doing it better. They don’t need to talk. They just need to do. These are the doers. If you go out and you build
stuff that is this good and that can compete with their
stuff, you let me know. Right now, I haven’t found it. This car is fantastic,
and it’s fun. I want to go to a track! Oh, I want to go to a track. MIKE MAIER: My excitement is
getting dirty, laying on the ground, racing. I look back, I’m a little
irritated about missing the days when you could wear
the bubble glasses, the half-helmet, and you get out
and your face is all dirty because you were running a Lola,
and you had a big block strapped to your back. I wish I had that day. And I wish it was now, and it
was current, and it was real competition. I think, the new stuff,
hey, I’ll wheel it. I’ll drive it. I’ll set it up. But I think if there was a time
that fit me the best, it was Can-Am. It was the old indie cars where
you’d put it into a wall and you wouldn’t
come out alive. And this just matches
my style better. MIKE MUSTO: You know, I wasn’t
familiar with Maier Racing up until, I’ll be honest,
quite recently. But it wasn’t because of
their advertising. It wasn’t because of banners. And it wasn’t because
of fanfare. It was because I went to a
car show, and I saw one of their cars run. And I was so intrigued by how
well it did that I made it my business to find out who they
were and what they did. A lot of people will take their
product, and they’ll throw it in your face. And they’ll say,
we’re the best. We’re the greatest. You need to buy our stuff. When a lot of times, what you
really need to do is shut up and turn the internet off
because, at the end of the day, it’s the quiet ones that
you really should be paying attention to. MIKE MAIER: But this package
here was just something sitting in the shop. Over a couple of years, we
sat there and said– MIKE MUSTO: [LAUGHS] You said, get the [BLEEP] out of my face, fly. That’s what we said. MIKE MAIER: That thing’s
getting right there. MIKE MUSTO: [LAUGHS] MIKE MAIER: You saw it, too. MIKE MUSTO: Yeah, because
it was like– [LAUGHTER] MIKE MAIER: I feel
like an elephant. MIKE MUSTO: Welcome
to “Big Muscle.”

99 thoughts on “Maier Racing Mustang: More grip than a GT3? – /BIG MUSCLE

  1. Maier Racing is quality stuff. I ran their suspension in my '66 coupe back in the mid '90s. It was pretty simple back then, but got the job done. It was light years ahead of anything else you could buy from the aftermarket.

  2. @/drive at 3:40 there is a white 1970 coupe with a shelby rear trunk and side peices aka the rear spoiler on it. i need info on that car! my father has a 1970 coupe and its pretty nice and he always said he wanted that rear shelby duckbill on his car, but shelby never made coupes, i need to know if this is one of the parts they make in shop. or where I can purchase it for my father, any leads or links are very well appreciated

  3. You know I've never heard an auto expert (sorry dnt knw the proper term for him) drive a car such as this and almost beg to drive it on a track. Maeir must really do some great work indeed.

  4. Nope it's American so no matter what the performance numbers it can't ever compete with anything european. You can prove me wrong all day and I will just cover my ears and scream nananananana because I am incapable of ever admitting that America can do anything right…. (Total sarcasm and mocking the shit out of stuck up euro pricks who think their shit don't stink)

  5. So lets have a GREAT suspension that can handle high enough speed through corners and bench seats? Lol. Love it either way!

  6. I've watched him on good guys autocross, and that car is definitely one of the fastest on the circuit. if not THE FASTEST. one bad ass mustang! love that rear spring setup

  7. One of the most professional and informative car videos I have seen. Outstanding. Has personally influenced me to seek out Maier Racing for projects. He is the man and so is this video.

  8. lol  the bolt on his sway bar link fell out can see it on the first under car shot so wonder how much better it could handle

  9. This is like my favourite episode of big muscle, the way he talks about the car and racing you can feel that it is his life and he fucking loves it.

    More like this pls

  10. "This car was bad machine in the 80's" and then he looked at Audi racing in the 80's and tears came out of his eyes…

  11. beautiful machine : ) makes me smile . American cars have a special aura that gives them character and makes you want to name them . not the same with foreign ones .

  12. Gorgeous ride man!
    I recently purchased my aunts 68' coupe and I want to make it a "Pro – daily" it's currently all stock, straight 6, 3 speed. fully restored 5 years ago but sat at my grandparents for a few years in the weather. :'(

    Question, would that rear suspension work with air bags?

  13. Surprised the seats and wheel weren't changed. When I changed my stock Miata seat it became a whole new car

  14. americans relay believe there own shit, better grip then a gt3, not even close and I don't have to drive this crap to know it.

  15. I used to have a 66 Ford Mustang Coupe in High School and I fixed it up like a 66 Shelby GT350 Coupe. The Rear Suspension is very interesting Design, But I would like to go with a 2015+ IRS suspension in the rear…Nice Car…God Bless!

  16. no offense to mike maire. but as the other mike is driving this mustang, dont we hear a lot of noises and squeaks?? compared to the camaro blu balz?? blu balz is amazing, fast, corners and sticks, but NO NOISE FROM SUSPENSION!!

  17. I have a 69 mach1 with a full manual reverse trans . c4 3 speed. have to shift it everytime you stop or you will burn it out.. so instead of just starting off in drive  I have to go to number one then up to second and drive is the final gear.. 123 shift.. took a while to get used to..  few times I f ed up and started off in drive.. big no no..  lol

  18. That conclusion is exactly how I felt about Maier and his business. Nailed it. Even if mike still owes me a long block

  19. Man no matter what other car companies build u just have to respect American muscle they just look mean and Brutal and no other car look mean like them they all other cars looks same and They might be light and aero dynamics but muscle cars look awesome and this is coming from guy who just love Porsche and I love American muscle and sports cars and look at new camaro 1le it put shame on m3 and look at viper ACR just insane track monster

  20. the only way this thing has more grip than a GT3 is while standing still becose it weighs so much end of debate

  21. Are they running a different suspension system on this car than they sell to the public? I looked on their website and did not see the rear trick trunk coil over system set up. What good would it do to base your buying decision on watching them compete (as this guy is advocating) if they don't sell what they run at the track? Most other suspension companies like Detroit Speed, Ride Tech, etc. sell what they run. Just a thought.

  22. Some of the best device I wish people took to heart. It doesn't really matter what you do, just do it well. When you go to work, do YOUR job!

  23. I really hate being this guy especially being a ford guy but the rear suspension looks at like the double wishbone pushrod front suspension Lamborghini came out with 2 or 3 years before this was posted. I think it was based off a F1 design. Its still bad ass none the less just pointing out to those who want to see a schematic of it broken apart to try and make their own.

  24. I called Maier today to see if they thought they had any parts I could use on my '70 Maverick. They were not sure because nobody had ever asked them before. So I did some research. The Mav's leaf springs are 2 inches longer than the '70 Mustangs'. Need to do more research.

  25. The suspension this guy makes and runs in his cars prove that it works. Watched the videos of the car doing auto cross and ripping the roads up. Fantastic build quality.

  26. Maier racing is top notch. I have a coupe of their parts on my car. But, you could have gone much further in detail especially with the rear suspension. Something tells me even though this guy does all these videos he knows nothing about the mechanic's of a car. Which is perfectly find but, dont act like you do when you obviously dont. Otherwise great video. Take it how you like.

  27. They should do an update. This car has even more stuff done to it. Mike opened up his own shop seperate from the fiberglass side of the company. Mike Maier Inc

  28. Do you have anything for the Mustang II in 1978?
    I'm from Germany and I am just rebuilding a Mustang II 1978 Coupe, with an improved chassis, I would be very happy.
    with friendly greetings from Germany

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