Enthusiast Spotlight: Chris Ihara / Corral.net
As a devoted Mustang enthusiast, Chris Ihara is perhaps one of the most knowledgeable, diverse, and enthusiastic performance driving advocates in the industry today. Founder and Chief Editor of the extremely popular website: www.corral.net, his appreciation of performance driving ranges from racing his Steeda equipped 2000 Cobra Mustang racecar, running the famed “One Lap of America”, to chasing the “bad guys” in his day position with law enforcement. Chris Ihara is definitely living life in the fast lane – every day!
His great appreciation of speed and performance, seems to be genetic as his Grandfather made sure his Grandma was driving a ’65 GTO convertible, his mother fired up a ’66 GTO, and his uncle was flying the Ford colors proudly with a ’64 427 Ford AC Cobra (a REAL one!). With a performance foundation like that, it is of no surprise that in 1991 when it came time for him to get a car while in college – it had to be everyone’s favorite, a Mustang.
After much searching, he found a perfect candidate, a used ’87 Mustang GT (Midnight Shadow Blue with Titanium lower accents, T-tops, 60k miles) that was in excellent stock condition. The ‘Stang did not stay stock for long and it was just a short period of time until the engine received a few modifications and then Steeda subframe connectors were added to keep the chassis stiff. When extra “insurance” was needed to bring the ponies back under control a ’93 Cobra R brake kit (co-designed by Steeda) was adopted to the vehicle. Unfortunately the ’87 met its maker in 1999 when it was rear ended and totaled with over 190,000 miles of faithful highway, drag strip and road course service.
Still with the urge to keep riding the Mustang mount, Chris rounded up a brand new Laser Red ’99 Mustang GT that was a perfect candidate to quench his thirst for performance. Modified to his liking with a Steeda Tri-Ax shifter, Steeda camber caster plates, Steeda suspension braces, and other Steeda parts, the 4.6L 2V supercharged Mustang is planting down a solid 527 RWHP and is still his favorite sleeper ride to tool around in.
When it is time to go racing, Chris unloads his 2000 Mustang Cobra racecar, which is also equipped with a bevy of Steeda parts. From the mandatory Steeda Tri-Ax shifter, bump steer kit, to the famed Steeda 5-Link Suspension; Chris tells us that the 5-Link is THE main advantage he has over his competitors. He races at every available opportunity in the SCCA’s hotly contested American Sedan Series. In the car’s second year out he won the 2004 Regional Championship. Now, with free time a bit more scarce thanks to two jobs, he races when ever work schedules permit. Last year he entered 4 races and easily won 3 – not too bad for a “part time” racer with his Steeda equipped Mustang!
Chris’ other passion, the famed website: www.corral.net, began life as a hobby and a desire to further promote the Mustang brand and support others with the same passion. Originally started in April 1995 when a small website called “The SVO Pages” was about to shut down, Chris took it’s reins and launched www.corral.net. Supported by a host of all volunteer moderators, and staff “The Corral,” as everyone calls it, has a truly rich amount of information and forum exchanges that make it one of the most popular Mustang web-sites on the web today! With over 3,000 new posts daily, 4 to 5 million views every month, and over 1 million annual visitors, the Corral is definitely one of the resource tools every Mustang enthusiast should visit for valuable Mustang information.
With a diverse background of Mustang performance vehicles and the support work he does with www.corral.net, Chris Ihara is both an advocate and supporter of the Mustang hobby. Steeda Autosports wants to congratulate Chris for his many contributions that benefit all Mustang owners around the globe and also for choosing Steeda for some of his key performance parts.
Steeda – Speed Matters