Automotosports Inc. was started in March 2001 and based around the development of the AMS 2.3 Turbo Ford Cam designed by Martin Musial and Fritz Moore. Martin and Fritz found the cam selection for the Merkur XR4TI inadequate for high horsepower and set out to design the ultimate 2.3 Turbo Ford cam. Although this was a part-time venture for both parties the camshaft was a success and was even featured in the August 2001 “Muscle Mustang & Fast Fords” magazine.
Due to an unexpected decline in popularity of the 2.3 Turbo Ford market Fritz left the company. Martin turned to his childhood friend Arne Toman to help take AMS in a different direction. Martin had purchased and began tinkering with a 1991 Mitsubishi Galant VR4 in late 2000 and fell in love with the 4G63 engine. Arne soon followed suit and purchased a mildly modded 1991 Eclipse GSX. Martin, a mechanical engineer and Arne a heavy duty tow truck operations manager at the time decided to “quit their day jobs” to design, produce & install parts on DSM’s full time.
Martin quickly realized no one had a bolt-in intercooler kit for the car and worse yet, the largest turbo available at the time was the Mitsubishi 20G. Martin and shop manager Tim Salefski began designing and fabricating the bolt-in AMS GVR4 Intercooler Kit. In addition Martin looked into using the tried and true Garrett T3/T4 line of turbos. Knowing the power potential and the choice of the many housings and center sections available from experimenting on the 2.3 Turbo Fords, Martin found the perfect turbos to use on the 4G63. Since the bolt pattern was different between the turbo and the 4G63 exhaust manifold, Martin designed an adapter plate as well as an O2 housing and down-pipe for use with the Garrett turbos. AMS ended up with one of the first T3/T4 kits available providing quicker spool up and substantial power gains compared with the upgrades of the day.
As AMS grew, the need for a chassis dyno was inevitable for tuning and testing purposes. To accommodate the dyno, AMS took over another unit in the industrial complex attached to the main shop. In early spring of 2002 AMS took delivery of their Dyno-jet 248 two wheel drive in-ground Dyno. Soon after its installation they began a DSM camshaft dyno comparison test. Once the test was complete AMS found that the HKS 272 was the best overall cam available. To this day the AMS camshaft test is referenced for detailed information on the most popular cams available for the 4G63 Mitsubishi engine.
In 2002 the long awaited AEM EMS (engine management system) was introduced. The early software was good but needed refinement. Working with AEM & Jason Siebel’s, AMS was able to provide valuable input and feedback on the software and was involved from the beginning of a great product line.
In 2003, AMS employees campaigned three street class cars in Nopi’s NDRA race series. It was a rough first year as they were running against the Efantis and Titan race proven Toyota Supras. AMS was definitely out classed but made 90% of the events that year. It was a good learning experience for them as it was the first national racing circuit they attempted to compete in.
2003 was also the year the Mitsubishi Evolution VIII arrived. AMS was the first in the area to have one and immediately started work on improving the already potent platform. In mid 2003, AMS had already begun the development of the Evo 8 T3/T4 kit. The tubular header design was optimized and a lot of time was spent perfecting the ultimate combination of turbine and compressor sizes for the turbo kit. AMS was looking for the most power without compromising spool-up time. Twelve different combinations netted what has become the most popular spec’d GT35RLS found in most 4G63 applications for years to come.
In 2004 the AMS turbo kit really took off in sales. Almost immediately the AMS Turbo kit was powering the quickest street & drag Evo’s. A number of mid to high 10 second street driven Evo’s popped up quite quickly. In the fall Tim Salefski piloted the AMS Evo to a full weight Evo record of 10.53 @ 137 mph.
At the end of the 2004 season, AMS swapped in bigger brakes, sway bars , suspension, and 285 18” tires at all four corners in an attempt to convert the Drag prepped Evo into a Road Racing Evo. In the spring of 2005 they headed out for their first road racing experience, The Car and Driver One Lap of America in the converted AMS Drag Evo. AMS surprised themselves and the competition placing 7th overall out of 94 cars during the 12 races and 3100 miles covered for the event. For the rest of the season they were changing the engine, turbo & brakes between Drag & Road Racing events. Talk about a double-duty Evo!
In 2005 the AMS Evo 8 T3/T4 kit was powering most of the fastest Evo 8’s in the US and Europe. Curt Brown, Dan Bajalis, Thomas Nagorski & Al Friedman all piloted their AMS powered Evo’s to low 10 second and even 2 high 9 second quarter mile times. In September 2005 the AMS Drag Evo 8 shattered the long standing ¼ mile record for an Evo 8 by running a 9.41 @ 150 mph.
In 2006 AMS focused its attention on constructing a purpose-built Time Attack Evo 8. Built in only 3 months, its first race was the Car & Driver One Lap of America. The event was comprised of 11 tracks in 8 days and over 3900 miles were put on the odometer! AMS placed 3rd overall out of almost 100 cars, what a way to break-in the new car. From there they went on to win nearly every Time Attack they entered; Winged Warrior, Evo Tuner Shootout, NASA Time Trial @ Autobahn, NASA 2006 TTU Championship.
AMS also supported Marty Grand and CJ Moses, two SCCA racers, one of which placed 13th overall in T2 class at the SCCA nationals.
In Drag Racing AMS continued to run quicker times in the Drag Evo 8 working down to A 8.97 @ 165 mph. In addition to further advancing their Evo’s, AMS and technician Ivan Phipps began developing products for the Nissan 240sx. In contrast to most other 240 tuners, AMS focused their attention on the 2.4l “KA” motor that originally came in these cars while other shops focused on SR20 swaps. After seeing Ivan run a 9.1 at 162mph in his street-driven 1995 Nissan 240sx, AMS was convinced of the caliber of the often over-looked KA motor.
In 2007 AMS was on a mission to move into a larger facility. Their 6000 square foot Arlington Heights shop was packed to the brim with product and employees. After scoping all their options, AMS finally settled on a 17,000 square foot facility in the western suburb of West Chicago.
The move wasn’t the only thing they were busy with in the 2007 season. The AMS drag car was able to reclaim the title as World’s Quickest Evo VIII by beating the standing record of 8.95. AMS secured the record early in the season with an 8.75 only to beat the record again at the Buschur Racing Mitsubishi/Subaru Showdown with an 8.56 run. In addition AMS was also gained another 7 mph over the 2006 set-up.
That wasn’t the only Drag Car in the AMS stable running quick times. Ivan Phipps also continued to campaign his Nissan 240sx S14 and was able to take the fastest stock suspended 240sx title by running a 9.07 at 153mph.
The AMS time attack car received a new paint scheme for 2007 styled like the infamous Jolly Rogers F-14 Fighter Jet. The year started out with a bang beating all 10 competitors at the Modified Magazine Tuner Shootout to win the competition. AMS continued to dominate the Time Attack circuits winning 9 first place finishes out of 12 total events and was titled the Fastest US based Time Attack car. Not bad for the first Time Attack car AMS has ever built!
2008 turned out to be the best season to date for AMS. With 40 victories, 8 track and class records and 5 championship wins in Road Racing and Hill Climb AMS won almost every event they entered. These included winning Magazine events such as the Sport Compact Car Ultimate Street Car Challenge, Import Tuner’s STI vs. EVO Shootout and Mitsubishi’s Baddest Evolution Challenge.
AMS also competed in the Castrol Top Shop Challenge where 7 of the industry’s top tuners were invited to see who could make the most horse power on 100 octane fuel. AMS won this event making 1035 HP against some stiff competition including a Nissan RB25, a stroked SR20 and even a Twin Turbo Small Block Chevy!
Early in the season AMS sold their Time Attack EVO VIII (TA1) to David Summerbell in Jamaica. David, a seasoned Rally driver and US Pro Rally Champion, was looking for a competitive car to compete in the Caribbean Racing Championship. AMS flew Justin Wylde (former crew chief for TA1) to Jamaica, Barbetos & Guyana as the car competed in the series to assist the Summerbell team with the car. David drove the car to 5 first place finishes and came in second overall for the championship. In just 3 short years the AMS TA1 has racked up 25 victories and all on the original un-touched AMS 2.3 Stroker motor running over 4000 miles of racing abuse!
AMS also competed in the second annual Fireball Run, “The Race to Recover America’s Missing Children”. Each team Was assigned a missing child and handed out flyers along the way. The 3500 mile, 9 day charity race consisted of solving clues, road racing, autocross and drag racing. The AMS EVO X managed to sweep nearly all of the racing portions where they were up against such high-end cars as Lamborghini’s, Vipers & Corvettes. AMS placed 5th overall and 3rd in class but most importantly spread the word about the Child Rescue Network.
The AMS Racing Team also posted wins in many sanctioned racing series in 2008. A win at Pikes Peak and Championship wins in the SCCA, MCSCC and NASA series rounded off the year for AMS. Exciting things are in store for the 2009 season as AMS sets out to build an EVO X expected to be the most advanced US based Time Attack car ever built.