Driven By Passion | Steeda Autosports
Steeda Autosports has become synonymous with performance Ford Mustangs, and it all started with Founder and Owner, Dario Orlando. Interning with a race team as a teen, he was putting together engines before he even had a high school diploma. Although starting off with imports, he soon migrated over to Ford – where both his grandfather had worked on the assembly-line and his father in design (who was part of the team for the '64 1/2 Mustang). Nearly 30 years ago, Dario built the first Steeda Mustang, seeking to take it to the next level for the niche performance market. As models changed from the Fox Body to its more modern style, Steeda continued to grow alongside with an emphasis on making parts that are proven on the racetrack. “Racing either proves a theory or destroys a theory,” says Dario. After a couple of years spent in development of parts for the Cobra R Mustang, Dario went on to not only win, but lap the field twice, at an IMSA Grand-AM race. “One of my biggest milestones was, back in ’96, when I won the first Pro race for a production-based Mustang in over a decade. Against the multi-million dollar GM factory teams…” Their long-standing headquarters outside Miami, Florida give them close access to Sebring. A track that Dario explains is, “such a rough track because it’s built on an old runway. If you want to check durability of a suspension go out there and run a car for six hours and you’ll see what will break.” Their new manufacturing facility in Georgia hosts their own 1.2 mile test track and drag strip. While Steeda is most widely known for Mustangs, they also develop parts for other Ford models such as the Focus and Fusion – but it only takes a minute of talking with Dario to see his real passion is for the performance Mustang. “I love the type of work I do, it’s my passion,” says Dario. Hear more of what Steeda Autosport’s Dario Orlando has to say in the video above.