welcome to wf! congrats on your future purchase.
and you should buy a different vehicle if you want speed. just lift it, put big tires on and go wheeling. don't need speed for that.
but if you insist on modding your '97, there are chip mods and better exhaust systems and CAI's (waste of money imo, but some swear they can "feel the torque and hp increase")...also a re-gear might give you a bit of a bite off the line but your top end speed will be greatly limited.