Michael Johnson Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
April 1, 2014
Photos By: Steve Turner, KJ Jones

Horse Sense

Hey, 5.0&SF Nation—are you still loving KOTS? We’ve been running this event for years, but we’re wondering if it’s time to try something new. Do you want us to keep rolling with KOTS? Let us know at 5.0mailbag@sorc.com, but ultimately you vote with your wallets. If this issue sells well, we’ll know that you truly want us to keep it up.


We try to bring you the baddest Mustangs on the planet on a monthly basis. It’s one thing to have a few of the those Mustangs in each issue, but to have a dozen of them squaring off in one story, well, that’s our King of the Street competition.

KOTS matches the most powerful street Mustangs on the planet against each other to crown a king. We gather these ’Stangs together and compare horsepower, driveability, engineering, fit, finish, and drag times, and fans also vote for their favorite. All of this combines to help us choose the King of the Street. Of course, since this is the 10th annual KOTS, none of this information should be new. You should be well-versed in everything KOTS. If not, shame on you, but we’re here to bring you up to speed.

The annual King of the Street competition is our way of finding the baddest street Mustang on the planet. We’re looking for the Mustang that best combines all-out horsepower with everyday driveability. Therefore, competitors are rewarded for clean cold starts, an overdrive transmission, a spot-on tune, and a stock-like drive through Bowling Green, Kentucky. Conversely, points are taken away for non-overdrive transmissions, non-functional creature comforts, stalling, or a vehicle operation involving more steps and instruction than the space shuttle. Basically, anything that hints at non-factory operation is up for a score reduction, so any concession made to driveability in the name of all-out performance is going to have a negative impact.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

As part of the competition, we head over to Holley Performance Products, also in Bowling Green, for the most popular segment of the King of the Street. All competitors are tested on the same Dynojet on the same day, going head-to-head for horsepower supremacy. This is a big part of the competition—25 percent of the final score. Every competitor gets two shots on Holley’s Dynojet, with five minutes between pulls for cooling, tuning, or mechanical adjustments. The object of the horsepower game is to make as much as you can—it’s that simple. The top horsepower maker gets the highest score in that category.

This year was the second time inclement weather affected the competition. We woke up to rain Thursday, which delayed photos and the Ride & Drive until late morning/early afternoon. That put us behind. We were able to drive a few cars on Thursday, and a couple on Friday during the dyno portion at Holley, but we still had cars to drive as of Saturday—the day scheduled for track times as part of the Drag portion. Driving a couple of the cars had an impact on the fairness of the Drag portion, so much so that we ultimately dropped the Drag portion from the final judging. We felt this was the best way to keep the judging fair. We folded the Drag portion’s 10 percent into Fit & Finish and Engineering.

Adding to the crunch created by the weather, this year KOTS had more competitors than usual, with a total of 16 entering. Editor Turner advised us to invite all of them, saying the usual attrition striking KOTS competitors would reduce that number to 10. Well, pre-event attrition only reduced that number to 12. (I was close.—Ed.) In his defense, the 2012 King of the Street boasted only seven competitors.

As you’ll read, we had parity among power adders, engine combinations, transmission choices, and body styles. We hoped to have two Fox Mustangs at the competition, but one dropped out at the last minute. Our competitors ranged from a dragstrip-hero ’86 SVO, to a rockstar ’13 Shelby GT500, and everything in between. To see how your favorite Mustang finished, read on.


Judge Dread

Judging the King of the Street is an arduous task. It keeps us up at night trying to score each participant fairly and honestly. Let’s face it, the Mustangs we have in the King of the Street competition are some of the nicest cars you’ll ever see. We’re continuously amazed at the build quality of competing cars. Every year we’re treated to new ideas and innovations that help make our hobby more fun. They also give us something to consider for our own project cars here at the magazine.

The faults we find with these cars are most often nitpicking, but we have to maintain a discerning eye and ear to differentiate a King of the Street competitor from the more common Mustangs we see on a daily basis. Any of us would love a King of the Street competitor, but there can only be one winner.

We usually judge King of the Street using six categories: Horsepower, Ride & Drive, Engineering, Fit & Finish, Drag Race, and Popular Vote. This year weather affected our schedule, leaving many competitors scrambling to be ready or heat-soaked for the Drag Race portion, we felt it only fair to throw out that part of the competition. The Drag Race portion’s 10 percent was rolled into the Engineering and Fit & Finish categories, respectively, making the Engineering and Fit & Finish categories each worth 20 percent of the final score, which harkens back to the days before we added drag racing to the KOTS palette. The Horsepower and Ride & Drive were still worth 25 percent, while the Popular Vote category was worth 10 percent of the overall score, graded on a 100-percent scale.

  • Horsepower: 25 percent
  • Ride & Drive: 25 perecnt
  • Engineering: 20 percent
  • Fit & Finish: 20 percent
  • Popular Vote: 10 percent

Should we soldier on with King of the Street, there will be tweaks to this structure, bringing the focus back to the core categories and reducing the probability of complications. Stay tuned.


1. Jared Rosen

2013 Shelby GT500

Scoring

Horsepower: 11
Ride & Drive: 8
Engineering: 8
Fit & Finish: 7
Popular Vote: 9
Final Score: 86.5

Well, they’ve done it again. “They” being Power by the Hour and Lund Racing. Both are King of the Street veterans, but this year they teamed up with Lethal Performance’s Jared Rosen on his ’13 Shelby GT500.

PBTH and Lund already know the KOTS recipe, which is to bring a lot of power combined with excellent driveability in a sanitary package. For the 2013 King of the Street, they brought Jared Rosen’s 4.5-liter-supercharged Shelby GT500 to play.

Well, here it is, your 2013 King of the Street winner, Jared Rosen’s ’13 Shelby GT500, aka Snow White. With 1,221 hp at the wheels, it didn’t make the most power at this year’s event, but it did well enough overall to bring home the crown. It drove like a stocker; benefitted from Lund Racing’s Progressive Power System, which is able to place power limits in each successive gear; and presented an overall well-sorted package to take the top honor. Congratulations to Jared, Lethal Performance, Power by the Hour, and Lund Racing, on a job well done.

First of all, the giant supercharger is a game-changer in and of itself, but to have the mechanical geniuses from Power by the Hour expertly handle the installation process, which included a built engine and a too-much-is-just-right dose of nitrous. Add to that the tuning prowess of Lund Racing, and you have a KOTS-winning recipe.

Jared’s GT500 is no stranger to these pages. We’ve documented the car’s buildup from a stock Shelby to its current 9-second-capable status, going from a stock engine/stock blower tune, cold air, pulley, and nitrous combo to a built engine/4.5-liter supercharged, and nitrous combo.

With four-digit horsepower numbers, Lund Racing’s Jon Lund and Ken Bjonnes once again entered the picture to make that power manageable on the street. The duo worked on a Progressive Power System to manage the power by specifying a boost limit in each successive gear, if you will. We make it sound rather simple—it takes way more work than it sounds. Even so, the system makes it possible to go WOT in First gear without turning your street tires into smoking piles of rubber. Yeah, a good burnout is always a lot of fun, but at the end of the day, manageable power is the best kind of power. Just ask any drag racer.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Jared’s car, in particular, has seen a lot of testing with the system, and the car showed it, both good and bad. During the Ride & Drive, the stock transmission was making a little extra noise, and we noticed a slight vibration when turning right. We’re not really sure what was causing that; probably two parts coming into contact, that’s all. The exhaust made nice music, but there was slight resonance at low rpm. The Shelby’s accessories all worked as intended, though, which helped it score well in the Ride & Drive category.

Going back to horsepower, it all showed up on Holley’s Dynojet, to the tune of 1,221.40 horsepower at the feet, second only to Nick Shortridge’s Cobra. With 12 competitors, that means Jared’s GT500 scored an 11 in the all-important Horsepower category, and thanks to the car’s street manners, it scored an 8 in the Ride & Drive category. Tech Editor Jones gave the Shelby an 8 in the Engineering category, while Editor Turner gave the car a 7 in Fit & Finish. In the Popular Vote, the Shelby finished with 7 percent of the vote, scoring a 9 in that category.

And there’s the key to winning the King of the Street—do well in every category! Jared’s Shelby GT500 is no one-trick pony. It does everything well, including taking home the 2013 King of the Street crown.

Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Block
Stock Shelby

Crankshaft
Stock

Rods
Manley I-beam

Pistons
Diamond, custom designed by Mustang Performance Racing

Camshafts
Mustang Performance Racing custom

Cylinder heads
Stock, Chris Starnes-ported

Intake manifold
Stock w/ mono-blade throttle body

Power Adder
4.5-liter supercharger w/ 3.25-in pulley, 27 pounds of boost, and Wilson Manifolds Pro Flow nitrous kit

Fuel system
Division-X hat w/ twin Walbro 465-lph pumps, Division-X rails, and Injector Dynamics ID200 injectors

Exhaust
American Racing Headers 2-in long-tube headers w/ off-road X-shape crossover pipe, Magnaflow axle-back

Transmission
Stock TR6060 w/ McLeod Racing Street Twin, and Barton shifter

Rearend
8.8-in w/ Eaton differential, Power by the Hour-added clutches, Moser 9-in housing ends, Moser 31-spline axles, and 3.31 gears

Electronics

Engine management
Stock computer w/ Lund Racing calibration

Ignition
Stock w/ JMS SparkMax ignition booster and NGK BR7 spark plugs

Gauges
Stock


2. Nick Shortridge

2003 Cobra

Scoring

Horsepower: 12
Ride & Drive: 6
Engineering: 9
Fit & Finish: 7.5
Popular Vote: 6
Final Score: 84

Perhaps no other car has come into the King of the Street with expectations as high as Nick Shortridge’s ’03 Cobra. On our January cover, we told the world of his 1,338hp Cobra. If it didn’t make anywhere near that number at the KOTS, everyone involved would have egg on their face, including us. Thankfully, Nick did his part to keep our faces egg-free, but that’s not to say his KOTS experience was a cake walk.

The Cobra really suffered in the Ride & Drive segment. The car is built for all-out speed, and little concession was made to make it a street-friendly ride. The car features a 10-point rollcage without removable door bars, which makes it a little challenging to get in and out. The Corbeau seats are great, but they were pretty much the highlight of the Ride & Drive, aside from getting into boost, of course.

The Cobra’s face-plated T56 … we weren’t ready for that. Nick is used to it, and it’s a reflection of the car’s purpose in life, but for KOTS, it doesn’t really fit into the spirit of this competition. Perhaps the car’s driveability during the competition contributed to the transmission’s character. The car had developed a pretty nasty buck at throttle tip-in, and as you know, each gear change corresponds with throttle tip-in. Therefore, each time we’d shift we would be treated to bucking. You could get through the bucking, though, if you stayed in it.

That is, when we were able to get into boost, and once you’re into boost in Nick’s Cobra, there are two things you need to remember. First, you better be pointed straight. Second, you better be aware of your surroundings because things are going to be happening at warp speed. Thirteen hundred horsepower at the feet spells extremely rapid acceleration, and things become a blur.

Nick seems to think the Cobra’s wideband malfunctioned at KOTS, causing the bucking issue. He even tried a new sensor and new plugs to see if either one would help the issue, but neither effort helped even a little. Our gripe with Nick’s Cobra was that it seemed the brakes weren’t powerful. Maybe they needed to warm up, or maybe braking with the other KOTS cars was that good, leaving us with the thought that Nick’s brakes weren’t up to snuff. Considering what Nick does with the Cobra, the car’s braking system is just as important as its horsepower level, but they seemed to need more pedal effort than others.

One system that didn’t work at all on Nick’s Cobra was the A/C. However, the car’s driveability issues and tricky transmission had already done the damage to the car’s Ride & Drive score. The non-functional A/C just hampered the score that much more.

Thankfully, Nick’s Cobra came through on power. We won’t have to worry about looking stupid when it comes to the Cobra’s power output. On Holley’s Dynojet, Nick’s Cobra made 1,324.64 hp, and it was the first car on the rollers. He set the bar high—too high for anyone else to touch, as a matter of fact. We knew it would be a battle for second in the Horsepower category from then on, and we were right.

So Nick’s Cobra had a headstart thanks to it blasting down a KOTS-record 1,324.64 hp, but the Ride & Drive showed a few shortcomings, scoring a 6. With the cleanliness of the car’s twin-turbo system and surrounding hardware, Tech Editor Jones scored Nick’s Cobra with a 9 in Engineering, while Editor Turner gave the Cobra a head-scratching 71⁄2 in Fit & Finish. For the Popular Vote, Nick was short on friends, securing 338 votes to score a 6 in that category.

Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Block
Teksid aluminum

Crankshaft
HPP Racing/Kellogg

Rods
Eagle H-beam

Pistons
JE

Camshafts
HPP Racing

Cylinder heads
Stock Cobra, ported and polished w/ five-angle valve job

Intake manifold
Sullivan lower w/ CG Fabrication upper, Accufab 90mm throttle body

Power Adder
CG Fabrication twin-turbo kit w/ Precision 6766 turbochargers

Fuel system
Walbro fuel pumps w/ Fore Innovations hat, Sullivan fuel rails, Billet Atomizers 160-lb/hr injectors, and Fuelab regulator

Exhaust
CG Fabrication custom

Transmission
Owner-built T56 w/ solid keys, 3-4 iron shift fork, Ram 900 series clutch, and MGW shifter

Rearend
IRS w/ Fore Innovations diff cover, Driveshaft Shop Pro Level halfshafts, solid mounts, Full Tilt Boogie bushing kit, and 3.55 gears

Electronics

Engine management
Pro EFI 128 standalone w/ JMS Racing-tuned (San Antonio, Texas)

Ignition
Stock w/ NGK B8EFS spark plugs

Gauges
Stock


3. Mark Duber

2013 Shelby GT500

Scoring

Horsepower: 9
Ride & Drive: 7
Engineering: 8
Fit & Finish: 10
Popular Vote: 8
Final Score: 84

After driving Justin Humphrey’s dinosaur New Edge, it was time to hop back to the future behind the wheel of Mark Duber’s ’13 Shelby GT500. Mark was an 11th hour KOTS addition since his initial submission was lost. There was a short time near the KOTS entry deadline when our magazine email wasn’t fully operational; we think Mark’s entry was submitted around that time. Thankfully, we were alerted to the issue and Mark and his Shelby made it into the competition.

And are we glad we did. First of all, Mark’s GT500 is a visual rock star. The Grabber Blue/black-stripe paint scheme attracts the attention of everyone within a 10-mile radius. Mark’s Shelby features a ton of custom touches, like assorted body-colored exterior, interior, and engine pieces. Getting into and out of the Shelby was a non-issue with stock seats and seatbelts, and all accessories worked as intended.

During Mark’s Ride & Drive, some of the other KOTS competitors were heading back to their respective hotels. Michael Franks, in his own ’11 Shelby GT500, happened to turn onto the same road as your author; I was at the wheel of Mark’s Shelby with Mark in the passenger seat. Of course, we did our best Street Outlaws impersonation, and had we put a grand on the match-up, Mark and I would’ve had $500 each in our pocket to spend in Bowling Green. Michael said his car spun on the hit, which we did from a roll, but “If you race me, you will chase me, son!” Michael wasn’t too happy with being dusted by an associate editor. However, Mark’s Shelby did make roughly 250 more horsepower at the feet, so the ending wasn’t too much of a surprise after Friday’s dyno session.

We loved driving Mark’s Shelby. To help realize the Shelby’s potential, he teamed up with Revan Racing’s Van Collier and Lund Racing’s Jon Lund. The car, as Michael can attest, is bloody fast, thanks to additional chassis upgrades by London Chassis. Mark has run 9s with it; at the time of KOTS, it was the quickest stock-blower ’13 Shelby with a 9.86 at 143-mph pass. It’s a nice streetable package, amazingly clean and sanitary, perhaps due to Mark’s profession as a U.S. Army orthopedic surgeon. The Shelby sounded great, albeit a touch on the loud side.

We were in love with Mark’s Shelby until we hit the brakes. It has drag brakes up front, and they made a horrible howling sound. In our opinion, the sound of the brakes totally hampered the car’s driving experience. Mark’s Shelby was one of the cars suffering from gear noise, as well. Then there were the triggered idiot lights in the dash.

We really wanted to score the Shelby with high marks in the Ride & Drive portion, but these issues stacked up. If the brakes had been streetable, Mark’s Shelby could have finished higher. However, as it was, Mark’s Shelby did well, scoring a 9 in the Horsepower category by making 908.33 at the wheels, along with a 7 in the Ride & Drive.

Tech Editor Jones liked what he saw in Mark’s Shelby as well, scoring it an 8 in Engineering, and Editor Turner was equally impressed with the overall aesthetics of the Shelby, scoring it a previously unheard of 10 in Fit & Finish. Mark had a lot of fans in the Popular Vote, garnering 653 votes, or 5 percent of the vote, to score an 8 in that category.

Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Block
Stock ‘13 Shelby GT500

Crankshaft
Stock

Rods
Stock

Pistons
Stock

Camshafts
Stock

Cylinder heads
Stock

Intake manifold
Stock w/ Ford Racing Cobra Jet throttle body and JLT Performance 127mm carbon fiber cold air

Power Adder
Stock blower w/ Billet Pro Shop race-ported, Innovators West 15- percent lower, Billet Pro Shop 2.38-in upper pulley, and Nitrous Express EFI Dry nitrous kit

Fuel system
Stock pump and lines w/ Billet Pro Shop fuel rails, and Injector Dynamics ID 1000 injectors

Exhaust
American Racing Headers long-tubes w/ ARH X-shape crossover pipe, and Stainless Works retro-chambered after-cat exhaust

Transmission
Stock T6060 six-speed w/ SPEC P-Trim clutch, SPEC billet aluminum flywheel, and MGW shifter

Rearend
8.8-in w/ Eaton Truetrac differential, 3.73 gears, and Moser 31-spline axles

Electronics

Engine management
Stock w/ Lund Racing tune

Ignition
Stock w/ NGK TR6 spark plugs

Gauges
Stock


4. Phillip Myers

2012 Shelby GT500

Scoring

Horsepower: 6
Ride & Drive: 8
Engineering: 9
Fit & Finish: 9
Popular Vote: 12
Final Score: 83

Once we knew Bowling Green, Kentucky, roads were dry, Phillip Myers and his ’12 Shelby GT500 were first up on the Ride & Drive. Coming into the competition, we would have to say Phillip’s Shelby was one of the front-runners, and justifiably so. The car boasts a MMR-built 5.8 with a Kenne Bell 3.6LC supercharger, a Shelby Competition 1000 intercooler, a Tremec Magnum XL transmission, a McLeod clutch, and a full Kenny Brown RS suspension package.

Phillip chose to work with Houston, Texas-based Kinetic Motorsport on the build with the goal of a Mustang that could to do all things well. Phillip didn’t want a one-trick pony. “We didn’t originally intend to enter KOTS or the Texas Mile,” Phillip says, “but as we started pushing the car, we saw that we had something pretty special here.”

That’s a pretty large understatement, as we found out on the Ride & Drive portion. The Shelby was without door bars, which made getting in and out a breeze. Plus, it features Schroth auto-control harnesses over custom-upholstered Boss 302 seats. The car has a Speed of Sound pillar filled with Auto Meter’s finest, while an integrated K40 radar/laser detector kept us from going to jail on the Ride & Drive test loop.

Speaking of which, as we pulled away from the Beech Bend Amusement Park grounds, we could instantly tell the car was built for the Texas Mile. With 3.31 gears combined with the Magnum XL transmission, the car had the legs of a Victoria’s Secret supermodel. It reminded us of driving a Ford GT as you could ride through town in whatever gear you want. The Shelby was ready to run, regardless.

When it was time to bring the car to a halt, the brakes were outstanding. With Baer six-piston brakes front and rear, you could probably look at the brake pedal and the car would stop. Not only that, thanks to the aforementioned Kenny Brown suspension and chassis upgrades, Phillip’s Shelby is probably the best-handling KOTS car ever. Many cars feel like there’s a front end and a back end, many times working against each other. Phillip’s car, however, felt like one solid unit, with the front and back working together in unison to handle the curves and keep coming back for more.

But Phillip’s Shelby wasn’t without issue. The clutch was excellent, but the Shelby wasn’t as easy to drive as a couple of the others. We can’t really put a finger on why or how. Plus Phillip’s Shelby played host to several Heim-jointed suspension components, which slightly detracted from the street experience.

In the end, it seemed the Shelby’s horsepower level was the car’s undoing. Yes, it made 848.06 at the wheels, but in this competition, that’s middle-of-the-pack power. It scored a 6 in the Horsepower category, while rebounding in the Ride & Drive with an 8.

The car’s mechanicals and overall aesthetics pleased both Tech Editor Jones and Editor Turner, who both gave the Shelby matching 9s in Engineering and Fit & Finish. For the Popular Vote, Phillip got on the horn to all of his friends, and he must have a lot. He rounded up an unbelievable 5,383 votes to score a 12 in that category.

Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Block
Stock Aluminum 5.4 block, sleeved to 5.8-liters

Crankshaft
Cobra Jet forged

Rods
Manley billet I-beam

Pistons
MMR 2500R

Camshafts
Comp Cams custom

Cylinder heads
Stock ported

Intake manifold
Modified stock w/ Kenne Bell dual 75mm throttle body

Power Adder
Kenne Bell 3.6LC supercharger w/ 3-in pulley, Shelby Competition 1000 intercooler, and 24 pounds of boost

Fuel system
Dual Walbro 465-lph pumps w/ Fragola lines, Division-X fuel rails, Injector Dynamics 1,300cc injectors, and an Aeromotive regulator

Exhaust
American Racing Headers 2-in long-tube headers w/ Magnaflow mufflers

Transmission
Tremec Magnum XL w/ McLeod clutch

Rearend
8.8-in w/ 3.31 gears

Electronics

Engine management
Stock computer w/ Lund Racing tune

Ignition
Stock

Gauges
Stock w/ Auto Meter, Dakota Digital speedometer, and Speed of Sound pillar pod


5. Tom Miller

2000 GT

Scoring

Horsepower: 5
Ride & Drive: 8
Engineering: 10
Fit & Finish: 9
Popular Vote: 11
Final Score: 81.5

We don’t make a habit of checking out KOTS cars in person prior to the competition. Mostly because they’re not close to us, but in the case of Tom Miller and his Four-Valve-swapped ’00 GT, his hometown of Apopka, Florida, is close enough to our Tampa offices that we decided to check it out in person while it was at the body shop for finishing touches.

After looking over the GT, we knew it was a KOTS contender, we just weren’t sure if it would be ready. Tom had a lot to do in a month, and his list was on the brink of unreachable. As it was, the GT had so many extra touches, it made our head spin. Tom’s one of those guys that’s always thinking about what’s next on the car. We felt like reining him in on a few things just so the car would be ready in time.

As you can see, he did in fact finish in time. It features things we’ve never seen on a Mustang, like an on-board air tank system, a back seat recontoured to enable his three kids to sit comfortably while Tom and his wife are out for a cruise, and bead-locked Saleen wheels out back with narrowed units up front. And let’s not forget the Racepak digital display—on a street car.

With all these additions, we were really curious to see how the car would do on the Ride & Drive. First of all, without a cage and with stock seatbelts, getting in and out of the car is a non-issue. As mentioned, Tom’s GT features a Racepak digital display, something we’ve never experienced in a street car. The Racepak added a decidedly different driving experience, and a good one at that. It’s a comprehensive display of pretty much everything going on under the hood.

The car went down the road nicely, and was quiet due to the tremendous amount of Dynamat sound-deadening material dispersed throughout. It’s super quiet with the windows up, but the GT didn’t have A/C at the competition so it wasn’t a windows-up ride. The car also features an electronic exhaust cut-out; with it closed and the windows up, it was Lincoln quiet. Even with the exhaust open, it was still livable, as is the case with many turbo cars.

The GT was also void of cruise control. Had Tom’s GT feaured A/C and cruise, the car would’ve scored better in the Ride & Drive. Even so, we were impressed with its manners. The transmission shifted nicely, the brakes worked well, and it had a linear power delivery thanks to the twin-turbos and automatic transmission.

In the end, Tom’s GT made 837.76 hp on Holley’s Dynojet, but that is not enough for a high score in the Horsepower category. In Tom’s case, he earned a 5. Tom’s GT rebounded in the Ride & Drive, though, scoring an 8. With all the dizzying details built into Tom’s GT, it’s easy to see why Tech Editor Jones scored the car a perfect 10 in Engineering, and Editor Turner was almost as kind, scoring the car a 9 in Fit & Finish. For the Popular Vote, Tom was able to rally over 2,700 of his troops for 21 percent of the vote, scoring an 11 in that category.

Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Block
Teksid aluminum

Crankshaft
Kellogg forged

Rods
Accufab-spec Billet

Pistons
JE, Accufab-spec

Camshafts
Comp Cams, Accufab-spec

Cylinder heads
B-Head, Accufab-ported

Intake manifold
Hamilton Clark (HCI) straight runner w/ Accufab throttle body

Power Adder
Custom twin-turbo system w/ Precision 6262 billet wheel and 26 pounds of boost

Fuel system
Fore Innovations triple-pump hat w/ Walbro 340F pumps, custom lines, Aeromotive rails, Precision 95-lb/hr injectors, and an Aeromotive regulator

Exhaust
HP forward-facing headers w/ Bassani Xhaust X-shape crossover pipe, Magnaflow mufflers, and electric cut-outs

Transmission
Freddy Brown 4R70W w/ PTC converter and stock shifter

Rearend
8.8-in w/ Detroit Truetrac differential, Moser 31-spline axles, and Ford Racing 4.10 gears

Electronics

Engine management
Big Stuff 3 w/ Real Street Performance (Jay Meagher) tune

Ignition
Big Stuff 3

Gauges
Racepak digital display


6. Justin Humphrey

2000 GT

Scoring

Horsepower: 8
Ride & Drive: 9
Engineering: 7
Fit & Finish: 7
Popular Vote: 7
Final Score: 77.5

Ah yes, each year it’s become tradition to pick an underdog. Unfortunately, the underdog has been a Two-Valve Mustang lately. For the 2013 campaign, the Two-Valve crowd relied on Justin Humphrey and his ‘00 GT, and he didn’t disappoint ...well, he didn’t totally disappoint, but more on that in a minute.

We knew a couple things about Justin and his GT prior to the actual KOTS competition. One, the car was a regular on the drag strip. Two, because of that, the car needed a transmission swap in the weeks leading up to the competition. He had to swap from a stick to a 4R70W with a Precision Industries 4,200 stall converter in the weeks leading up to the competition.

On the Ride & Drive, it seemed like Justin had scienced out the combo like it had been in the car for a while. Being the third car out on the Ride & Drive, we weren’t totally jaded by the ’05-current cars, but we had driven Phillip Myers’ Shelby and Jeff Polivka’s Boss 302, so it was a trip back in time with Justin’s New Edge. Fortunately, we knew the surroundings well.

The cage’s removable door bars made it easy to get in, but the stock seats were flatter than we remember; compared to later Mustangs, they might as well be a park bench. However, Justin’s GT made up for it with easy-to-use stock seatbelts, a well laid out gauge structure, a lopey idle, cruise control, cold A/C, and a fully operational cassette deck.

It had been a while since Justin had played a cassette through the stereo, but he happened to have the Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill (R.I.P. MCA) in the console. We told him he would earn extra credit in the Ride & Drive if the cassette deck actually worked. Much to everyone’s enjoyment, the cassette player blasted out everyone’s favorite Beastie Boys tunes.

Justin’s car ran really well. The idle sometimes hunted around, but the power delivery was spot-on and linear. The tune was right on the money and the car didn’t once hiccup. With a built Two-Valve, a ProCharger F-1A, Kooks long-tube headers, and a Magnaflow after-cat, the GT made beautiful music, and it was an excellent cruiser.

The car was really fast, as well. For having big ’n’ littles on it, it handled reasonably well. It didn’t feel like the car was going to roll over on its side in the turns, and the after-cat played nice with the car’s antiroll bar.

During the Horsepower segment at Holley, Justin’s KOTS competition turned ugly. After his initial dyno run, the engine made a rather louder noise at the end of the of the run. The car finished the dyno run with an astounding 891.93 at the wheels. However, after pushing it off the dyno and removing the cam covers, a broken driver-side timing chain was discovered, and there was more damage inside. Justin’s weekend was pretty much over. We had really high hopes for him on the dragstrip, but it wasn’t meant to be.

All in all, we loved Justin’s car, and it did the Two-Valve faithful proud. By making timing chain-breaking horsepower at the feet, he scored an 8 in the Horsepower category, and thankfully we drove his car before the dyno, and we were impressed, scoring it a 9 in the Ride & Drive. Tech Editor Jones and Editor Turner were on the same page as far as Engineering and Fit & Finish, both giving Justin a 7 in each category. In the Popular Vote, it seems Justin was fighting with Nick Shortridge for a share of the Texas delegation, garnering 449 votes to score a 7 in that category.

Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Block
Teksid aluminum, 0.020-in over

Crankshaft
Kellogg 3.75-in stroker

Rods
Manley H-beam

Pistons
JE

Camshafts
Cushman Motorsports

Cylinder heads
Trick Flow 44cc ported by Houston Performance w/ Ford GT followers

Intake manifold
Reichard Racing, ported by Houston Performance w/ Accufab throttle body, and HPX slot-style mass air meter

Power Adder
ProCharger F-1A supercharger w/ 4-in pulley, Treadstone intercooler, 22 pounds of boost, and Nitrous Express kit

Fuel system
Dual Walbro 465-lph pumps w/ Aeroquip lines, CPR fuel rails, Bosch 105-lb/hr injectors, and Fore Innovations regulator

Exhaust
Kooks long-tube headers w/ Kooks X-shape crossover pipe, Magnaflow mufflers, and custom over-axle tubes

Transmission
4R70W w/ Precision Industries 4,200 stall converter, and B&M ratchet shifter

Rearend
8.8 w/ 9-in ends, Eaton differential, Mark Williams axles, and 3.73 gears

Electronics

Engine management
Stock w/ SCT tune

Ignition
MSD w/ NGK BREF7 spark plugs

Gauges
Stock w/ Raptor shift light


7. John Urist

2011 GT

Scoring

Horsepower: 10
Ride & Drive: 4
Engineering: 8
Fit & Finish: 6
Popular Vote: 5
Final Score: 68

We featured the car when it was first built, so we knew John Urist’s GT was the testbed for Hellion Power Systems’ Coyote twin-turbo kit. When John entered the car into the King of the Street, it seemed like a no-brainer. We already knew the car made four-digit power, had run in the 9s, and had been driven half across the country with ease. We had to include John’s GT in the King of the Street.

Somewhere along the way, the stock Getrag was swapped out in favor of an automatic, which was perfectly fine. However, troubles arose in the days leading up to the competition. The car headed to Delk Performance from Bowling Green for a revamped fuel system.

In a battle for the NMRA Street Outlaw crown, John had a championship on his mind, not the GT. It was a total thrash to get the car operational for the King of the Street. Blow-By Racing’s Chris Jones was tasked with many of the mechanical changes, and the team simply ran out of time to get the right parts on the car, and maybe more importantly, the right tune.

The car’s new fuel pump is one of the loudest units on the market, one most often reserved for high-powered race cars. The car’s exhaust was competing with the fuel pump for who was the loudest, and the fuel pump was winning. There’s no way the engine was starving for fuel, but something was definitely amiss with the tune. Loud pumps and spotty tunes don’t help a car’s KOTS case.

On the Ride & Drive, the GT stalled at least 20 times. Unfortunately, that’s no exaggeration. John was busy racing, Chris Jones had gone home to Florida, and we couldn’t find volunteers eager go with us on the Ride & Drive. Therefore, your author was riding solo in the GT, and there were a couple times when it seemed a tow back to the track might be in order. Thankfully, the car did start again, keeping us from thumbing it back to the track.

The tuning issue kept us from enjoying the car, but during the times it was running and driving, we noticed the suspension was rather bumpy. Granted, the ’11 GT’s chassis helped quiet the car’s bouncy disposition, but it was a bumpy ride, nonetheless.

All told, the car received one of the lowest category scores this author has ever given. To stall once during the Ride & Drive is one thing, but to do it 20 times during a 15-mile test loop puts a severe damper on a Ride & Drive score.

The GT did make power on Holley’s Dynojet, to the tune of 1,041.57 horsepower at the feet. It made that number after fighting through the ill-behaving tune. The car’s score of 10 in the Horsepower segment helped greatly, but a 4 in Ride & Drive hurt the overall score a great deal.

Tech Editor KJ Jones was impressed with the car’s workmanship, scoring it an 8 in the Engineering category. Editor Turner wasn’t impressed with the car’s largely stock visage, scoring it a 6 in Fit & Finish. In the Popular Vote, John’s GT garnered 236 votes, or 2 percent of the overall number of votes, to earn a 5 in that category. Clearly, John’s GT would have placed higher had it been in a better state of tune.

Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Block
Ford Racing Aluminator, MMR Pro Mod sleeved

Crankshaft
Ford Racing Aluminator

Rods
Manley

Pistons
Mahle

Camshafts
Stock Coyote

Cylinder heads
Stock w/ MMR valve-spring upgrade

Intake manifold
Stock

Power Adder
Hellion Power Systems Eliminator twin turbo w/ Precision 62mm turbos, 26 pounds of boost, V-band turbo inlet, and Kincaid Killer Chiller

Fuel system
Weldon 2035 fuel pump w/ custom lines, Blow-By Racing fuel hat, Deatchworks 95-lb/hr injectors, and Fore Innovations regulator

Exhaust
Hellion Power Systems tubular headers w/ Bassani Xhaust axle-back system

Transmission
Freddy Brown 4R70W, Pro-Torque converter, stock shifter

Rearend
8.8-in w/ stock 3.31 gears, Strange Engineering 31-spline axles, and Eaton posi differential

Electronics

Engine management
Stock w/ custom tune

Ignition
Stock w/ MSD Two-Step

Gauges
Stock w/ Turbosmart E-Boost 2 boost controller


8. Oren Howard

2012 Mustang GT

Scoring

Horsepower: 7
Ride & Drive: 8
Engineering: 5
Fit & Finish: 7
Popular Vote: 6
Final Score: 67.5

The King of the Street has reached frat status. When someone competes, they usually want to be a part of it. They tell their friends about it, and invariably their friends want to join the fraternity as well. That’s not a bad thing, either.

Two-time KOTS contestant Jammye McQuade told us about Oren Howard’s GT. When Oren entered his ’12 GT into the competition, we knew a solid competitor was in the fold. Former KOTS contestants know what we’re looking for, and Jammye knew Oren’s GT had the right stuff.

Oren’s GT features a Ford Racing low-compression Aluminator engine that sees boost from a 2.9-liter supercharger from Lethal Performance with a Cobra Jet 10-rib belt upgrade, and a Zex 75-shot for good measure. The stock Getrag transmission was replaced by a Tremec Magnum XL from JPC Racing, with a McLeod Racing RXT clutch.

We didn’t know much about Oren’s ride prior to the event, just the info on his application. We had some specifics, and frankly, that was good enough for us. Prior to KOTS, his car had made 830 hp at the feet on VP Racing MS109, and his goal for 2013 was to run in the 9s.

To make sure his GT would be legal for an attack on the 9-second zone, Oren outfitted the car with an RPM Rollbars six-point rollcage, but with swing-out door bars, getting in and out of the car was no big deal. The cage even sported a sleek carbon-fiber look.

His GT had all boxes checked on the inside, except for a non-functional cruise control. Oren said he thought the custom tune must have disabled the cruise, but there are no mulligans in KOTS. Otherwise the car had cold A/C, nice gauges, stock seats, the aforementioned Tremec Magnum XL transmission , and to let us know he has been paying attention, a Hurst pistol-grip shift knob atop the MGW shifter.

Oren’s GT being outfitted accordingly, we loved driving it. The Magnum XL with the pistol grip is the perfect combination in our minds. And because of the above upgrades, Oren’s GT was easy to drive, though not as easy to drive as Jeff Polivka’s Boss.

Oren didn’t have the Zex nitrous system engaged on the Ride & Drive, and when we gave the car the what-for with the Mickey Thompson/Weld RTS big ’n’ little combination, the GT hooked and booked. Oren says it’ll blow the tires off on the hit with the nitrous engaged. Driving Oren’s GT, we concluded that roughly 700 rwhp with Mickey Thompson 325/50-15s out back and skinnies up front is pretty much perfect for the street.

The only detractors from the Ride & Drive experience were a few flashing idiot lights on the dash and the lack of cruise control. The GT’s exhaust maintained a perfect level between too quiet and too loud. Overall, Oren’s GT was a great cruiser, and a car we would love to call our own. In the end, the GT scored above average in each category, but in order to climb the KOTS charts, higher scores are needed.

By making 853 at the feet, his GT scored a 7 in the Horsepower category, and then an 8 in the Ride & Drive. Tech Editor Jones didn’t seem overly impressed with the car’s off-the-shelf power combination, scoring it a 5 in Engineering. Meanwhile, Editor Turner was a little nicer by scoring it a 7 in Fit & Finish. It seems Oren did benefit from a little home-field advantage by garnering 357 votes, or 3 percent of the vote to score a 6 in the Popular Vote category.

Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Block
Ford Racing Aluminator

Crankshaft
Ford Racing Aluminator

Rods
Manley H-beam

Pistons
Mahle forged

Camshafts
Stock

Cylinder heads
Stock

Intake manifold
Stock w/ L&M dual 72mm throttle body

Power Adder
2.9-liter supercharger w/ 3-in pulley, 22 pounds of boost, and a ZEX 75-shot nitrous kit

Fuel system
Triple Walbro 342-lph pumps w/ CPE fuel rails, Injector Dynamics ID1000 injectors, and Magnafuel Pro Star regulator

Exhaust
American Racing Headers 17/8-in long-tube headers, w/ ARH X-shape crossover pipe, and Magnaflow after-cat exhaust

Transmission
Tremec Magnum XL w/ McLeod Racing RXT clutch, and MGW shifter

Rearend
8.8-in w/ Moser axles and 4.10 gears

Electronics

Engine management
Stock w/ Lee Blankenship tune

Ignition
Stock, NGK 6510 spark plugs

Gauges
Stock w/ Aeroforce Interceptor gauge


9. Jeff Polivka

2013 Boss 302

Scoring

Horsepower: 4
Ride & Drive: 8
Engineering: 7
Fit & Finish: 7
Popular Vote: 4
Final Score: 62

It’s normal for the King of the Street to lose a few cars due to mechanical attrition in the weeks and days leading up to the competition. JPC Racing had initially entered Al Davis’ turbocharged GT, but during drag testing, the transmission ate itself for dinner. JPC didn’t have a back-up, but Jeff Polivka’s Boss 302 fit the KOTS bill, so the guys loaded it up and brought it to Bowling Green. We knew a thing or two about Jeff’s car prior to KOTS, so we approved it to fill the spot.

Even though Jeff’s Boss was the last KOTS car chosen to compete, his was the second car to be driven on the Ride & Drive. Previous to KOTS, we knew it had been down the track many a time, so it was no surprise to see a rollcage, but it had swing-out door bars with stock seatbelts. The stock stereo was in place, and easily read stock gauges were bolstered by the appropriate instruments.

After driving Phillip Myers’ Shelby, the brakes on Jeff’s Boss weren’t as impressive. However, the Boss was probably the easiest KOTS to drive. It started up like a stock Mustang, and drove like a stocker as well. It pretty much set the bar for this year’s King of the Street from a Ride & Drive perspective,

The Boss felt like it was off the showroom floor until you got into boost, then there wasn’t anything stock about it. It was not only easy to drive, it was easy to drive fast. Jeff’s Boss runs 10.0s in the quarter in drag trim, and we believe those numbers.

The Boss’ Roadrunner engine is the current-generation equivalent to the vaunted Terminator engine, built sturdy from the factory. With its good internals, a Roadrunner engine can support 800 rwhp. In Jeff’s case, his Boss made 741 rwhp on the Holley Dynojet. Yes, that is in the lower half of the KOTS horsepower scale, and maybe that helps explain the car’s manners, but 741 rwhp and stock-like manners is still impressive. We’re told Jeff’s Boss suffered from a faulty wastegate, which kept boost around 7 pounds during our test. Usually the kit is good for 14 pounds; Jeff’s Boss had previously made 875 rwhp.

Unfortunately, something Jeff’s Boss also did quite well was make rearend noise, probably the result of repeated dragstrip launches. We’ve experienced a larger number of noisy 8.8s these days, and we’re not quite sure why. The Boss featured an electronic exhaust cut-out, and with it open, the car sounded pretty ferocious; with it closed, the car was quite livable. It’s the gear noise that disturbed the peace, and was really the only gripe we had on the Ride & Drive. The car started up like stock, idled like stock, and ran like stock until you come into boost.

As a last-minute addition, Jeff’s Boss acquitted itself quite well in the competition. With the aforementioned 741.24 hp at the feet, Jeff’s Boss scored a 4 in that category, while an impressive Ride & Drive score of 8 helped regain some ground. Tech Editor Jones and Editor Turner both gave the same score of 7 in the Engineering and Fit & Finish categories. Jeff got no love from voters, only garnering 77 votes to score a 4 in the Popular Vote.

Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Block
Stock Boss

Crankshaft
Stock Boss

Rods
Stock Boss

Pistons
Stock Boss

Camshafts
Stock

Cylinder heads
Stock w/ Livernois Motorsports valve-springs

Intake manifold
Stock Boss

Power Adder
JPC Racing turbo kit w/ 76mm Precision turbo and 14 pounds of boost

Fuel system
JPC Racing 2,400hp system w/ Triple Walbro 465 pumps, and Injector Dynamics ID1000 injectors

Exhaust
JPC Racing w/ ’13 GT500 Magnaflow axle-back

Transmission
Tremec Magnum XL w/ 2.97 First gear, McLeod RXT clutch, and Tremec shifter

Rearend
8.8-in w/ 3.73 gears

Electronics

Engine management
Stock computer w/ JPC Racing-tune

Ignition
Stock, Brisk spark plugs

Gauges
Stock w/ AEM wideband and fuel pressure


10. Jeffrey Hensley

2006 Mustang GT

Scoring

Horsepower: 3
Ride & Drive: 6
Engineering: 6
Fit & Finish: 8
Popular Vote: 10
Final Score: 60.5

The lone Three-Valve in KOTS, Jeffrey Hensley’s Tungsten Gray ’06 GT brought with it a Kenne Bell 2.8H supercharged and built combination. On 28 pounds of boost, Jeffrey claimed 876 hp at the wheels. That, combined with the cleanliness of his GT, earned him a spot.

When we saw the car in person, we were happy we invited him. Plus, Jeffrey was the only Three-Valve entering his name into the KOTS hat, so it was a bonus having such a nice representation of the breed.

Unfortunately for Jeffrey, it appeared as something was amiss right out of the trailer Thursday morning. When he would move the car at all, the revs were abnormally sky high. It didn’t sound quite right. We would experience the problem for ourselves behind the wheel.

First, Jeffrey’s GT doesn’t have a cage—it has stock seats and seatbelts, and an upgraded stereo. The interior was well appointed with a nice gauge layout.

We started it and quickly found a touchy throttle pedal with a mind of its own. Jeffrey informed us the car was having fuel issues, which made it run pretty rough. The condition was inconsistent, as well. It wasn’t something we couldn’t drive through. The GT was even a handful just to idle out into First gear. The throttle was sensitive to any input, which made clutch engagement tricky. Furthermore, the throttle would hang a little high at times.

It was unfortunate the GT didn’t behave on the Ride & Drive. It’s a nice car, and from an exterior perspective, held its own against the newer cars. Furthermore, because the tune was out in left field, the GT’s horsepower suffered. On Holley’s Dynojet, it was only able to muster 674.40 hp at the feet, which would have been a near-winning number at the first KOTS, but not today.

In the end, Jeffrey’s GT showed a lot of promise, but due to the tuning issues, that promise was unrealized at KOTS. The GT scored a 3 in the Horsepower category, and a 6 in the Ride & Drive. It didn’t fare any better in Engineering, with Tech Editor Jones scoring it a 6 in that category. However, the Fit & Finish must’ve hit a chord with Editor Turner—it earned an 8 in that category. Jeffrey’s GT also hit a chord with voters, garnering over 1,200 votes, scoring a 10 in Popular Vote.

Unfortunately Jeffrey’s GT didn’t score well in the highest percentage categories, Horsepower and Ride & Drive. In order to finish near the top, a competitor must do well in both of those.

Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Block
Stock

Crankshaft
Kellogg Cobra

Rods
Manley H-beam

Pistons
Diamond 6cc dished

Camshafts
Comp Cams Stage 2

Cylinder heads
Fox Lake Stage 2- ported stock w/ Manley valves, Comp Cam Hi-Lift beehive springs, and titanium retainers

Intake manifold
Kenne Bell w/ SCT BA5000 mass air meter

Power Adder
Kenne Bell 2.8H supercharger w/ Mammoth inlet, 2.75-in pulley, and 28 pounds of boost

Fuel system
Dual Shelby GT500 fuel pumps w/ Kenne Bell Competition Boost-A-Pump, and Siemens Deka 80-lb/hr injectors

Exhaust
Stainless Works 13/4-in long-tube headers w/ 3-in X-shape crossover pipe, and Magnaflow axle-back exhaust

Transmission
Stock w/ 26-spline input shaft, McLeod Racing RXT Street Twin clutch, Fidanza aluminum flywheel, Driveshaft Shop carbon-fiber driveshaft, and MGW shifter

Rearend
8.8 w/ Moser 31-spline axles, and 3.73 gears

Electronics

Engine management
Stock w/ tune

Ignition
Stock, Autolite spark plugs

Gauges
Stock w/ Auto Meter Cobalt, and Speed of Sound pillar pod


11. Michael Franks

2011 Shelby GT500

Scoring

Horsepower: 2
Ride & Drive: 8
Engineering: 5
Fit & Finish: 6
Popular Vote: 5
Final Score: 52

One car we didn’t know a lot about prior to the competition was Michael Franks’ ’11 Shelby GT500. We had no prior history with Michael and his BST Performance-affiliated Shelby—we knew it was a nice car and it made power. We also knew Michael regularly exercised his GT500 in a way most Shelbys aren’t.

In his application, he assured us the car made around 780 rwhp, and ran mid-10s at 134 mph. Furthermore, with Race Star Dark Star wheels, combined with a black with red stripe exterior, the car featured a decidedly sinister color combination.

At Thursday morning’s photography session, it was safe to say Michael’s Shelby was the loudest KOTS participant. Michael’s Shelby features long-tube headers, an off-road X-shape crossover pipe, and Outlaw series mufflers. If you want to let the neighbors know every time you go for a spin, that should do it.

BST Performance added Ford GT heads to an otherwise stock engine before bolting on a Ford Racing TVS supercharger with a 2.4-inch supercharger pulley, capable of providing over 22 pounds of boost. If that’s not enough, Michael’s Shelby boasts a Zex 75hp nitrous kit for good measure. The stock TR6060 transmission was still n place, but bolstered with a Spec SS-Trim clutch with an aluminum flywheel.

The stock TR6060 transmission was still in place, but bolstered with a Spec SS-Trim clutch with an aluminum flywheel.

We drove Michael’s Shelby after John Urist’s GT, and we were happy to see he had the Shelby properly sorted thanks to a custom SCT tune. It was a fun car to drive. With 3.73 gears, a Barton shifter, and seamless clutch operation, the only gripe we had was that the exhaust was a tad loud. Inside the car it wasn’t too bad, but there’s no way we could sneak through any town with the car. The Shelby’s stereo, A/C, and cruise control worked as intended, and it was comfortable to drive.

When we gave it the spurs during the Ride & Drive, we noticed the car spun a little on the hit (which he blamed for the outcome of our impromptu speed contest while we were at the wheel of Mark Duber’s Shelby). After getting through the spin, the car still had a smooth, linear power delivery. It was like getting shot out of a cannon. In the end, Michael’s Shelby was almost as easy to drive as Jeff Polivka’s Boss. It was easy to drive, and easy to drive fast. The stock Brembo brakes worked well, and we didn’t really feel any ill effects from the car’s use of big ’n’ littles.

Michael hoped the car would make more power, but it appeared he had nitrous engagement issues on the dyno, which kept him from making more. His 656.67 number scored him near the bottom of the Horsepower category with a 2, but he rebounded with an 8 in the Ride & Drive. Tech Editor Jones wasn’t too kind to the car’s bolt-on combination, scoring it a 5 in Engineering. Editor Turner wasn’t much nicer, scoring it a 6 in the Fit & Finish category. In the Popular Vote category, Michael’s Shelby garnered 226 votes, or 2 percent of the total vote, and a 5 in that category. In the end, we think the car’s lack of power production really hurt his overall score.

Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Block
Stock

Crankshaft
Stock

Rods
Stock

Pistons
Stock

Camshafts
Stock

Cylinder heads
Ford GT

Intake manifold
Stock w/ Ford Racing twin 65mm throttle body, and JLT Performance Super Big Air intake

Power Adder
Ford Racing TVS w/ 2.4-in pulley, dual core intercooler, and Zex 75-shot nitrous kit

Fuel system
Kenne Bell dual Boost-A-Pumps, Ford Racing 80-lb/hr injectors

Exhaust
JBA long-tube headers w/ off-road X-shape crossover pipe, and Flowmaster Outlaw series axle-back

Transmission
Stock TR6060 six-speed w/ SPEC SS-Trim twin-disc clutch, aluminum flywheel, and a Barton shifter

Rearend
8.8-in w/ 31-spline mini-spool, Motive Gear axles, and 3.73 gears

Electronics

Engine management
Stock w/ SCT tune

Ignition
Stock, Champion spark plugs

Gauges
Stock, Auto Meter


12. Chris Escobar

1986 SVO

Scoring

Horsepower: 1
Ride & Drive: 6
Engineering: 6
Fit & Finish: 6
Popular Vote: 5
Final Score: 46.5

The last King of the Street car we drove as part of the Ride & Drive was Chris Escobar’s SVO. Chances are you helped the SVO get into the competition. We had our reservations about allowing it in, so we put it on our Facebook page to see if you thought it was worthy. You answered with a resounding yes.

Our reservations stemmed from the car’s Powerglide transmission, full rollcage, and overall drag race disposition. We’ve known the car since our first trip to Lamotta Performance several years ago, when it was owned by Jake Lamotta.

With Chris’ SVO, where do we start? The car was coming off a revamp that included a built Coyote engine, new paint, and several new chassis parts. It was untested for the most part, save for a few burnout hits that went viral, restoring the car’s rock-star status after a nearly two-year hiatus.

Chris promised us the car would run 8.30s by the end of the weekend. On Holley’s Dynojet, we wondered how that was going to happen when it made 582 rwhp. However, it was clear Chris wasn’t happy with the tune, cutting short both of his allotted dyno pulls

For the Ride & Drive we knew the SVO wouldn’t be as easy as any of the other KOTS cars. Because of its drag disposition, we started off by climbing over the cage, acquainting ourselves with the car’s race harnesses, Hurst Quarter Stick shifter, and FAST display, which was cool, displaying everything but boost. However, your author was too busy watching the road to pay much attention. The car didn’t have A/C or cruise, but former owner Jake Lamotta was quick to point out the SVO didn’t come with cruise, so we couldn’t penalize the car for that. There were, however, plenty other street maladies to concern ourselves with.

In a nutshell, Chris’ SVO is a race car with a tag on it. Would I want to drive it everyday? I don’t think anyone would want to drive it everyday. However, is it that bad? No, it’s not. Does it really fit into KOTS? Not really. The car doesn’t really fit into the spirit of this competition. We’ve previously had cars similar to Chris’ SVO in the King of the Street, and they all suffered mightily in the Ride & Drive category. It was the same in Chris’ case.

For the record, Chris ran in the 7s before the end of the weekend, and for that we give him props. However, a solid finish in the King of the Street is something we can’t give. The car was pretty loud; it also had an annoying interior squeak with mysterious origins, a vibration at speed, ever-present wind and mechanical noise, and again, only two forward gears, neither of which can be classified as Overdrive.

All in all, Chris’ SVO did about as well as we thought. Even a stock SVO would have a hard time competing against Ford’s latest Mustang offerings. We knew this going into competition—it was an experiment to see how an all-out race car would do against King of the Street-specific combinations. So now you know.

With the lowest output on Holley’s Dynojet, the SVO scored a 1 in the Horsepower, and a 6 in the Ride & Drive category—the two most critical categories. Tech Editor Jones gave it a 6 in Engineering, while Editor Turner also gave it a 6 in Fit & Finish. Perhaps you guys should’ve voted for Chris’ SVO in the Popular Vote. Only 264 people did, which equalled 2 percent of the vote for a score of 5 in that category.

Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Block
Stock

Crankshaft
Stock

Rods
Manley

Pistons
CP

Camshafts
Kris Starnes custom

Cylinder heads
Stock, ported by Kris Starnes

Intake manifold
Quality Chassis of Oveido, Florida, custom

Power Adder
Garrett GTB35X twins w/ Lamotta Performance/Quality Chassis tubing, and 23 pounds of boost

Fuel system
Magnafuel pump w/ custom lines, CFM fuel rails, Bosch 160-lb/hr injectors, and Weldon regulator

Exhaust
Quality Chassis headers w/ Bassani Xhaust mufflers and turndowns

Transmission
Dynamic Racing Transmission's ‘Glide w/ TCT converter, and Hurst Quarter Stick

Rearend
Strange 9-in w/ 3.25 gears

Electronics

Engine management
FAST XFI w/traction control, and Horsepower Connection (Brian Macy) tune

Ignition
Stock w/ Brisk spark plugs

Gauges
FAST and Turbosmart E-boost controller