Michael Johnson Associate Editor
May 3, 2007
Photos By: Steve Turner
Joey Buquoi's '01 Bullitt did it. The Kenne Bell/Nitrous Pro Flow-motivated Two-Valve mated to a Tremec T56 six-speed was good for 752 hp. Combine that with everyday driveability, a nice exterior, a custom stereo, and a comfortable interior, and you have a car that's a blast to drive. Oh yeah, you also have the '06 Nitto Tire King of the Street winner.

Horse Sense: The '05 King of the Street was a fairly easy competition to judge. Michael Palugi Jr. ran away with it by boasting the highest horsepower numbers, best quarter-mile time, excellent daily driver capabilities, as well as everything else in line. We had strong cars in 2005, but Michael came with the biggest gun.

The Nitto Tire King of the Street competition has grown by leaps and bounds ever since Editor Turner came up with the idea to put the baddest street Mustangs against each other at the same place, on the same dyno, and against our critical judging structure. 2006 marked the fifth KOTS, and we couldn't have been happier with the way it played out. We had more turbo-charged cars and superchargers from nearly every manufacturer on a variety of pushrod and modular combinations. We tried to cover all power-adder makes and manufacturers, but a couple cars that had combinations we would've liked to showcase fell out of the competition at the last minute. Those people simply ran out of time to get their Mustangs ready to compete.

Speaking of competing, for the second year in a row, Nitto Tire sponsored the King of the Street. For its part, Nitto provided each competitor a pair of its 555R Extreme Drag radials in his/her size choice. So, not only did KOTS competitors battle each other on the same dyno, the same dragstrip, and against our critical judging structure, but they also used the same Nitto Extreme Drag radials. This made for a level playing field for all competitors.

Nate Phillips' '03 Cobra eclipsed the horsepower mark from last year's KOTS winner, Michael Palugi Jr., by pounding out 895 hp on DiabloSport's portable Dynojet. Nate's Cobra features a Hellion Power Systems 88mm single turbo.

To ensure power-adder parody, we had centrifugal superchargers and Kenne Bell-fortified Two-Valves. We didn't have any Mustangs using nitrous oxide as a main source of power, but a few participants used it as a supplement. Of the 11 competitors, 4 had turbochargers, 3 had single-turbo combos, and 1 had twins. If you can't find a KOTS contestant with a similar combo to yours or one you'd like to build, it's probably because you drive a Tercel.

One thing we've learned is Dynospeed Racing in Memphis, Tennessee, knows how to build a KOTS machine. By now you know Joey Buquoi's '01 Bullitt is the winner, and guess what shop performed many of the upgrades. That's right-Dynospeed Racing, the same shop that worked on the '05 winner, Michael Palugi's Cobra. We'll get more into Joey's shortly, but for those hoping to compete in the '07 King of the Street, get to work and keep your nose in 5.0&SF magazine so you can see when to send in your applications.

And now, here's how the '06 Nitto Tire King of the Street played out.

We judge the Nitto Tire King of the Street using several categories; some are judged and others are by finishing order. The Fit and Finish and Engineering categories are presided over by the honorable Editor Steve Turner. The Ride and Drive portion is under the ever-discerning senses of Associate Editor Michael Johnson. Dyno Numbers (SAE-corrected numbers), Drag Race, and Popular Vote categories are segments that depend on finishing order for point allowances. This year, since we had 11 competitors, we awarded the winner of these categories an 11; then went down from there. We award certain categories more than others. Here's a breakdown on the categories and the percentage they're worth.

Engineering 15%
Dyno Numbers 25%
Ride and Drive 25%
Drag Race 5%
Fit and Finish 15%
Popular Vote 15%

To arrive at final scores, we take the number each competitor scores in each category and multiply it by the corresponding percentage.