Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
May 1, 2009
Photos By: The 5.0&SF Staff, Dan Schoneck, Alan Hurley, Scott Spandet, Matt Simonds, Jerome Shumate, Matt Knab, John King, Cory Harris, Andy Barth, Chuck Hamstra
Well, you did it, Ryan Vitiritto. No need to build another car for next year. Though his Cobra-inspired '01 Mustang coupe didn't exactly enjoy the best drivability, Ryan Vitiritto's Mustang scored near the top in every other category. Though he did have his tuner Bob Kurgan present at the event (He was racing at the NMRA event), Ryan's Cobra wasn't coddled by a shop owner all weekend. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it was nice to see an independent if you will, win the Nitto Tire King of the Street. Ryan's Mustang boosted 917 horsepower to the wheels, ran in the 10s, and scored high enough to take the KOTS crown. Congrats, Ryan!

Horse Sense: We were happy to have Nitto Tire back as primary sponsor of the King of the Street. As such, every KOTS competitor received trendy Nitto stickers, but more importantly a pair of Nitto Xtreme Drag radials in the size of their choice for the event. KOTS competitors aren't allowed to change tires during the event.

We're always in awe of the Mustangs competing in our annual Nitto Tire King of the Street competition. Each year the competitors bring with them fresh ideas, old dogs with new tricks, and build quality surpassing the previous year's competition.

Though the cars change each year, the premise remains the same. We want to see a car make a ton of horsepower, but retain the ability to drive cross-country-without a pre-flight check list and a set of noise-canceling headphones. Jeff Mingledorf's '03 Cobra took the crown last year. His Modular Powerhouse-built monster produced 932 hp thanks to a twin-turbocharged Four-Valve engine, and thankfully for him, it possessed the everyday driveability we want in a King of the Street contestant.

After every KOTS, we wonder if a new crop of Mustangs will come along to impress us as much as the previous years'. Every time the answer is a resounding yes.

Each year we are more and more impressed with the quality of cars in the Nitto Tire KOTS competition. For instance, the average horsepower of the 11 competitors for this year's crown was over 770 hp, and every one of these cars could be driven anywhere, even cross-country. Of course, some were easier and more pleasurable to drive than others, but when you think of daily drivers, you typically don't think of a 770hp Mustang-unless you're a 5.0&SF reader!

We split our time between The Horsepower House [(270) 792-2399] and Beech Bend raceway, as there wasn't an on-site dyno at the NMRA World Finals this year. Though the crew at The Horsepower House consists of primarily GM guys, they were kind enough to host our Blue Oval dyno bash, and did a masterful job moving our KOTS cars on and off the dyno quickly. We really appreciate it. Likewise the NMRA crew smoothly orchestrated our drag testing and have been kind enough to host this event every year.

So spend some time with the next several pages to see how our '08 Nitto Tire King of the Street competition wowed us once again. If you think your ride belongs on these pages, it's not to early to start putting together a submission for the '09 event.

Motley Crue has been touring lately, but they've got nothing on our own Nitto Tire KOTS motley crew. This is how you get over 8,478 horsepower in one photo. Besides being a great group of guys, we had a blast with this year's KOTS cast. Everyone had a good time, new friendships were formed, and future ideas were spawned at every bench-racing session. Hiding in the back with the hat on is KOTS winner Ryan Vitiritto.

We've heard the phrase "junk in the trunk," but this is taking it to a whole another level. How do you keep a high-horsepower Mustang from spinning the tires on a small-roller Dynojet? Stuff two fat guys in the trunk, that's how! With the turbocharged KOTS cars, the boost would hit so hard it would cause the tires to spin on the dyno. Evidently, this is not an issue with large-roller Dynojets, but The Horsepower House's Dynojet worked perfect when we inserted a little body mass in the trunk.

Jerome Shumate's Four-Valve Fox coupe won the Drag Race portion coming a hair short of setting the KOTS Drag Race record with a 10.33 at 129 mph. Mark Magnuson proudly owns the record with a 10.31 during the 2006 KOTS while at the wheel of Ben Ripstein's '03 Cobra. Mark stalks us when he's not in the KOTS to make sure no one beats his record. We were secretly wishing Jerome would break it on his second run. Instead, Jerome blew a fuel pump fuse, making him shut it down, and leave Mark with the record and a continued big head.

The popular vote segment is one of our favorite parts of the KOTS competition. The Popular Vote segment allows those in attendance to vote for their favorite KOTS Mustang. We're sure the competitors do their fair share of lobbying, self-voting, and bribery. Some of them need to run for public office they're so good at "earning" votes. Jerome Shumate, seen here slipping in a vote, won the Popular Vote category since all of his Alabama kin folk drive over for the event, and the fact that his coupe strikes a chord with fellow Mustang owners thanks to its Four-Valve Cobra/4R70W transplant, and quality build. Our boy Chuck Hamstra is giving Disco Dan Schoneck the rabbit ears while "Cornholio" stuffs his face.

Ryan Vitiritto
Well, we have to be honest-when we were going through the judging process, we really didn't have Ryan Vitiritto's Mustang pegged as the Nitto Tire KOTS winner. However, as you see, here he is, the Nitto Tire King of the Street winner.

If there was ever an example of the third time being the charm, Ryan's case is it. At this year's KOTS, Ryan was like a baseball player at the World Series, just happy to be there. He entered the competition two years ago only to blow up the engine right before the event, forcing him to sit out. Last year he sold his Cobra to Fred White right before the King of the Street. We loved the Cobra and he drove it in the Drag Race portion, but Fred owned the car, so technically Ryan still wasn't an official KOTS competitor. This time around Ryan was serious about the KOTS, and he wasn't about to let anything stop him from being an official competitor.

Starting with a '00 Mustang V-6 salvage title car, Ryan purchased an '03 Cobra donor car to make for an easy swap. The Cobra's drivetrain was swapped into the V-6 car, as well as all the Cobra exterior pieces. An H.O. Fibertrends cowl hood was added up front, and a Saleen S281 wing found its way out back.

Not only did Ryan save a little coin by going the V-6 route, but he was also able to save a little weight over a factory Cobra. The car itself weighs in at 3,180 pounds. For Ryan's sake, we'll withhold the car's curb weight, but that number still comes in lighter than a genuine '03-'04 Cobra.

Ryan says he was able to keep weight off the car by adding manual brakes and steering, lightweight racing seats, and removal of the wiring harnesses thanks to a Big Stuff 3, a rear-seat delete, and a tubular K-member. Ryan says he weighed the car at a couple different scales because he didn't think the first one was correct. It was, but with all these race-type additions, how would the car fare in the Ride and Drive? You're about to find out.

For paint, Ryan chose to keep it simple, going black with silver graphics. Weld Alumastar wheels fit perfectly with the car's theme. Ryan's former Cobra was set up like this, although white with orange stripes. We loved the stance of that Cobra, and this car is equally stunning. It took the spring of 2008 to build.

As part of the 5.0&SF staff, we had the enviable task of judging the fruits of his labor. We'll start with the bad. Remember the previously mentioned manual brakes and steering? What was Ryan thinking? Did he forget this was the King of the Street? Sure, a lot of people run manual brakes and steering on the street, but those cars aren't in the KOTS. Furthermore, the car features Tokico Drag front struts. Seriously? And the cage boasts welded door bars, and those lightweight race seats sport five-point harnesses. Come on, Ryan, did you fall and hit your head? After a few minutes of driving Ryan's car, we knew we were driving a race car on the street.

Those weren't the only issues we ran across on the Ride and Drive. The car had a low-rpm bucking problem, making me feel like a professional bull rider regular. Once the rpm was up past 2,000, the car was happier than Tech Editor Jones after a morning stop at 'Buckies (Starbucks, that is).

Out of all the KOTS cars, Ryan's was one of the hardest to get used to. The first few driving moments were truly an adventure. For yours truly, it reminded me of my dad letting someone borrow one of his cars, but he would go through a checklist of things that were wrong with the car before the person could drive off in said vehicle. We wish Ryan had given us a heads-up on the brakes and steering. Instead, we had to find out on our own. Good thing he was riding shotgun.

So how did Ryan's Mustang win the Nitto Tire KOTS? His car pretty much aced every other category. For the dyno session, he seemed like he had no idea how much power the car would make. When it made 907 hp on the first pull, he was all smiles. "I'll run it all the way out this time," Ryan said after the first pass. On his second dyno pass, the dyno malfunctioned and didn't give a reading. KOTS competitors are only allowed two dyno passes, but since the dyno malfunctioned, we gave Ryan's Mustang another run. It wouldn't have helped his final score, but power improved to 917 hp. That number would stick until Corey Harris' compound-boost Cobra.

After Ryan's dyno time, it was impossible for him to stop smiling. We were genuinely happy for him. It was obvious he had some apprehension going into the Horsepower segment of the KOTS.

In the drag race category, Ryan scored a 10 with a 10.87 at 146 mph. On his second drag pass, it looked like the car was really moving but Ryan missed a gear. The car still ran a 10.90 at 135 mph. Tech Editor Jones gave Ryan's car a 9 in Engineering, while Editor Turner gave it an 8 in Fit and Finish. Due to the driveability issues, the Ride and Drive hammered Ryan's Mustang. The car ended up with a 6 in that category. The crowd loved the car, and he scored a 9 in Popular Vote as well. Ryan's final score was an 84.

Ryan would like to thank his parents; his wife, Libby; daughter, Gianna; Bob Kurgan of Kurgan Motorsports; Hellion Power Systems' John Urist; Lightning Force Performance; and D'Agostino Racing.

Ryan said he wants to build a new car every year for the KOTS. He won't know he won the Nitto Tire KOTS until he reads this. Does that mean he'll keep building that single-turbocharged S197 Three-Valve for the '09 KOTS? We don't know, but we can't wait to find out.

Congratulations, Ryan, you are the Nitto Tire King of the Street winner.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINregulator, -8 feed and -6 return fuel
Blocklines, Sullivan Performance fuel
Stock '03 Cobra ironrails, Bosch 160 lb/hr injectors
DisplacementExhaust
281 ciStock manifolds, Magnaflow
Rotating Assemblyexhaust
Stock '03 CobraTransmission
CamshaftsStock '03 Cobra T56, Centerforce
Stock '03 CobraDFX clutch, Steeda Tri-Ax shifter
Cylinder HeadsRearend
Stock '03 Cobra8.8 w/ 3.55 gears, Detroit Locker
Intake Manifolddifferential, Strange Engineering
Sullivan Performance lower, HPPaxles
upper 
Throttle BodyELECTRONICS
Accufab single bladeEngine Management
Power AdderBig Stuff 3, Bob Kurgan-tuned
Hellion Power Systems single T66Ignition
turbo system with intercooler, {{{NX}}}MSD, NGK plugs
100hp nitrous kitGauges
Fuel SystemAuto Meter
Weldon 2345 fuel pump and 

Corey Harris
Look up wolf in sheep's clothing, and you'll likely see Corey Harris' '03. From the Modular Powerhouse camp, Corey's Cobra was built to make the most horsepower and run the quickest time at this year's Nitto Tire KOTS.

More on that later. This is what's known as a compound-boost car, with a ported stock Eaton supercharger, a Hellion Power Systems Hell Raiser twin-turbocharger system, and nitrous on top of all that. The car even had a spray-bar nitrous kit as well. Yeah, pure insanity on four wheels. Trust us-we couldn't believe it, either. There aren't too many shops in the country that would even dream of attempting this type of build, but MPH tackled it like a hungry NFL defensive lineman.

First off, when we drove the car, we didn't even try putting the wood to it. The car just makes so much power, it's insane. After we drove it, MPH's Jeff Harris took yours truly for a thrill ride, and even with the Nitto Xtreme Drag radials out back, the car is uncontrollable in First and Second gears. Not until you get way into Third gear can power be fully applied. After that, being in a jet plane on take-off will never be the same. This car left us asking the pilot if that was all he has. You have the low-end grunt of the supercharger; up top you have the twin turbos all spooled up trying to rip the front seats out of their brackets-but wait. Then you have the nitrous on top of that. It's just crazy.

After driving the car, we knew it was going to make a ton of power, but getting it all to show up on The Horsepower House's Dynojet was going to be a challenge. Sure enough, Jeff Harris' first dyno pull resulted in wicked tire spin.

For the second dyno pull, Jeff didn't even activate the nitrous and the Cobra still made 982 hp, a new KOTS record. We were hoping for 1,000-and we weren't alone-but the dyno wasn't going to hold it, even with a lot of junk in the trunk.

From our experiences with MPH, we knew the guys could tune, but how could they ever make a 982-rwhp, compound-boost Cobra drive like a street car? MPH did an excellent job of doing just that. It's not as docile and street-friendly as some of MPH's past KOTS cars, but respectable for as much power as this car makes. For this car to even idle down the road is a feat in itself. The fact that it can be driven like a stocker is truly amazing. Like we said, the driveability wasn't as great as previous MPH cars and the clutch squealed upon engagement, but if we were at the mercy of 1,000 rwhp, we'd probably give out a cry or two as well.

All this is surrounded by a plain, stock exterior, right down to the wheels. Although the rears are widened stockers, you have to look close to tell. Even the inside of the car is stock. If you were to cruise up to the local hot spot in Corey's Cobra, no one would be wiser as to how much power it makes, and we loved the car from top to bottom.

As for scoring, Corey's Cobra obviously won the Horsepower segment, so it scored an 11 in that category. With a 10.91/141-mph pass, the car scored a 9 in that category. Tech Editor KJ Jones really knows his stuff, and accordingly scored the Cobra with a 10 in the Engineering category. Editor Turner was also down with the subtle sledgehammer, giving the car an 8 in Fit and Finish.

For the Ride and Drive, the car earned an 8, but the Cobra's sleeper image fell upon deaf ears at the event, finishing dead last in the Popular Vote category. Obviously, the Mustang people are fooled by the car as well.

A few more votes and MPH could've had yet another KOTS win. However, a runner-up spot is not too bad, and someone else needs to win these things every once in a while, too. Corey's Cobra finished with a final score of 80.5.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN255-lph fuel pumps, Aeromotive
Blockregulator, -10 feed, -8 return fuel
'03 Cobra Ironlines, Siemens-Deka 75 lb/hr
Displacementinjectors, Fore Precision fuel rails
281 ciExhaust
Rotating AssemblyStock manifolds, Hellion Power
Cobra crankshaft, Oliver billetSystems X-style crossover pipe,
rods, Manley pistonsSLP after-cat
CamshaftsTransmission
{{{Ford GT}}}Stock T56, 26-spline input shaft,
Cylinder HeadsSPEC Stage 5, MGW shifter,
'03 Cobra, MPH-portedcustom driveshaft
Intake ManifoldRearend
Stock '03 CobraStock IRS, 3.55 gear, stock axles
Throttle Body 
Accufab single bladeELECTRONICS
Mass AirEngine Management
03 Cobra 90mm, DiabloSportStock computer, SCT-tuned
MAFiaIgnition
Power AdderStock, Kenne-Bell Boost-a-Spark
Ported Stock Eaton, HellionGauges
Power Systems twin 61mm turboStock, Auto Meter {{{Phantom}}}
kit, Nitrous {{{Express}}} 50, and sprayseries, Innovative Wideband
bar 
Fuel System 
Fore Precision fuel hat, three 

Dan Schoneck
Dan "Cornholio" Schoneck was back again for this year's KOTS, but this time, it was with his much-anticipated '07 Shelby GT500-the first to enter our competition. He bought the car as a wreck and clipped it back together. We just featured the car in the Dec. '08 issue ("Shuck and Drive," p. 66) so you can read more about it, but up until the KOTS, we hadn't spent any meaningful time behind the wheel of Dan's Shelby.

First of all, Dan doesn't sleep. We know that, but this car was keeping Dan up at night. The tuning and using all the tricks up his sleeve to try and get everything right on this car was an exercise in patience that not many of us have. It seemed like we heard from Dan on a daily basis on how he was working on this, improving that, and trying to be the first to do this or that. He has some lofty goals for the car, some of which you may have read in our sister publication, Car Craft.

Anyway, Dan basically had the car ripped apart 10 ways to Sunday on 10 different occasions. What he ended up with was a tight car that feels much lighter on its feet than its stock GT500 counterparts. A variety of Racecraft Incorporated suspension improvements with KW coilover shocks and struts are responsible for that characteristic. We noted that the car handled great for such a heavy vehicle. It handled like it was on rails. Furthermore, the brakes were rock solid, which is no surprise given they were stock GT500. We've praised the latest Shelby's brakes here before.

Of course, with an exotic combo like Dan's, the tuning can be tricky. Dan's car shut off on the Ride and Drive, and the driveability was just off when we drove the car. The clutch was grabby, like an on/off switch. If you found the clutch's sweet spot, you were good. If you didn't find the sweet spot, it made you look like an idiot. Of course, we can always look like an idiot with a stock clutch, but Dan's car magnified that issue. But the engine in Dan's car loved to rev. It would rev so quickly and effortlessly in Neutral-or whatever gear the car happened to be in.

Everyone knows Dan's a ProCharger guy, so it was an afterthought that the car had one of the company's F-1Rs under the hood. Yep, gone is the factory supercharger, and in its place is a ProCharger. The engine was a perfect pairing of 5.4 grunt and high-rpm madness. Under boost, the car was ready to get with the program, and it's ready to conquer the goals Dan has set for it.

At KOTS, Dan's Shelby made 870 hp to finish with a 9 in that category. With a troublesome 11.86/126-mph pass, Dan finished with a 7 in the Drag Race category. Tech Editor KJ Jones loved Dan's Shelby, giving the car a 9 in Engineering, while Editor Turner seemed more critical, scoring the car a 7 in the Fit and Finish category. Thanks to the driveability issues it suffered, the car earned Dan a 7 in the Ride and Drive. It seemed all of Dan's hard work went unnoticed in the Popular Vote, where he only garnered a 5. Dan finished with a final score of 75.

What really hurt Dan's finishing mark was the car's driveability, but we feel his pain, and know he'll be back.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINPerformance fuel lines and fittings,
BlockAeromotive regulator, CPR rails,
Stock GT500FRPP 150 lb/hr injectors,
DisplacementVersaFueler injector driver, Stock
331 ci{{{GT}}} pump in the passenger side off
Rotating Assemblythe tank to deliver fuel to the driver
{{{Ford}}} Lightning crankshaft withside of the fuel tank
Innovators West 10-percentExhaust
overdriven dampener, Pro PowerStainless Works long-tube headers
H-beam connecting rods,w/ 3-in system including mufflers
Diamond pistonsTransmission
CamshaftsStock 6060 six-speed, stock
{{{Ford GT}}} clutch, FRPP shifter, The
Cylinder HeadsDriveshaft Shop 3-in aluminum
Stock Four-Valvedriveshaft
Intake ManifoldRearend
Modified Stock GT500 lower,Racecraft 9-in housing, Mark
Beck Mechanical sheetmetalWilliams 35-spline axles, Strange
upperEngineering third member, Lenco
Throttle BodyRacing Transmissions locking
Stock GT500differential, 3.50 gears
Mass Air
AbacoELECTRONICS
Power AdderEngine Management
ProCharger F1-R, Fluidyne heatStock computer, DiabloSport
exchanger, Racecraft intercoolertune by DynoTunes
reservoir tankIgnition
Fuel SystemStock
Custom fuel tank, Magnafuel EFIGauges
Tuner series fuel pump, FragolaStock, Auto Meter {{{Cobalt}}}

John King
Why someone would modify an '04 Mystichrome Cobra convertible is beyond us, but John King also purchased a rare and modified Saleen Speedster, so this is nothing new to him. John purchased the Saleen Speedster right before last year's KOTS event just to have a car in the competition. The Saleen did well with a Vortech-huffed 400ci Windsor.

This year, John's battle axe of choice is this '04 Mystichrome convertible. Featuring a ProCharger-equipped Four-Valve, the convertible is solid. You get quite a bit of cowl shake (that's when the windshield has a bit of wobble to it; yes, that's a technical term) with many convertibles. However, John's didn't suffer from cowl shake thanks to a variety of chassis upgrades.

John's convertible also doesn't suffer from a lack of power from the aforementioned powerplant. The Cobra made 806 hp on the dyno, which is really surprising because the power is so linear, it wasn't a mad rush like the turbo cars in the competition. We noted the power isn't peaky, if that's a word. It gives you a chance to get ready for it. With many of the turbo cars in the competition, the horsepower comes as a mad onslaught. Not that it's a bad thing, but John's car gave us a chance to ready the troops before being overtaken.

Something else we like about John's car is that the tune is right on with zero hiccups. The blower noise isn't overt, and it makes nice sounds. The exhaust note isn't too obnoxious, and it gave us a chance to listen to the stock stereo. There isn't anything too loud about John's convertible, so for it to make over 800 rwhp is astounding.

His Cobra has a nice gauge layout, and the D&D Performance shifter attached to the T56 is perfect. The Zoom clutch has great feel and was easy to use. The only downfall to the car's tune is that the idle is higher than normal.

John finished just behind Dan Schoneck, the guy who did a lot of the work on the Cobra. John scored a 6 in the Horsepower category with 806 hp, and a 12.74/118-mph resulted in a 4 in the Drag Race. Tech Editor KJ Jones gave John's convertible an 8 in Engineering, while Editor Turner was a little brutal, giving the car a 7 in the Fit and Finish. The car earned an 8 in the Ride and Drive, but John and his wife, Megan, did some heavy lobbying for the Popular Vote, scoring a 10 in that category. John's final score was a 74.5.

John's final score could have been helped by the same thing that all the competitors could've used-more horsepower.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINpump, -8 lines, Weldon regulator,
BlockCPR fuel rails, FRPP 160 lb/hr
Stock '04 Cobra ironinjectors, VersaFueler injector
Displacementdriver
281 ciExhaust
Rotating AssemblyBassani Xhaust mid-length
Stockheaders, X-style crossover pipe,
Camshaftsand after-cat
StockTransmission
Cylinder HeadsT56, 26-spline input shaft, carbon
Stockblockers, billet keys, Zoom twin-
Intake Manifolddisc clutch, D&D Performance
ProChargershifter, stock driveshaft
Throttle BodyRearend
Accufab single blade Stock IRS
Mass Air 
SniperELECTRONICS
Power AdderEngine Management
ProCharger F-1C, Factory '04Stock computer, DiabloSport tune
Cobra intercooler, Fluidyne heatby DynoTunes
exchanger, custom eight-ribIgnition
accessory drive system, NitrousStock, Kenne-Bell Boost-a-Spark
{{{Express}}} 75 shot nitrous kitGauges
Fuel SystemStock, Auto Meter boost and
Magnafuel EFI Tuner series fuelfuel pressure, AEM Wideband

Matt Knab
Regular readers of 5.0&SF should recognize Matt Knab's '03 Cobra. We featured it just last year; plus it was in John Urist's pit at last year's Bradenton NMRA opener to showcase its Hellion Power Systems single-turbo system. Matt's Cobra makes big power, and he tried to be a part of last year's Nitto Tire KOTS, but last-minute transportation issues kept him from attending. This time around, however, he procured his mother-in-law's truck, rented a trailer, and was good to go.

Matt lives right down the road from our Tampa, Florida, offices so we've seen his Cobra on several occasions, but this year's KOTS was the first time we had an opportunity to drive it. It was worth the wait. The driveability of his Cobra is similar to Matt Simonds' Mach 1-which you'll read about shortly-but it's readily apparent that Matt's Cobra lives a more pampered lifestyle compared to Matt's Mach.

When we first took off in Matt's Cobra, it was also readily apparent that it has a well-sorted suspension system. With the Maximum Motorsports catalog thrown at the car, it's no surprise that it is so tight. The car felt connected, and the suspension is pretty much perfect. Everything worked on Matt's Cobra, but the clutch was somewhat grabby, and there was a noise coming from the IRS. It turns out Matt's car had a bad wheel bearing, which explains the racket.

Even with the somewhat grabby clutch, Matt's Cobra was easy to drive thanks to its stock interior, nice gauge layout, and solid brakes. Matt had all his bases covered with the Cobra with excellent, stock-like driveability, but yours truly would've loved to row the built T56 with a pistol grip-style shifter knob. That would've turned up the Cobra's driving enjoyment a notch.

In the end, Matt's Cobra was one of our favorite KOTS cars. It blended obscene horsepower with the driveability of a daily driver. By making 812 hp and still spinning, Matt's Cobra scored a 7 in the Horsepower segment. By running a 12.84, Matt's Cobra scored a disappointing 3 in the Drag Race portion. Tech Editor KJ Jones really liked Matt's car and how it was put together, giving it a perfect 10 in Engineering, while Editor Turner gave the car a 9 in Fit and Finish. Matt's Cobra also impressed on the Ride and Drive, scoring a 9 in that category.

It seems Matt didn't have too many friends in attendance at the KOTS, that or his vote lobbying could use a lot of work. With such a nice Cobra, we think he should've scored better than a 3 in the Popular Vote category. Matt finished with a final score of 74.5.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINfuel lines, stock Cobra fuel rails,
BlockLucas 75 lb/hr injectors
'03 Cobra IronExhaust
Displacement Stock ceramic-coated manifolds,
284 cicustom 4-in downpipe, Borla
Rotating AssemblyStinger cat-back exhaust
Stock Cobra crankshaft, OliverTransmission
billet rods, CP custom 17ccStock Cobra T56 with 26-spline
pistons, Total Seal ringsinput shaft, McLeod throw out
Camshaftsbearing guide shaft, SPEC Stage
01 Cobra intake cams, '03 Cobra3+ clutch, Fidanza aluminum
exhaust camsflywheel, Pro-5.0 shifter
Cylinder Heads Rearend
Stock 2003 Cobra, Boss 330Stock IRS, 3.55 gears, The
Racing-ported, Ferrea valves,Driveshaft Shop Level 5 axles,
Crower valve springs Maximum Motorsports urethane
Intake Manifold bushings, Kenny Brown
'01 Cobra upper and lowerPerformance differential bushings,
Throttle Body Billet Flow/MJCHIP IRS brace
Accufab 60mm twin blade 
Mass Air ELECTRONICS
SCT BA2800 Engine Management
Power AdderStock Computer, SCT Pro Racer
Hellion Power Systems single-Package
turbo kit featuring PrecisionIgnition
78mm turbo, air-to-air intercooler,Stock, NGK plugs
Nitrous {{{Express}}} 50hp nitrous kitGauges
with boost referenced progressiveStock, Auto Meter {{{Phantom}}}
controllerseries fuel pressure, water temp,
Fuel System oil pressure, and boost gauges;
{{{Ford GT}}} fuel pumps, dual fuelSBC ID 3 boost controller, LM-1
pump driver modules, Forewideband, Raptor shift light
Precision fuel hat, -10 Teflon-lined 

Jerome Shumate
Jerome Shumate's Fox coupe has been one of those Mustangs enjoying a long shelf life. We featured the car a few years ago, and to find out that it's still turning heads and inspiring Mustang builds is not a surprise. Jerome's wasn't the first Fox Mustang to receive a Four-Valve transplant, but it was one of the nicer, better-done transplants we had seen at that time, and remains so to this day. Jerome has continually refined the car, adding things here and there in the name of more power and driveability.

Gone is the stock Eaton blower and likewise the T56. Now it has a Whipple 3.4 supercharger and a 4R70W. We rode in the car at the '07 NMRA World Finals, but with improved power in 2008, we felt Jerome's car would be perfect for the KOTS. It didn't disappoint.

When we previously rode in the car, Jerome had added the 4R70W. During that ride, we saw all the effort necessary to drive it. When it was our turn, I was reminded of the reverse lock-out, the manual valvebody, and the switches for the Overdrive and torque converter lock-up. These aspects of the car keep you busy, and if you're not familiar with them, you're not going anywhere.

Also, the A/C in Jerome's coupe wasn't fully operational at the KOTS, so that didn't help, either. Having said all that, once the car's in Overdrive, it's a beautiful thing. The exhaust note is angry perfection, and with the Whipple, throttle response is out of this world. We were thankful for those two things because Jerome's coupe doesn't have a radio either. The exhaust note is music to everyone's ears. Jerome's coupe boasts a nice, familiar gauge layout and nice brakes for it being a Fox car.

As for scoring, Jerome's coupe finished second to last with 622 hp to score a 2. However, Jerome's coupe finished first in the Drag Race portion with almost a KOTS record 10.33/129-mph pass. With the transplanted Four-Valve, Tech Editor Jones gave Jerome's coupe a 9, while Editor Turner gave the car a 7 in the Fit and Finish category. In the Ride and Drive, Jerome's coupe took a couple hits thanks to a busy automatic, no A/C, and no stereo, scoring a lackluster 7. However, with a lot of friends, family, and fans at the race, His coupe redeemed itself by finishing first in the Popular Vote category with an 11. Jerome finished with a final score of 68.5.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINSiemens-Deka 75lb/hr injectors,
BlockAeromotive regulator
'03 CobraExhaust
DisplacementKooks long-tube headers and X-
281 cistyle crossover pipe, Flowmaster
Rotating Assembly3-in after-cat exhaust
Stock '03 CobraTransmission
Camshafts4R70W, manual valvebody,
Stock '03 CobraPrecision Industries 3,500-rpm
Cylinder Headsstall, B&{{{M}}} Pro Ratchet shifter,
Stock '03 Cobra'03 Cobra driveshaft
Intake ManifoldRearend
Stock '03 Cobra8.8, 3.73 gears, {{{Yukon}}} Gear locker
Throttle Bodydifferential, Moser 28-spline axles
Kenne Bell oval 
Mass AirELECTRONICS
JLT Performance 110mmEngine Management
Power AdderStock '03 Cobra computer, SCT
Whipple 3.4 supercharger,x-CAL II
Lightning Force PerformanceIgnition
heat exchanger, Nitrous {{{Express}}}Stock '03 Cobra
75 shot of nitrousGauges
Fuel SystemStock '03 Cobra with Auto Meter,
Walbro twin 255-lph fuel pumps,Innovative air/fuel
Earl's fuel lines, CPR fuel rails, 

Matt Simonds
We didn't know much about Matt Simonds' '03 Mach 1 prior to the Nitto Tire KOTS. Pretty much all we knew was that it had made over 900 hp, and it was a pretty nice car. The exterior was stock Mach 1, but that didn't bother us. The fact that it had a stock exterior intrigued us even more as to what was under the hood and how the car was able to make over 900 hp in the first place. It looks like a stock Mach with Cobra R wheels. We were curious.

When we first saw the car at the event, we weren't blown away. The car wasn't the cleanest, but Matt blew us away when he told us he drove the car to the event from his home in Nashville, Tennessee (just over an hour away). Yeah, it's just an hour, but that gave us an indication of why Matt's car seemed the most road-weary. It didn't surprise us to hear Matt drives the Mach on a daily basis. When I took the car out for the Ride and Drive, I found out why.

Matt's was the fifth car I drove for the Ride and Drive, and it was truly a breath of fresh air. It was a piece of cake to drive, truly was like driving a stock Mustang. The Steeda Autosports/QA-1 suspension setup is perfect. The Mach's driveability is stock-like, and it has a friendly gauge layout, a nice stereo, and cold A/C. With no cage in sight, it's easy to get in and out of it. The shifter is nice and the clutch is easily familiar. Obviously Matt's Mach impressed on the Ride and Drive.

When we had the competitors draw names to decide the running order for the Horsepower segment, Matt drew the short straw to be the first car on The Horsepower House's Dynojet. We're hesitant to call Matt's dyno session a guinea-pig test run because the runs did count, although we learned a couple extra hundred pounds of ballast would be needed in the trunks of the KOTS cars.

The turbocharged cars like Matt's come up on boost so fast and the tires hit so hard that the tires were spinning on the dyno. Matt's first pass resulted in tire spin, but he was able to make a complete dyno run on his second pass. However, he wasn't too happy with the dyno showing "only" 802 hp, but that's what the dyno read. Everyone had to run on the same dyno, so no one was getting preferential treatment. If one car was down, it has been our experience that every car would be down as well, and this KOTS competition was no different.

All told, for basically a daily driver, Matt's Mach represented itself very well. After making 802 hp, Matt's Mach scored a 5 in the Horsepower segment. With an 11.69/129-mph pass, he scored a 5 in the Drag Race segment as well.

Since Matt's car is a daily driver, his car wasn't as detailed and clean as some of the others. Therefore, his Mach took a hit in the Engineering and Fit and Finish categories, scoring a 6 in both. Because of the car's driveability, it scored a 9 in the Ride and Drive category. And thanks to relative close proximity to home, Matt enjoyed somewhat of a home-field advantage scoring an 8 in the Popular Vote category. Matt's Mach 1 finished with a final score of 67.5.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINintercooler, dual wastegates
BlockFuel System
2004 Cobra iron03 Cobra tank, Walbro dual fuel
Displacementpumps, -8 feed, -6 return fuel lines,
302 cibillet fuel rails, 65 lb/hr injectors
Rotating AssemblyExhaust
Modular Mustang Racing forgedHP ceramic-coated with 4-in
3.75i stroke crankshaft, Manleydown pipe, Bassani tailpipes
Pro Series billet rods, MMR/Transmission
Manley pistons, Speed Pro rings,Tremec TKO II, SPEC Stage 4
ARP boltsclutch, Hurst shifter, custom steel
Camshaftsdriveshaft
Stock Rearend
Cylinder Heads8.8 w/ 3.55 gears, Stock
Stock Four-Valve, intake sidedifferential, Moser 31-spline axles
ported, Comp Cams valve springs, 
stock size valvesELECTRONICS
Intake ManifoldEngine Management
'03 Mach 1, portedStock EEC-IV
Throttle BodyIgnition
Accufab Twin 62mmMSD
Power AdderGauges
HP twin 57mm turbo kit withAuto Meter Lunar series

As far as power, Scott's GT underwent a few changes right before the event, so we weren't sure how much power the car would make. With 22 pounds of boost on tap, Scott's GT churned out 707 hp, but it broke the blower on the second pass. With that number, Scott scored a 3 in the Horsepower segment.

Scott Spandet
Word of Scott Spandet's '02 Mustang GT came to us by way of House of Boost's Erik Radzins. The HOB had done a lot of work and tuning on the car, and Erik, a KOTS veteran, knew it was perfect for the competition. Erik told us it was a big power Two-Valve; we needed at least a couple Two-Valves in the competition, so Scott's GT seemed ideal. When we received pictures of Scott's GT, Erik's assumption was proven correct. We couldn't wait to get our hands on Scott's car.

Scott says his GT has been a journey, but finding the car wasn't even on his mind when he came across it at a local Ford dealer. He was actually out with some of his friends looking for a new lawn mower. "I laid eyes on the red GT," Scott says, "and it reminded me so much of my red '90 GT, I had to have it."

Since he broke the blower on the dyno, he had to call ProCharger to order a new unit. He was able to get it, but he had to hurry up and install it Saturday morning before the Drag Race portion of the competition. He got the new blower installed but ran into problems on his lone pass, resulting in a score of 2 in that segment. Tech Editor KJ Jones liked Scott's GT, giving it a 9 in Engineering, and Editor Turner liked the car as well, also giving it a 9 in Fit and Finish.

Yours truly loved driving Scott's GT, but its driveability wasn't as good as Matt Knab's Cobra or Matt Simonds' Mach, so it scored an 8 in the Ride and Drive category. For the Popular Vote, Scott's GT scored pretty well with a 7.

Scott took 800 miles to break the car in; then added the first of three ProCharger superchargers. "I'm from KC, ya' know," Scott says, making reference to ProCharger's headquarters in nearby Lenexa, Kansas. The GT has seen engine and suspension upgrades ever since, and the House of Boost helped take the car to the next level with a new fuel system, custom eight-rib accessory drive system, and a Big Stuff 3 installation and tune. Prior to the event, Scott would drive the car to the track, rip off 10.50s, and drive it back home-but how would it perform at the KOTS? We were anxious to find out.

When we finally saw Scott's car for the first time, we knew why he fell in love with it. There's not much that's hotter on four wheels than a bright red Mustang wearing big 'n' littles. This author loves the look of the '99-'01 Cobra front end, and Scott's car makes it look good. The H.O. Fibertrends hood is the icing on the cake.

What really hurt Scott's final score was his finish in the Horsepower category. Had he scored higher, his overall score would've been better. Alas, Scott finished with a final score of 66.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINbraided fuel lines, Aeromotive fuel
Blockrails, 83 lb/hr injectors
Livernois MotorsportsExhaust
DisplacementBassani Xhaust mid-length
298 ciheaders and X-style crossover
Rotating Assemblypipe, Magnaflow mufflers
Livernois MotorsportsTransmission
crankshaft, Manley rods, MahlePromotion T56, McLeod clutch,
pistonsSPEC pressure plate, MGW
Camshaftsshifter, pistol grip knob, FRPP
Customaluminum driveshaft
Cylinder HeadsRearend
Livernois Motorsports Stage 3,8.8 w/ 3.73 gears, Eaton posi,
Comp Cams beehive valve31-spline Moser axles
springs, stock valvetrain 
Intake ManifoldELECTRONICS
EdlebrockEngine Management
Throttle BodyBig Stuff 3, House of Boost-tuned
Wilson Manifolds 90mmIgnition
Power AdderMSD, NGK plugs
ProChager F-1C with intercooler,Gauges
House of Boost eight-ribStock
accessory drive system 
Fuel System 
Twin {{{Ford GT}}} fuel pumps, -8 

Another thing we are drawn to is the lovely sound of the ProCharger F-1C. Scott's car also gave us our first look at the House of Boost's new eight-rib accessory drive system. The drive system alone is good enough reason to have Scott's GT in the KOTS. What a wicked piece!

Anyway, back to Scott's car. The ProCharger makes a sweet sound that can be heard from two cities away, and everyone within those two miles knows what's under the hood. The sound alone is enough to make other drivers scurry for cover. However, we have a love/hate relationship with the ProCharger on Scott's car. Although we loved it, the car could've been a little quieter on the Ride and Drive. Thankfully Scott's GT features a nice stereo, so all we had to do was turn up the volume and we were good to go.

Another interesting part of Scott's car is that it features a ProMotion six-speed with a McLeod clutch and SPEC pressure plate. The clutch was easy to use, and yours truly loved the pistol-grip knob connected to an MGW shifter. We've wanted to try the MGW/pistol-grip knob combo for a few years now, and Scott's car confirmed that it's a nice setup. The whole clutch/transmission/shifter combo was right on in Scott's GT.

The GT has a cage in it, but it benefits from swing-out door bars, making ingress/egress stock-like. The Corbeau seats in are perfect for a street/strip car. They're comfortable, but really keep you planted in the seat.

Also keeping you planted in the seat is the aforementioned ProCharger F-1C supercharger. As you know, a centrifugal supercharger builds boost with increased rpm, and even though Scott's GT was docile in the lower rpm range, you can really feel the boost come on once the Livernois Two-Valve gets some revs under its belt.

As far as power, Scott's GT underwent a few changes right before the event, so we weren't sure how much power the car would make. With 22 pounds of boost on tap, Scott's GT churned out 707 hp, but it broke the blower on the second pass. With that number, Scott scored a 3 in the Horsepower segment.

Scott Spandet
Word of Scott Spandet's '02 Mustang GT came to us by way of House of Boost's Erik Radzins. The HOB had done a lot of work and tuning on the car, and Erik, a KOTS veteran, knew it was perfect for the competition. Erik told us it was a big power Two-Valve; we needed at least a couple Two-Valves in the competition, so Scott's GT seemed ideal. When we received pictures of Scott's GT, Erik's assumption was proven correct. We couldn't wait to get our hands on Scott's car.

Scott says his GT has been a journey, but finding the car wasn't even on his mind when he came across it at a local Ford dealer. He was actually out with some of his friends looking for a new lawn mower. "I laid eyes on the red GT," Scott says, "and it reminded me so much of my red '90 GT, I had to have it."

Since he broke the blower on the dyno, he had to call ProCharger to order a new unit. He was able to get it, but he had to hurry up and install it Saturday morning before the Drag Race portion of the competition. He got the new blower installed but ran into problems on his lone pass, resulting in a score of 2 in that segment. Tech Editor KJ Jones liked Scott's GT, giving it a 9 in Engineering, and Editor Turner liked the car as well, also giving it a 9 in Fit and Finish.

Yours truly loved driving Scott's GT, but its driveability wasn't as good as Matt Knab's Cobra or Matt Simonds' Mach, so it scored an 8 in the Ride and Drive category. For the Popular Vote, Scott's GT scored pretty well with a 7.

Scott took 800 miles to break the car in; then added the first of three ProCharger superchargers. "I'm from KC, ya' know," Scott says, making reference to ProCharger's headquarters in nearby Lenexa, Kansas. The GT has seen engine and suspension upgrades ever since, and the House of Boost helped take the car to the next level with a new fuel system, custom eight-rib accessory drive system, and a Big Stuff 3 installation and tune. Prior to the event, Scott would drive the car to the track, rip off 10.50s, and drive it back home-but how would it perform at the KOTS? We were anxious to find out.

When we finally saw Scott's car for the first time, we knew why he fell in love with it. There's not much that's hotter on four wheels than a bright red Mustang wearing big 'n' littles. This author loves the look of the '99-'01 Cobra front end, and Scott's car makes it look good. The H.O. Fibertrends hood is the icing on the cake.

What really hurt Scott's final score was his finish in the Horsepower category. Had he scored higher, his overall score would've been better. Alas, Scott finished with a final score of 66.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINbraided fuel lines, Aeromotive fuel
Blockrails, 83 lb/hr injectors
Livernois MotorsportsExhaust
DisplacementBassani Xhaust mid-length
298 ciheaders and X-style crossover
Rotating Assemblypipe, Magnaflow mufflers
Livernois MotorsportsTransmission
crankshaft, Manley rods, MahlePromotion T56, McLeod clutch,
pistonsSPEC pressure plate, MGW
Camshaftsshifter, pistol grip knob, FRPP
Customaluminum driveshaft
Cylinder HeadsRearend
Livernois Motorsports Stage 3,8.8 w/ 3.73 gears, Eaton posi,
Comp Cams beehive valve31-spline Moser axles
springs, stock valvetrain 
Intake ManifoldELECTRONICS
EdlebrockEngine Management
Throttle BodyBig Stuff 3, House of Boost-tuned
Wilson Manifolds 90mmIgnition
Power AdderMSD, NGK plugs
ProChager F-1C with intercooler,Gauges
House of Boost eight-ribStock
accessory drive system 
Fuel System 
Twin {{{Ford GT}}} fuel pumps, -8 

Another thing we are drawn to is the lovely sound of the ProCharger F-1C. Scott's car also gave us our first look at the House of Boost's new eight-rib accessory drive system. The drive system alone is good enough reason to have Scott's GT in the KOTS. What a wicked piece!

Anyway, back to Scott's car. The ProCharger makes a sweet sound that can be heard from two cities away, and everyone within those two miles knows what's under the hood. The sound alone is enough to make other drivers scurry for cover. However, we have a love/hate relationship with the ProCharger on Scott's car. Although we loved it, the car could've been a little quieter on the Ride and Drive. Thankfully Scott's GT features a nice stereo, so all we had to do was turn up the volume and we were good to go.

Another interesting part of Scott's car is that it features a ProMotion six-speed with a McLeod clutch and SPEC pressure plate. The clutch was easy to use, and yours truly loved the pistol-grip knob connected to an MGW shifter. We've wanted to try the MGW/pistol-grip knob combo for a few years now, and Scott's car confirmed that it's a nice setup. The whole clutch/transmission/shifter combo was right on in Scott's GT.

The GT has a cage in it, but it benefits from swing-out door bars, making ingress/egress stock-like. The Corbeau seats in are perfect for a street/strip car. They're comfortable, but really keep you planted in the seat.

Also keeping you planted in the seat is the aforementioned ProCharger F-1C supercharger. As you know, a centrifugal supercharger builds boost with increased rpm, and even though Scott's GT was docile in the lower rpm range, you can really feel the boost come on once the Livernois Two-Valve gets some revs under its belt.

However, the Ride and Drive wasn't all bad for Allen's GT. The GT's Sparco seats are nice, and the stock stereo is still in place, which is unusual for the car being so modified.

Allen Hurley
For Allen Hurley and his '06 Mustang GT, getting the car into the Nitto Tire KOTS was a long and arduous journey, especially as the event drew nearer. We don't know if any Mustang is ever truly "finished," but Allen and his brother Rick really had their hands full getting the car finished in time for the KOTS.

For a little background, Allen took a 5,000-mile '06 GT and stripped it bare with the dream of building it into an 8-second, 1,000hp street/strip brawler. Allen's friend Johnny Morris helped put hours of hard work into the car, and Fastlane Motorsports came into the picture for mechanical expertise and direction as well. That's when the twin-turbo beast really started to take shape.

Speaking of modified, since the car was way hot on the Ride and Drive, we knew the Horsepower segment was going to be an interesting one. Still wreaking of coolant, Allen pulled his car onto The Horsepower House's Dynojet. Yours truly made sure to stay away from the car while on the dyno, but not only did the car survive the two consecutive dyno pulls, the twin-turbo Livernois Three-Valve made 870 hp on the first pass. It was obvious the engine grew hot during that first dyno pass. Horsepower dropped to 839, but only one dyno pass is needed for the KOTS.

Though it may seem all doom and gloom for Allen's GT, the car is cool, although a bit racy for KOTS. It scored a 5 in the Ride and Drive, and an 8 in the Horsepower category, but finished dead last in the Drag Race segment because it wasn't able to make a pass. Since the car was an exercise in performance engineering, Tech Editor KJ Jones gave the car a 9 for the Engineering category. Editor Turner gave the green striped GT a 7 in the Fit and Finish, while the car earned a score of 4 in the Popular Vote category. Allen's GT finished with a final score of 63.

Fast-forward to the weeks leading up to the KOTS, and problems came from every direction. Allen's GT had transmission troubles and a myriad of engine issues, which were never totally ironed out by the competition, but Allen had to dance with the girl that brought him to the KOTS. Lentech was able to get Allen a new transmission. Livernois Motorsports was able to get a new engine, and get it running, as well. Allen even hauled the car to Livernois to get it right, but at the KOTS, new issues sprang up from nowhere.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINand regulator; Aeroquip fuel lines,
BlockPrecision fuel injectors
Stock 4.6Exhaust
DisplacementFRPP headers, custom H-pipe,
281 ciDynomax Bullet mufflers
Rotating AssemblyTransmission
Livernois MotorsportsLentech 4R70W with matching
crankshaft, Manley billet rods4,000-rpm stall converter, B&{{{M}}}
and forged pistonsshifter, custom aluminum
Camshaftsdriveshaft
Comp CamsRearend
Cylinder HeadsMoser 9-in with corresponding
Livernois Motorsports Three-differential and 35-spline axles,
Valve3.{{{90}}} gears
Intake Manifold 
Logan custom sheetmetalELECTRONICS
Throttle BodyEngine Management
CustomBig Stuff 3
Power AdderIgnition
Garrett twin 67mm turbochargers,Big Stuff, MSD plug wires,
custom intercoolerAutolite spark plugs
Fuel SystemGauges
Aeromotive fuel pump, fuel rails,Racepak

We had a heads-up that Allen's GT was having issues, but he trudged on. His GT made it through the photography for the article, but that was the easy part. The car reeked of coolant, which is never a good sign. However, we started the Ride and Drive portion, and away we went. Suddenly the coolant temperature shot up higher than Editor Turner's hair back in college. We had to turn around and pull off the road to let the car cool down.

We were able to limp the car back to the track and run more diagnostic tests. The source of the problem was never found, so Allen had no choice but give it hell at every chance. Even so, the twin-turbo GT made 870 hp to score an 8 in the Horsepower segment- more on that in a minute.

Since we had to turn around and pull off during the Ride and Drive, Allen knew he was going to take a hit for that portion of the event. Those weren't the only issues we encountered on the Ride and Drive.

"The car was built for a short guy," Allen said. Well, while Allen is barely tall enough to meet the height requirements on kiddie amusement rides, yours truly is 6 foot tall. Since the car was built for Allen and features a 10-point, funny car-style cage, to say the fit was tight would be like saying at 7 feet, 6 inches, Yao Ming is tall. I really wasn't sure how I was going to get in the car. Even more so, once I was in the car, I didn't know how I was going to get out. I'm not going to lie-I was a little nervous and claustrophobia was setting in. Thankfully, I was able to fold myself out of the car and live to tell about it.

In the hurry-up engine removal and reinstallation process, key transmission wires weren't reconnected, which kept the overdrive and torque converter lock-up from functioning as intended. The car's Lentech 4R70W features a manual valvebody and switches for the overdrive and converter lock-up, which as you read, weren't fully operational for the KOTS.

However, the Ride and Drive wasn't all bad for Allen's GT. The GT's Sparco seats are nice, and the stock stereo is still in place, which is unusual for the car being so modified.

Allen Hurley
For Allen Hurley and his '06 Mustang GT, getting the car into the Nitto Tire KOTS was a long and arduous journey, especially as the event drew nearer. We don't know if any Mustang is ever truly "finished," but Allen and his brother Rick really had their hands full getting the car finished in time for the KOTS.

For a little background, Allen took a 5,000-mile '06 GT and stripped it bare with the dream of building it into an 8-second, 1,000hp street/strip brawler. Allen's friend Johnny Morris helped put hours of hard work into the car, and Fastlane Motorsports came into the picture for mechanical expertise and direction as well. That's when the twin-turbo beast really started to take shape.

Speaking of modified, since the car was way hot on the Ride and Drive, we knew the Horsepower segment was going to be an interesting one. Still wreaking of coolant, Allen pulled his car onto The Horsepower House's Dynojet. Yours truly made sure to stay away from the car while on the dyno, but not only did the car survive the two consecutive dyno pulls, the twin-turbo Livernois Three-Valve made 870 hp on the first pass. It was obvious the engine grew hot during that first dyno pass. Horsepower dropped to 839, but only one dyno pass is needed for the KOTS.

Though it may seem all doom and gloom for Allen's GT, the car is cool, although a bit racy for KOTS. It scored a 5 in the Ride and Drive, and an 8 in the Horsepower category, but finished dead last in the Drag Race segment because it wasn't able to make a pass. Since the car was an exercise in performance engineering, Tech Editor KJ Jones gave the car a 9 for the Engineering category. Editor Turner gave the green striped GT a 7 in the Fit and Finish, while the car earned a score of 4 in the Popular Vote category. Allen's GT finished with a final score of 63.

Fast-forward to the weeks leading up to the KOTS, and problems came from every direction. Allen's GT had transmission troubles and a myriad of engine issues, which were never totally ironed out by the competition, but Allen had to dance with the girl that brought him to the KOTS. Lentech was able to get Allen a new transmission. Livernois Motorsports was able to get a new engine, and get it running, as well. Allen even hauled the car to Livernois to get it right, but at the KOTS, new issues sprang up from nowhere.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINand regulator; Aeroquip fuel lines,
BlockPrecision fuel injectors
Stock 4.6Exhaust
DisplacementFRPP headers, custom H-pipe,
281 ciDynomax Bullet mufflers
Rotating AssemblyTransmission
Livernois MotorsportsLentech 4R70W with matching
crankshaft, Manley billet rods4,000-rpm stall converter, B&{{{M}}}
and forged pistonsshifter, custom aluminum
Camshaftsdriveshaft
Comp CamsRearend
Cylinder HeadsMoser 9-in with corresponding
Livernois Motorsports Three-differential and 35-spline axles,
Valve3.{{{90}}} gears
Intake Manifold 
Logan custom sheetmetalELECTRONICS
Throttle BodyEngine Management
CustomBig Stuff 3
Power AdderIgnition
Garrett twin 67mm turbochargers,Big Stuff, MSD plug wires,
custom intercoolerAutolite spark plugs
Fuel SystemGauges
Aeromotive fuel pump, fuel rails,Racepak

We had a heads-up that Allen's GT was having issues, but he trudged on. His GT made it through the photography for the article, but that was the easy part. The car reeked of coolant, which is never a good sign. However, we started the Ride and Drive portion, and away we went. Suddenly the coolant temperature shot up higher than Editor Turner's hair back in college. We had to turn around and pull off the road to let the car cool down.

We were able to limp the car back to the track and run more diagnostic tests. The source of the problem was never found, so Allen had no choice but give it hell at every chance. Even so, the twin-turbo GT made 870 hp to score an 8 in the Horsepower segment- more on that in a minute.

Since we had to turn around and pull off during the Ride and Drive, Allen knew he was going to take a hit for that portion of the event. Those weren't the only issues we encountered on the Ride and Drive.

"The car was built for a short guy," Allen said. Well, while Allen is barely tall enough to meet the height requirements on kiddie amusement rides, yours truly is 6 foot tall. Since the car was built for Allen and features a 10-point, funny car-style cage, to say the fit was tight would be like saying at 7 feet, 6 inches, Yao Ming is tall. I really wasn't sure how I was going to get in the car. Even more so, once I was in the car, I didn't know how I was going to get out. I'm not going to lie-I was a little nervous and claustrophobia was setting in. Thankfully, I was able to fold myself out of the car and live to tell about it.

In the hurry-up engine removal and reinstallation process, key transmission wires weren't reconnected, which kept the overdrive and torque converter lock-up from functioning as intended. The car's Lentech 4R70W features a manual valvebody and switches for the overdrive and converter lock-up, which as you read, weren't fully operational for the KOTS.

Andy Barth
We can always count on Modular Powerhouse for a couple of Nitto Tire KOTS entrants, and this year was no different. The second MPH car was that of Andy Barth, brother of owner Tim Barth. If memory serves-and in many cases it doesn't-Andy's GT was supposed to be in last year's competition, but terminal mechanical damage ended that campaign. This year Andy's car was ready to go.

Typically automatic cars do pretty well in the Nitto Tire KOTS because they're usually easy to drive. However, one thing we've noticed is that a lot of guys want a C4 transmission for the dragstrip and an overdrive for the street. Everyone wants the best of both worlds. Therefore, many of these high-horsepower cars have switches for the overdrive and the lock-up torque converter, negatively impacting the Ride and Drive scores in this competition. For the owners, hitting a switch is no big deal, but for the Nitto Tire KOTS, having to make sure to hit the correct switch has a negative impact on the Ride and Drive score. The switches mean there's a learning curve to driving such a car, and the judging of the Ride and Drive is based on the ability of anyone to hop in and go down the road. Yeah, we know, the owners of these cars don't want just anyone jumping behind the wheel, but being easy to drive pays huge dividends in the KOTS.

Andy's GT is one of those cars featuring switches, and its setup is similar to that of Jerome Shumate's coupe. Andy's car features a manual valvebody, meaning the car has to be manually shifted. These two features are nothing new to us at this point, but they detract from the overall driveability of the car. This is King of the Street after all.

When we drove Andy's GT, we did the switch dance; once the car's in overdrive, it cruises really nice. We could see driving Andy's car every day, but we would have enjoyed our ride in the car more if we'd been able to simply drop the B&M shifter into Drive and take off.

All the accessories in Andy's GT work well, including the ice-cold A/C. The cage features swing-out door bars, which we love. The skinnies up front aren't the best for daily-driver duty, but they don't hurt overall driveability. The brakes on Andy's GT worked great, and we enjoyed the car's gauge layout and the stereo, as well. Andy's GT boasts dumps in front of the rear axle, which were pretty loud on acceleration, but calmed down when in overdrive.

Overall, we enjoyed our time with Andy's GT. He only needed one dyno pull at The Horsepower House, and he stayed pat when it made 755 hp as that number still placed him in the lower half of the competition. He scored a 4 in the Horsepower category.

With an 11.24/130-mph pass, Andy's GT scored an 8 in the Drag Race category. Tech Editor Jones gave Andy's GT an 8 in Engineering, and Editor Turner gave the car a 7 in Fit and Finish. In the Ride and Drive, the car scored an 8, and it tied with Matt Knab's Cobra with a 3 in the Popular Vote. Andy's GT finished with a final score of 61.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINand regulator, -10 feed, -8 return
Blockfuel lines, CPR fuel rails, Siemens-
Teksid aluminum blockDeka 75 lb/hr injectors
DisplacementExhaust
302 ciAmerican Racing Headers long-
Rotating Assemblytube headers and X-style
Cobra crankshaft, Oliver billetcrossover pipe, Flowmaster
rods, Manley pistonsmufflers with dumps
CamshaftsTransmission
Modular Powerhouse Kenne-BellLentech 4R70W with lock-up and
camsoverdrive, Performance
Cylinder HeadsAutomatic 3,{{{200}}}-rpm stall
Stock PI heads, Modularconverter, B&M shifter, custom
Powerhouse-portedchromoly driveshaft
Intake ManifoldRearend
Kenne-Bell8.8, 3.73 gears, moser 31-spline
Throttle Bodyaxles and spool
Accufab single blade 
Mass AirELECTRONICS
Cobra 90mm, DiabloSport MAFiaEngine Management
Power AdderStock computer, SCT-tuned
Kenne-Bell 2.8H, '03 Cobra heatIgnition
exchangerStock with Kenne-Bell Boost-a-Spark
Fuel SystemGauges
Aeromotive Eliminator fuel pumpStock, Auto Meter {{{Phantom}}}

Chuck Hamstra
There are no last place finishers in the Nitto Tire King of the Street, just cars that didn't finish in First. Case in point is Chuck Hamstra and his '98 Cobra. We've loved the Bright Atlantic Blue for years, and as with all the other KOTS cars, seeing Chuck's Cobra in person was like falling in love all over again. Since my daily driver is an SN-95 Mustang Cobra, yours truly really wanted to see Chuck's do well. However, Chuck had a rough go of it leading up to the KOTS.

First off, Chuck is from Utah, and since we hold the Nitto Tire KOTS as part of the NMRA Bowling Green, Kentucky, World Finals, that is a long haul. If you remember, gas prices were still through the roof. As you can see, that didn't stop him and buddy Heath Besner from attending. Further adding drama to the situation, Chuck broke a blower a couple days before he was supposed to leave for the KOTS. We made a few calls on his behalf to ProCharger, and a replacement was under the hood of Chuck's Cobra in time to make the trip. (Don't start thinking we'll do that for everyone. We thought Chuck's was a special case.)

Speaking of special, Chuck's Cobra is exactly that. Chuck is a service technician by trade, and his '98 is the eighth Mustang he's built for himself and "the best one yet," he says.

Built at Modular Madness West in Utah, the car's blower issues sent Chuck right behind the eight ball as far as the car's tune. He basically had to tune the car on the way to the event. That cost him big time in the Horsepower segment because his dyno pass of record showed 330 hp at the wheels. We allowed a few tuning adjustments, which greatly improved his numbers up to 584 hp, but KOTS rules doesn't allow for dyno tuning, so we had to go with the 330, placing him dead last in the ever-important Horsepower segment.

The Ride and Drive segment is where Chuck's Cobra really shines. First of all, the sound of the ProCharger F-1A is intoxicating. In our experience, ProChargers have been relatively loud throughout the power band, but interestingly enough, when Chuck's Cobra was in Fifth gear, it was as if the supercharger disappeared. Not only that, the Cobra's 3.55 gear made Chuck's Cobra perfectly suited for cruising. With the 3.55 gear, the car's IRS, and the F-1A's disappearing act, the car scored big points on the Ride and Drive.

The IRS rear made the ride compliant over the bumps, but further suspension upgrades also made for a solid, well-connected ride. The stock seats are comfortable, and the car's A/C kept us cooler than the other side of the pillow.

However, the new blower also caused a mysterious condition that made the car stall a couple times when depressing the clutch pedal while coming to a stop. Chuck says that problem didn't rear its ugly head until the new blower was installed, just prior to the KOTS. Up to that point, Chuck's Cobra pretty much nailed the Ride and Drive, but the stalling issue hurt.

What didn't hurt his Ride and Drive score was the Exedy prototype clutch in Chuck's Cobra. Like some of the other KOTS cars, the Exedy clutch wasn't grabby or chattery. The clutch had excellent feel and could be slipped when letting it out in First gear. Many of the other KOTS cars couldn't be slipped because of on/off switches for clutches.

As far as Chuck's final scoring goes, the aforementioned Horsepower numbers really hurt with a score of 1 in the category. His final score in the Ride and Drive portion was an 8. In the Drag Race segment, Chuck's Cobra responded with an 11.87 at 125 mph, leaving him with a 6 in that category. Tech Editor KJ Jones gave Chuck's Cobra an 8 in Engineering and Editor Turner gave the car a 7 in Fit and Finish. In the popular vote category, Chuck really had his work cut out for him since he was a long way from his home precinct. However, he rallied his troops to score a 6 in that category. Chuck's Cobra finished with a final score of 57.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINfuel lines, rails, and regulator,
Block55 lb/hr injectors
Teksid aluminum blockExhaust
DisplacementBassani Xhaust mid-length
298 ciheaders and X-style crossover
Rotating Assemblypipe, Magnaflow mufflers
Kellogg crankshaft, Manley rodsTransmission
and pistonsTremec TKO {{{600}}}, Exedy prototype
CamshaftsStage 2 Plus clutch and lightweight
Stock '04 Cobraflywheel, FRPP aluminum
Cylinder Headsdriveshaft, Pro-5.0 shifter
Stock '04 Cobra, owner-ported,Rearend
stock valvetrain04 Cobra IRS, 3.55 gears, Stock
Intake Manifoldaxles
'99 Cobra 
Throttle BodyELECTRONICS
Accufab single bladeEngine Management
Mass AirStock Computer, SCT-tuned
SCT 2400Ignition
Power AdderStock, ACCEL coils, Taylor plug
ProCharger F-1A with F1-Cwires, NGK TR6 spark plugs
impeller and intercooler, 3.4-inGauges
pulleyStock, Auto Meter air/fuel gauge
Fuel System 
Bosch 255-lph pump, Aeromotive 

Final Score
We break down the KOTS scoring between six different categories. Those categories and their percentage of importance are Horsepower (25 percent), Drag Race (5 percent), Engineering (15 percent), Fit and Finish (15 percent), Ride and Drive (25 percent), and Popular Vote (15 percent). The percentages of these categories add up to a 100 percent grading scale-just like in school, kids.

The Horsepower, Drag Race, and Popular Vote categories are scored by each competitor's finishing spot in that category. Since we had 11 competitors in the scored categories this year, the winner received an 11, and scores fell from there.

Engineering, Fit and Finish, and the Ride and Drive categories are judged by the 5.0&SF staff. Associate Editor Johnson is the lucky driver of each car and judges the Ride and Drive category. Tech Editor KJ Jones judges each car's mechanical makeup and scores accordingly for the Engineering category. Editor Steve Turner judges each KOTS car for Fit and Finish. Then we add the scores to come up with a winner.

Watch these pages for more info on sending your application to compete in the '09 King of the Street.

Fit For A King
We're not in the business of tire recommendations, but if there is a company that's able to supply a tire for any kind of street performance, it's Nitto Tire. That's why we've chosen to work with them for our King of the Street competition. Nitto Tire has loads of Mustang fitments available, and the list of Mustang applications seems to grow exponentially. From the NT 450 to the latest INVO or NT05 performance tires, we count on Nitto Tire for many of our project cars, as well as the King of the Street competition.

The competitors Mustangs are outfitted with Nitto Tire's 555R drag radial for the KOTS. The 555R is a DOT-compliant drag radial designed for the weekend drag racer. The 555R is the perfect combination between street and strip performance, with many users getting almost 20,000 miles out of the tires. Nitto has many new performance tire ideas coming to market, and the company continues to test and refine its drag slick.

For the '08 King of the Street, Ryan Vitiritto's '00 Mustang pounded down 917 hp to the 555R Nittos, scoring well in almost every KOTS category to take the win. Will Ryan have another car ready for the '09 King of the Street? Can your Mustang beat what Ryan did this year? Stay tuned to these pages for more information on how to enter.