Amie Williams Associate Online Editor
June 1, 2013
Photos By: Peter Linney

When you own a performance shop, it's important to have a centerpiece machine to show off.

It's paramount to let the world know exactly what you're capable of, and when it comes to cars, the added bonus is cruising your creation. Sam Soto, owner of Stage 3 Performance in Oceanside, California, is obviously aware of this strategy, hence his modded '11 Shelby GT500.

Growing up, the style and performance of the Ford Mustang had Sam convinced that he would someday own one. And a few years ago, he walked into his local Ford dealership for some parts for another project, but he left with a brand-new Shelby GT500—right off of the showroom floor.

"I knew it wouldn't stay stock for long, given the potential it had," Sam tells us. "My Shelby was already a head-turner, but with a few modifications and minor adjustments, it would be a beast."

With an aluminum 5.4-liter V-8 connected to an OEM supercharger, it was already putting down significant power at 550 horses and 510 lb-ft of torque. Not too shabby for a factory car, but sometimes one power adder just isn't enough, so Sam added twin 61mm ball-bearing turbochargers for a serious triple-charged throwdown.

The GT500 was dialed in with an SCT XCAL 3 at Racer's Edge Tuning. Right now, it's generating a mean 808 rwhp with 832 lb-ft of torque at 11 psi, but according to Sam, it's "capable of 1,000-plus horses, no problem."

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It also features a Brisk Racing ignition box, 72-lb/hr injectors, twin K&N air filters, and a Kenne Bell Dual Boost-A-Pump. Adding to the intimidation factor are Ford Racing Performance Parts Track Pack mufflers with a Borla X-style exhaust, so its bark is as mean as its bite. The aggressive stance is set off by relocated BMR lower and upper control arms, subframe connectors, and stiffer sway bars, along with KW coilover springs. Sam also installed a Stage 3 flywheel and RXT McLeod Racing clutch. Big Brembo brakes partially hide behind 22x9.5-inch USW Forged three-piece wheels wrapped with 255/30-22 tires on the front and 295/30-22s on the rear.

That gorgeous exterior paint is House of Kolor's Kandy Blue, mixed in-house with two coats of the base Daytona Blue, and then he added two coats of Kandy Cobalt Blue. After the color was perfected, the car was topped off with four coats of clear. Adding contrast to the pearly paint is the A53KR TruFiber carbon fiber hood, along with carbon-fiber accents such as the rear diffuser, mirror covers, GT500 extreme wing insert, and a Stage 3 front splitter.

The interior rocks a carbon fiber and custom-painted dash and console to match the exterior blue paint. On the dash sits a Ford Racing dash pod, with carbon-fiber gauges for boost, oil pressure, volts, and boost. Sam also installed custom black leather seats with suede inserts featuring the SVT Cobra Snake emblem.

"I have had the luxury of being able to drive it every day and take it to the track or car shows," Sam says. "I've reached one of my goals by receiving numerous First Place awards and compliments on this build. I'm very proud of the way it's turned out."

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