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1,200 Horsepower 2012 Shelby GT500
A wolf in sheeps clothing
A wolf in sheep’s clothing is exactly how Perry Tipton describes his Kona blue 2012 Shelby GT500. If you take a look at Roxxy, the name given for the car, you may just see a bone stock GT500 with a Cervini’s hood. That’s exactly what Perry would want you to think, but there are more than a few surprises lurking under its skin. When Perry retired from two decades of service in the off-shore oil drilling industry, he set forth a couple of goals. One was to move out of Texas and live in beautiful Lake Havasu, Arizona. The other was to find and build a Kona Blue Shelby GT500. After nearly six months of searching for his exact car, Perry’s dream finally arrived at Tommy Vaughn Ford in Houston, Texas. With plans to make the Shelby a versatile machine, Perry immediately dropped the car off with Josh Hoker and Mitchell Wright of Kinetik Motorport, also located in Houston. The final product was a car destined to run SCCA, Texas/Colorado Mile, and even hit up a few dragstrips; all while keeping it street legal.
Perry recruited Dennis Faerman Racing Engines to machine and customize the Shelby’s Four-Valve DOHC 5.4L engine, and was set at a compression ratio of 8.5:1 in order to handle the 3.6L Kenne Bell twin-screw supercharger that was to be installed. To fight back against the more than 26 pounds of boost running through the engine, Manley Rods were installed along with JE Pistons. L&M Engines sent over custom ground blower cams to complement the ported and polished heads. A full return-style fuel system was installed with Injector Dynamics 1300cc injectors, all while running the stock ECM. The responsibility of tuning this bullet landed on Jon Lund II from Lund Racing, and on a race tune this car has put down over 1,200 horsepower on the dyno. At this point the stock ECU has had all it can handle and Perry will be considering aftermarket options.
The exhaust was upgraded with the addition of American Racing long-tube headers with stock mufflers to reduce the decibel level. However, electric cut-outs were installed for when Perry feels the need to make a little more noise. The stock transmission was removed and replaced with a Tremec Magnum XL, Spec ST clutch and full SFI scattershield. The factory 8.8-inch rearend was beefed up with welded axle tubes and 9-inch housing ends, Moser axles and Strange yokes on both sides of the one-piece aluminum driveshaft. Due to diversity of competitions in which this car participates, particular attention needed to be given to the suspension. Adjustability was everything, so Eibach adjustable coilovers were mounted on all four corners, and BMR supplied the k-member, a-arms, upper and lower control arms, and several other components. With only a few adjustments, Perry is able to bounce between cutting the corners on the road course and ripping off some nine-second passes down the quarter-mile. The interior of the GT500 is no different, where you’ll find just a few tasteful upgrades in order to keep the factory styling of a true sleeper, yet provide what is required for a vehicle of this performance level. A Watson Racing 8-point roll bar with rear seat delete, a triple pillar gauge pod for keeping an eye on the vital signs, and 5-point harnesses wrapped around the factory Recaro seats. The rest of the interior remains beautifully stock.
To date, with Perry behind the wheel, has made multiple runs over 206 mph in the Texas mile and competed in several SCCA and road course events. His best quarter-mile run to date was a 9.54 at over 140mph with no suspension adjustments from the previous road races. Perry plans to continue to run the Texas Mile events, as well as the Colorado Mile where he will shoot for the Shelby records in each location. But more importantly, it’s a driver, and a fun one at that. This car is no garage or shop queen, and is a regular cruiser across the popular London Bridge in Lake Havasu. And the Shelby isn’t Perry’s only Ford street machine seen around the streets of Havasu. Hidden away in his garage you’ll find a pro street 1967 Ford Fairlane GTA. Not a bad way to spend your retirement.
A short but prestigious list of thanks goes out to Mark Duber, Kinetik Motorsport (Josh Hoker and Mitchell Wright), Dennis Faerman Racing Engines, John Lund II of Lund Racing, L&M Engines, and Tommie Vaughn Ford for finding the car.