Michael Johnson Associate Editor
April 8, 2010

Horse Sense:
Brandon was the one who originally told us about Kincaid Performance's Killer Chiller. Basically, the Killer Chiller uses the car's A/C system to help keep intercooler fluid cool. Brandon says the intercooler fluid on his Shelby stays ice cold all the time, and it will numb your finger if you leave it in the reservoir too long. "Heat soak is a thing of the past for me," he adds. With the Killer Chiller in place, he's able to make back-to-back dyno pulls and dragstrip passes with no cool-down period.

After going through a rough patch of F-body Trans Ams in his youth, Broussard, Louisiana's Brandon Yates finally got on the right track. He purchased an '03 Cobra.

No stranger to bolt-ons, Brandon naturally augmented the Cobra with the usual pulleys, ported blower, and what-not. "When I heard about the GT500 coming out, I stopped modding my Cobra to save up for a Shelby," Brandon says. It must've been a long year and a half because that's how long he had to wait. Not only that, but when the Shelbys hit the showrooms he had to find a dealer not wanting to make a year's profit on one car.

"After countless hours of going down a 14-page list of dealers I finally found a dealer with a decent asking price," Brandon says. That dealer turned out to be Orange Ford in Orange, Texas, and it only wanted $2,000 over sticker. "Needless to say, I jumped on it, and on November 17, 2006, I placed my order for a Vista Blue-with-Tungsten-stripe GT500," Brandon adds. On January 26, 2007, Brandon took delivery of his first brand-new car.

Having a Shelby GT500 as his first new car purchase is the automotive equivalent of taking Adrian Peterson as your first-ever draft pick. "I was so excited driving it home," Brandon says, "I couldn't get the smile off my face."

That smile would be short-lived, but more on that in a moment. Brandon got the Shelby home, washed it, and seemingly went straight to RWTD in Mobile, Alabama, for a few dyno pulls. In stock form the Shelby made 481 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque to the wheels, and ran a 12.37 at 112 mph on Nitto drag radials. Baseline in hand, Brandon immediately added H&R springs, select JLT Performance intake and Stainless Works exhaust mods, a RWTD/SCT tune, and CCW SP505 wheels wrapped in Nitto rubber. Back at the dyno, the Shelby made 522 hp and 496 lb-ft of torque. On the track, it responded with an 11.83 at 123 mph.

All this took place within the first 27 days of Brandon's ownership, but on the 29th day it would all come to a halt. Or, should we say, a drunk driver's car came to a halt using Brandon's Shelby as the brakes. Brandon was sitting at a stop when the drunk hit the Shelby traveling at 55 mph. "The only skid marks at the scene were from me spinning the tires to try and get out of the way, but it was too late," Brandon says. "I was pissed, I almost cried, my brand-new car was a total loss," Brandon adds. He had not even made a payment on the car, and what's worse is that first payment was made while the car sat in his garage in a mangled mess.

Of course, the drunk driver had only minimal insurance so Brandon's insurance picked up most of the tab. He was able to buy the car back, take off the useable parts, and sell it to Dan Schoneck, who was able to fix the car, and even compete in our King of the Street competition. However, Brandon was sick over the whole ordeal. His wife Jamie knew he was crushed so she asked what would make things better. As we all know, a supercharger will make a lot of things more bearable so his answer was a Kenne Bell supercharger for the next car. She said, "Order it," so that's what he did.

Finding the next Shelby was a bigger challenge. Since the first one was Vista Blue with Tungsten stripes, that's what Brandon wanted to replace it with. Well, the only one he could find was in California at a price of $120,000. Seriously? This time around Brandon had to pay $15,000 over sticker for a Vista Blue-with-white-stripe GT500, but "I wanted another car so I had to do what I had to do. Besides, I had a Kenne Bell Stage 3 supercharger begging to be installed."