Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
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."

Once the second Shelby was at home, all the salvaged performance parts immediately found a home. H&R sent out a replacement spring for the rear, Brandon purchased a new CCW to replace the crushed rear wheel, and he had to buy two new Nitto drag radials to replace the blown-out boots from the accident. Jamie and Brandon worked together on the exhaust mods for the new car, after which she agreed a four-post lift was in order for the garage. With 1,200 miles on the new car, Brandon returned to RWTD to have the Kenne Bell installed and tuned, with 700 hp at the wheels being the result. In that form, Brandon was able to realize his goal of driving the car to the track, running a 10-second pass, and driving it home.

For most people, the story would end there, and they'd be fat and happy with those results. As Mustang guys, we know there's more to the story. Knowing he was pushing the limits of the stock bottom end, he yanked the original engine, and replaced it with a Modular Mustang Racing MOD 1100 built short-block. Brandon showed restraint sticking with the stock heads and cam, but had the injectors modified to flow 74 lb/hr, and added an '08 Shelby GT500 crank pulley. Brandon also added a Kincaid Performance Killer Chiller to keep heat soak at bay. With Jon Lund tuning the combo, the second Shelby made 804 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque. Obviously not able to transfer all that power to the ground, Brandon's Shelby has run a best of 10.80 at 135 mph with a 1.75 60-foot time.

Those are the kind of seconds we like.

2002 GT
5.0 Tech Specs
Engine and Drivetrain
Block GT500 iron
Displacement 330 ci
Rotating Assembly MMR Mod 1100 short-block with Manley Performance I-beam connecting rods and Manley pistons, and ARP hardware
Camshafts Stock
Heads Stock
Intake Kenne Bell Mammoth
Throttle Body Kenne Bell dual 75mm
Mass Air Kenne Bell Big Oval 130mm, DiabloSport MAFia
Power Adder Kenne Bell Stage 3 2.8H supercharger w/3-inch pulley, 18 pounds of boost, and Kincaid Performance Killer Chiller
Fuel System Stock w/Kenne Bell Boost-a-Pump, modified stock injectors to 74 lb/hr
Exhaust Stainless Works 1 7/8-inch long-tube headers, 3-inch X-shape crossover pipe, and chambered mufflers with rolled tips
Transmission Stock T6060 six-speed w/ Midcoast Performance steel driveshaft
Rearend 8.8 w/Detroit TrueTrac differential, FRPP 3.55 gears

Electronics
Engine Management Stock computer w/Jon Lund SCT tune
Ignition Stock w/NGK TR6 spark plugs
Gauges Stock, Livewire display, Auto Meter Cobalt series boost gauge in Roush vent-gauge pod

Chassis and Suspension
Front Suspension
Springs H&R Race
Struts Tokico D-Spec
Brakes Stock Brembo 14-inch
Wheels CCW SP505 18x9 1/2-inch
Tires Nitto 555R 275/40/18

Rear Suspension
Springs H&R Super Sport
Shocks Tokico D-Spec
Control Arms Steeda Autosports upper, J&M lower control arm relocation brackets, BMR Fabrication adjustable Panhard bar
Brakes Stock
Wheels CCW SP505 18x11-inch
Tires Nitto 555R Extreme Drag radials