Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
November 1, 2008
If you've never heard a positive-displacement blower car like a Terminator or GT500 running on a dyno, it's worth the price of admission. The best part about the FRPP SVT1 exhaust on Project Vapor Trail is that the blower whine easily overwhelms the exhaust note. To check out what PVT sounds like, there are a few videos on our Web site. If you're just picking up on my new project car, it's an '08 Ford Shelby GT500 that has thus far been upgraded with a Ford Racing Performance Parts SuperPack upgrade, SVT1 mufflers, and chrome cam covers at Anderson Ford Motorsport/Anderson Ford-Mercury, where I bought the car. From there, it went to CDC for a sweet Glassback conversion, sequential taillights, hood struts, and turn-signal mirrors.

Horse Sense: Longtime readers might recall the last name Starkey, as Justin's lovely wife, Rebecca, is a former 5.0&SF Babe of the Month and Babe of the Year winner.

There are typically two schools of car guys. Some like as much flash as they can possibly get, while the other group likes to run softly and carry a big dyno number. Of course, there are a few like me who have to be difficult and like a little bit of each. Whatever your automotive addiction is, I'm fairly sure that you occasionally run across a product or service that you just have to have. You don't really need it, but you want it, and right away. Such was the case when I discovered VMP Tuning's Stock-Look 2.65-inch supercharger pulley for the Shelby GT500.

I knew I wanted one immediately. As much as I tried to make due with my already ample power, the call of more was too hard to resist. The fact that this pulley resembles the stock pulley was what really sealed the deal. There are plenty of flashy pulleys around that fit the stock blower and the FRPP TVS that's on my car ("Vapor Pressure," Sept. '08, p. 136), but this one blends right in. An unsuspecting passerby would never guess that my ride is packing more power thanks to its presence. I just love that.

Better yet, VMP's main man Justin Starkey has become one of the leading GT500 tuners working with Ford Racing Performance Parts' supercharger upgrade for the latest Shelby. Justin's own TVS'd GT500 has laid down a best dyno run of 705 hp and 708 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels using this 2.65 pulley, Innovators West's 10-percent overdriven damper, VMP's115mm mass air housing, a big throttle body, FRPP short-tube headers, a free-flowing X-shape crossover, and Justin's own SCT tuning acumen. It was a lot easier putting my baby under the knife knowing that Justin has mastered these combinations.

With that said, all it took was the hint of an invitation from Justin and I was rolling up Interstate 4 in Project Vapor Trail to feed my power hunger. We also upgraded the intercooler's cooling system to compensate for increased heat of the additional boost. As you can see from the photos, the swap is fairly straightforward, and the results are impressive. Suffice it to say, the gains are as big as the grin on my face when I stand on it, and the car still drives like a dream.

Here are the parts that we added to PVT. The main players are VMP Tuning's VMP 2.65-inch Stock-Look pulley and 90mm idler package ($215), an SCT X-Calibrator V3 ($399), an Afco GT500 Pro-Series dual-pass heat exchanger from Lethal Performance ($399), and a Moroso GT500 Intercooler reservoir tank from Lethal Performance ($314.99). With more boost, a custom tune, and a more efficient intercooler system, PVT is set for more power and more consistency.

Here's how PVT's engine compartment looked when I picked it up at Classic Design Concepts ("Fortunate Sun," Oct. '08, p. 128) and drove it home, a huge smile on my face and the sun shining on my head. When we last dyno'd her at AFM, she put down 560 hp and 523.93 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels, but more on that later. You'd think that would be enough, but VMP Tuning made the prospect of more power too tempting to resist.