As the competitors unloaded their battle weapons on a brisk Nevada morning at Shelby American near Las Vegas, our staff sensed the electricity and drama building.
They traveled from California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas for the 2012 Dyno Wars finale. For this battle, MM&FF corralled six unique Fords—some old, some new, some wild, some mild. Every owner was gunning for horsepower supremacy and we were about to get it on.
Originally, our plan for MM&FF/American Muscle.com Dyno Wars was to host individual shootouts with "like" combinations—Shelbys versus Shelbys, Windsor'd Foxes versus Windsor'd Foxes, Three-Valves versus… you get the point. That idea morphed into contests of all-out power. What kept our (and hopefully your) interest is the close-up look at each real-world combination and the people who own and drive them.
The rules are loosely based around the MM&FF/Tremec True Street class, with any Ford powerplant and any power adders allowed, so long as said engine is strapped to a Ford or Merc body, and has an exhaust that properly vents the spent gasses. We also require tires rated for the speed (on the dyno) the car will run, plus a driveshaft safety loop.
Our first battle was held at MM&FF headquarters in Tampa, and Julio Don took the crown with his turbocharged '88 GT. Don's Pony busted out 901 rwhp—what made it so cool is that he had no idea what it would make since the GT had only been raced at the track. That impressed us. For the record it runs deep 9s at 150 mph.
Next, we rolled up to AmericanMuscle's home base in Malvern, Pennsylvania, where six tough Ponies pumped out roughly 5,000 hp combined. Justin Burcham of JPC took the title with Clinton Smith's Hellion-turbocharged '11 GT. With 21 psi of boost, it achieved 925 to the tire. Burcham raised the Dyno Wars bar, but we wondered if he scared off future competitors in the process.
Months later we stretched out to Wixom, Michigan, just north of the Motor City to the home of Walsh Motorsports. After two competitors failed to show on dyno day, we tossed in our 2013 GT500 press car and convinced Don Walsh Jr. to run his Hellion-boosted turbo Boss 302. Walsh wanted to fill the tank with race gas and bump the boost, but time didn't allow it. Despite running just 8 psi and pump gas, nothing that day could top his pull of 643 hp. Talk about a cool daily driver.
This brought us to Shelby American in Las Vegas—Sin City, home of guiltless pleasure and guiltless horsepower. Our event took place in November, just days before the SEMA show and on the same weekend the NHRA was in town. Additionally, we invited spectators to come watch—a Dyno Wars first. We even gave them a guided, behind-the-scenes look at the entire Shelby facility as a bonus. Plus, everyone who came had the chance to be on our Dyno Wars 4 video.
The wild array of Fords included a fully modified '93 Cobra (yeah, the one you're supposed to leave alone) with a NASCAR-inspired, ProCharged 358 monster on meth; a liquid-cooled Kenne Bell-pumped drag race Shelby GT500 on E-85; a nitrous-gulping sleeper Three-Valve GT; a show-and-go, Gotta-Have-It-Green twin-turbo Coyote; a strip-ready, blown and nitrous fed Two-Valve GT; and a wicked poked and stroked Boss 429-havin' '69 Ford Talladega NASCAR replica that flat-out stole the show.
Of course, this war, like others, would not have taken place without the great participants, as well as Shelby American and it's accommodating staff, and AmericanMuscle for partnering with us on this great series. Gary Patterson and Gil Nevarez, and the Shelby staff, did a great job and even invited us back for 2013. If you'd like to see more Dyno Wars, please let us know by posting to our FB page or by contacting Marc Christ at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of all, fans didn't have to wait long for results, as Shelby had multiple big-screen TVs to broadcast the action, and we posted the numbers and videos moments after each pull to our Facebook page. So, who reigned supreme? Read on and see which Ford was the top dog in Dyno Wars 4.