If there was a sleeper of the bunch it was the '05 GT of John Carahalis—his Sonic Blue GT was the only non-blown car in the battle. On track it had run a best of 11.01 at 128, showing some big power. Carahalis couldn't make it, so he enlisted his pal Gerson Torres to bring the GT over to Shelby American.
The Three-Valve was looking mild with its stock paint and mostly stock interior. But the stock look disappeared when Gerson revealed the built Three-Valve with JPC intake and a Zex nitrous kit. "Most of the mods done to my car came from reading your magazine," said John. "I did most of the laborious jobs in my driveway, or in the garage with jack stands. The tuning, cam setup, and head placement was done by Silver State Motorsports, and tuning was by John Lund. The short-block was actually purchased from NMRA racer Jim St. Charles," he added.
Once strapped down and warmed up, the madness began. The GT auto-equipped responded with a pull of just over 500 rwhp, but the run was not clean. We could hear a small misfire so Gerson got on the phone for tuning advise and began to dial in the GT with a hand-held tuner. He also checked the plugs and swapped bottles.
The Three-Valve cleaned up a bit, but never made a clean full pull. Peak on the graph shows 562, but a closer look at the curve reveal the GT was more likely making just under 500. Since it takes about 600 flywheel horsepower to take a full-body GT to 128 mph, we think 485 rwhp is about what the GT should be making. Had the engine run clean, who knows how much more power it would have produced. Unfortunately the allotted 30-minute window closed ending any chance for improvement.