This '11 GT has already landed in our pages more than once, but never looking anything like this. The gorgeous Grabber Blue coupe belongs to Fred Cook, the general manager at Evolution Performance, a firm that has become known for its elapsed-time exploits in modern Mustangs and Shelbys. His GT has thus been used as a testbed for many of Evolution's Coyote powertrain research-and-development experiments--some of which Tech Editor KJ Jones has documented in past issues of 5.0&SF. More recently, however, Fred's GT volunteered for another form of prototyping by Cervini's Auto Designs. Located less than an hour down the road from Evolution's Aston, Pennsylvania, shop, Cervini's inquired if it could use Fred's coupe to develop and test-fit its recently debuted '10-'12 Stalker body kit.
Why did Cervini's want to use Fred's ride? Well, partly because Evolution Performance is an enthusiastic retailer of Cervini's extensive lineup of body embellishments, but no doubt mostly because of that highly photogenic Grabber Blue hue. Why was the latter important? Because when you visit Cervini's website Cervinis.com, it's Fred's car that you'll see ably modeling and promoting the aggressive new Stalker kit. They don't call it Grabber Blue for nothing...
Fred Cook's '11 GT wears Cervini's...
Fred Cook's '11 GT wears Cervini's Auto Designs' brand-new Stalker kit (PN 9051; $2,499.99). That kit is comprehensive, to say the least, bringing along a hood, front fascia, upper and lower billet grilles, side skirts, window scoops, rear fascia, trunk filler panel, and rear wing. The optional LED marker lights on the front fascia will set you back $199.99. An optional brake-duct cooling kit is in the works as well. If our photos aren't enough, Fred's coupe now features prominently on Cervini's website (Cervinis.com).
While the exterior of Fred's...
While the exterior of Fred's ride received a full Cervini's makeover, the interior is largely as Ford intended it, save for the additon of the Auto Meter boost gauge in a vent pod.
Fred (left) has brought his...
Fred (left) has brought his dad over to the Ford side, and his dad plans to pick up a GT500.
So it's both a prototyping mule and promotional tool, but the showy GT is also Fred's daily driver, meaning everything installed on or in it has to comfortably shrug off the abuses of Fred's year-round daily commute--and make him grin like a fool whenever he gets a chance to run it down the strip or around some corners. Given Evolution's well-documented prowess at building power, it may come as no real surprise to learn that this commuter coupe with its bone-stock automatic transmission will storm down the quarter-mile in 10.22 seconds at 138 mph. But what may surprise you is the relatively restrained list of modifications necessary to achieve such manly thrust.
Fred's power adder of choice is a Ford Racing/Whipple 2.3-liter twin-screw blower. Evolution buys these as "tuner" kits, meaning they are without pulleys or calibrations--so the company can tailor them to each customer's specific needs. Fred's is pullied (at 3.375 inches) for 9 psi of boost, uses FRPP's 47-lb/hr injectors, but inhales by way of a JLT carbon-fiber 127mm Big Air cold-air setup and an FRPP dual-65mm throttle body. On the exhaust side is a set of American Racing 17?8-inch long-tube headers and a catalytic X-shaped crossover. As is normally the case at Evolution Performance, the custom tuning calibration was done by Jon Lund, and Fred positively gushes about the results--630 rwhp and 600 rwtq with perfect civility. And darned if it isn't frugal, too. "Around town," Fred said, "I get about 17-18 miles per gallon. On the highway, 24 or 25…" (Editorial note: To a geezer like me, the idea of 10-second e.t.'s and 25 mpg is simply mind-boggling.)
Still, it takes more than raw power to get down the strip in 10 seconds. As with powertrain enhancements, Evolution seems to have honed the act of launching S197 cars to a fine art, through on-track experimentation, knowing just what it takes to hook up various levels of power. And all that it took in Fred's case was Ford Racing adjustable dampers and Steeda Ultra-Lite springs at all four corners, plus Steeda's billet lower control arms out back. Oh, and swapping out the rear Falken FK-452s for drag radials at the strip. Still, Fred tell us his GT is equally at home carving up the curves.
In fact, of all the vehicles he's owned, Fred says this is his absolute favorite. And he's owned many after being introduced at a young age to the addictive world of performance cars by his enthusiast dad. His earliest recollections are of rumbling around in his dad's '69 Camaro when he was about 3 years old. But fear not, the elder Fred has since come over from the Brand C dark side, joining his son as a full-blown Mustang fanatic, who regularly helps out the Evolution crew at shows and is planning a GT500 purchase in the near future. We're sure that his son and the rest of the Evolution Performance crew will be there for him should he decide his Shelby might need a few visual or power enhancements.
Horse Sense: Just so you don't think its performance was achieved by some form of radical lightening, this 10-second GT scales at a beefy 4,068 pounds with driver.
Fred's Coyote is internally bone-stock, but it gets a 9 pounds of boost from a 2.3-liter Ford Racing/Whipple twin screw, helped out by the humongous air filter on JLT's Big Air kit, as well as FRPP's twin-65mm throttle body. That and a set of long-tube headers turn this into a 10-second commuter that's also capable of 25 mpg. Nice.