A Beginners Guide to Modifying A Car

This blog post is from APTuned.com from 2011 but we when read this we felt it had lots of great information about deciding how best to mod your vehicle. Full credit to APTuned here and keep in mind the references are to that author. If you'd like to talk to a local mod expert then give us a call and we'd be happy to talk about your mod wish list. Enjoy!

Dale Adams Automotive.

Shelby ModIt's easy for a seasoned car guy to give advice on what he or she thinks is best when it comes to modifying your car or truck, but many times that advice is biased based on their own belief of what is best and based on what they read on their forum. What a beginner needs is advice that comes from the basics of automotive performance and what makes or doesn't make power. It's hard not to get tied up in manufacture claims, so we're going to create this guide on what every beginner should know when it comes to modifying their car for the first time, or even picking a platform to modify.

Back in the day, street rods were built based on bigger is better. Today, with technology being at the forefront of automotive performance, bigger isn't necessarily better. Today it's about creating power from a lean and mean engine in addition to a lightweight chassis that both work with well together.

Why it's important to plan your mods
Many of our customers, and myself included, like to buy parts on a feel good basis. We want that intake or want that exhaust because we want the car to sound good, and make more power. But then we find later that we decide to go a different route, and then all of a sudden the exhaust is too small or too big, and the intake won't work any more. At that point we've learned that we wasted money and should have come up with a plan first on what goals we have for the vehicle. Do we want a car for drag racing? AutoX? Road Racing? Street Performance? Every setup would be different here, so planning that out would help you to not only save money, but ensure the parts you purchase work well together and compliment each other.

Select your platform
cool carIf you don't already have a car or truck to modify, then you need to decide first which platform you are going to go for before you come up with a path. Again, this comes down to deciding what type of racing or performance you want from your car. Many of us already know that we want an import or domestic, and a specific brand. Others are limited by budget or other criteria. For flat out power, nothing beat starting with a platform that is already turbo from the factory, or already has a V8 motor. Some examples of great platforms to start your mods:

  • Subaru WRX or Subaru WRX STi
  • Mitsubishi Lancer EVO (all generations)
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse Turbo (FWD or AWD) and Eagle Talon or Plymouth Laser
  • Mazdaspeed3
  • Ford Mustang
  • Chevy Camaro
  • Corvette (C5 Z06 is extremely affordable right now)
  • Dodge Charger or Challenger
  • Nissan 350Z or Nissan 370Z
  • Nissan 240SX (great drifting platform)
  • Honda Civic / Acura Integra (Great platform for anything other than drfiting)
  • Toyota Supra Turbo (can be had for a good price now)
  • ... and more

The above list is just an example of good platforms on a budget. Sure you can go the more expensive route and go straight for a Nissan GT-R, but the majority of people won't go that route, and so we won't explore that platform in specific. Our goal here is to give you general advice that you can use on any platform.

Drag Racing
So, you decided that drag racing is for you? Welcome to a highly competitive world primarily dominated by high horsepower. The goal of drag racing is to get your car down 1320 feet as quickly as possible. This means your car needs to be as light as possible, launch as hard as possible, and have as much useable power as possible. Typically, drag race setups are not very comfortable on the street. If you have a front wheel drive, you will need a good set of slicks and a limited slip differential. You can't drive around with slicks on the street (typically), so you will need a special setup of wheels and tires for the track. If your car is rear wheel drive, you can get away with using street slicks, but for serious drag racers, this might not work. You'd want to setup your suspension to keep the rear stiffer than the front, so as the weight transfers to the back for launch it helps with traction. Brakes aren't too important except you want to be able to stop at the end of the drag strip.

GtRoad Racing
Unlike with drag racing, road racing not only requires power, but requires all around incredible handling and braking. Where as drag racing requires only 10-13 seconds of racing at a time, road racing could be for 30+ minutes of constant abuse. Cars that are lightweight and handle/brake well could have faster lap times than cars making twice the power, so it's really a game of balance. For competitive use, you'd need to get a set of road racing tires and a set of wheels to go with it, as tires are extremely important. Once the brakes and suspension are ready to go, you'd want power to match. The key here is balance, you don't want a car that has more power than the chassis can handle, more power than the brakes can handle, or more brakes than power. Start road racing with a bone stock car, then add race tires the next time you are out, and then start to modify your car. You'll appreciate your car much more when starting road racing with a stock vehicle.

Autocross or AutoX really wears out your tires from parking lot racing. You'd want a car that is nimble, has good torque, and a usable power band as most of the time your speeds will be under 60 mph. This type of racing is usually around 1-2 minutes at a time. Most important here would be your tires and your suspension setup. Tires are an interesting aspect here because with 1-2 minutes of racing they don't really get much of a chance to warm up. So you would need to get tires that are able to handle well on gravel and heat up quickly. A typical road racing or street suspension should be plenty for a fun AutoX day.

Safety is extremely important, and you would need a fire extinguisher, and possibly a roll cage depending on the performance of your car, and the type of racing you choose. You would also need a helmet and possibly a 4 or 5 point safety harness. You also need to make sure you have great brakes... it's often overlooked. Many cars brake well with just upgraded rotors and pads, others need a whole new big brake kit.

Planning your modifications
Now that you know the general idea of what you need for each type of racing, you need to decide what route you are going to take with modifying your car. Below we will touch on the basics of some of the major areas of modification and you can decide which is right for you, and which is within your budget. Not all of these modifications need to be done at once, but some will require a mod or two before you go to the next step, so plan that out too.

Whipple supercharger

Intake System
Ok, so one of the basics would be the intake system. If your car is not turbo but you are going to add a turbo to it later, skip the intake. When you get a turbo, the intake system is completely redone, so the old intake you had won't work with the new system any more. Also, if you go with a turbo kit, most of the kits come with an intake kit for it.

Should I get a drop in air filter?
If you are never going to modify your car past an air filter, then sure. An air filter such as a K&N is a good way for an extra 1-2 horsepower and it's an air filter that you won't have to replace again for a lifetime, but it's not going to give you nearly as much power as a short ram or cold air intake.

Short Ram Intake vs Cold Air Intake - What's the difference?
This is a big question we get asked a lot. A short ram intake has a shorter intake tube, and typically has the air filter in plain sight under the hood. For some applications this is fine, but for others this isn't as efficient as a cold air intake, because a cold air intake actually has a longer air tube that literally relocates the air filter away from the engine as far as possible, sometimes into the fender, to draw in cooler air. Short Ram intakes have been known to not create as much power since they take in so much of the engine's heat. Short ram intakes are less expensive, and also depending on the car or truck, they might find that a short ram intake with an air box works just as well or better than a cold air so only a short ram might be available. If both are available we always recommend the cold air intake. Since the cold air intake is usually far from the engine, it can be low to the ground. This causes the air filter to sometimes suck in water if you run over puddles or live in a area that rains a lot. Due to this many cold air intakes have an available air bypass valve that solves this problem.

Exhaust System
The louder the exhaust the more power it makes, right? Wrong. Just because an exhaust is loud doesn't mean that car is making more power than a similar car with a quieter exhaust. The design of exhaust systems now a days has quality mufflers that are straight through (meaning the exhaust has a single unrestricted exit path), but have technology built in that also quiets the sound at the same time.

A big exhaust causes backpressure loss and you lose power
Wrong. This is a myth. If you look at a dyno of a car such as an Acura Integra GSR that has a 3" exhaust and a naturally aspirated motor, you will see that the car didn't lose power, but what happened was it "feels" like it lost power due to the power band shifting up. However, no one wants an exhaust that makes more power but doesn't feel like it. Seat of the pants is a big factor in street performance. We recommend for you to get an exhaust based on the future goals of the car. If you have a non turbo car, and are going to make it turbo, 3" exhaust is the way to go. If you are going to stay all motor, a 2.5" would be ideal. For turbo or high power V8s we always recommend a 3" exhaust or even more in some cases.

Catalytic Converter vs Test Pipe or Cat Delete
It's true that removing the catalytic converter from the exhaust increases power quite a bit. However, we recommend this only for off road cars because not only is it against smog laws it's just not good for air quality. We've found that a good high flow catalytic converter does a great job with only a slight power loss over a straight pipe. Make sure your high flow catalytic converter matches the same size as your catback exhaust for straight exhaust flow.

Turbo Kits
If your car didn't come with a turbo from the factory, then we recommend no modifications at all until you have your turbo kit. Once you have the kit, put it on, get it tuned, and enjoy the car for a bit. Plan out then what exhaust system you want. At that time, when you get your exhaust, you can also get the boost turned up, and re-tuned. We find that customers who do it all at once end up getting used to the power too soon, and wanting more. This two step process gives you the ability to feel your car at a higher power level, and also to know that you can be turbo with a stock exhaust and the car can make more power yet be quiet at the same time. Sure it's a big bottle neck, but we've actually had customers who preferred this setup. It's great for a daily driver under the radar. Sometimes a stock exhaust with a high flow catalytic converter and muffler do the trick.

Cars with a stock turbo
If your car came with a turbo stock, you have it made. Your upgrade path is easy - cold air intake, high flow turboback exhaust (downpipe, high flow cat, catback), boost controller and tuning. Most exhausts are already 3" upgrades, so when you decide later that you want a bigger turbo, your exhaust system is already set and ready to go.

Cars with larger engines - V6 or V8
Depending on if you want all motor power, or forced induction, you are going to be able to benefit from a bigger exhaust. Moreso on the V8, we recommend at least a 2.5 or 3" exhaust, long tube headers (if they are smog legal in your area), and high flow cats. The goal is to let your engine breathe. If you are going to use nitrous, make sure you figure the max nitrous shot your engine can take, and scale it back by 50-75 shot. For example, if you have a LS1, you can usually run a 150 shot and be fine, but to be on the safe side, run a 75 or 100 shot. We recommend wet nitrous kits vs a dry nitrous kit.

cool carWhat is the difference between wet nitrous kit and dry nitrous kit?
A wet nitrous kit injects both nitrous and fuel into your intake together. A dry nitrous kit only injects nitrous. We believe that for most applications, you are safer to run a wet shot to ensure you have enough fuel for your engine. If you run a dry shot, you need to be sure that when the nitrous is activated your fuel system will have enough capacity to add enough fuel to compensate. As long as you have the fuel, and you run the nitrous shot within the limits of your engine, you should be able to run nitrous for hundreds of passes reliably. Nitrous of course would only be used for bursts of speed such as drag racing.

I can't stress how important it is to have your car tuned. If you want reliable power and don't want to worry about your engine every time you are full throttle, make sure you take your car to a reputable tuner. They will ensure your fuel trims, timing and everything is set in line and well within safe spec.

Ah, the all important stance. Nothing is more important for many people, and we agree, the car has to not only look good, but have the suspension prowess to boot. There is everything available from lowering springs to coilover kits, and what you choose depends on your budget and end goal. Typically, lowering springs are made to lower your car, give you a good ride, and the trade off is that they don't handle as good as a coilover system. If you pair your lowering springs with a good shock, you can have a good handling car, better than stock, but not for competition use. We'd recommend lowering springs more for looks than performance. For more performance, look at a coilover kit. These kits come with both shocks and the coilover springs as a unit (there are exceptions, but full coilover kits come with shocks). These are the best setup for handling and one of the best features is that they are adjustable. You can raise or lower the car depending on how you want it to sit. The price point is higher, but if you consider that with lowering springs, you typically need to buy shocks as well, you will see the price for the coilover kit wins out, especially since many of the better coilover kits also come with built in camber kits.

Do I need a camber kit?
If you are going to lower your car more than an inch, we recommend a camber kit. Without a camber kit, the amount of handling you gain can be negated by the handling you lose from too much negative camber. Not to mention the negative camber really wears on your tires. You want the camber kit to give you as much tire contact patch as possible, and it's highly worth it.

Do I need upgraded shocks with my lowering springs?
Depends. If your car is new, you can get away with just using lowering springs. If your car is older, this means your shocks are older, and the lowered stance of the lowering springs, plus the added spring rate usually blows the stock shock within a few weeks or few months.

What about coilovers that don't come with shocks?
You have to be careful with these. We highly recommend to buy performance shocks to go with these. A popular choice is Ground Control coilovers with Koni Shocks. However, this combination is pretty pricey, and many customers end up going the route of a full coilover kit.

Full Coilover Kit
A full coilover kit comes from the factory with not only the manufactures recommended spring rate for your car, but also with shocks that can handle being lowered, and handle the added spring rate. This is very important for you to have a balanced suspension right from the start. You can use sleeve type coilovers (ones that don't come with shocks), but you would need to pair them with the right shocks to ensure your suspension works well together. Plus, many full coilover kits come with upper pillowball mounts that allow you to adjust camber. Really a great way to enhance your suspension.

Wheels and Tires
shelby wheelWant dubs? The bigger the wheels the less performance gain typically. The goal is less rotating mass, so you want smaller and lighter wheels than stock. Sometimes you can't go too small because you might have a big brake kit and need wheels large enough to clear. This is a huge topic, but go with the lightest wheels, and only go for the bigger size if you'd rather have looks over performance. Depending on the vehicle, the tradeoff could be minimal. For example, 20" rims would work on a 2011 Ford Mustang GT, but not so much on a 1995 Civic. Do what makes sense for your vehicle.

In conclusion
There is so much to modifying a car that it's hard to include everything in a single article. However, we wanted to touch on the biggest and most important aspects so you can get an idea on what it takes to modify a car the right way for those of you who are beginners. Modifying cars is fun, and very rewarding, and it doesn't have to be rocket science to get the right setup.

If you have general questions, post them below, but this guide should give you a better understanding of the world of modifying, types of racing available, and where you fit in. Once you start, you will have more detailed questions on each topic, and we'll try to address them in future articles.

Happy motoring!

Shelby Wide Body with the Penske Track Suspension System The optional Shelby Super Snake Wide Body package was created to maximize the handling of the 2015 and later Ford Mustang chassis. A road racer’s dream, the car has better traction for later braking and earlier acceleration out of corners. Other key benefits include... Read More

All-New Shelby 1000 Diesel! 1000 lb/ft of Diesel Powered Torque

After repeated demand for a Shelby version of Ford’s award winning Super Duty lineup, we are proud to present our Shelby 1000 line of Super Duty work horses. Starting with a cold air intake and emission legal tune, we’ve cranked the torque to 1,000 lb/ft in the 6.7L V8 diesel.

Our craftsmen add practical, yet stylish custom exterior upgrades which include a unique Shelby hood, new front bumper, rear bumper, exhaust tips, Shelby stripes, badges, grille insert and tailgate cover. Shelby spec 20-inch wheels are wrapped in high performance tires while a special LED lighting package provide superior illumination for any occasion.

Inside, we add a Katzkins premium interior designed for the work horse, a carbon fiber appearance package, as well as custom floormats. As with all Shelby vehicles, each have a unique serial number that is displayed on the dash and under the hood of the truck.

Shelby AmericanStandard Features


  • Cold air intake
  • 1,000 lb/ft torque performance tune
  • 20” Shelby spec wheels
  • Performance tires, 35” X 12.5” X 20” tires


  • Shelby 1000 striping and badging
  • Ram air hood
  • Heavy duty front bumper
  • Heavy duty rear bumper
  • Borla exhaust tips
  • “SHELBY” tailgate insert
  • “SHELBY” grille insert
  • LED Lighting package
  • 6” Bar front x 2
  • 2” Cube rear x 2
  • Power step running boards


  • Shelby by Katzkins premium interior
  • Shelby 1000 Floor mats
  • Carbon fiber appearance package
  • Serialized dash plate
  • Serialized engine plate

Talk to us about your Shelby dreams and we can work with you on designing and registering your vehicle with Shelby American. We offer financing options too! Contact us and ask for Derek!

NOTE: Pricing, options and availability subject to change without notice. LED lights for off-road use only. Equipment may void factory powertrain warranty. International customers should check for import restrictions. SHELBY®, SHELBY GT®, GT500®, GT350®, SUPER SNAKE® and SHELBY AMERICAN™ are registered trademarks and/or the tradedress of Carroll Shelby and Carroll Shelby Licensing, Inc. (Shelby).


Over five decades after the first Shelby Super Snake rolled out of Shelby American, the all-new 2018 edition is once again leaving the performance world “snake-bit.” Powered by an 800 horsepower supercharged Ford 5.0L V8, the Super Snake launches from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds. With new suspension and brakes, it carves up the road course with ease. And yet it is so tractable, able to roll down the street like a king on its Shelby 20 inch forged aluminum wheels and high performance tires. Widebody and suspension options are also available for the ultimate in style and handling.

Collectible from the day it’s built, this Shelby features a new hood, rockers, spoilers, splitters, grilles, rear tail panel and rear diffuser assembly. The Shelby theme continues inside with finely appointed stitching and badges. A limited number will be built worldwide and each will be branded with a unique CSM number that will be included in the Official Shelby Registry.

Standard Features

  • Ford Performance 710HP supercharger (black)
  • Shelby extreme cooling
  • (radiator, aluminum tank, heat exchanger)
  • Performance half shafts
  • Transmission cooling (automatic only)
  • Short throw shifter
  • One-piece drive shaft (manual only)
  • Ford Performance wheel studs
  • Ford Performance track handling pack Ford Performance exhaust
  • 20” forged aluminum wheels, black or bright
  • Shelby performance spec tires
  • Shelby by Brembo brake system
    (Red, 6 piston front, 4 piston rear)
  • Shelby exclusive brake & bearing duct cooling system

3 year / 36,000 mile Limited Warranty
* Supercharger for POST-TITLE SALES ONLY*
*HP ratings based on use of 93-octane fuel*


  • Shelby spec interior upgrade
  • Floor mats and door sill plates
  • Gauge cluster with gauges
  • CSM badging (engine + dash)
  • Engine cap set
  • Convertible light bar (convertible only)


  • Shelby engineered body components: (Front fascia assembly, hood, grilles, rockers, front splitter, rear spoiler, rear tail panel, rear diffuser, and more)
  • Striping, badging & deep tinted windows

Optional Features

  • 800+ horsepower supercharger (Whipple, polish finish)
  • Painted stripes
  • Matching car cover
  • Shelby Wide Body package
  • Shelby by Penske track suspension

Talk to Derek at Dale Adams about this amazing new Shelby and how we can get that gas pedal under you foot.

2018-2019 Shelby Super Snake | Starting at USD$113,445* (Includes base 401A coupe Mustang)

*Prices subject to change. Please call for an accurate quote on all our licensed Shelby vehicles.


12 Tips Every Canadian Classic Car Owner Needs to Know!

Drivers who own classic cars know the many joys they can bring. There is no better feeling in the world than a cruise in the mountains or down 17th Avenue in Calgary on a gorgeous day, but many of these gorgeous antique cars and trucks require special maintenance because they are not driven on a regular basis. We here at Dale Adams Automotive are experts in classic automobiles and we are always here for all your classic car needs.

Here are a few maintenance items you need to know about to keep your classic vehicle running smooth:

  1. Run the car: use it at least once a month. The number one issue with old cars is they’re not used regularly. Drive it, put the car through its paces. Turn the wheels and the gears and engage the tires. What damages cars is sitting still: all of those seals and rubber components dry up if they’re not used. Then leaks develop. You can slow down the aging process of a car by just using it at least once a month, ideally twice. Get it up and hot for at least a half hour. That will blow out any dampness and condensation and will be the single best thing you can do other than have oil and water in it.
  2. Wash your car regularly. Experts recommend that classic cars be washed and waxed once a month in order to keep up appearances. Remember to wash and rinse the undercarriage, especially when it comes to classic pickup trucks. Road debris can lead to issues with rust and corrosion. 
  3. Don’t forget to lubricate your drivelines. Most classic cars feature driveline components that should be lubricated every 2-3 months. This includes all grease fittings and u-joints. 
  4. Coolant flushes are equally important. Once a year, you should flush out the cooling system of any antique cars and trucks you own. Doing so prevents corrosion within the cooling system. Most classics will require a 50/50 mixture of distilled water and antifreeze. 
  5. Classic cars require annual bleeding and replacing of brake fluid. Brake fluid is required in order for your car to maintain its stopping power. Brake fluid has a tendency to collect moisture. If it collects too much, brake failure will occur. 
  6. Check your oil levels before each drive. Unless you are driving your vehicle on a daily basis, you will need to check the oil prior to each drive you take. If your classic car develops a leak, it can result in some expensive engine repairs. 

  7. Do not to store the car on dirt or gravel, because that’ll allow moisture into the car from underneath and accelerate the degradation of the car.
  8. Keep the car stored out of direct sunlight. The sun ages a car really fast, especially the paint. And it will bake the interior, causing the fabrics to change color, and the vinyl and plastics to become brittle and break. The sun, especially in Calgary, is hard on a car. Our Vancouver friends don’t have to worry as much about sun.
  9. Though sometimes tough in Alberta, avoid storing the car in extreme cold. It will bring in moisture that will rust the car, and the locks will get damp and freeze. Wipers will freeze to the windshield, too. Running the car will help prevent this, as will keeping it in a good garage. Use a soft broom to clean snow off of your car.
  10. Wax it as much as you can. Detailers can revive the paint, but if your paint is in good condition all you need to do after you wash is dry and add a good wax.
  11. For the those who drive their classic car once a month or less, here's an easy way to keep your tires from flat-spotting. Every couple of weeks, put the transmission in neutral and roll the car a forward (or backward) a foot or two. Doing this on a regular basis will keep also keep your brake calipers from developing problems.
  12. Spraying shiny dressing compounds on your sidewalls is not recommended by tire manufacturers. Many tire and wheel cleaners contain harsh acids, alkalis and/or detergents that can damage wheels and paint. Initial cleaning should be done with a brush and soapy water. Use non-petroleum based products that are safe for tires as well as environmentally friendly.

If you follow these tips and come see us for regular maintenance or needed restoration and upgrades we promise you that even in Alberta you can maintain a beautiful classic car. We know you love your classic cars like we do. Only trust your car to experts like us here at Dale Adams.

Now get out there and enjoy the road!

Dale Adams


Ten Driving Techniques That Will Turn You Into A Master

Original article by Máté Petrány published on Jalopnik.com July 2019

Driving is relatively easy, but if you put a little extra effort into it, your daily routes can become adventures. Here are ten techniques that will turn you into a pro.

Most people don't even get the basics right. They don't use their indicators, don't know how to shift a stick or even when to brake. Learn the following ten techniques and you'll leave their beigemobiles in the dust.

10.) Hypermiling

Going fast is great, but trust me, hypermiling can give you great satisfaction. POD also think it's the business: It takes a lot of relatively simple techniques, but uses them with a cap ton of sustained focus, and we, as human beings, are just not very good at sustained focus. Combine that with the need for high levels of pro-active driving and reading traffic flow effectively to get the best results, and you’ve got a technique that is relatively hard to master.

9.) Shifting efficiently in manual mode with an automatic

Automatic transmissions are designed to be as smooth and efficient as possible in normal mode. Can you do the same after putting it into manual?

8.) Properly using all-wheel drive

Be that a classic Land Rover with all its gear levers, or a racing Audi Quattro as themanwithsauce points out: 

Driving an AWD car effectively. I'm definitely biased here but based on the responses I see whenever an audi is talked about, all I get is that everyone assumes you just understeer and can't turn. Even then, I've seen plenty of people suck at getting an Evo around an autocross course...I wish I could explain that. But really the older AWD cars were handfuls. Especially in racing trim.

7.) Doing handbrake turns

When I told you that the 2014 Volkswagen Golf GTD is a very good fast hatchback, I forgot the mention an important issue with it: the lack of a proper handbrake. There's a button instead, and you can't turn quickly by pressing a button, therefore, the GTD is pretty much useless as a hot hatch. Sorry about that. DasStig agrees:

Hand brake turns are hard. Especially if you are doing it for the first time on a given day / surface because you don't know how much grip is there. Of course, if you have a lot of experience, then you can do minor corrections to overcome any grip issue. What is really hard is to use hand brake turn to park the car (unless you're Elwood).

6.) Trail braking

ejp hates automatic transmissions tells you why it's difficult...

On my level, trail braking in certain cars has been pretty difficult for me to get right. Mid corner course-corrections using throttle steer has always pretty easy, but mastering oversteer on turn-in has proven to be difficult and awkward. Some cars can do this naturally (old 911's seem to be amenable to this), and other cars just want to squirm and swap ends.

If trail braking and rotation upon entry wasn't difficult enough - taking the balance concepts of trail braking to the next level is (at the moment) beyond me. A consistent proper execution of the Scandinavian Flick (aka pendulum turns) may be the hardest technique to master in driving. Doing this right involves mastery of balance and control over every aspect of driving like no other task. Someday, I will have the time and money to take a rally driving course, and have a chance to learn this...but it may just be over my head.

...and why it's good for you:

With regard to trail braking, there are two primary advantages, and a driver will actually use the technique to achieve the desired line in a corner (outside-inside-outside), using all of the track. The primary reasons for trail-braking are:

1. Allowing a driver to begin braking just a little bit later, shedding some of the residual speed on corner entry rather than entirely in a straight line. On a long straight before a sharp corner (for example), this gives a driver more time to use the straight at 100 MPH before having to brake down to 40 MPH. In a racing situation, this may be one way that a driver can protect their position from a pass...or more importantly, executes a pass against another driver.

2. Trail braking will inherently unbalance the rear of the car, increasing the yaw-angle on turn in (e.g. getting the car to rotate). This allows the driver to battle the natural understeer tenancies of their car. For example, many people are surprised to learn that old 911's tend to understeer pretty severely on turn-in, just like a FWD car can. The oversteer fun (or terror, for some) in 911's really tends to happen during an abrupt mid-corner lift-off of the throttle where weight is transferred from the rear, and all of the weight behind the rear wheels wants to keep going straight while the front of the car turns. Vic Elford (former Porsche factory rally and endurance racer) once wrote about a trail-braking technique where you imagine that a string is tied between your big toe and the steering wheel. As the wheel turns, the imaginary string pulls up on the big toe, which progressively releases pressure from the brake pedal until the car is pointed at the desired apex. At this point, you transition to throttle.

There are other situations and reasons where trail-braking is advantageous, and still others where it will slow you down (or worse, cause a loss of control). Depending on the car, some corners can be trail-braked every time. Others will call for a more traditional line. The Skip Barber racing manual, Going Faster! Mastering the Art of Race Driving details when to use this technique and why. A great book to read to really understand race driving. *Disclaimer* - the book is sort of an academic exercise; there is no substitute for seat time.

Read the next 5 techniques on Jalopnik .com.

Yes, We Can Get You a Shelby Cobra Roadster!

As one of the very few officially licensed Shelby Mod Shops in Canada we can order your direct from the factory Shelby Cobra Roadster. We get it shipped to us here at Dale Adams Automotive and can fully customize and build out your dream vehicle.

What's that? You actually already own one of these beauties? We can help you too by ensuring all your custom work is officially registered with Shelby and performed by our Shelby-Trained mechanics.

In 1962 Carroll Shelby created the most sought-after American muscle car in history, the Shelby Cobra. The 289 model of this snake went on to become the first American-made FIA world Champion in 1965 and later evolved into the ultimate expression of power and performance with the 427 S/C model in 1966. The 427 Street version (CSX6000-Series). the 289 FIA (CSX7000-Series) and the original "slabside" design from the 1962 (CSX8000-Series), are still being produced today using improved materials and components.

Here are the model specifics to help you make your choice and price estimates*:

CSX6000–427 S/C


  • Shelby hand laid fiberglass or hand formed aluminum

Chassis and Suspension

  • 4-inch diameter DOM steel frame
  • Dual A-arm, coil-over shock, four wheel independent suspension
  • 1" x 11-7/16" OD disc, dual piston Shelby caliper, standard front brakes
  • 3/4" x 11-7/16" OD disc, dual piston Shelby caliper, standard rear brakes

Interior / Exterior

  • Shelby vinyl, leather optional seats
  • Shelby custom black carpeting
  • 15" Trigo reproduction standard wheels (tire sizes specified by customer)

Pricing Options* (Engine and Transmission not included)

  • Fiberglass available from $79,999 USD*
  • Aluminum available from $139,995 USD*

CSX7000–289 FIA


  • Shelby hand laid fiberglass or hand formed aluminum

Chassis and Suspension

  • 3-inch diameter DOM steel frame
  • Upper transverse leaf with lower arms, independent front and rear suspension
  • 1" x 11-7/16" OD disc, dual piston Shelby caliper, standard front brakes
  • 3/4" x 11-7/16" OD disc, dual piston Shelby caliper, standard rear brakes

Interior / Exterior

  • Shelby vinyl, leather optional seats
  • Shelby custom black carpeting
  • 15" Alloy standard wheels (tire sizes specified by customer)

Pricing Options* (Engine and Transmission not included)

  • Fiberglass available from $94,995 USD*
  • Aluminum available from $159,995 USD*


CSX8000–289 Street


  • Shelby hand laid fiberglass or hand formed aluminum

Chassis and Suspension

  • 3-inch diameter DOM steel frame
  • Upper transverse leaf with lower arms, independent front and rear suspension
  • 1" x 11-7/16" OD disc, dual piston Shelby caliper, standard front brakes
  • 3/4" x 11-7/16" OD disc, dual piston Shelby caliper, standard rear brakes

Interior / Exterior

  • Shelby vinyl, leather optional seats
  • Shelby custom black carpeting
  • 15" 72 hard-spoke wire wheels (tire sizes specified by customer)

Pricing Options* (Engine and Transmission not included)

  • Fiberglass available from $94,995 USD*
  • Aluminum available from $159,995 USD*

Use our contact form on our website or give us a call at (403) 777-4777 to discuss your Shelby dreams.

*Prices are estimates only and subject to change. Contact us for accurate pricing details. 

We want to thank Shadetree Garage for this original article. They had such great tips we wanted to let our customers know the value of regular maintenance.

With the cost of many items rising in Canada, it’s important for most to find ways of saving money. Often times, car owners will forgo preventive car maintenance in an effort to keep monthly expenditures at a minimum. But is this prudent? When it comes to preventive car maintenance, do you think, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” This age-old statement means, “If something is working adequately well, leave it alone.” But, is this a statement we can apply to our vehicles, especially when safety and reliability are at stake? What would you say if I told you preventive car maintenance not only keeps you safer, but it can save you money in the long-run?

To understand its importance, it’s helpful to know what preventive auto maintenance is and what it is meant to accomplish. Preventive car maintenance is a step that is taken to keep an automobile operating efficiently and is performed before a vehicle breaks down or is in dire need of repair. Preventive car maintenance includes services like periodic fluid and filter changes, tune-ups, and regular inspections to check on the level of wear and tear in certain components, like brakes and tires.

Auto repairs resulting from breakdowns are usually unexpected and unplanned expenses.  They’re also typically fairly costly.  It’s not always easy to budget for these repairs, but with preventive maintenance, you can plan your expenses and extend the life of your vehicle.  Let me illustrate this for you –

Save on Tires – It’s wise to rotate your tires every 3,000 to 6,000 miles.  This can easily be done when you bring your vehicle in for routine oil and filter changes and costs just a few dollars extra to have done. Regular tire rotations allow your tires to evenly distribute tire wear – helping you get the most miles out of your tires while maximizing traction on all four wheels. Now, if you skip tire rotations, your tires are going to wear unevenly. That means you’ll have to replace them sooner and they won’t give you the traction you need for safe driving. You’ll also void any warranty you may have on the tires. The cost for a pair of new tires (yes, you must replace them in a pair) is at least $300.

Save on Brakes – Brake pads should be replaced when you have about 1/8” left on them (when you bring your vehicle to Dale Adams Automotive, we’ll let you know when your brakes are approaching that thickness and should be replaced). The average cost for a brake job (changing only brake pads) is about $400. Now let’s assume you decided to skip having those pads replaced. What will the cost for a brake job be? First, and foremost, you risk not being able to stop your vehicle. I’m pretty sure you and I are alike in that we don’t want to risk our lives or the lives of others by driving with bad brakes. After that comes the fact that a brake pad that is severely worn can leave deep marks and grooves in the brake rotor. Depending on how deep the grooves are, the rotors would need to be either “turned” or replaced. Now, the cost for a brake job can start at $600 and go up depending on the type of vehicle.  Which would you rather pay?

What are the benefits of preventative maintenance?

  1. Reduced Repair Costs – Over the long run, the cost of preventive maintenance is far less than the costs and inconveniences associated with break downs and expensive repair bills.
  2. Improved Gas Mileage – By doing simple preventive maintenance procedures like properly inflating car tires, passing emissions tests, getting a basic tune-up and changing the fuel filter, you should expect to see up to a 10% increase in gas mileage.
  3. Breakdowns Minimized – No one wants to be stuck on the side of the road because their car breaks down.  By checking fluid levels and having oil and filter changes performed on a regular basis, the number of unexpected break downs will be reduced.  It’s also important to remember to perform maintenance on brakes, transmissions, power steering, air filters, radiators, belts, etc.
  4. Increased Passenger Safety – By properly maintaining a vehicle, the incidence of dangerous mechanical failures is reduced.

As an independent auto repair shop located in Calgary, Alberta, Dale Adams Automotive is the car owner’s best advocate for safety and preventive maintenance.  With each visit to our shop, we perform a courtesy safety inspection on your vehicle.  This allows us to alert you to maintenance issues before they become costly repair problems.  We also keep a detailed record of all the work performed so you will know when your vehicle is due for a specific type of service.  Click here to schedule your next preventive maintenance appointment with Dale Adams Automotive.

If you want the most advanced, most powerful, most upgradeable system available, then here it is! Whipple Superchargers has yet again set a new precedence for bolt-on power and industry leading durability. Featuring the new, 3rd generation Whipple 2.9L supercharger with an all new rotor profile and new high flow rotor housing to unleash even more power than ever before. Read More

Some you may have heard us brag about being one of only 3 official Shelby Mod Shops in Canada, but what does that mean exactly, and what is a Shelby Mustang?

With thanks to Shelby.com, TheCarSource.com, Wikipedia, Ford and other materials here is a quick summary of what that means, and why they are just so cool and powerful. Buckle up!

Carroll Shelby, an ex-Texas chicken farmer became a successful race car driver, but due to health problems in 1961 he was forced to leave racing. Shelby wanted to remain in the racing community but was unsure how to do so. Then he had a thought. What if he took a big American V8 engine and put it into a frame similar to a European sports car?

He decided to approach a auto maker with this idea. Funny enough, he started by talking to Chevrolet. They refused on the basis that they already were building the Corvette and did not want to complete against their own car. So off to Ford he went.

Ford had no sports car of their own and they had just developed a very powerful V* engine that they wanted to use to replace the big block engines of the 50s. In 1962 a prototype of the Cobra was exhibited at a New York automobile show and the press went crazy for it. This made Ford very happy and they immediately funded Shelby to develop his cars. With his idea of a light frame and chasis and the new lighter V8, this car was about 1000lbs lighter than the Corvette but with similar horsepower. Shelby Cobras became a force on the racetrack and on the street.

The Shelby Mustang is a high performance variant of the Ford Mustang which was built by Shelby American from 1965 to 1968, and from 1969 to 1970 by Ford. Following the introduction of the fifth generation Ford Mustang in 2005, the Shelby nameplate was revived as a new high-performance model, this time designed and built by Ford.

Since 2005 there have been several Shelby releases then, just when you thought they couldn’t possibly add more horsepower, Ford released the 2013-2014 Shelby Mustangs. The 2013-2014 models feature a 5.8 L 32-valve V8 supercharged engine. This new engine is capable of producing a blazing 662 horsepower and 631 lb-ft. of torque. This model is capable of reaching top speeds of 200 miles per hour and a fast 3.5 second 0-60 time. Though not cheap, its price tag is unheard of for its performance capabilities.

Though some Shelby's are made in factory there are official Shelby shops that can take a Ford Mustang from any Ford dealer and mod it with the appropriate parts to create your own customized Shelby Mustang.

Dale Adams Automotive is proud to be one of only 3 official Shelby shops and we have created the most amazing Shelby Mustangs. If you are interested in learning more, give us a shout.

Rest in peace Carroll Shelby, have faith in knowing that we will take great care of your 'other' children.

Dale Adams