Video: Sloppy Mechanics’ 1,000+ RWHP ’05 Colorado Goes 9.78 at 143

So, you probably remember Sloppy Mechanic’s little Colorado that could. You know, the one that made over 1,000 rear-wheel horsepower on a stock bottom end 6.0-liter junkyard motor with well over 250,000 miles on it? Yeah! That’s the one. Well, it just cracked off a quarter-mile pass of 9.78 at 143 mph!

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that Matt Happel—the brains behind Sloppy Mechanics—set out on a mission to make his 2005 Colorado much faster and much more powerful than it realistically should be. Oh yeah, and he does it on the cheap too, often cobbling setups together out of spare parts, junkyard finds, and the occasional fan-donated component.

And while it may be a pretty straight forward proposition to make good power for cheap with an LS these days, Happel takes it to a whole different level. All in all, Matt estimates that he has less than $10,000 invested in the entire setup, and that includes the purchase price of the truck. If that isn’t impressive enough for you, he is one of very few people we know to make more than 1,000 rwhp on a stock bottom end LS and he definitely takes the cake for doing it the cheapest.


It wasn’t always easy going for Matt, but he soldiered on and achieved his goals despite the haters that said it couldn’t be done or wouldn’t last. And though dyno numbers are great, a lot of us were left with the question of what that translates into at the track—and Happel had the exact same thought.

Lucky for us, Matt recently made a trip to the drag strip in order to find out what the Colorado would do—all without any safety equipment in true Sloppy Mechanics fashion. As you probably already know, a pickup truck isn’t exactly the best platform for getting traction from a dig, but Matt made it look easy.

“I was worried about traction with the boost swinging up too fast too soon,” Matt said. “So I made the pass with a 4-24 psi ramp.”


We already knew that Matt was a tuning genius, but making a 1,000 rwhp truck launch like that is no easy feat. However, Happel tells us that the truck was turned down to around 800 rwhp due to his concerns over the amount of track prep, considering it was a Friday night test and tune session. Impressive nonetheless.

The truck is also set up for a shot of laughing gas that Matt tells us he might turn on in the near future to get a little more out of the truck.

“I have thought of just wadding it with the 150 shot for the launch and chasing it with 150 at half track,” Happel said. “But I think I would need to change the gears or tire. It already does 156 mph at 7,000 rpm and with that much power, it might run out of gear—especially considering it went 143 mph with an 80 percent power tune up on boost only.”


He tells us that he thinks the truck has an easy 9.50 in it, if not faster. We don’t doubt that considering the power potential this thing has already shown us. True to Sloppy Mechanics form, Matt has overlaid all of the pertinent data with Race Render. As you can see in the video, Matt’s Intake Air Temperature (IAT) soars to over 200 degrees Fahrenheit during the race. He attributes this to a undersized intercool but says he isn’t too worried about it due to his use of E85.

Regardless, we’re sure that Matt will eventually go even faster in the truck especially if he uses the nitrous to cool down the intake air temperature.

About the author

Chase Christensen

Chase Christensen hails from Salt Lake City, and grew up around high-performance GM vehicles. He took possession of his very first F-body— an ’86 Trans Am— at the age of 13 and has been wrenching ever since.
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