Tom Wilson
January 1, 2009
With stickers, the Vortech show car is a boy racer; peel them off and the VeilSide body kit adds interest without excess. The grille and center foglights are from Street Scene, and the whole thing lays 1.3 inches lower thanks to an Eibach Pro kit.

Horse Sense: We've done many things with feature cars, but this was the first time we helped sell one. This impossibly clean car was delivered to us from Vortech on a flatbed; after our photo shoot, we drove it to its new owner.

Show cars are a curious lot. They're almost always built in a hurry, treated like Miss America, then sold into bondage the day after their last scheduled appearance. It isn't that they aren't wanted, it's just that the next project looms and has to be done by some deadline. And that's the story with this Grabber Orange '08 GT.

Built by Vortech Engineering ( to showcase its superchargers at last year's SEMA show, this Mustang was assembled for the big Las Vegas confab, spent a couple of months in other promotions, and was then sold. Luckily, we were able to sample it before it went to its new home with a private owner.

Orange enough to grab anyone's attention, Midwest Auto Gear's covers, shrouds, and extensions transform this underhood vista. Sold prepainted in all the stock Mustang colors, the Midwest gear makes sprucing up underhood fairly simple.

Four points of interest make this an interesting car. For starters, it gave us a chance to pedal a Vortech High Output charge-cooled kit. Second, it has the new VeilSide body kit, which debuted at SEMA. Third, there's a complete spread of Midwest Auto Gear dress-up panels to ogle underhood. The final and fourth highlight is Baer Brakes' six-piston caliper and rotor kit.

Because Vortech put all this together, let's start with the supercharger. After a steady diet of positive-displacement blowers around our offices lately, the centrifugal Vortech V-2 was quite a change. Of course, the Vortech blower doesn't make boost in the low rpm range, coming on-line in the midrange and shining on the top end. That means stock performance off idle and around town, but leg it out, and the Vortech pumps up the program with a visceral intent on the top end that's great to have anytime you feel the need. Simply bolted to the car, the Vortech H.O. kit puts real fun at the top of the tach, and with the quiet blower and composed S197 chassis, the installation looks, feels, and drives pro. Not a bad way to go for a real-world Mustang that sees commuting or other daily chores in addition to more moral-boosting duty.

Because SEMA show cars are typically displayed with doors closed and windows up-everyone is filing by so fast, they don't have time to look inside-the interior is the definition of stock.

We also say a set of rear axle gears is the one major accessory to get the most out of this blower. The heavy S197 chassis needs help to put instant snap into the equation, so after you've installed the Vortech and literally had a blast, the next step up is gears.

More power is our game, but show cars have different rules. Enter VeilSide (, a Japanese company with an obviously American bent. The name comes from owner Yokomaku Hiranao. Apparently Yokomaku translates as Yoko meaning side and maku meaning veil, hence VeilSide. They offer this one set of Mustang body panels, the D1-GT Carbon Fiber body kit. The sidebar breaks down the VeilSide kit components, which are sure-fire excitement when together on the car. This is an eye-grabbing head turner on the street, especially in classic Grabber Orange and black highlights.

But the fun keeps on coming. After gathering an admiring crowd at the burger stand, the Vortech show car keeps 'em wowed with its underhood display as well. This is a real treat,: People might take a cool exterior in stride, but when the engine compartment is just as detailed, the oohs and ahhs really pop out.

Central to the underhood pizzazz is a full set of Midwest Auto Gear ( covers. Specifically designed for the S197 GTs, Midwest's dress-up parts are available in all stock Mustang colors, along with some custom hues. That can be a real help to the average owner, as painting hassles are eliminated. Again, we'll let the sidebar give the details, but as the photos illustrate, this is one engine compartment ready for show duty.

VeilSide's rear apron boxes in the Borla exhaust's tailpipes. The Borla system is all stainless steel and features a mellow, no-drone tone. Revved hard and processing supercharged volumes of air, the Borla sound is healthy and rasp-free.

Ready for stopping duty are the Baer Brakes. Vortech went with Baer's six-piston caliper and 15-inch rotor in front. This is the Extreme Plus kit at $2,995, and runs a ceramic pad. In back, the stock calipers are retained, but with Baer's Eradispeed two-piece rotors. They are cross-drilled, slotted, and zinc-washed at $695 a pair, and include relocation brackets so the stock calipers clear the larger rotors. And yeah, they stop a Mustang.

Interestingly, when we spoke to Baer about this car, they noted the high-dollar, six-piston caliper is what's selling for the front of late-model Mustangs. There is an approximately $1,300 system for the car using two-piston PBR calipers and a 14-inch rotor under the GT name, and while we've mercilessly track-tested the same hardware on our SN95 track car with great success, the somewhat more capable and definitely showier six-piston hardware is what sells.

Our time with the Grabber Orange Vortech car was brief but memorable. With its combination of high-winding performance and street-machine looks, it's a car that is difficult to forget!

VeilSide is also the source for the swoopy rear wing. A straight mount to the trunk lid, it's low enough to not be a major bother in the rear-view mirror. Like the hood, the wing has a gloss finish and nicely displays its carbon-fiber weave.

Besides looking good, Midwest Auto Gear's underhood dress-up items are available in all 14 stock Mustang colors and three others. Additionally, the shock tower covers are available plain or embossed with "GT," "4.0," or "4.6."

Plenum Cover
$149 (silver/black)/$199 (colors) for GT; $398 custom airbrushed
Fuel Rail Covers
$199 (solid color); $239 (w/ribs a different color)
Radiator Cover Extension
$159 (no prop-rod clip; no sticker recesses)
Radiator Extension Covers
$63 (molded black); $129 (body color)
Fuse Box Cover
Shock Tower Covers$94/pair

The following list details VeilSide's Mustang D1-GT body kit. Those parts built of true carbon fiber are so noted; installation and painting are extra, of course.

Part Number Part Description Price
AE101-01 Front bumper $800
AE101-02 Side skirts and door panels $1,020
AE101-03 Rear bumper ${{{780}}}
AE101-04 Carbon-fiber rear spoiler $1,040
AE101-05 Carbon-fiber intake funnels $310
AE101-06 Hood (FRP) ${{{850}}}
AE101-06C Hood (carbon fiber) $1,300

The usual suspects-a V-2 blower and water-to-air charge cooler-are the visible portions of Vortech's H.O. supercharger kit. Pullied for a nominal 10 pounds of boost, the $5,683.95 kit pumps the power to 462 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Not seen are the high-flow fuel pump, big fuel injectors, and DiabloSport Predator handheld programmer. The mass air meter is a high-flow unit; quality silicon hoses, sleeves, and stainless steel clamps are used throughout. A large bypass valve eliminates surging, and the kit is legal in 49 states-California approval pending. If cost is important, the standard 420hp Vortech kit is non-charge cooled and lists for $4,421.95.

Baer Brakes six-piston kit is offered with either Baer or Shelby logos; for the Vortech car, Baer got the nod. The 15-inch rotors look at home inside the iForged Imola three-piece wheels; they're finished in Gunmetal and measure 20x8.5-inch in front and 20x10-inch in back. The O-ring tires are Nitto Invos, 255/35ZR-20s in front and 285/30ZR-20s behind. And yeah, with the lowering and short sidewall tires, the ride was pretty snubbed, but the steering is kart-like fun.