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 (www.vortechsuperchargers.com) 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 (www.veilside.com), 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 (www.midwestautogear.com) 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.