Eric Eikenberry
August 1, 2007

How many of us can honestly say we know the intimate details of every performance modification planned for our rides before we've even taken possession? Probably not many. Hillbank Motorsports Sales Director, Jason Cenora on the other hand is somebody who actually can. His obsession with Mustangs stretches back quite a few years to his former SN95, a fully built show car, known as "Xtreme 281". Using relationships built upon years of successful show competition, Jason had already lined up a sizeable arsenal of sponsors before the paint was even dry on this particular Vista Blue Mustang GT. Not only was this 2007 Shelby CS8 Prototype planned from day one, you could say it was 'an offer' even Cenora 'couldn't refuse.'

If you're scratching your head about that last sentence, you did read that right. This car is a prototype, the second in fact, for Carroll Shelby's new CS8 program. Never one to let a good thing go to waste, Shelby took the appearance package of the CS6 and cranked the volume knob up to "11" by applying it to a 3-valve 4.6-powered 'Stang. Jason's boss, Hillbank's owner Lance Stander, snagged prototype numero uno, but has left that car relatively stock. 'Relatively,' in this case meaning the entire $15-grand CS8 package. Designed by Shelby Automobiles and built by Shelby Distribution USA, the heart of the package centers around a Paxton high-output fully-polished Novi 2200R with a 3.12-inch pulley (Jason's CS8 runs more boost than the 'stock' CS8 receives) and a two-bolt race blow-off valve. Ford Racing EV1-style fuel injectors and Diablosport Tuning ensure that the mill makes the most of the 14 pounds of boost, producing dyno-proven numbers of 486.69 horsepower and 419.45 foot-pounds of torque at 6,000 RPM on the rollers. "Having a dyno sheet in order to PROVE the power this car actually makes helps set us apart from others, who often 'claim' high numbers." On an added note the 486 and 419 didn't include the full shot of nitrous.

An intercooler is stuffed below the bumper behind a specific CS6/CS8 front fascia and lower grille. A Shelby-labeled upper grille with driving lights rests under an appreciably-buff CS6/CS8 hood. Side scoops and distinctive Shelby 'CS' side stripes add a racy flair to complete the transformation. Classic Design Concepts GT500-style rear spoiler and a factory Ford GT500 rear bumper were added by Jason to pump up the view that most people will see as he storms off into the distance. They're not a part of the normal CS8 package, but they add flavor in this case. The look is hunky, yet clean and crisp at the same time. The historical throwback visuals are intact but include a modern style which easily matches the showy Mustang prototypes from years past, including of course, a tasty racing stripe package.