Eric Eikenberry
August 1, 2007

On the street, the chassis really shines; it's clear that Progress Technology treated the S197 as a labor of love. Shock dampening values are well matched to the body's weight, and allow short, harsh impacts to be absorbed fluidly while still precisely controlling body lean and pitch to perfection. A truly great suspension makes you WANT to hustle the car through the corners, regardless of the mass involved and while we're on the subject the PT setup, from our standpoint at least, comes highly recommended to any GT500 owners seeking a do-it-all package for street or track. The large diameter tires are surprisingly good, lacking the harsh ride often associated with lower profiles. Falken's clearly done their homework on proper sidewall stiffness. While the FK452 won't be the choice of hardcore track denizens, it works very well on the street, accelerating or braking nicely within sensible limits. Of course, there's little on the car which qualifies it as SENSIBLE! "The power from the Shelby/Paxton supercharger mated up with Progress suspension makes this car a fantasy to drive. It is not a stretch to say it out-performs a lot of vehicles I've driven," mentions Jason. These are big words from a man who has continuation-series Cobras littering his workplace like so many expensive play toys!

In the interior, Cenora began by stripping it down to the flat blue-painted metal. With only a few hundred miles on the car, everything came out, and the Hush Mat went in. The plastic trim was color-matched to the exterior. Gray suede leather was expertly applied to the headliner and door panels, stitched with light blue thread. Auto Meter Cobalt-series gauges for boost, oil pressure, exhaust gas temps, fuel pressure, and nitrous system pressure are scattered across three different pods, one of which was molded into the dash where the A/C controls used to sit. Two of them aren't gauges at all; one is a high tech Digital Pro Shift system, the other is Auto Meter's D-PIC, which can measure quarter mile times, 0-60, braking distance, and real time G forces. The HVAC system has been cleverly relocated to an aluminum panel under the armrest. "I truly strive to set the standard for modifications that perform as nice as they look," Jason remarks.

UPR's billet aluminum interior trim kit adds a splash of bright machined silver to every surface left unpainted or without suede. American Stitches reworked Cenora's steering wheel into a custom-made special, with silver spokes and a blue slash-cut rim. Custom appointments and OEM airbag functionality for a decent price is most definitely a hard combination to beat.

We'd like to argue that Carroll Shelby probably didn't envision an audio system like Jason's when he drew up the specifications for the CS8 program. Jason's Alphasonik system reads like a catalog of all of their 'good stuff'; a massive 15-inch subwoofer in the spare tire well, a 5.0 farad capacitor, two four-channel amplifiers and one giant mono sub amplifier. There is one pair of 6.5-inch component speakers in the doors, two pairs in the rear deck, and one more pair in the trunk lid. Vivo Electronics contributed a 15-inch monitor for the trunk, and a 7-inch flip-down monitor for the ceiling, a 5.6-inch monitor in the rear center console, and two more 7-inch headrest monitors. Multiple Optima batteries help the alternator withstand the strain this system can generate. An Eclipse 5500 DVD/Navigation head unit drives the sound and visual excitement, which is a clear match for the muscular driveline and looks. The trunk received the 'full suede' touch, with wall-to-floor-to-wall supple leather overlaid on a giant CS logo. Twin, fully polished Nitrous Express bottles hang from the rear deck like sinister cocoons, ready to unleash their contents on the unwary competition.