Dale Amy
May 19, 2010

So let's talk about that boost. On E85, Sean is able to run as much as 23 psi, a result of both the alcohol's higher octane rating as well as its natural cylinder cooling tendencies. This results in the aforementioned 1,000 hp and 925 lb-ft on the brake dyno. In comparison, on 94-octane pump gas, boost must be limited to 18 pounds, knocking output back to a "mere" 805 hp and 740 lb-ft. Oh, the misery! Incidentally, a recalibrated GT500 processor is used to run everything, with suitable alterations to the wiring harness.

With the new powertrain up and running, attention then turned to the interior, which is more than a little brighter than any Cobra cockpit I've ever witnessed. "Regular" CSX carpeting just wouldn't fit, since the tunnel area required much modification and widening to accommodate the GT500 running gear. Between that and the fact that the car's initial role was to be as a show car in the 2008 SEMA show, SHM went whole hog with red leather upholstery and custom Wilton wool carpet. And though the shifter arm itself is a one-off fabrication, we like the Mustang-style knob and boot, which blend nicely with the whole powered-by-GT500 theme.

Chassis-wise, little is changed from regular CSX4000 hardware, aside from revised spring and damper (coilover) specs to complement the new drivetrain. At the back of that drivetrain is a CSX4000-standard Dana 44 axle-not the toughest rearend ever built, but, as Sean correctly points out, there's just no way to get enough traction to hurt it. And that pretty much sums up this beastly little project. With "only" around 500 hp, the original 427 Cobras had deserved reputations of being more than a handful to keep pointed in the right direction. With about double that power on tap when the 42-gallon fuel cell is topped with E85, SHM's Cobra has the irascible disposition a modern-day Super Snake with an alcohol addiction.

The Details
Sean Hyland Motorsport's '08 Shelby CSX4000 427 S/C (fiberglass)

  • Modified Shelby GT500 5.4L modular
  • Sean Hyland Motorsport aluminum block, bored 0.020-inches
  • Manley forged I-beam rods
  • JE forged pistons, 9:1 compression
  • Stock GT500 cams in lightly prepped heads
  • Kenne Bell Mammoth twin-screw supercharger kit
  • 60-lb/hr injectors
  • Recalibrated GT500 processor with revised wiring harness


  • Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual
  • Custom-fabricated shifter


  • Dana 44 axle
  • 3.54 gears (stock CSX4000)


  • Custom-fabricated, ceramic-coated, mild steel headers, 1 7/8-inch primaries
  • Stock CSX4000 side pipes


  • Front: Stock CSX4000 coilovers with revised spring & damping rates
  • Rear: Stock CSX4000 coilovers with revised spring & damping rates


  • Front: Stock CSX4000 by Baer Brakes
  • Rear: Stock CSX4000 by Baer Brakes


  • Front: Halibrand pin-drive, 15x8 (stock CSX4000)
  • Rear: Halibrand pin-drive, 15x10 (stock CSX4000)


  • Front: BF Goodrich, P235/60R15
  • Rear: BF Goodrich, P295/50R15


  • Custom red Wilton wool carpet, custom red leather upholstery, re-worked and widened transmission tunnel area


  • Stock CSX4000 fiberglass body, except for modified hood, Guardsman Blue with white stripes