Stephen Kim
July 1, 2009
The 5.4L dropped right in with very little drama using Prothane motor mounts. Several subtle changes freed up the necessary space for the custom turbo system. The fusebox was moved forward, and the PCM was mounted directly beneath it. Likewise, the ABS hardware was lowered and moved to the left to make space for the intake tubing. The motor still retains the stock radiator and cooling fan, which works very well, even in the Texas heat.

Mike tuned the combo himself using SCT software, and the car currently puts down 750 rwhp at 15 psi on pump gas. Once he puts the finishing touches on the programming and cranks the boost up to 20-25 psi, Mike hopes to lay down 900 hp on race gas. To make sure all that power actually makes it back to the wheels, Mike swapped in a Tremec TR6060 six-speed, and fortified the rest of the driveline with a GT500 dual-disc clutch and a custom 4-inch aluminum driveshaft.

As the car neared completion, Mike tried to reinstall the headlights and realized the routing of the intercooler piping wouldn't work with the stock front clip. He took some measurements and concluded that GT500 body parts would yield some badly needed real estate under the hood. Always a fan of the Shelby's styling, he ordered a GT500 hood, headlights, bumpers, grille, and side skirts. "I'm not a big fan of cloning a car, but I knew my car could back up its looks with more than enough power," he says. "I avoided putting GT500 badges anywhere on the car, but I did feel it was worthy of having Cobra emblems on the fenders."

In the near future, Mike plans to put it all to the test by competing in the Texas Mile, where he hopes to top 200 mph. He admits that it will be tough since the S197 isn't the most aerodynamic of designs, but he's confident it will happen once he reaches his goal of 900 rwhp. So while the cloning debate can go on and on, it's tough to find any faults with a car that makes nearly twice as much power as a real GT500--regardless of how it's badged.