Pete Epple Technical Editor
October 16, 2012
Photos By: Cesar Andre

Art is a funny thing. What looks beautiful to one person may look totally different to another. The definition of art is as varied and vastly unique as the people who create it. Art, in any form, is full of personality and can be a direct connection to the artist. It can be anything from sketches on a piece of paper to buildings that reach towards the heavens. Kris Horton of Corona, California, is a tremendous artist, and his medium is high-performance automobiles.

When Kris graduated from high school, he went to college to become an animator. Shortly after starting, he realized his passion wasn't in big-screen special effects, but custom automotive designs, and he soon focused all of his attention on designing one-off custom hot rods. One of his first designs was a next-generation Camaro, which Kris created long before the actual Fifth-Gen was more than a mere dream of a group of engineers.

Over the years, Kris has designed countless customs cars, some of which have turned into show-stopping powerhouses. One notable build is the '05 Mustang GT seen here. What started as a custom build for himself has turned into an ever-evolving project that has reinvented itself more than once. "This Mustang and I have been through a lot together," explains Kris. "I picked it up brand-new in 2005. It was originally Mineral Grey with Parchment (light tan) interior. It was my first new car, which was exciting for me, and it has been a big part of my life and my business for the past few years.

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"What you see is the result of the car's third redesign. It was never a matter of not being satisfied with the car or being displeased with how it looked, but rather wanting to keep it up to date and maturing as I've matured. I was 21 when I bought the car and I'm now 28. So we've definitely grown together."

Its current configuration is a seamless blend of power, style, and custom touches that culminate in a mix of retro style and cutting-edge performance. The Three-Valve 4.6L has been opened up to 284ci thanks to a 4.030-inch bore and 3.00-inch stroke. The larger-displacement short-block has been topped with factory cylinder heads and camshafts, and is force-fed by an Edelbrock E-Force supercharger. The Edelbrock unit cranks out 14 pounds of boost, bringing power to 580 rwhp. The powerplant is backed by a 5R55S five-speed automatic transmission, which is operated by a TCI Street Fighter ratchet shifter.

The car rolls on Petrol Traviata three-piece wheels wrapped in Toyo rubber. Hiding behind the rolling stock is a set of AP Racing brakes, which are color-matched to the Mustang's base color--House Of Kolors Artic White Pearl. Speaking of the body, the accent colors are House Of Kolors Atomic Orange and Black Pearl, giving this S197 a slick custom look. Anywhere you look, there are custom touches. Some jump out at you and some are understated. But either way, Kris Horton has taken this car to the next level on three separate occasions--we can't wait to see what's next!

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