This month’s feature Mustang, unlike most, began as a brand new car right off the dealership lot five years ago in February of 2005. The proud owner, Kris Horton, grabbed his 2005 Mustang GT with the intent of using it as the ticket for his company, Cars By Kris, into the November 2005 SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Originally purchased with a Mineral Gray paint job and tan interior, Horton had quite a bit of work set up for the next nine months. Although he kept the paint job, he chose to add some flame graphics to give it a unique edge. The interior was completely customized, and he topped off the build with a set of Forgeline  wheels and a Procharger  supercharger. Over the next four years, the car underwent small improvements including an engine upgrade and a new paint scheme until tragedy struck during a 2009 car show burnout competition.
Kris had entered the contest for pure fun, but fate had other arrangements which led to a pitted, destroyed paint job. “I was at a car show, and the paint got completely trashed during a burnout competition. I got hosed with a bunch of gravel and molten tire,” commented Horton. “It pitted the paint and chipped it off in places. I ended up having to completely repaint it.”
The original paint job for SEMA 2005. (DubSpeed Driven)
After the responsible party basically told him to pound sand, Kris took the unfortunate event and turned it into a blessing in disguise. Horton would rebuild his car. He had the technology. His car would be better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster.
Horton began with the deconstruction of his ride. He pulled out the engine and sent it out for a rebuild. The interior was completely gutted, including the dash. Kris chose to go with House of Kolor pearl white as the feature hue on the car. He complimented the white with a two-tone pearl black and burnt orange combination along with airbrushed flame graphics.
This photo shows a close-up of the custom paint after the makeover.
A few body modifications were also done. Horton had his Airhead Kustoms friends install a GT500 front end conversion, a 3-inch cowl hood, Street Scene skirts and a Street Scenes Gen2 rear valence. If you look closely, you’ll notice that this car even has custom ‘Cars By Kris ‘ badges.
“I’m not too much of a wrench, myself. I’m more of the artistic type,” confessed Horton. “So I came up with the design and I had Jason Russell over at Airhead Kustoms in Corona, (CA) do all the paint and body work on it.”
The professionals at Airhead Kustoms prepare to lay out the black pearl paint
Meanwhile, the engine took on a whole new fate with Horton’s friend, Dan Capps, behind the wrench. As stated earlier, the engine was stock with the exception of a ProCharger and some “shoddy” engine work done previously. Capps gave the engine a fresh set of forged Keith Black dished pistons for lower compression. Attached to the Keith Blacks are a new set of forged ModMax  H-beam connecting rods and a stock crankshaft. The cylinder heads, much like the crankshaft, remain stock, but this summer, the 24-valve V8 will receive a new set of camshafts. Topping off the engine build, Capps replaced the ProCharger and upgraded to a brand-new Edelbrock  E-Force 2.3 Liter twin vortices blower with 14psi of boost, 60 lb/hr injectors, a racing intake, and a GT500 fuel system.
The engine was dropped back into the freshly painted engine compartment and mounted up to the 5R55S transmission. They mounted up a BBK Performance  Off road-X exhaust system with MagnaFlow  mufflers, and started it up to hear the engine rumble. Unfortunately, technical issues ruined a day on the chassis dyno, but with 3.90 gears in the rear end and a new torque converter about to go in, Horton and Capps both expect the engine to produce something in the neighborhood of 550 horsepower at the rear wheels.
“We had some trouble on the dyno the first time out. We broke a spark plug and the torque converter wasn’t standing up to all the power so we didn’t get any decent numbers out of it,” said Horton.
Although at this point the vehicle has a powerful engine and a beautiful exterior appeal, the interior remains a clean slate. First and foremost, Horton gave the car a Quiet Ride sound deadening kit. He rolled out factory black carpet across the floor pan and dropped in a set of Corbeau A4 custom seats wrapped in black suede diamond tuck with orange stitching and black and orange leather accents. Corbeau also supplied the harness bar with four-point cam-lock harnesses. The stock rear seat was wrapped to match with the help of his good friend, James Mendoza. Mendoza also wrapped the headliner and pillars with suede and even made a unique flame graphic relief within the headliner.
The headliner features an intricate flame pattern to match.
The center console was painted to match the exterior pearl white, while the lower part of the dash was painted pearl black. The upper half of the dash was wrapped in black suede and stitched together with orange stitching. The dash also features an AutoMeter Sport Comp 2 center-mount gauge cluster. The stock gauge and A/C bezels were replaced with satin finished bezels off of a GT500. A TCI  ratchet shifter took the place of the old, stock shifter in the center console. The interior was topped of with a sound system, but the audio is currently undergoing a transformation to better match the appearance of the car.
The interior contains the most detail with black suede and orange accents throughout.
The suspension upgrades are short and sweet, but they managed to work wonders with the car’s handling performance. Eibach lowering springs and sway bars gave the car a lower, more stable ride with the assistance of a BMR  adjustable panhard bar. The GT is sitting on a set of 20-inch Pertol Traviata 3-piece wheels by TSW; 9-inches wide on the front and 10.5 on the back. The wheels are wrapped in Toyo T1R 285/35s on the back and 255/35s on the front.
The new set of Petrol Traviata 3-piece wheels.
Since it’s initial build in 2005, Kris Horton’s ‘Cars By Kris ’ Mustang GT has attended many different car shows and won major awards such as ‘Best Ford/GM’ in Irwindale and ‘First Place Late Model car’ in Corona. Horton’s future plans include more car shows such as SpoCom, Queen Mary, and some of the big Ford shows in the southern California area. Currently, Kris’ Mustang has been undergoing a few more altercations to become what some may call the ‘Six Million Dollar Mustang.’ Figuratively of course.
- Type: 4.6L 24 valve V8
- Block: Stock aluminum block, bored +.020
- crankshaft: stock
- Connecting Rods: ModMax Forged H-Beam
- Pistons: Keith Black Forged 16cc dished pistons
- Cylinder heads: Stock
- Camshafts: Stock (for now)
- Induction: Edelbrock E-Force 2.3L twin vortices blower, 60# injectors, race intake, GT500 fuel system
- Exhaust: BBK High Flow O/R X-Pipe, Street Scene center exhaust system
- Cooling: Fluidyne aluminum radiator
- Power: 550RWHP
- Transmission: Stock 5R55S w/ PI Triple Disk Torque Converter
- Rearend: Motive 3.90:1 gears, Scott Drake rear diff girdle
- Front suspension: Eibach Pro-Kit springs, Eibach anti-roll (sway) bar
- Rear suspension: Eibach Pro-Kit springs, Eibach anti-roll (sway) bar, BMR adjustable Panhard bar
- Front brakes: AP Racing 6-piston calipers w/ 14.25-inch drilled and slotted rotors
- Rear brakes: AP Racing 4-piston calipers w/ 13-inch drilled and slotted rotors
WHEELS & TIRES
- Wheels: Petrol Traviata 3-piece wheels, 20×10.5 rear, 20×9 front
- Tires: Toyo T1R, 285/35 20 rear, 255/35 20 front
BODY & PAINT
- Body: GT500 front end conversion, Cervini 3-inch cowl hood, Street Scene side skirts, Street Scene Gen 2 rear valance
- Paint: Custom paint job by Airhead Kustoms, Corona, CA – House of Kolors Arctic White Pearl, Black Pearl, and Atomic Orange
- Graphics: Airbrush work by Jason Russell and Art Gomez of Airhead Kustoms, Pinstriping by Wild Bill Wisslead
- Full interior color conversion from tan to black
- Corbeau A4 front and stock rear, custom upholstered by James Mendoza
- Corbeau Harness Bar w/ 4-point cam-lock harnesses
- Suede headliner w/custom flame pattern, suede a-, b-, and c-pillars
- Dash pad lined in suede/orange stitching, gauge and a/c bezels swapped out for satin GT500 bezels, lower half of dash smoothed and painted HOK Black Pearl, center console painted HOK Arctic White Pearl
- Door panels finished with cinnamon leather
- TCI Ratchet Shifter