Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
May 1, 2009
Photos By: The 5.0&SF Staff, Dan Schoneck, Alan Hurley, Scott Spandet, Matt Simonds, Jerome Shumate, Matt Knab, John King, Cory Harris, Andy Barth, Chuck Hamstra

Matt Knab
Regular readers of 5.0&SF should recognize Matt Knab's '03 Cobra. We featured it just last year; plus it was in John Urist's pit at last year's Bradenton NMRA opener to showcase its Hellion Power Systems single-turbo system. Matt's Cobra makes big power, and he tried to be a part of last year's Nitto Tire KOTS, but last-minute transportation issues kept him from attending. This time around, however, he procured his mother-in-law's truck, rented a trailer, and was good to go.

Matt lives right down the road from our Tampa, Florida, offices so we've seen his Cobra on several occasions, but this year's KOTS was the first time we had an opportunity to drive it. It was worth the wait. The driveability of his Cobra is similar to Matt Simonds' Mach 1-which you'll read about shortly-but it's readily apparent that Matt's Cobra lives a more pampered lifestyle compared to Matt's Mach.

When we first took off in Matt's Cobra, it was also readily apparent that it has a well-sorted suspension system. With the Maximum Motorsports catalog thrown at the car, it's no surprise that it is so tight. The car felt connected, and the suspension is pretty much perfect. Everything worked on Matt's Cobra, but the clutch was somewhat grabby, and there was a noise coming from the IRS. It turns out Matt's car had a bad wheel bearing, which explains the racket.

Even with the somewhat grabby clutch, Matt's Cobra was easy to drive thanks to its stock interior, nice gauge layout, and solid brakes. Matt had all his bases covered with the Cobra with excellent, stock-like driveability, but yours truly would've loved to row the built T56 with a pistol grip-style shifter knob. That would've turned up the Cobra's driving enjoyment a notch.

In the end, Matt's Cobra was one of our favorite KOTS cars. It blended obscene horsepower with the driveability of a daily driver. By making 812 hp and still spinning, Matt's Cobra scored a 7 in the Horsepower segment. By running a 12.84, Matt's Cobra scored a disappointing 3 in the Drag Race portion. Tech Editor KJ Jones really liked Matt's car and how it was put together, giving it a perfect 10 in Engineering, while Editor Turner gave the car a 9 in Fit and Finish. Matt's Cobra also impressed on the Ride and Drive, scoring a 9 in that category.

It seems Matt didn't have too many friends in attendance at the KOTS, that or his vote lobbying could use a lot of work. With such a nice Cobra, we think he should've scored better than a 3 in the Popular Vote category. Matt finished with a final score of 74.5.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINfuel lines, stock Cobra fuel rails,
BlockLucas 75 lb/hr injectors
'03 Cobra IronExhaust
Displacement Stock ceramic-coated manifolds,
284 cicustom 4-in downpipe, Borla
Rotating AssemblyStinger cat-back exhaust
Stock Cobra crankshaft, OliverTransmission
billet rods, CP custom 17ccStock Cobra T56 with 26-spline
pistons, Total Seal ringsinput shaft, McLeod throw out
Camshaftsbearing guide shaft, SPEC Stage
01 Cobra intake cams, '03 Cobra3+ clutch, Fidanza aluminum
exhaust camsflywheel, Pro-5.0 shifter
Cylinder Heads Rearend
Stock 2003 Cobra, Boss 330Stock IRS, 3.55 gears, The
Racing-ported, Ferrea valves,Driveshaft Shop Level 5 axles,
Crower valve springs Maximum Motorsports urethane
Intake Manifold bushings, Kenny Brown
'01 Cobra upper and lowerPerformance differential bushings,
Throttle Body Billet Flow/MJCHIP IRS brace
Accufab 60mm twin blade 
Mass Air ELECTRONICS
SCT BA2800 Engine Management
Power AdderStock Computer, SCT Pro Racer
Hellion Power Systems single-Package
turbo kit featuring PrecisionIgnition
78mm turbo, air-to-air intercooler,Stock, NGK plugs
Nitrous {{{Express}}} 50hp nitrous kitGauges
with boost referenced progressiveStock, Auto Meter {{{Phantom}}}
controllerseries fuel pressure, water temp,
Fuel System oil pressure, and boost gauges;
{{{Ford GT}}} fuel pumps, dual fuelSBC ID 3 boost controller, LM-1
pump driver modules, Forewideband, Raptor shift light
Precision fuel hat, -10 Teflon-lined