Michael Johnson Associate Editor
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

John King
Why someone would modify an '04 Mystichrome Cobra convertible is beyond us, but John King also purchased a rare and modified Saleen Speedster, so this is nothing new to him. John purchased the Saleen Speedster right before last year's KOTS event just to have a car in the competition. The Saleen did well with a Vortech-huffed 400ci Windsor.

This year, John's battle axe of choice is this '04 Mystichrome convertible. Featuring a ProCharger-equipped Four-Valve, the convertible is solid. You get quite a bit of cowl shake (that's when the windshield has a bit of wobble to it; yes, that's a technical term) with many convertibles. However, John's didn't suffer from cowl shake thanks to a variety of chassis upgrades.

John's convertible also doesn't suffer from a lack of power from the aforementioned powerplant. The Cobra made 806 hp on the dyno, which is really surprising because the power is so linear, it wasn't a mad rush like the turbo cars in the competition. We noted the power isn't peaky, if that's a word. It gives you a chance to get ready for it. With many of the turbo cars in the competition, the horsepower comes as a mad onslaught. Not that it's a bad thing, but John's car gave us a chance to ready the troops before being overtaken.

Something else we like about John's car is that the tune is right on with zero hiccups. The blower noise isn't overt, and it makes nice sounds. The exhaust note isn't too obnoxious, and it gave us a chance to listen to the stock stereo. There isn't anything too loud about John's convertible, so for it to make over 800 rwhp is astounding.

His Cobra has a nice gauge layout, and the D&D Performance shifter attached to the T56 is perfect. The Zoom clutch has great feel and was easy to use. The only downfall to the car's tune is that the idle is higher than normal.

John finished just behind Dan Schoneck, the guy who did a lot of the work on the Cobra. John scored a 6 in the Horsepower category with 806 hp, and a 12.74/118-mph resulted in a 4 in the Drag Race. Tech Editor KJ Jones gave John's convertible an 8 in Engineering, while Editor Turner was a little brutal, giving the car a 7 in the Fit and Finish. The car earned an 8 in the Ride and Drive, but John and his wife, Megan, did some heavy lobbying for the Popular Vote, scoring a 10 in that category. John's final score was a 74.5.

John's final score could have been helped by the same thing that all the competitors could've used-more horsepower.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINpump, -8 lines, Weldon regulator,
BlockCPR fuel rails, FRPP 160 lb/hr
Stock '04 Cobra ironinjectors, VersaFueler injector
281 ciExhaust
Rotating AssemblyBassani Xhaust mid-length
Stockheaders, X-style crossover pipe,
Camshaftsand after-cat
Cylinder HeadsT56, 26-spline input shaft, carbon
Stockblockers, billet keys, Zoom twin-
Intake Manifolddisc clutch, D&D Performance
ProChargershifter, stock driveshaft
Throttle BodyRearend
Accufab single blade Stock IRS
Mass Air 
Power AdderEngine Management
ProCharger F-1C, Factory '04Stock computer, DiabloSport tune
Cobra intercooler, Fluidyne heatby DynoTunes
exchanger, custom eight-ribIgnition
accessory drive system, NitrousStock, Kenne-Bell Boost-a-Spark
{{{Express}}} 75 shot nitrous kitGauges
Fuel SystemStock, Auto Meter boost and
Magnafuel EFI Tuner series fuelfuel pressure, AEM Wideband