Frank H. Cicerale
April 1, 2009
Photos By: Michael Galimi

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Mike Matarazzo
North Caldwell, NJ
'03 Cobra

Team Terminator Compared to the GT500, the Terminator Cobra is at a bit of a disadvantage in the powerplant department. While the Cobra still features a modular engine topped with Four-Valve heads and an Eaton supercharger, the Cobra gives up a bit of displacement with its standard-fare 4.6L engine. The advantage given to the Cobra comes in the weight department, as the Cobras were on average 300-500 pounds lighter than their newer brethren. The blower of choice varied between the cars, though no one chose to retain the stock compressor. One car showcased a Kenne Bell, another a Whipple 140, and the third a Whipple 3.4. Interestingly enough, only one Cobra owner chose to keep the stock six-speed transmission, as the other two went to automatics that aided on both consistency and ease of use. Of note, each of our Cobra contestants swapped over to a solid rear axle setup in place of the factory IRS. It goes without saying what can happen with an IRS when a serious amount of grunt is put through it and applied to a super-sticky racing surface.

If Mike Matarazzo's name looks familiar, it should. One of the stalwarts in the early days of Mustang heads-up drag racing, Matarazzo has been a routine contestant in our shootouts. While he could have brought his killer GT500, he decided to bring old reliable instead, that being his '03 Cobra. Matarazzo was the first down the track, and set the stage with his slowest run of the day, a 9.86. The automatic-equipped Terminator showed its consistency over the course of the next three runs, as he equaled his best run of the day, a 9.73, twice. The 60-foot times were within one-hundredth of a second, and the Cobra was aided by the fact that it checked in as the lightest car at the shootout.

Year: 2003
Model: Cobra
Owner: Mike Matarazzo
Driver: Mike Matarazzo
Engine: 281ci Four-Valve modular built
  by Walsh Motorsports
Transmission: Automatic
Clutch/Converter: PTC
Supercharger: 3.4L Whipple twin-screw
Boost: 23 psi
Weight: 3,382 pounds
Exhaust: Bassani headers and
  cross-pipe, Dynomax mufflers
  with turndowns
Tuner: Walsh Motorsports
Rear: {{{Ford}}} 8.8-inch, 3.55 gears,
  spool, Strange axles
Best e.t./mph: 9.730/142.45
Run 60-foot E.T. MPH
1 1.463 9.730 142.45
2 1.469 9.730 137.06
3 1.457 9.810 140.37