Scotty Lachenauer
October 21, 2013

Horse Sense: Being a legit '95 Cobra, Jay's ride is one of only 1,447 examples produced in Rio Red, and one of only 535 with black leather interior.

Jay Houlis has cherished Ford's dynamic ponycar since he took his first ride in one as a suburban New Jersey teen. The ride in question was in a built '88 Mustang GT, and he still remembers to this day how sweet the exhaust's tone note was when the torquey motor pinned him back into the bucket seat.

The ride was true bliss in his mind, and it forged a memory in Jay's cranium. It wasn't long after Jay earned his "license to speed" from the Garden State that he went looking for a pony to produce more memories. It just so happened that one of his older friends had a sweet '95 Cobra. It was a potent local car that young Jay always had eyes for. It was a one-owner ride, and the title holder steadily improved the car with induction mods and nitrous. That was fine with Jay, because deep down inside, he just knew one day he would own it.

While the prior owner of this Cobra swapped out the original 5.0 in favor of a 351W, and add a six-speed trans, Jay bided his time with an LX notch. It featured a Two-Valve, and Jay soon added a turbo to the mix. This 'Stang would be Jay's cruiser, until that fateful day when he once again he crossed paths with the built Cobra.

The Cobra had run into some difficulties. The owner grenaded the rearend, and it sidelined the car. Jay bellied up and hit the owner with a solid proposal—a straight up trade. He offered his notchback in exchange for the wounded snake. The owner jumped on the offer. Finally Jay owned the ride he had long desired.

Once Jay took possession, he started modifying the car's worn-out setup from the get go. First off, he removed the 8.8 rear and rebuilt it with a set of 3.73 gears.

It didn't take long for Jay to realize that the 351 had seen better days. After seeing the Mustang's small-block blow smoke continuously, he pulled the motor and tore it down for a complete rebuild. The 351 in question is an FRPP Sportsman block which was driven pretty hard. Jay had it cleaned up and punched out 0.040-inch. He then filled the block with forged D.S.S. 9.5:1 slugs, Eagle rods, a D.S.S. main girdle, and ARP main studs.

Maximizing the Windsor's power is a Turbonetics 78mm turbo dialed in at 15 pounds of boost. A huge front-mount intercooler peeks out from the front fascia, which hints that this Cobra means business. In addition to air-to-air intercooling, Jay employed an AEM methanol kit to keep the boost cool.

Jay takes pride in the fact that he did all the work himself, even tuning the engine to its 750 horses—first with an SDS system and eventually an ACCEL DFI Thruster. It's a good thing, as Jay states that if he couldn't do all the work himself, he never would have been able to afford such an impressive build.

To get this beast through the gears, Jay decided to go with an automatic, choosing Ford's bulletproof C4. The transmission is an Art Carr build. To install the C4 properly, Jay built a custom crossmember from scratch. After hooking up the new trans, Jay had to change the gears out back, taking out the 3.73s, replacing them with more automatic-friendly 3.55s.

In the future, Jay's on a quest for more power, so modifications to his potent setup are not out of the question. For now he's going to keep enjoying his creation, tearing up the streets of Northern Jersey with his big Mickeys out back. 5.0

5.0 Tech Specs

Engine and Drivetrain
Block: FRPP Sportsman 351W
Crankshaft: Stock w/ D.S.S. Racing main girdle and ARP studs
Rods: Eagle H-beam
Pistons: D.S.S. Racing forged, 9.5:1
Camshaft: Lunati 51012 cam with 0.544/0.560 lift, 232/242 duration, and a 114-degree lobe separation
Cylinder heads: Canfield port-matched to the intake manifold
Intake manifold: Edelbrock Victor Jr. w/ 3-in inlet elbow and
Power Adder: Turbonetics 78mm turbo w/ 39mm wastegate, 50mm blowoff valve, and AEM methanol injection
Fuel system: 255-lph fuel pump w/ Flowcharger pump booster, SX regulator, custom made fuel rails, and Trick Flow low-impedence 83-lb/hr injectors
Exhaust: Turbo headers w/ 3-in downpipe, dual MAC mufflers, and turndowns
Transmission: Art Carr C4 automatic w/ 3,200-stall UCC turbo converter featuring a billet stator and mechanical diode; a reverse-manual valvebody and transbrake; and Hurst shifter
Rearend: 8.8-in w/ Moser 31-spline axles, 3.55 gears, and an Auburn Pro differential

Engine management: ACCEL DFI
Ignition: Stock w/ MSD distributor and MSD 6AL
Gauges: Stock w/ Auto Meter fuel pressure, boost, water temp, oil pressure, and AEM wideband air/fuel gauge

Photo Gallery

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Suspension and Chassis
Front suspension
K-member: Stock
A-arms: Stock
Struts: Koni five-way adjustable w/ caster/camber plates
Springs: Stock
Brakes: Stock Cobra calipers w/ drilled and slotted rotors
Wheels: Weld Racing Pro Stars
Tires: Skinnies

Rear suspension
Shocks: Stock
Springs: Stock w/ airbag in the right rear
Control Arms: HP Motorsport Megabite Jr. lowers and double-adjustable uppers
Brakes: Stock w/ drilled and slotted rotors
Wheels: Weld Racing Pro Stars
Tires: Mickey Thompson 325/50-15 drag radials