Michael Galimi
July 30, 2013

Eddie West’s life-long passion with cars is exhibited with his 749-rwhp 2001 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra convertible. The Georgia-resident's affinity for all things with wheels and an engine to power it has lasted nearly 50 years now—and it’s still going strong.

Like most little boys, Eddie was playing with Tonka trucks by age three and drawing cars by the time pre-school rolled around. His passion for cars continued to thrive and by the time he got his driver’s license he was hanging around speed shops and tinkering with a turbocharged Firebird.

“I met Richard Boyd, the owner of a local speed shop in my hometown of Albany, Georgia,” said Eddie. “I enjoyed hanging out at his shop and learned everything I could when I was there.” A year later Eddie joined the Air Force and relocated to New Mexico, where his passion for cars only grew.

Eddie eventually got married and soon came his new partner in car-crime, his son Chase. Like a good father, he made sure Chase was supplied with an ample amount of toy cars, particularly of the Matchbox brand. As the family grew bigger and Eddie’s children got older, it was time to get a new fun-car. It would be one that the family could enjoy taking to car shows and help keep the bond between a father and his son, who today is off in college and working hard.

It was July of 2001 when Eddie pulled the trigger on a white SVT Cobra. It proved to be the start of a long road to making the convertible perfect; Eddie would combine his visions of mechanical excellence and visual amazement into a show car that has the boogie to back up the looks. Locked inside Eddie’s head was a Stang that blended the influence from his impressionable years of the ’80s and the modern capabilities of today’s modular engine family.

The Cobra was initially nicknamed “Trophy Snatcher” by local car show judges because it was constantly winning shows. As the years progressed, so has the car’s visual appearance and horsepower, thus fueling the car-show accolades.

Let’s start with the visual enhancements. The flames might be ghost flames, but there is no denying their presence in daylight or darkness. As Eddie puts it, “The broken glass ghost flames were Chase’s idea and Master Body Works applied them to the white paint.” The driver and passengers exit the near-stock cabin through a pair of Lamborghini-style doors, a throwback to the glory days of the ’80s vintage Countach from the Italian supercar manufacturer.

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The Centerline Champ 600 wheels have been discontinued long ago, but Eddie always liked the style and simply had to have them. As they say, money talks and the company made a custom set for the Cobra. The look is also reminiscent of the Countach’s classic trend like the doors.

Lurking under the Cervini cowl-induction hood is a sharp-looking Four-Valve modular engine that is opulently displayed in chrome. There are the typical parts and pieces like chrome valve covers and liquid tanks, but they all serve the crown jewel of the engine bay—a 749-rwhp supercharged engine. Eddie explains, “The engine is basically a Terminator engine.” The cylinder heads were designed for supercharger applications, so it made sense to go with those heads given the supercharged nature of this street beast.

Panhandle Performance treated the heads to a port job and other tricks to enhance airflow through the ports. The intake ports flow 280 cfm, while the exhaust moves 222 cfm of air. The short-block consists of a cast-iron block that was enlarged to 5.1L thanks to a Coast High Performance rotating assembly. Peters Performance (Albany, Georgia) handled the machine work and assembly.

The long-block was completed with Comp Cams XE-R hydraulic roller sticks—four of them. The intake camshafts bump the valves open a maximum of 0.475 inches and the exhaust lobes push the valves open to 0.450 inches. The guys at Comp Cams tells us the duration specs are 238 degrees and 240 degrees, intake and exhaust respectively, at 0.050-inch lift. Lobe separation is listed as 116 degrees, giving the engine its nice rumble.

The supercharger huffs 20 psi of boost into the engine, and thanks to the intercooler and excellent custom tuning, that 749-rwhp output has been accomplished on pump gas. It’s certainly impressive considering there is no methanol injection, something many enthusiasts resort to for that kind of pump-gas sparkle. Eddie is quick to credit the tuner and brainchild behind the combination, Eric Brooks of Brooks Speed (Tifton, Georgia).

The rest of the Snake is straight forward, with Ford Racing Performance Parts shorty-headers dumping into 2.5-inch X-style mid-pipe and ultimately to a MagnaFlow axle-back exhaust system. A dual-disc clutch is squeezed between the engine and a Tremec T-56 Magnum six-speed transmission. A lightweight aluminum driveshaft sends the power back to the 3.73-geared IRS suspension. Maximum Motorsports was tapped for its Grip kit and a pair of QA1 shocks were added to help eliminate the dreaded wheelhop normally associated with this style rear suspension.

All told, the car is a blending of old-school influence with modern horsepower, creating a Cobra that is a family affair for Eddie, Angie, Chase, and Jade. As for snatching trophies, the count right now is around 100 since the family began taking their Cobra to shows nearly 10 years ago. With that kind of collection, we aren’t surprised by the car’s nickname at all.

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