Kristian Grimsland
Associate Editor, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
September 1, 2013

My journey began in 1994. I was a freshman in college and wanted a Mustang more than anything. I found a black 1993 Ford Mustang GT five-speed with 18,000 miles, and I was instantly sold. My path of engine modifications was similar to most, starting with easy bolt-ons. Eventually it cascaded (over many years) into a Vortech blower, gears, an intake, suspension work, and a Tremec TKO.

I knew I wanted to do an engine swap, but was still undecided on what engine and power adder. I was searching eBay in 2006, admiring the ’93 Cobras when I came across a teal Cobra with black interior (1 of 185) with 56,000 miles.

I looked a bit closer and saw that the car was only about 45 minutes from where I lived. On a whim, I sent the seller an email. I arranged to see the car that weekend. It needed some work, but it had been garage-kept its entire life. I knew it was a deal I couldn’t pass up. Needless to say, I bought the car.

Over the next couple of years, I replaced the headlights, foglights, and weatherstripping, and powdercoated the wheels, brakes, shocks, and other maintenance items. The 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra became my baby and the GT took a back seat. It was mostly stock with the exception of a Flowmaster after-cat, 3:73 gears, and a MGW shifter.

My friends and I started going to Mustang Week in 2008. I was amazed by the horsepower some of these guys were pushing out of the mod motors with a simple pulley swap and tune. I started thinking about my next plan—should I sell my Foxes and look at buying a Terminator or Shelby? I realized that while the Terminators and Shelbys were awesome cars, I had way too much sentimental attachment to my GT and could never get rid of it. I also knew it would be somewhat sinful to take my beautifully running 1993 Ford Mustang Cobra and do an engine swap.

In 2010, I started researching options and was leaning towards a ’03-’04 Terminator conversion in my GT. That would be the best of both worlds— reliability, driveability, and lots of power, while keeping my Fox platform.

I reached out to Paul’s High Performance in Michigan to make it happen. The shop gave me an estimate and my jaw hit the floor, but I knew this was what I had been waiting years to do. As a result, unfortunately, the1993 Ford Mustang Cobra hit the market. I ended up selling it to a great guy named Eric, who lives only about 20 minutes from me. He was around my age and had the same appreciation for the ’93 Cobras. We stayed in touch and he would keep my updated about the car.

The work at Paul’s took about two years, but it was well worth the wait. The project took on a new life as we ventured down the road. I decided to have the engine bay smoothed and painted before we put the new engine in. When all was said and done, the car put down over 600 rwhp.

While the transformation was taking place, I started sourcing parts—like BBS Plasma wheels and Corbeau seats. I sent the wheels to Wheel Collision for a bath in Hyper Black-chrome powdercoat.

About one month before I picked up my GT from Paul’s, I got a call from Eric. He had been keeping the car in his parents’ garage and his dad finally said it needed to go. Since Eric lived in the city, he had little choice but to sell the car. He was giving me the first option to buy it back. We arranged to meet, and I looked at the car and fell in love with it all over again. Needless to say, I bought it back.

I now own both cars again. The 1993 Ford Mustang GT has about 69,000 original miles now, and the 1993 Ford Mustang Cobrahas about 59,000 miles. This time they are both here to stay.

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