Eric English
September 1, 2003

In his automotive-dominated 50 years of life, Glenn Fukui may not have had it all, but he's probably seen it. As manager of a high-end body shop in Vancouver, British Columbia, that specializes in exotics such as Porsches, Mercedes, Ferraris, and Aston Martins, Glenn interacts with the world's finest on a continual basis.

Though he views these cars with the respect such storied marques deserve, ownership aspirations are conspicuously absent--even though 30 years in the business means he could likely make such a dream happen. We think that's a tremendous endorsement for Ford's DOHC- and IRS-equipped Cobra, and Glenn freely admits such sophistication was the hook that led him to purchase this black snake from nearby Brown Brothers Ford in 1999.

In case you haven't guessed, Glenn's objective for the new Cobra was to maximize its performance while maintaining the stock look and factory refinement. Put another way, the car needed to be able to run with--and away from--the high-dollar machines he deals with every day. While it would be hard to call any Cobra a legitimate street sleeper, Glenn's is about as close as they come, and those inclined to dismiss the originally 320hp car are begging for a lesson in stealth technology--Mustang style. In fact, cruising down the freeway, most enthu-siasts would be unlikely to pick up on the subtle clues that belie a more serious intent. Once at a standstill, some will note the R58 Cobra Rs at all four corners, but the non-Ford crowd will likely perceive these cast 17x9s as stock. In addition, they'd have to peer between the spokes to see that the factory's competent PBR twin-piston calipers were cast aside in favor of AP Racing four-piston units, aided by slotted rotors, Hawk pads, Cobra R carbon-fiber brake ducts, and braided stainless lines. Of course, it takes a skilled pilot to get the most out of a setup like this, but Glenn's 20 years of Solo II experience in his Sunbeam Tiger--including two Canadian National Championships--give a hint that the extra whoa is put to good use.

Though the look is basically stock, several subtle tricks enhance the visuals of this '99. Of course the Cobra R rims are the biggest deviation--17x9 for the street and 17x10.5 (pictured) for the track--but Glenn also moved the factory rear spoiler rearward an inch and a half, filled the Mustang lettering in the rear bumper cover, and treated the entire car to a meticulous block sanding and polish.

Given Glenn's driving credentials, it's no surprise the suspension on his '99 has been built to vastly improve cornering prowess. Indeed, such fare is an abso-lute necessity when the car sees competition in Canadian E-Street Prepared Solo II events. Koni double-adjustable struts and shocks are big players here, as are the Cobra R 800-lb/in front springs and Eibach 825-lb/in rears. Kenny Brown underhood bracing is effective standard practice by now, as are the caster/camber plates--Hotchkis units in this particular instance. Global West bushings are scattered throughout, while the IRS makes use of a custom bumpsteer kit from Andy Pearson at Specialty Engineering. When Glenn throws on his Kumho V700-clad 17x10.5 Cobra R knockoffs and sets the Konis for max performance, the '99 tracks like it's on rails--while still giving a pleasant and quiet ride in more mundane street settings. It's a near-perfect combination in the owner's eyes.

Horse Sense: We've had readers ask how the rear bumper cover lettering was filled in on previous feature cars, so we asked Glenn how he achieved the look on his '99. Paint was stripped in the area of the lettering, and the lettering was filled with a two-part urethane used specifically for bumper repair. Special bumper-repair primer was applied and extensively block-sanded before paint was reapplied. Thanks for the tip, Glenn!