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!

Running his '99 in Solo II autocross events fulfills Glenn's competitive side. E-Street Prepared is the chosen class, which allows engine mods and modest suspension upgrades, and requires DOT tires. Suspension upgrades can't alter the factory's basic design, thus the rules nix the use of items such as coilover assemblies. Interestingly, Canadian Street Prepared rules are a bit more liberal than in the United States, allowing substantially more engine modifications--including supercharging.

Moving to the goods beneath the hood, the 4.6 DOHC mill is still factory stock for now, including the glass-jaw hypereutectic pistons, but the bolt-ons are what give this Mustang it's exoticar grunt. Cranking out up to 10 pounds of boost is an ATI-ProCharger P-1SC, complete with its three-core intercooler, which Glenn modified and detailed for a near OEM look. Ford Racing Performance Parts 42-pound injectors team with an '03 Cobra fuel-pump/tank combination for adequate juice, while pertinent electronics consist of a Pro-M Univer mass air, a MAFterburner Plus, an Afterburner-eFPC, and an FJO wideband 02 sensor. Other notable upgrades include a Steeda timing adjuster, a Cobra R radiator and degas bottle, an engine oil cooler, a trunk-mounted battery, FRPP headers, and an FR500 exhaust.

The cabin of Glenn's Cobra is just as sedate as the exterior. A carbon-fiber trim kit adds a subtle, high-tech look, while the boost, fuel-pressure, and oil-temp gauge trio is hidden in the glovebox--until Glenn wants a look. Hidden beneath the factory shifter boot is a B&M billet shifter that provides leverage for banging the many gears in the T56.

Power output is to this point unmeasured, but the considerable twist is sent rearward via an aluminum flywheel, a Centerforce clutch, a T56 six-speed, and a PST carbon-fiber driveshaft. The PHP-braced 8.8 was fitted with 4.10 gears and a Torsen differential, so you know the rev-happy Four-Valve is getting a real workout at the whim of the driver's right foot.

Such enthusiastic driving is what Glenn's Cobra is all about, and it seems the perfect high-tech partner to his yestertech '66 Tiger--a nitrous-fed, Boss-blocked screamer. Compared to the high-strung Sunbeam, modern technology makes for a ride that is truly dual purpose, yet both cars reinforce one of Glenn's basic tenets in life--which is to say all his vehicles must approach a lofty 500hp threshold. Yet another stablemate and participant in this big power game is an F350 dually with a blower-cammed EFI 460 and Vortech S-Trim. It makes for quite a tow rig, to be sure! Did we mention the extension of the 500-horse rule is that all vehicles in Glenn's life be Ford- powered? Yup, and it helps further explain the absence of an exotic in his garage, doesn't it? Now when the new Ford GT hits the market... 5.0

5.0 Tech specs

Engine and Drivetrain

Block Stock
Displacement 281 ci
Crank Stock
Rods Stock
Pistons Stock
Heads Stock
Camshaft Stock
Intake Stock
Throttle Body Stock
Mass Air Pro-M Univer
Fuel System FRPP 42-lb injectors, '03 Cobra variable-voltage pumps and tank, Afterburner electronic fuel-pressure controller
Exhaust FRPP headers and FR500 exhaust
Power Adder ATI-ProCharger P-1SC
Transmission T56 six-speed w/B&M billet shifter
Rearend 8.8-in w/4.10 gears and Torsen diff, PHP brace

Electronics
Engine Management EEC V w/MAFterburner Plus
Ignition Stock
Gauges Auto Meter

Suspension and Chassis

Front Suspension

K-Member Stock
Struts Koni double-adjustable
Springs Cobra R
Brakes AP Racing four-piston fronts, Hawk pads, braided lines, Cobra R front brake ducts
Wheels 17x9-in R58 Cobra R (street), 17x10.5-in Performance Wheel Outlet Cobra R (track)
Tires Yokohama AVS Sport
275/40-17 (street), Kumho V700
275/40-17 (track)

Rear Suspension

Shocks Koni double-adjustable
Springs Eibach
Brakes Stock w/Hawk pads
Wheels 17x9-in R58 Cobra R (street), 17x10.5-in Performance Wheel Outlet Cobra R (track)
Tires Yokohama AVS Sport
275/40-17 (street), Kumho V700
275/40-17 (track)
Chassis Stiffening Kenny Brown strut tower and lower chassis brace, Steeda subs