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Terminator Swapped 1993 Fox Cobra Ford Mustang
Orange Dream Machine: The body of a Fox Cobra with the heart of a New Edge Terminator
We already know the burning question on all of your minds, so we’re going to put it out there. Yes, it’s a real Cobra. With that out of the way, let’s get started.
It’s a little-known fact that three of the most sought-after Mustangs from the last three decades were coincidentally released in 10-year increments. Don’t believe us? The 1993 Cobra is one of the most coveted modern Mustangs, and it arguably tops the Fox-body food chain. Ten years later, the 2003 Cobra (aka The Terminator) leveled the competition so completely that its reputation still precedes it. Wind the clock forward another 10 years and Ford released another Mustang for the record books: the 2013 GT500, a car that people still consider a game-changer.
What does this trio of special Stangs have in common? Exclusivity. All three were released in limited quantities and were at the pinnacle of performance for their time. Collectors and gearheads rushed showrooms for these special vehicles; some wanted to preserve them, others preferred to race them.
Ask collectors and they’ll tell you that modifying such a rare car is utter blasphemy. But ask racers and they’ll tell you that leaving such a magnificent car to sit untouched is also an act of insanity. Neither is more justified in their stance. At the end of the day, while their opinions couldn’t be more different, at least they both drive a Mustang.
But differing opinions are everywhere, and they certainly run rampant in our sport. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Enrique De Alba’s Terminator-swapped, Competition Orange 1993 Mustang Cobra is either loved or loathed depending on what side of the fence you sit on.
De Alba says, “Most people love it, but some purists dislike it because they don’t understand why anyone would want to modify such a rare car.”
That’s the beauty of our sport. It encompasses people from all walks of life with varying definitions of perfection. But no matter what corner you come from or how you feel about this Cobra, you’d have to be a fool not to recognize the passion behind it. When someone is this passionate about a Mustang, what more can you ask for?
“I love everything about my Cobra,” says De Alba. “It’s seriously my dream car; with the best chassis and the best motor combined into a single package that also happens to be my favorite color. I mean, it’s hard to explain how happy I am with this car.”
He might be happy now, but that wasn’t always the case.
“Back in 2010 I built a New Edge GT with a built motor, custom turbo kit, and Terminator bumpers that was featured in MM&FF—I still pick up the old issue and remember how great the experience was,” he says.
But as it does for many people, life got in the way. De Alba had to part with his beloved Terminator lookalike. When finances were better several years later, he began looking for his old car, but after two years he gave up.
“I had the money to buy a Terminator, but I didn’t want one. I wanted my old car, and when I couldn’t find it I was lost,” De Alba says.
Down but not out. That’s when he decided that the best way to get over the loss of his favorite project car would be to get underneath another.
De Alba says, “I’d always loved Fox-bodies, and to me there is nothing better than a Terminator drivetrain. So I bought a 1989 GT and found all of the Termi swap parts on eBay.”
We can hear you now. “But you said it was a real Cobra!” Yes, we did. Just before starting his own Termi swap, De Alba bumped into an online ad for this very car.
“It had already been swapped and was painted. After many calls and a ton of pictures I decided that it would be cheaper to buy this car rather than build my own,” De Alba explains.
As with many muscle cars, this Cobra’s history is shrouded in mystery. It was originally a Texas car that was involved in a minor accident. Brady Adams from Willard, Utah, rescued the wounded Cobra and brought it back to life. He not only fixed the damage and painted it Competition Orange, but he also added a boosted small-block. When that wasn’t unique enough, he transplanted a complete Terminator drivetrain.
The stock 2003 Cobra motor was topped with a 2.3L supercharger along with a Kenne Bell mono-blade throttle body, a MAFia MAF extender, Metco pulleys sized for 20 psi of boost, and a custom 3-inch exhaust from the stock manifolds back that uses Borla XR-1 mufflers.
Fueling duties were left to a return-style system that used a sumped Terminator tank filled with twin Walbro 255 pumps. An Aeromotive fuel filter and regulator also joined the party, as did Fore Innovations fuel rails, Injector Dynamics 1000cc injectors, and stainless steel AN-10/-8 feed and return lines.
The entire setup was good for 590 hp and 611 lb-ft at the wheels on paltry 91-octane California pump gas. We say “was” because shortly after the photo shoot, the crew at Advance Auto & Electric in San Ramon, California, removed the motor and fortified the bottom end with a 0.030-inch overbore, forged 9:1 CP pistons, MMR Stage 2 cams, and Kooks long tube headers. Since the Cobra already had a fuel system big enough for E85, De Alba only needed to tweak the tune in order to get his Cobra on the corn oil—he’s shooting for 700 hp at the wheels, and we have no reason to doubt him.
“It’s unbelievable how smooth and docile the car is while cruising, but mash the gas and it’s a beast,” says De Alba.
The stock T-56 from the low-mileage donor car also donated its transmission, but not before it received an upgraded 26-spline input shaft, a McLeod RXT twin-disc clutch, and an MGW short shifter.
The IRS never made the jump, as an 8.8 solid rear axle with welded axletubes was the rearend of choice. It was filled with Ford Racing 31-spline axles and 3.73 gears along with a Traction Lok differential that receives power from an aluminum driveshaft.
A Maximum Motorsports modular-swap K-member houses the motor, including MM front coilovers, caster/camber plates, full-length subframe connectors, and rear lower control arms. Of course, we can’t forget the BBK upper rear control arms, the H&R rear springs, the Tokico adjustable shocks, and the welded torque boxes.
“The car drives like a dream,” says De Alba. “It handles well, has a smooth ride, and sits just perfect.”
Speaking of perfect, check out the True Forged Mach 5 wheels. They measure a stout 18x8 inches front and 18x10 in the rear. They’re wrapped in BFGoodrich rubber, with the front using 245/35-18 KDWs and the rear using 295/35-18 g-Force drag radials.
Hiding beneath the top-rate wheels is a Brembo 14-inch big brake kit with four piston calipers and drilled/slotted rotors up front. Out back you’ll find New Edge Cobra units. The entire system is orchestrated by a Terminator hydroboost setup with stainless steel lines.
Life in the captain’s quarters is factory fresh thanks to a 2003 Cobra gauge cluster, pedal set, and steering column/wheel. Seats from a 2004 Cobra hold the driver tight, and custom upholstered 1993 Cobra rear seats match the Terminator ambiance. Of course, a Maximum Motorsports six-point rollbar with swingout door bars keeps things safe and legal at the track.
The exterior was left largely stock because the factory look is hard to beat. But De Alba did add smoked headlights and foglights along with a shaved Cervinis Cobra R hood for a touch of uniqueness.
No matter if you call this Terminator-swapped 1993 Cobra sacrilege or success, one can’t ignore the time, effort, and detail that went into building this unique Fox-body. Although De Alba has only added the built motor, rims, brakes, and other aesthetical mods himself, we can’t wait to see what he’s got in store. And the naysayers who think that De Alba’s buying the swapped car means he does not bleed blue, know this: He just took delivery of a 2015 Mustang that he plans to modify. Any idea what color his S550 might be? You guessed it! Competition Orange.