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Matt Snow’s 1993 SVT Cobra is Backed by Insane NASCAR Power
Snow Fox: The Ultimate Sleeper
When the first SVT Cobra was introduced for 1993, it was made for performance with a 5.0L generating 235 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, but by today’s standards that’s not exactly neck-breaking. Now over 20 years later, the 1993 Cobra is a highly sought-after collector car and the thought of changing the smallest original part may have hardcore traditionalists cringing.
When Colorado resident Matt Snow acquired the faded red Cobra in 2000 for $9,000 with 104,000 miles on the clock, the body had seen better days. He had it fixed up and had the car repainted back to its original factory hue, Vibrant Red. Snow’s 1993 Cobra may appear factory, but it is far from stock. Something sinister lurks underneath this stealthy Cobra’s Cervinis 2000 Cobra R-style cowl hood.
Nicknamed “NASCobra” for good reason, the engine bay is stuffed with a small-block 358ci Yates/Elliot NASCAR Winston Cup motor with Ernie Elliot–modified Yates C3 heads and a large base solid circle roller cam with Jesel rockers. Built by Leonard Vahsholtz of Woodland Park, Colorado, this NASCAR truck series engine is an 8,000-rpm motor converted to fuel injection and fed by a F2 ProCharger with a max of 21 psi of boost.
“It looks somewhat stock with high horsepower,” says Snow when asked what he likes most about the vehicle.
Boost is cooled by a four-nozzle Stage 3 kit with a 2 1/2-gallon tank and pump to make sure the engine’s thirst is constantly quenched. This was provided by Snow’s own company, Snow Performance, which specializes in water/methanol injection systems for those rocking forced induction. So as a good test car for the company, it only makes sense for this serpent to be well equipped.
Snow says, “The high-rpm motor at 8,000 rpm with blower cam sounds great when it gets up there. Nothing sounds quite like it.”
Other goodies include sleeved lifter bores, 9.5:1 compression ratio “blower pistons,” titanium valves, an internally balanced steel crankshaft, and a NASCAR-spec Victor intake manifold. Increased air flows through Kooks custom 3-inch headers.
It also features a BigStuff3 ECM and a BS3 standalone ECU. Big brakes, front coilovers, subframe connectors, and Saleen lowering springs finish off the stance and help with handling. The front has a custom K-member, which lowers the engine enough for a low-slung cowl hood. The car also features A-arms and a rear Panhard bar.
Power is routed through a Tremec TKO five-speed transmission and a Spec dual clutch. The rear features a 9-inch custom rearend by Moser complete with 3.73 gears.
With everything tied together, this Fox makes 1,000 rwhp and 864 lb-ft of torque on pump gas. Additional details on the powerplant include a dry-sump setup, piston oil sprayers, and 96-pound injectors custom-mounted on the underside of the runners. Everything was built by House of Boost out of Kansas City, Kansas, and tuned by RMCR Automotive Performance & Dyno of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“It’s a multiuse vehicle, whether it’s street, road race, dyno shootout, or Saturday night special,” says Snow.
The exterior remains stealth down to the aftermarket 17-inch 1993 Cobra wheels complete with 275/40/17 Hoosier racing slicks on the front and 315/35/17 Hoosier drag radials on the rear.
Snow races with the best of them in the NASA HPDE 1 class. To keep himself safe, he installed a G-force five-point harness as well as a rollcage. His fastest lap was recorded at 2 minutes 0.07 seconds at PPIR’s long course. Snow’s driving style is “steer with throttle.”
The car was damaged during our very own MM&FF dyno shootout. Even so, with the powerplant running on just six cylinders, it still put down an impressive 850 rwhp. Not only that, but it graced the Snow Performance booth at the 2010 SEMA show.
The car has come a long way since Snow purchased it 15 years ago. The faded car has been transformed into this NASCAR-powered beast with a significant amount of money invested in it. It’s been a long journey but well worth the effort.