Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
June 21, 2017

Don LaBar has a thing for Mustangs that go around corners. We were able to see him whip his Shelby GT350 around VIR at the most recent SVT Superfest. We also learned he has another corner veteran in his stable with this 1999 Bondurant Mustang Cobra. Any Mustang enthusiast worth his/her salt knows about these cars, but Don will help educate those that may be new to the party.

Don tells us these cars were special-ordered from Ford Performance, and shipped to Roush for complete disassembly, and rebuilt to Bondurant specs. “It's a part of Mustang history and connections to Ford Performance, Bob Bondurant, SVT, and Jack Roush really make it unique,” Don says. Specifically, Don says his particular car, number 52, was used by instructors at the Bondurant Racing School, located in Chandler, Arizona.

Most of the Bondurant Cobra “performance upgrades” centered on making sure the engine, and all accessories stayed cool under all track conditions. The engine has an 8-quart oil pan, a mechanical fan system from a Crown Vic, a Ford Ranger overflow tank, twin pusher fans mounted in front of the 1995 Cobra R radiator, a custom fan shroud, an air-to-waterpower steering cooler, and special silicone radiator hoses.

The unique aspect of Don’s Bondurant car is that it is street-legal. The gentleman who bought the car from Bob Bondurant was an attorney, and he was able to apply for a title for the car, and get it registered as a street car. The attorney reportedly wanted a dual-purpose HPDE car that he could drive to and from different events. “This is one of only 3 that are known to have a title and are able to be driven on the road,” Don says.

Inside, the Bondurant Cobra still retained most of the stock interior, but concessions were made for a future on the track. The cars received a racing seat for the driver, a raised throttle pedal to assist heel-and-toe driving, Simpson racing harnesses, window nets for both driver and passenger, a 6-point padded roll cage, a battery cut-off switch, and a Halon fire-suppression system.

The engines in Bondurant Cobras were stock, but with a custom tune, an 8-quart road racing oil pan, a 1995 Cobra R radiator and oil cooler, and many other add-ons to control fluid temperatures. The cars featured numerous chassis and suspension modifications, of course, including Monroe GP shocks and struts, Eibach springs, a Roush-designed panhard bar and torque arm, and revised front suspension geometry.

If this Bondurant Cobra thought it would live a life of luxury after its job was done, we’re sorry to say it was sadly mistaken. The Cobra will still be getting regular work outs, thanks to Don. Somehow though, we’re sure the Cobra is happy about that fact.