5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
SN-95 Ford Mustang Cobras - Beauty And The Beast
A Tale Of Two Cobras--One Plays Nice, The Other Wreaks Havoc
Horse Sense: Glenn and Dianna Sullivan founded Sullivan Data Management in 1990. According to the Sullivans, the company "dedicates all of its resources to designing, installing, and servicing local and wide area networks for our client companies in lower New York State." It currently supports an installed base in excess of 75 networks.
It's morning. You head to the garage and get in your Mustang to go for a spin. You can't wait to hear the intoxicating sound of a supercharger combined with the unmistakable rumble of a Ford V-8. You pull the driver door open and black leather nestles your big ol' behind. Push in the clutch, turn the key, and Ford's finest comes to life. After a brief warm-up period, the rpm settle down and the supercharger says good morning in its typical vernacular. You stick the shifter into First and then back into Reverse to exit the confines of the garage. Once on the street, you bring the revs up to 4,000 rpm and side-step the clutch. The BFGs scream bloody murder as the rpm scurries past redline, leaving yet another set of black marks riddling the pavement on an otherwise quiet country road.
What you've just experienced is a typical day in the lives of Glenn and Dianna Sullivan. But what makes the Sullivans' situation a little different is not only do they have a pair of Mustangs in the garage, but they're also SN-95 Cobras, equally capable of shredding a pair of BFGs.
To give you some background on Glenn, his automotive desires have been all over the map. His first performance car was a '68 Coronet R/T with a warmed-up 440. Then he owned a '69 427/435hp Corvette. In the late '70s he was into Porsches, owning a string of 911s, one of which (a 911 S turbo) almost took his life. After that incident, he took some time off from his car hobby, but by the late '90s he was ready to jump back in. Glenn says Porsches get really fun around 120-125 mph, but his earlier experience showed him he needed a car he could enjoy for small sprints (0-60 and quarter-miles).
In the fall of 1997, Glenn began the search for an "American hot rod." Not aware of the Mustang Cobra's existence, his first quest for a power fix took him to a Chevrolet dealership to check out a Camaro SS. "When I drove the car, I couldn't believe how terrible the ride and build quality was," Glenn says. "The seating position was almost like lying down, and the car rattled and squeaked like crazy." Then there was the hump on the passenger side to make room for the catalytic converter. Glenn told the salesman that even though the car was indeed fast, the poor build quality would keep him from signing on the dotted line. In a bizarre twist, it was the Chev-rolet salesman who suggested Glenn take a look at the Cobra. "So in January 1998," Glenn says, "in the freezing cold weather, I testdrove the Cobra and liked it so much I bought it that day."
After driving the '98 for more than a year in stock form, and being humbled by a few Camaros, Firebirds, and Corvettes, Glenn began the search for more power. "The name LaRocca's Performance came up over and over in all the magazine articles I read, so I gave them a call and spoke to Jimmy Chahalis (aka: Jimmy C)," Glenn says. Jimmy C walked Glenn through a process of turning his mild-mannered 255-rwhp Cobra into a 426-rwhp Camaro killer.
To get to that horsepower level, LaRocca's added a Vortech S-Trim, a Pro-M 77mm mass air meter and fan controller, a Bassani X-pipe, a Ford Racing Performance Parts King Cobra clutch, 3.73 gears, an F-250 Traction-Lok, and Moser 31-spline axles. Auto Meter Phantom boost and electronic fuel-pressure gauges were added to the A-pillar, while a set of FRPP 17x9 Cobra R wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich Comp TA treads finished off the outside. Glenn says the result of these additions added up to a "powerful, reliable sports car that can hold its own against almost anything the General has." On street tires, the '98 has run a best of 12.90 at 113 mph with a 2.1 short time.