April 1, 2003
The outside of the Cobra gives nothing away. It's all stock, except for the rear drag radials, which are basically standard equipment on all serious street players anyway. With driver, this thing weighs in at 3,650 pounds and will crank off low-10-second passes as pictured.

Horse Sense:The '93 Mustang Cobra came from the factory rated at 235 horses, thanks in large part to a cast GT-40 intake, GT-40 heads, 1.7 roller rockers, 24-lb/hr fuel injectors, underdrive pulleys, a 70mm mass air, and a 65mm throttle body. These cars easily handled the new LT-1 powered F-body cars of that same year.

"How fast is it?" is one of the first questions we ask of prospective feature-car owners before they presume to enter the holy confines of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords magazine. It's not that we have criteria for you centerfold hopefuls to live up to, it's just that we like to have cars that run strong for their given combination. The usual responses we get are either right on (with a timeslip to back it up) or a bit optimistic (because the owner hasn't run his new combination yet).

Paul Bricker, a CNC programmer from Mt. Vernon, Ohio, had a different response for us-he didn't want us to see his timeslips.

Perhaps Paul had ulterior motives for keeping his pristine '93 Cobra's performance a secret, or maybe he just didn't want to embarrass himself with a number his car can't reach. After reading this article, we think you'll side with us and choose the former of the two possible explanations for this Cobra's hidden capabilities.

When you check out all its features, this is a car that really stands out from the pack. It has the 600-horse, blown small-block everyone wants. And that Tremec TKO five-speed is just begging for abuse. But, in our book, the thing that puts this car over the top is you will never see it coming or going. If you line up next to it and miss the drag radials or the nasty exhaust note (and, we wouldn't blame you if you did), it's curtains for all but maybe five percent of the cars at the typical cruise night. The Fast and the Furious crowd has nothing to offer a Mustang such as this!

As you know, it's difficult to put together a standout 'Stang on your own, so Paul is quick to thank the people who have helped him, including his parents, Paul's Automotive Engineering for sorting the thing out, and the crew at his new shop, Thrill Ride Unlimited.

The well-equipped Cobra interior is all stock with only minimal additions. The Tony's Metal Craft six-point rollbar is the most obvious of these. Auto Meter gauges have been added to keep an eye on boost, exhaust-gas temperature, fuel pressure, and water and oil temperature. A Pro-5.0 shifter is hooked to a TTC Tremec TKO five-speed for lots of driving fun. A McLeod clutch and pressure plate make sure the good times keep on rolling to the aluminum driveshaft and 8.8-inch rearend. There, 3.55 gears, an Auburn Pro differential, and 31-spline race axles try to keep this beast pointed in a straight line.

Paul let it slip that the car ran in the 10-second zone at more than 135 mph on a test run the year before we shot these photos. Since then, he's added a FAST stand-alone fuel-injection system and a ton of seat time to master the street-tire launch. So, can this Cobra run in the 9-second zone now? Paul Bricker will never tell!

5.0 Tech Specs

Block FRPP A4
Cylinder Heads Trick Flow Street Heat
Intake Manifold Cartech upper/GT-40 lower
Camshaft Anderson Ford Motorsport solid-roller
Power Adder Vortech R-Trim
Fuel Pump Weldon
Fuel Injectors 84 lb/hr
Transmission Tremec TKO five-speed
Rearend 8.8 with 3.55 gears,an Auburn Pro differential, and 31-spline race axles

Paul Bricker's '93 Cobra gets only the good stuff. The short-block consists of a Ford Racing Performance Parts four-bolt race block crammed with a Sonny Bryant billet-steel stroker crank, steel Crower rods, and 8.75:1 JE pistons. The standard-bore 342-cubic-incher gets its air from an Anderson solid-roller cam working with Lunati rocker arms, Trick Flow Street Heat heads done up by Ron Anderson, and a Cartech box upper and 70mm throttle body feeding the ported Cobra lower. The magic maker is the R-Trim Vortech blower, which pushes 13 psi through this efficient small-block.

As for suspension, the factory Cobra stuff works great. Paul added Tokico struts and polyurethane bushings to the front. Out back, coilover shocks, South Side Machine Lift Bars, and through-the-floor subframes keep the power on the ground as long as the BFGoodrich Drag Radials can maintain traction.

Engine Management FAST (tuned by Paul Faessler)
Ignition MSD with ACCEL coil,Taylor wires, and Autolite plugs
Gauges Auto Meter
Springs Stock
Struts/Shocks Tokico (front), coilover (rear)
Rear Suspension Southside Machine Lift Bars
Wheels Stock
Tires BFGoodrich
Brakes Stock