Eric English
April 1, 2003
Photos By: Dale Amy

Horse Sense:While the Vortech product line includes S- and T-Trim blowers for both modular and pushrod Mustang applications, the lineup changes a bit when stepping up from there. Pushrod applications would find the YS-Trim next in line, while the counterclockwise modular step up is known as the JT-Trim. With 4-inch inlet/3-inch discharge dimensions, 1,450-cfm airflow, and nearly 30 pounds of boost capability, the JT-Trim is a piece that's suited for as much as 1,000 hp.

More often than not, the long arm of the law seems to frown on those of us involved with hot cars-at least that's what many of us perceive. Frankly, some have brought such wrath on themselves by pulling crazy stunts on the street. On other occasions, the guy behind the badge seems to believe anyone with a powerful car is irresponsible. Of course, we enjoy discovering exceptions to the latter instance, which is just one of the reasons we're featuring David Timm's speedy '97 Cobra drop-top.

You see, David is sworn to uphold the law as a deputy sheriff in Illinois' Sangamon County, but he's clearly off the deep end when it comes to hot street 'Stangs. No, that doesn't mean he can look the other way if he catches you in the act of a moving violation in your own ponycar, but he clearly understands the affliction that comes from big power under the hood.

Plain and simple, big power was exactly what David was after when he purchased his Rio Red convertible from the original owner in 2000. The purchase coincided with his hiring as a law enforcement officer and was thought to provide a better cop image than his previous ride-a Vortech-blown Dodge Neon that was featured in a number of the import magazines. Yeah, whatever. David says his fellow officers are interested in his newest crusade for horsepower, so maybe there's hope next time you see the flickering light bar of a police cruiser in the rearview mirror.

While this is actually David's first foray into the Mustang scene, he knew he wanted the top-dog Cobra for its Four-Valve power potential. The car has been tapped through an assortment of power-building accessories, namely a Vortech JT-Trim blower that's pullied to make more than 20 pounds of boost. Of course, that kind of stress can't be withstood by a stock modular short-block, so in its place is a Fox Lake Power Products-assembled 4.6, chock full of ModMax internals including H-beam rods, forged pistons, a main cap girdle, a windage tray, and more. Power with the JT-Trim hasn't been measured yet, but the prior combination with an S-Trim and Power Cooler yielded a claimed 500 ponies and 415 lb-ft, as read on the Dynojet at Lucky Performance in Memphis, Tennessee.

Good as the Vortech-blower/Four-Valve combination is, the 500hp mark isn't eclipsed without substantial supporting hardware. In David's case, he's upped the ante in the fuel department with a complete Aeromotive system, including an A1000 pump, -8 and -6 fuel lines, billet rails, filters, and an adjustable regulator. The stated dyno numbers were achieved with 42-lb/hr injectors and a FAST computer system tuned by T.J. Tracey at Advanced Performance Fuel Injection and Electronics in Memphis, Tennessee. MAC long-tubes, a MAC H-pipe, and MagnaFlow muffs are solid contributors to the overall performance-not to mention improved audio.

Turning to the supporting cast of underpinnings, we find the stock but admirable Cobra four-wheel discs still in place, surrounded by 18-inch Voxx (formerly Fittipaldi) rims and Nitto NT555 rubber. Front suspension upgrades include a Granatelli Motor Sports tubular K-member, tubular A-arms, a coilover kit, and Hotchkis caster/camber plates. Changes out back are more limited, consisting solely of Eibach springs, but expect that to change down the road.