Eric English
July 1, 2003

Body modifications all serve to further high-speed flying, whether by saving weight or improving aerodynamics. A case in point is the aluminum rear wing from a former Lou Gigliotti World Challenge Mustang. The hood is a carbon/ Kevlar piece from Cutting Edge Com-posites, while the backlight and rear quarter-windows are fabbed from Lexan. The 200-mph treatment also includes a couple items you can't see in most of the photos, such as bellypan tinwork because it's-well-under the car, and a rear air diffuser that was removed so we could drive to and from our photo shoot on public roads of varying quality.

Fuel is sourced from a pair of Fuel Safe cells, the smaller of which was added after the team moved up in the power/consumption department, only to realize the primary cell couldn't carry a sufficient load for the entire 90-mile run. An Aeromotive pump supplies the 104-octane juice through 11/42-inch braided-steel supply lines, an Aeromotive regu-lator, Sean Hyland rails, and 50-lb/hr Holley injectors. FRPP's EPEC computer system provides the basis for a spot-on tune, while remaining ignition responsibilities are shared by MSD, ACCEL, Taylor, and Denso components.

A Tremec T56 six-speed plumbed for auxiliary cooling sits behind the boosted 4.6. It's actuated by a Pro 5.0 shifter and Spec Stage IV clutch assembly. Power is delivered through a Mark Williams aluminum driveshaft before reaching a Griggs Racing-prepared 8.8-inch rear. The assembly features 3.27 gears, Strange 31-spline axles, a Black Gold diff, and decambered 9-inch axle ends. As does the trans oil, the rear gear lube is circulated through its own external cooler, which is force-fed air from the ducts in the rear quarter-windows.

With all the modifications to the driveline, the suspension on this high-speed snake meets all expectations for being equally beefed. Up front that means Griggs caster/camber plates, a tubular K-member, severe-duty control arms, and a double-adjustable Koni coilover assembly. Delrin bushings eliminate any and all slop, while Brembo four-pot calipers with Performance Friction pads slow things down in a hurry. Out back there are no surprises, just more Griggs. We're talking the company's beefiest torque arm, Panhard bar, control arms, and coilover affair.

After reviewing the specifics of John's Cobra, it's clear why the team feels prepared to enter the top-dog class at Silver State in 2003. Mix in meticulous preparation, event experience, and an insatiable desire to nail one of motorsports holiest grails, and admirable performance seems assured. But what about topping the illustrious 200-mph average? Ogling the '96 for a few hours made us believers that it can happen, but the team knows such performance isn't a slam-dunk. Brief 200-mph top speeds seem almost certain, but the 200-mph average will require the right combination of weather, driving, and reliability. Tune in to John's Web site at for post-Silver State updates. We wish the guys the best of luck as they promote the Mustang name in yet another arena of high performance.

5.0 Tech specs
Engine AND Drivetrain
Block 0.020-over aluminum Cobra
Connecting Rods Manley H-beam
Pistons Ross w/ModMax plasma-moly rings
Cylinder Heads Stage 3 ported by Anderson {{{Ford}}} Motorsport
Camshafts Stock
Intake Ported Cobra
Throttle Body FRPP single-blade
Exhaust BBK long-tubes,
Dr. Gas 3-in X-pipe, SpinTech mufflers
Power Adder Vortech T-Trim
w/2.95-in pulley, Vortech Power
Cooler, Anderson Power Pipe
Fuel system Aeromotive pump
and regulator, 11/42-in supply, SHM rails,
Holley 50-lb injectors
Mass Air Meter Pro-{{{M}}} 87mm
Transmission Tremec T56 six-speed,
Spec Stage IV clutch, Fidanza aluminum
flywheel, Pro-5.0 shifter
Rearend Griggs 8.8, Black Gold diff, 3.27
gears, Strange 31-spline axles, 9-in ends