Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
December 1, 2003

Bill Tumas was tired of sinking money into his constantly broken, supercharged '91 GT. So, in April 1999 the North Wales, Pennsylvania, resident purchased a black '96 Cobra with just 2,500 miles on the clock. "I had been reading about the Four-Valve cars," Bill says. "After bringing [the '96 Cobra] home, I immediately installed pulleys, a Flowmaster after-cat, and a Pro-5.0 shifter. Soon after, I took the Cobra to the track with my good friend Andrew 'Krimpet' Bauer to see what the car would do against his bolt-on, AOD-equipped '98 GT." Bill was rewarded with 13.6s at 102 mph to Krimpet's 14.0s at 98 mph. "I was impressed with how well the Cobra ran with such minimal mods. So was Krimp-two weeks later he rolled up to my house in his own '96 Cobra."

Because Krimpet's Cobra was the same Laser Red color as his former GT, he hoped his parents wouldn't notice it was a different car. Well, they did notice, but they were actually cool with their son's new purchase. And so the mods began.

Meanwhile, Bill was upgrading his Cobra with 4.10 gears, a Dr. Gas X-pipe, a Steeda timing adjuster, and a mail-order performance chip. With Krimpet following suit, their race for the 12s was off to a furious start.

Bill won that race by running a 12.98 at 106 mph and making a final-round appearance a few weeks later at a domestic-versus-import shootout. Shortly thereafter, Krimpet borrowed Bill's new drag radials and busted out a 12.84 at 105 mph to lower the bar even more. Even their mutual friend Brian Kirk got in on the action by getting a '97 Cobra and outfitting it accordingly.

All three attended a Fun Ford race, and even though none of them made it past the first couple rounds of eliminations, Bill bested Krimpet and Brian with a 12.88 at 105 mph. At the '00 Modular Shootout, the trio once again lined 'em up to see who could run the quickest. Bill and Brian ran in the Four-Valve N/A class while Krimpet was lured to the bracket class and the prospect of winning a Paxton supercharger. Bill finished runner-up to Barry Shepard, and Brian took third in the Four-Valve N/A class. Krimpet lasted two rounds in the bracket class and went home blowerless.

With each of them surpassing the 12-second zone, the 11s became their next goal. Bill's black Cobra was the first to go under the knife at the hands of Jimmy Chahalis at LaRocca's Performance, where 4.56 gears, a 31-spline Traction-Lok, Moser 31-spline axles, BBK long-tube headers, and a McLeod clutch were added, along with a fresh tune-up. "We took it to the track that night," Bill says. "It ran 12.30s at 110 right out of the box on new Mickey Thompson ET Streets, with consistent 1.70 60-foot times."

Krimpet's Cobra was the next to visit LaRocca's, where it received the same additions save for the long-tubes, as Krimpet was low on cash. "We picked up [Krimpet's car]," Bill says, "and even though the weather was awful, he ran a 12.51 at 109 mph to my 12.42 at 109 mph."

Unfortunately, due to it being totaled, Brian's Cobra never made it to LaRocca's.

"A few weeks later," Bill says, "[we were] at the '01 SuperStallions of the Net Spring Nats at Cecil County Raceway in Maryland. Krimp and I continued the race to the 11s. But this was Krimp's day, as he bested all the other N/A Cobras in attendance as well as a few supercharged ones." Bill had chip trouble, so he took it out and lined it up against Krimpet for the last run of the day. "I got out early," Bill says, "but he took the win up top with a 12.31 to my losing 12.40."

Not handling the loss well, Bill headed back to LaRocca's for a fresh chip tune, drag springs, and a pair of Weld Draglites up front to match the rears. As Krimpet was out of cash, it was up to Bill to go after the 11s alone. A few weeks later, a trip to Cecil County Raceway enabled Bill to come close to the 11s, with a 12.09 at 112 mph in good air.

"The following year, racing got too expensive," Bill says, "so Krimp sold some parts off his car, and I didn't race as much. I was never able to run better than a 12.20 after that, and I was getting bored with the car." In June 2002, he even contemplated selling the Cobra because of the lack of racing he was able to do with Krimpet.

Unfortunately, Krimpet ran into more financial woes and was forced to sell his Cobra. His parents-having grown to like the car-purchased it from him. According to Krimpet's dad, Joseph, once his son started a new job and got back on his feet, he became increasingly interested in the limited-production '96 Mystic Cobras. Fellow SSOTN member Brian McCauley had one for sale, and Krimpet was able to realize his dream by buying it. "Once the deal was complete, we were going to race as a 'family' team at Cecil County Raceway," Joseph says. The Bauers planned to make their racing debut at the SSOTN Fall Nats in November.

Bill and Krimpet were able to square off a couple times on the street, but they never made it to the track. On September 1, 2002, Krimpet died in an automobile accident while driving his dream car. Instead of planning for a fun day at the SSOTN Fall Nats, the Bauers had to plan their lives without their son Krimpet and the joy he brought everyone. "I lost my best friend and my best competitor all at once," Bill says. Devastated and grieving, Bill and the Bauers stopped working on their Cobras.

SSOTN decided that in Krimpet's honor the '02 Fall Nats would be renamed The Andrew Bauer Memorial Fall Nationals. Wanting to make a good showing in memory of Krimpet, Bill and the Bauers decided to get their Cobras ready to race. Bill added 4.88 gears, a C-Locker differen-tial, a VRS X-pipe, JBA headers, an Anderson Ford Motorsport Power Pipe, a custom Autologic chip by Dave Guy at Kauffman Motorsports, and lightweight Cobra seats. Except for more street-friendly 4.30 gears, the Bauers' Cobra received many of the same components.

Says Bill, "There wasn't a dry eye in the house at the Andrew Bauer Memorial Nats, as Krimpet's parents staged their son's former Cobra for the first pass of the day. It was great to see the Laser Red Cobra back where it belonged."

"The fall race was a tremendous success," Joseph says. "More people turned out to honor our son than we could have ever imagined. Ever since that event, virtually every SSOTN member has truly helped us, looked after us, and included us in their events. Their generosity is unmatched by any comparison."

At the race, Bill was going for the 11s. He ran a 12.15, a 12.07, a 12.06, and a 12.02, all at 113 mph. "On my last run of the day," he says, "I staged the car and ran the best 60-foot and eighth-mile the car had ever run-yet no time was recorded at the quarter-mile mark. I know that was my 11-second pass, and my friend Krimpet just didn't want me to get it before he did."

5.0 TECH SPECS
BILL AND TANYA TUMAS' '96 COBRA
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN
Block Stock aluminum Cobra 4.6
Cylinder Heads Stock aluminum Cobra Four-Valve
Intake Manifold Ported Stock Cobra
Throttle Body Accufab
Mass Air Pro-M 80mm, Anderson Ford Motorsport Power Pipe, UPR air filter
Exhaust JBA headers, VRS X-pipe, Flowmaster mufflers
Fuel Pump Walbro 255-lph
Injectors Stock
Transmission Broken T45, McLeod clutch disc, Ford Racing Performance Parts pressure plate, Pro-5.0 shifter, Steeda handle, FRPP aluminum driveshaft
Rearend 8.8, C-Locker differential, 4.88 gears, Moser 31-spline axles

ELECTRONICS
Engine Management Stock computer, Auto Logic/Kauffman Motorsports chip
Ignition Stock, FRPP plug wires, NGK TR6 plugs
Gauges Stock, Auto Meter

SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS
FRONT SUSPENSION
K-Member D&D Performance tubular
Caster/Camber D&D Performance
Struts Tokico Illumina five-way adjustable
Springs Kenny Brown
Brakes Stock, Hawk pads
Wheels OE Concepts Chrome Bullitt (street), Weld Draglites (track)
Tires Nitto NT555 (street), Futura skinnies (track)
REAR SUSPENSION
Traction Device UPR upper and lower control arms
Shocks QA1 adjustable
Springs Kenny Brown
Brakes Brembo rotors, Hawk pads
Wheels OE Concepts Chrome Bullitt (street), Weld Draglites (track)
Tires Nitto NT555 (street), Mickey Thompson ET Drag (track)
Chassis Stiffening Maximum Motorsports subframe connectors, Rhodes Custom Auto rollcage

5.0 TECH SPECS
JOSEPH ANE MARION BAUER'S '96 COBRA
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN
Block Stock aluminum Cobra 4.6
Cylinder Heads Stock aluminum Cobra Four-Valve
Intake Manifold Stock Cobra
Throttle Body Stock Cobra
Mass Air Pro-M 80mm, AFM Power Pipe, K&N filter
Exhaust JBA headers, Bassani X-pipe, Flowmaster two-chamber mufflers, stock tailpipes
Fuel Pump Walbro 255-lph
Injectors Stock
Transmission T45 by Scott Lehr, McLeod Kevlar disc, FRPP pressure plate, FRPP aluminum driveshaft, Steeda Tri-Ax shifter
Rearend 8.8, Ford Truck differential, Superior 31-spline axles, 4.30 gears

ELECTRONICS
Engine Management Stock Cobra, Autologic/Kauffman Motorsports chip
Ignition Stock Cobra, FRPP 9mm plug wires, NGK TR6 plugs
Gauges Stock

SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS
FRONT SUSPENSION
K-Member Stock
Struts QA1 adjustable
Springs FRPP B springs
Brakes Stock Cobra rotors, stainless steel lines, Hawk pads
Wheels Azev Type-A 17x7.5
Tires BFGoodrich g-Force KDW 245/40
REAR SUSPENSION
Traction Device UPR double-adjustable upper control arms, Maximum Motorsports adjustable lower control arms
Shocks QA1 adjustable
Springs FRPP B springs
Brakes Stock Cobra, Hawk pads
Wheels Azev Type-A 17x10
Tires BFGoodrich g-Force KDW 275/40
Chassis Stiffening Steeda subframe connectors, Rhodes Custom Auto Works rollcage