Michael Johnson Associate Editor
October 1, 2004
Photos By: Steve Turner

Jim Breese can't remember the exact scenario in which he drove his first Mustang. But while the details are a little fuzzy, he does know it was an '82 GT. And the Transfer, Penn-sylvania, resident can't recall if he raced against the GT and obviously lost, or if it was his brother's car in which he raced. Whatever the story, Jim quickly purchased an '83 GT for himself. "Of course, I went out and raced it," he says. The '83 may have started it for Jim, but it surely didn't stop there.

After the '83 came an '85 GT, but a couple years later, Jim evidently fell and hit his head because he traded the GT for a new Bronco. After recovering from the concussion (in roughly six weeks), he traded the Bronco for a new '88 GT. "I was unaware that my wife-to-be, Laura, really liked the Bronco," Jim says. But, at that point, the wedding was just a few weeks away. In other words, Laura was in too deep to back out. She apparently was able to overlook the trade because the two remain together. But Jim sold the GT after just a couple years as he stepped out of the game.

In the spring of 1998, Jim came out of Mustang retirement in a big way with a '97 Cobra that had just 4,000 miles on it. Of course, the Cobra spent quite a bit of time at the track during Jim's first year of ownership. He soon became serious and began racing the car in modular classes. Those who've followed Mustang racing the last few years know that Jim won the NMRA's Modular Muscle class in both 2000 and 2002 with the Cobra. The car received regular upgrades at Paul's High Performance in Jackson, Michigan, and by the end of the '03 season it ran high 11s naturally aspirated. That Cobra is now for sale, because the Mustang you see here is Jim's latest mount.

There were a few reasons this '04 Cobra came to be. First was that the NMRA's Real Street class really piqued Jim's interest. Second, it's a power-adder class, and Jim had never run a power-adder car before. Another factor was that Jim wanted to garner some attention for modulars, and he thought the best way to do that was by running in a heads-up class. Furthermore, the class was getting faster and faster. "If I was gonna do it, I needed to get in pretty quick before it got too fast for me," Jim says.

Jim must've been paying attention at the '03 NMRA World Finals at Bowling Green, Kentucky. There, MV Performance co-owner Tim Matherly ripped off a 10.14, a veritable warning shot over the bow of the Real Street class. Tim basically blew up his junk on that run, but the message was there, and Jim caught it, because in December of 2003, Jim inquired about purchasing Tim's car. Tim declined the offer, but he did say he could have a car for Jim ready to go to the paint shop in six weeks.

Whatever route he chose, Jim wanted to begin the season at the Bradenton NMRA opener. So, when he heard Tim's offer, negotiations began in earnest, and in January 2004 construction began on Jim's own NMRA Real Street ride. Tim procured a body-in-white from Mustang Parts Specialties (located in Winder, Georgia, just down the road from MV Performance's Statham, Georgia, site. Tim's MV Performance partner, Kainnon Vilminot, went right to work by welding in a chrome-moly cage, through-the-floor subframe connectors, and assorted other chassis-stiffening components. Once Kainnon was done, the body went to Jason Karnes of Karnes Customs for the House of Kolor Kandy Brandywine paint, with the underside of the car treated to a white pearl having a touch of the Brandywine as well.

Tim sent periodic progress photos of the car to Jim, but as it came closer to completion, the photos became more vague. Tim wanted to keep Jim in suspense and not give anything away before it was time. Once the car received paint, it went back to MV for the suspension, the drivetrain, and the interior.