John P. Roper
January 1, 2005

A wise man once said, "We can do what they can do, but they can't do what we can do." This car could be a prime example of that axiom. Import enthusiasts will try to convince you that they not only are able to drag race as well as the V-8 powerhouses, but also that a car such as a Mustang can't be made to handle as well as a compact car. Well, Kingwood, Texas, resident David Mizier set out to prove he could stop and turn with the best of them, all while still being able to do what Mustangs do best.

No bolt under the car was left unturned. The first to go were the stock shocks and springs in favor of an adjustable Bilstein Full Race coilover set-up utilizing Hypercoil springs. All the suspension bushings were then replaced with Delrin parts to firm things up even more. The stock sway bars were replaced with Steeda tubular units to help cut down on body roll. To tie the front and back together, a combination of Kenny Brown Extreme subframe connectors, front and rear shock tower braces, and a Maximum Motorsports front K-frame brace were added to the mix.

Bringing the fun to a stop is the duty of Brembo slotted rotors and Performance Friction race pads. To help keep those brakes cool, a set of brake-cooling ducts were pirated from an '00 Cobra R. Since this car sees lots of open-track days and the occasional autocross, an Outlaw Performance rollbar was added for safety, along with G-Force 3-inch, five-point harnesses.

But a Mustang is no good if it can't also dominate in a straight line. In case you thought that area was ignored, this car is also capable of turning a claimed 11.8-second quarter-mile e.t. Making 466 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque at the wheels helps it get there. As a testament to the already potent package that the '03 Cobra offers, surprisingly little was done under the hood to achieve those numbers. First to go on was a 2.93-inch blower pulley to crank up the boost to a street-gas-safe 14 pounds. To help the engine breathe better, David installed a ported throttle body and a MagnaFlow X-pipe and mufflers. To keep fuel delivery in check, an Autologic piggyback chip was installed and tuned on a Dynojet dyno. Keeping all that compressed air chilled is the job of a Paul's High Performance heat exchanger system, featuring dual electric fans to maximize the efficiency of the intercooler. In the name of longevity, a heavy-duty C&R aluminum radiator was added, along with a Canton 9-quart oil pan and an external oil cooler with electric fans.

This car was built strictly to compete in open-track events, but it has obviously held its own in just about any other type of competition. As you can see from the photos, aside from the Cobra's drastic ride height change, David's intent was to keep it looking as stock as possible. Additions to the inside were limited in the name of functionality and low weight. Shifting duties were upgraded with a Steeda Tri-Ax shifter. To keep an eye on engine vitals, a quartet of Auto Meter gauges were added both to the A-pillar and to the dash just below the stock gauges.

Altogether, this Cobra is a potent package that has the ability to surprise more than a few sport compacts on the road course. And it can hold its own in a straight line as well. Looks like David has proven that he can do what they can do-only better.

5.0 Tech Specs

ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN
Block Stock
Displacement 281 ci
Crank Stock
Rods Stock
Pistons Stock
Cams Stock
Heads Stock
Intake Stock
Fuel System Stock
Exhaust Stock
Power Adder Stock Eaton roots blower
Transmission Stock T56 six-speed
Rearend Stock IRS 8.8

ELECTRONICS
Engine Management Autologic chip
Ignition Stock
Gauges Auto Meter
Suspension and chassis
Front Suspension
K-Member Stock
Control Arms Maximum Motorsports
Springs Hypercoil 400 lb/in
Struts Bilstein coilovers
Brakes '00 Cobra R Brembo
Wheels Stock
Tires Nitto 555 R2
REAR SUSPENSION
Springs Hypercoil {{{600}}} lb/in
Shocks Bilstein coilovers
Control Arms Stock w/Delrin bushings
Brakes Stock
Wheels Stock
Tires Nitto 555R2
Cage Outlaw Race Cars
Chassis Stiffening Kenny Brown
Extreme subframe connectors