Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
April 1, 2005
Photos By: Dale Amy

Whether it's the result of breakage or our Mustangs not being fast enough, we're always looking to make our cars faster and more durable. In both street and race applications, when we break something, our main objective is to replace said component with stronger, more-power-making components. The same holds true when we take the car to the track and elapsed times don't meet our standards or goals. In both scenarios, the car goes back in the shop for whatever it takes to meet those goals.

Such has been the case with Culver, Indiana's Paul Bottomley, and his '93 Cobra.

Paul purchased the Cobra in 1999, and at that time the car was bone stock. Paul was content to show the car and take it to cruises-until his friend, and Jim's Sales and Service owner, Jim Losci, got Paul hooked on drag racing. "I really went nuts then," Paul says.

Paul and Jim started by adding a Vortech S-Trim supercharger to the Cobra's stock engine. Paul thought he had an 11-second killer on his hands until 13-flat track times told him otherwise. They were able to get the car down in the low 12s with that combo, though. However, that wasn't enough, so a Nitrous Express wet kit came on board and the 11-second barrier was easily eclipsed.

"My brother-in-law, Rich Shidler, and I then put together a Coast High Performance 347 with the S-Trim and the Nitrous Express kit, and added Edelbrock Victor Jr. heads," Paul says. The '93 Cobra T5 transmission was replaced with a Tremec 3550 unit, and a Ram clutch also found its way into the bellhousing. Paul reports that combo was good for 500 rwhp, but that number climbed to 600 with the nitrous. "It was nuts to try and hook up the car with the Tremec," Paul says. "The car ran 11.20s at 135 mph with that combo," he adds.

However, Paul got beat one night at the track, but he asked for a rematch. For the rematch though, Paul installed 150hp jets in the NX kit to race the guy, who had been running 10.90s. "I spanked him, but that was the end of the 347," Paul says. A broken crank and six busted pistons later, Paul had to start over.

"I ordered a Ford Racing Performance Parts R302 block along with an Eagle rotating assembly and JE pistons," Paul says. Paul's buddy, Jim, was again summoned to put this combo together, but they didn't stop there. They also stepped-up the combo by adding a Vortech T-Trim supercharger, and to make launches a little more manageable, a Performance Automatic Competition C4 automatic filled the transmission tunnel.

The car went straight to the 10.50s, but a cog-drive belt system was added shortly thereafter and an appointment was made to Dynojet the car at Angel Automotive in Elkhart, Indiana. With 24 pounds of boost on tap with the new blower setup, the car was spinning the tires on the dyno. However, at 3,700 rpm, when the tires would start smoking the rollers, the combo was already making 637 rwhp. Estimated horsepower was in the 800-850 range, but the next trip to the track left Paul with more 10.50s. This time though, the car was out of gear and on the rev limiter by the eighth-mile, and still running 10.50s.

The 4.10 gears were swapped out for 3.27s, and with the car's eighth-mile times, 9s should be a click-click away. If not, we're sure the car will be outfitted with whatever it takes to do so.