5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
1999 Mustang Cobra - 600 to the Ssssstreet
Oliver Kamp's 600hp snake feels right at home in the asphalt jungle
Horse Sense: What fun are 600-plus horses if you never use them? More than just a weekend warrior, 21-year-old Oliver Kamp puts this '99 Cobra through the motions almost daily. With a plethora of ponies to make on-ramps go blurry, Kevin's been painting the streets of New Jersey black since 2000.
Six hundred rear-wheel horsepower has a interesting way of introducing itself. Usually it's tucked up and under the hood of some off-the-wall quasi-race car that punches the ground with every lope of the idle. For 21-year-old Oliver Kamp, the introduction of his street car's power is courtesy of some intimate time with his taillights.
For Oliver, stomping all over the local New Jersey scene is made possible with a modest '99 Cobra. Although making gobs of power on demand, the SVT remains fully streetable with its well-developed engine combination. Oliver admits to putting in plenty of wheel time, and we don't blame him. With a car like this, how could you resist mashing the loud pedal?
Driven approximately three to four times a week, Oliver fully enjoys his accomplishment. It's not often that a young guy like Oliver finds himself behind the wheel of such an incredible machine. Even more rare is for someone his age to be the owner. His obsession with Mustangs, like many of ours, started even before his driving career. At age 11, Oliver was already hard at work, saving his pennies for the big payoff. His parents offered minimal support financially, so it was an even greater feat for the 16-year-old to be sporting the brand-new Cobra. "They didn't help a whole lot in the financial end, but my parents always supported me and my hobby, my mom especially."
Relying on his own budget to maintain the car kept Oliver busy. "Within two years, I had just about every bolt-on. The only thing I hadn't done were underdrive pulleys." Even the extra kick of giggle gas provided by a CompuCar dry kit didn't satisfy his need for speed. So Oliver ordered up the pulley kit not knowing it would eventually lead to the stock Four-Valve's demise. He quickly learned how easily crankshaft threads could strip.
Oliver bankrolled the engine as it was yanked and repaired it back to factory spec. Due to "inept machining" during the repair, the engine developed a nasty vibration through the crank. Not long after that, the crank snout sheared off, resulting in another teardown. The second time around Oliver opted to beef things up a bit. While ordering a 10.5:1-compression short-block from Houston Performance, he was bit by the "while it's out" bug. JBA headers, Houston Performance cams, and a ported intake were installed along with the stout new lower end.
Equipped with the new mods, the axle-snapping power generated by the snake would take its toll on the factory IRS. Oliver promptly unloaded an inner CV joint while testing the new motor. "I was never a large fan of the IRS in the Cobras. Mine wheelhopped badly." So Oliver tracked down the solid 8.8 from a '98 Cobra. He swapped it in, along with 4.30 gears and an FRPP aluminum driveshaft.
"After driving with this [combo] for a while and using the nitrous every now and then, I got a little bored like most mod fanatics do." After discussing the options, a friend recommended a supercharger. Oliver agreed and kept his budget tight for a few months until the Cobra was outfitted with a Novi 2000 RR blower. "Dave Guy at Kauffman Motorsports did an excellent job with the tune, but timing and air/fuel were real low to keep it safe."
With Guy's custom tune, the high-compression modular spun the rollers up to 500 wheel horses. For most enthusiasts, this would be a good number to settle down with, but Oliver is no normal enthusiast. He, not Dave, pulled the motor one more time in order to lower the compression to 8.5:1, courtesy of CP 17cc dished pistons and Eagle H-beam rods. The '01 Cobra replacement crank would be reused in the 0.020-over-bored block. Kauffman Motorsports employed a custom inlet pipe and retuned the 'Stang.
Multiple fuel upgrades-60-lb/hr injectors, dual Focus fuel pumps, a Kenne Bell Boost-a-Pump, and Zone 5's MAF Extender-now keep the finely tweaked Cobra at a safe 11.5:1 A/F ratio through redline. The car dyno'd in at an impressive 611 ponies (not bad for a kid, eh?), which Oliver finds quite enjoyable for street use. "I have so much fun just driving around on the street, that I see no need to race it. It's a fun cruiser and when you hit the gas-it all makes it worth it."