Dale Amy
November 28, 2007
It resembles a stock '93 Cobra that's been lowered and treated to a '95 Cobra R-style hood, right? That's the whole idea for owner Ryan Talcott: walk stockly, and carry a humongous stick. The drag chute should be a clue that all is not as Ford originally planned underhood.

Horse Sense: The setup uses stock Navigator cam and crank sensors feeding an AEM 30-1400 engine management system. According to Ryan, this first-of-its-kind application received a lot of invaluable help from the crew at AEM.

The Melvins will throw a rod over this one. Looking at the front, this Vibrant Red hatchback appears to be a beautifully preserved, stock example of the desirable and relatively rare '93 Mustang Cobra. Sure, there's a Cervini's '95 Cobra R-style hood, but everything else-down to the Cobra-specific rims-looks like a time capsule from nearly 15 years ago. But any illusions of unmolested Cobra originality are immediately shattered upon spying the drag chute protruding from its rear. Why would an unmodified Cobra have a drag chute? Exactly.

So Melvins, cover your eyes-this is a modular missile in pushrod Cobra clothing. Make no mistake-it's a genuine Cobra, but what lurks underhood was just a gleam in Ford's eye in 1993. Ryan Talcott has owned the snake for 11 years and has clearly wasted no time worrying about the potential investment value of keeping it stock. "It has had several engine combinations-from A-, B-, T-, and YS-Trim Vortech superchargers, to a Cartech Street Sleeper turbo system, to its current combination," Ryan says.

Yes, a 5.4 modular will fit between the towers of a Fox. So will two Precision Turbo SC61 turbos and associated plumbing-if you know what you're doing, of course, and Excessive Autosports seems to. There's an air-to-water intercooler hidden within each fenderwell resulting in 883 rwhp.

We'll get back to that in a moment. The end of the car's pushrod era came in spectacular fashion during a dragstrip pass a while ago. Sporting a 306 with Trick Flow heads and the aforementioned YS-Trim with about two seasons under its serpentine belt, the Cobra was making yet another pass down the quarter-mile when "the block broke, the crank broke, and the balancer went through the radiator and under the car," Ryan says. "I drove over it, ripped off a tire, and came to a stop at half-track." Probably about the time the car was sailing 4 feet in the air, Ryan began thinking about the fact that the Cobra had no rollcage. In any event, he managed to escape unscathed, ready to live another day-and build another motor.

Ryan is a resident of Sioux Falls, South Dakota-a venue we'd like to visit someday, although it isn't exactly at the epicenter of the Mustang movement. Luckily, Ryan has two things going for him: his own mechanical abilities and the in-town presence of Excessive Autosports. That's where Proprietor Joey Keyman and his crew became key players in giving the next motor a boost. Ryan wanted a challenge this time around, and what better way than fitting an intercooled, twin-turbo, Four-Valve 5.4 modular in the space originally inhabited by a GT-40 5.0 small-block.

The most plentiful Four-Valve 5.4s on the used market are the cast-iron Lincoln Navigator assemblies. Ryan quickly acquired one and tore it down, leaving the stock steel crank in place, but fitting Manley I-beam rods and Probe 9.0:1 pistons. With a mostly happy history of boost, Ryan wanted to continue the tradition, and that's where Excessive Autosports showed its fabrication talents by crafting and squeezing in a twin-intercooled, twin-turbo setup based on a pair of Precision Turbo SC61 hair dryers. Feeding via a stock '03 Terminator twin-bore throttle body on a Sullivan intake, the energized motor now bites with the power of 883 rwhp, and a tire-torturing 760 lb-ft of torque. A Lentech Strip Terminator AODE has to deal with it all. Best yet, Ryan reports that the combo is "quiet, fast, and fun."

The 10-point Wolfe Race Craft 'cage and four-point Simpson safety belts encapsulating the factory leather buckets give recognition of the near-150-mph quarter-mile trap speeds this wolf-in-sheep's-clothing is capable of. We like the B&M shifter with its pistol grip and carbon-fiber look.

Planting all that potential energy through a stock suspension would be similar to handing a three-year-old a double-barrel shotgun and expecting him not to be knocked onto his keester, so beneath that stock exterior hides a seriously prepped chassis. The modular wouldn't begin to work with a stock K-member, so a swap-specific tubular version from Anthony Jones Engineering with accompanying control arms was bolted on as the foundation for the project. The full details of the suspension hardware are in our 5.0 Tech Specs box, but suffice it to say that the traction is now under the control of Wolfe Race Craft, which also constructed the 10-point 'cage that gives Ryan some sense of security in the event of another on-track incident.

In that regard, spooling a pair of turbos up to 19 psi could open the door to the possibility of further block carnage, but the cast-iron 5.4 and its factory steel crank are recognized as tough customers. Ryan, who drives the car as often as possible and likes nothing more than to point it down the quarter-mile, has so far pedaled the stealthily stock-appearing Cobra to a 9.58-second pass at 148 mph with a 1.33-second 60-foot time. That's not bad for a hatchback that weighs 3,700 pounds even before Ryan jumps into the stock leather driver seat.

Hey, Melvin-can a stock '93 Cobra do that?

5.0 Tech specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINELECTRONICS
BlockEngine Management
'99 Navigator 5.4, cast-ironAEM 30-1400 EMS
BoreIgnition
3.572AEM
StrokeGauges
4.165Auto Meter
Displacement 
334ciSUSPENSION AND CHASSIS
CrankFront Suspension
Stock steelK-member
RodsAJE tubular (modular-into-{{{Fox}}})
Manley I-beamControl arms
PistonsAJE tubular
Probe Struts
Compression RatioHAL
9:1Springs
CamsD&D Motorsport
Stock NavigatorCaster/Camber
HeadsD&D Motorsports
Stock Navigator, DOHCBrakes
IntakeStock w/ceramic pads
Sullivan PerformanceWheels
Throttle BodyStock w/Weld Draglites for track
Stock twin-boreTires
Power adder245/45R17
Precision Turbo SC61 (x2), eachRear Suspension
with intercoolerSprings
InjectorsHAL
150-lb/hrShocks
Fuel PumpHAL
Aeromotive A1000 (x2)Control Arms
HeadersWolfe adjustable uppers and
Custom, by Excessive Autosportslowers
ExhaustBrakes
Custom, by Excessive Autosports,Stock w/ceramic pads
w/3.5-in MagnaFlowWheels
TransmissionStock w/Weld Draglites for track
Lentech Strip Terminator AODETires
w/Lentech steel-stator and275/40R17
4,400-stall converterChassis Stiffening
RearendAnderson Ford Motorsport
8.8, 33-spline spool, Moser axles,subframes and Wolfe Race
3.27:1 gearsCraft 10-point 'cage