Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
October 1, 2009

Some things aren't what they seem. Society proves that every night when you turn on the news. We all know about the "quiet" gentleman that kept to himself or the couple that seemed inseparable. It's these seemingly familiar but ultimately shocking instances that always grab our attention.

Although you'll find David Smith's '94 Cobra is not what it seems, it will have you staring for a good reason.

David actually has his better half, Jen, to thank for getting him into Mustangs. Jen bought a '66 Mustang coupe prior to them getting married, and David used that car on a daily basis after his stint as a jet engine mechanic in the Navy. Helping cement his mechanical genius, David tested F/A-18 Hornet engines. Of course, the six-cylinder coupe couldn't compare to those engines, so David had grand designs of a V-8 swap. The car came apart for a rebuild, but it sits in that same condition today.

During this time, David fell in love with Fox Mustangs, and he bought an '85 GT with Pony wheels, a small cowl hood, and '87-'93 Mustang quarter-windows. Dusting off his wrenches and ratchets, David added P-heads, a Ford Racing Performance Parts E-cam, a Holley carburetor, headers, gears, and so on.

A run-in with a concrete pole ended that GT, but David started anew with a '93 LX. It featured the desirable Titanium exterior with black guts, but with the less desirable AOD. Reaching into his toolbox once again, David added a Tremec TKO transmission, a five-lug conversion, Cobra R wheels, lowering springs, Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads, an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, and more.

Like all of us, though, David yearned for something better. "I had always loved the look of the '95 Cobra R," David says. He decided to go for it. David sold the LX and went on a search for a white-over-black '94-'95 Cobra. Yes, we know-and David probably did as well-that the Cobra R of 1995 featured a tan cloth interior. Nonetheless, David preferred black guts with his white Cobra, and we don't blame him. Luckily, David was able to find this particular Cobra on eBay. He didn't find out till after his purchase that the black cloth interior was pretty rare (1 of 250 in 1994). Maybe for that reason, the car was bone-stock. That would change under David's watch.

It only took a couple months and David had already swapped in a Tremec TKO transmission, a Vortech S-Trim supercharger, 42-lb/hr injectors, a larger mass air meter, and a Tweecer RT to help tune it all. David drove the Cobra in this manner daily for over a year, even in the snowy Indiana winter. "It was not abnormal for me to drive the car on 2- to 3-hour-long trips during the work week," David says.

As expected, David wanted more power, and a single turbocharger system seemed the answer. David acquired the hot side plumbing and a new long-block. "After more thought, I decided a stock block with a single turbo wouldn't last," David says. Heading in a different direction, David planned out a nasty 408ci Windsor. He bought a short-block, added a cam, Canfield heads, a Victor Spyder intake, and a 90mm throttle body. "It was going to be fun," David says. He had everything right there to make it happen, but then everything stopped.

"I really wanted to do something different and unique," David says, "and I loved the '03-'04 Cobra motors." Obviously, you know where this went, but don't get too far ahead of us. "I felt the '03-'04 motors could handle just about anything without pulling a cam cover," David says. He is right when he says Ford did it right with the supercharged Four-Valve, but he didn't want a car payment. Besides, he already owned a clean '94 Cobra with a desirable interior. "That is when I decided to convert my '94 Cobra to '03-'04 Cobra components," David says. After all, he doesn't call it the Ex-Terminator for nothing.