Don Roy
March 1, 2007
Photos By: Tracy Stocker

For street use, the Mystic Cobra also enjoys some other 'Terminator' parts, namely the5-spoke design, 17 x 9-inch wheels and 275/40-17 Goodyear F1 Eagle tires that were factory standard on the 2003 snake. Once at the track, though, the Goodyear tires are replaced with Yokohama R-compound gumballs. Building the car's capability up in stages has allowed Mike to grow with it, without getting frustrated or spending hard earned dollars before they were needed.

What he has learned along the way is sound advice for other owners who entertain theidea of similar track exposure. "Most people think about increasing horsepower and never give a thought to improving the handling. This is a huge mistake in my opinion. No novice driver can take one of these cars on an open track and drive the car to its full potential instock trim," Mike mentioned. His plans for this year include adding a panhard rod, in addition to an Autopower roll bar and a set of racing seats. He's still not thinking about openingup the engine.

"Address the suspension, handling and braking first, then go after more power if and when you can drive the car close to its limits,"he concludes. Certainly, given the capability that Mike started with and the additions that he's made over the years, those limits arestill 'out there.'

Specifications
Mike O'Brien's 1996 Mustang Cobra

Engine
Ford DOHC 4.6-liter engine

Engine Modifications
Ford Racing King Cobra clutch

Driveline
Tremec T-56 6-speed manual transmission; Steeda Tri-Ax shifter; Dynatek driveshaft; Ford Racing 4.10 rear axle gears

Numbers
305 HP @ 5800 rpm (crank)
300 TQ @ 4800 rpm (crank)

Chassis
Kenny Brown G-Load brace, full length subframe connectors

Exterior
Original Ford 'Mystic' color-shifting paint

Suspension
Kenny Brown caster/camber plates; Maximum Motorsports fixed upper and adjustable rear lower control arms

Wheels And Tires
2003 SVT Cobra 17 x 9" wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, 275/40-17, all around