Huw Evans
April 1, 2007
Photos By: Tracy Stocker

Pete also modded the engine to include Comp Cams roller lifters, dual springs and retainers, plus where a fuelie intake once sat is now an Edelbrock F-28 manifold on which sit two Edelbrock 500 cfm carburetors. A Carter mechanical fuel pump provides feed to them from the stock 14-gallon gas tank (it's a '79 remember ... ), while ignition chores are handled by a MSD billet distributor and good ol' Blaster coil along with a 6AL control box. Autolite plugs are linked, via Taylor 8mm wires to the distributor, coil and Autozone battery. The Slaney brothers wisely decided to upgrade cooling with a Ford Motorsport 3-core radiator and new V8 hoses. Because the car was originally a four cylinder turbo, a complete driveline and suspension upgrade were necessary to handle the added power and weight of the eight cylinder motor. The stock tranny was ditched for something a lot stronger - a Tremec T3550, linked to the engine via a stock Ford flywheel and CenterForce 10.5-inch Dual-Friction clutch and pressure plate. A Ford Motorsport aluminum driveshaft connects to an 8.8-inch diff, but as first built, Pete's car still ran the 7.5. "Yeah, the first time I took it to the track in April 2004, it still had the original rear end in it. Because of that, I knew that I couldn't run sticky tires. Still, I did manage a 13.3 at 102 mph at New England Dragway." Today however, things are a bit sturdier under the rear of the '79 Cobra. Said 8.8 we mentioned is a Ford Racing unit and houses a set of Superior 31-spline axles, plus Pete's car features a real Detroit locker with 4.30 gears. The car runs a full MAC Products exhaust, front to back, consisting of 1-3/4-inch long-tube headers and 2-1/2-inch H-pipe and mufflers.

With a straight-line biased driveline, the suspension naturally follows suit so at the front, you'll find a drag setup with 90/10 Competition Engineering front struts and Ford Motorsport 'B' springs, while linking up that 8.8 is the job of Steeda adjustable upper control arms, South Side Machine lower traction bars, Ford Motorsport 'B' coils and Competition Engineering shocks - this time 50/50s. Pete's Pony also has another trick up its sleeve in the form of an airbag system to further aid weight transfer and maximum traction under sustained drag launches. Despite the considerable mechanical upgrades, the exterior of the Cobra is largely stock, save for the Weld Draglite rims and BF Goodrich rubber. "The car was originally red/orange with yellow and black graphics," says Slaney, "but I wanted something that would stand out more - so I decided to sort of reverse it and paint it yellow with orange and black decals." The color he settled on was 2001 Nissan Xterra Yellow and Scott Lockhart of East Bridgewater, MA laid on the PPG basecoat/clear urethane hue. One issue Pete had, concerned the graphics. "The 1979 Cobra decals were pretty unique and once I realized what the car was I knew that it would be cool to have some new ones." However, they proved exceedingly tough to find. "I tried the usual vendors, but they were out of stock and couldn't get any more. In the end, Phoenix Graphics came to the rescue. They had done decal kits for late '70s Trans Ams and Z28s and they said that provided it was okay with Ford, they could reproduce graphics for my car from original blueprints. I told them I was really serious about getting some decals and even offered money up front. They said not to worry, but that it might take a while if everything was approved, because they had to go through a silk screening process. Eventually, after about six months I got them." And what an addition they make to the car. "I can't thank those guys enough and I give them a plug whenever I can." Because the car was in really good shape when he bought it, Slaney didn't do too much with the interior. "I added an Auto Meter 5-inch tach and triple gauge package (oil, volt, water). I also changed the stock steering wheel for a Grant 1114 carbon fiber one with billet spokes and the car has a Sony Xplod CD/Stereo with Pioneer speakers, other than that, it's stock."

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