August 1, 2007

"You know, for several years, the car pretty much came first and I have to really thank my family for allowing me to build it. They've been so supportive - my wife Melba, my son Ryan and also my daughter Shelby. Ryan's got the truck bug pretty bad and Shelby, well she's into cars and Mustangs. I joke that I have my own Shelby and she's truly one of a kind. It's great because my family have been with me to shows with this car. Before I never really won anything - now, since this car was completed, I've won seven Best of Show awards. This one time, they announced the award and Shelby was so excited, she ran over and got the trophy for me." Tapia is also quick to point out that it was a whole slew of friends that also helped him get where he is today. "Roy Eckhart, Orlando, Aaron and Andy Garza, EJ Gonzalez, Mike Caballero, Roy Blaker, George Reed and Kyle Yousef - I couldn't have done it without these guys, they're awesome." And on a final note, Ralph will leave you with a little story. "We were down in San Antonio for a car show. There was a young family and they asked if their son could sit in the car. They were building a new house and wanted to put a picture of Thump Stang on his bedroom wall. Now to me and my family, that was pretty cool - that we could make somebody happy like that." As they say, heart 'n' soul runs deep in Texas.

Specifications
Ralph Tapia's 1995 SVT Cobra

Engine
Ford 5.0-liter V8

Engine Modifications
Balanced and polished crankshaft by ACE Machine Shop, Speed Pro flat-top pistons, piston pins; Comp Cams Xtreme Engineering XE274R-12 camshaft with 274/282° duration and .555/.565" lift, roller valve lifters; Crane 1.7:1 aluminum roller rockers, Fel-Pro gaskets, ARP bolts, AFR 185cc aluminum heads, port matched and polished by Roy's Performance Motors, Accufab 75mm throttle body, BBK cold air intake, K&N air filter, Accel 30-lb fuel injectors, Holley 255 lph in-tank fuel pump, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, fuel filter; Ford Racing 1-5/8" exhaust headers, Bassani 2-1/2" X-pipe, Borla/Saleen 2-1/2" mufflers and tailpipes, NOS 02116 200 hp big shot plate nitrous oxide system with two 10 lb bottles, activated by full-throttle micro switch, MSD Billet Pro 5.0 distributor, 6AL ignition control box, 9mm ignition wires; NGK iridium spark plugs, Optima battery, Canton T-style 7-quart oil pan, Fluidyne aluminum radiator, BBK silicone/chrome hoses and plumbing

Engine Management
Ford Cobra EEC-IV with Hypertech custom tune

Driveline
CenterForce Dual-Friction 10.5" clutch, Pro 5.0 shifter, Ford Racing aluminum driveshaft, SVO differential cover, 3.73:1 final drive

Chassis
Croix Race Cars four-point chromemoly roll cage, Racecraft strut tower brace

Numbers
575 RWHP

Exterior
ABC Exclusive Cobra R front bumper, Boss style rear wing; Saleen side extensions, vertical door conversion by Edmund Diaz of Autoworks Unlimited, House of Kolor Sunset Pearl by Performance Paint and Body, custom graphics and airbrushing by Ralph Tapia and John Saenz

Interior
Factory seats reupholstered with ostrich and leather, custom center console, door panels, sub woofer box and trunk enclosure, custom orange carbon fiber interior kit, interior trim by Mike's Custom Werks and Kustom Craft Upholstery, ostrich shifter boot, Auto Meter Ultra light 5" tachometer, 2-1/16" oil temperature, water temperature and oil pressure gauges; Varad Hyper LED kit, Eclipse AV 3424 head unit with monitor and DVD; 2 x VR1000D Crossfire 1000 Amps, VR404 400 watt speakers, 2 x BMF 1214 subs, SVR Audio Battery, monster cables x 6 150 watt speakers; Farad capacitors

Suspension
Racecraft front and rear suspension components, Bilstein N2 front struts and rear shocks, Racecraft/Eibach Pro springs front and rear, BBK rear upper and lower control arms, Baer Eradispeed 13" front and 12" rear disc brakes

Wheels And Tires
Stern ST2 19 x 8.5" wheels (front), 19 x 10" (rear); BFGoodrich KDW tires; 265/30-19 (front); 295/35-19 (rear)

Acknowledgements
Thanks to my son Ryan, daughter Shelby, wife Melba; Ron Eckhardt; Orlando, Aaron and Andy Garza; EJ Gonzalez; Mike Caballero; Roy Blaker; George Reed; Kyle Yousef; Competition Sounds; Crossfire Audio; Roy's Performance Motors; Autoworks Unlimited