Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
August 1, 2009
Photos By: Keith Keplinger

Aaron Stiles' '93 Mustang Cobra
Aaron Stiles is one of those Mustang owners who changes cars like us normal folk change a pair of socks (no really, he said that in his owner bio form). While some of us are happy, or maybe we should just say lucky, to have that one dream Mustang we've always wanted, Aaron is sitting on no less than 12 Mustangs right now. And we're not talking about used up Fox body Mustangs on their last wheezing breath here either. No, Aaron's choice of rides for work each morning ranges from his '95 Cobra he bought brand new, an '85 Saleen, the last Teal '93 Cobra built, a '99 35th Anniversary Mustang (one of our personal faves), a '79 Indy Pace Car, a Comp Orange Terminator Cobra (another on our list), and an '07 GT500. Oh, and if he can pry the keys away from his wife he can also drive her '07 Shelby GT. I bet there's not an extra minute in the weekend washing, detailing, and maintaining a fleet like that. But the car you see on these pages is something just a little more special.

You see, Aaron's love of Mustangs usually means his build ups are quite mild--a bolt-on part or two, but no major surgery, as he doesn't want to lose the originality of the cars in his collection. We love to modify the snot out of our cars as well, but we'd be hard pressed to touch the last Teal '93 Cobra built too. So, you might ask, why is it that a car like this wild Mystichrome '93 Cobra, with a full '04 Cobra drivetrain and interior, came to be from such a "mild mannered" Mustang enthusiast? Well, it all started when Aaron found two Teal '93 Cobras for sale online. Not just any Cobra mind you, they were both Teal with black cloth interiors and had sunroofs. According to the '93 Cobra production info Aaron had, there were only 185 cars built with the black cloth interior and only 19 or so with the sunroof. One was a theft recovery (from the North Pole no less!) and the other a total-loss wreck.

The plan he hatched to his wife Kristine was to buy both cars and build them back as one clean (and stock) '93 Cobra--Teal with black cloth--as a daily driver. Suffice it to say, when he got the two cars in his driveway his son Brandon suggested otherwise. He suggested to his dad (who already had three Teal '93 Cobras in the driveway) that one more Teal Cobra would be just too much and suggested a Mystichrome Cobra. Then they decided to take it one step further and update the interior and drivetrain from an actual '04 Mystichrome Cobra. "I have seen a few Fox body cars with the '04 Cobra swap, but I wanted to incorporate the '93 and the '04 to make it look as factory as possible," Aaron explains.

After finding the right donor, Aaron got to work in his driveway, where he builds all of his cars, and even completed some of the bodywork. Not only did Kristine and Brandon lend a helping hand, but even their daughter, Nichole, helped out as well. The '93 was coming together in short order, with actual build time coming in at a scant two months. But Aaron wanted to have the car ready for the annual Mustang Week event held in South Carolina and the deadline was coming up fast. He enlisted further help from his friend Lawrence Silk, who provided an original '93 Cobra front fascia for the project, and Tarell Halloway at Carolina Collision to step in and finish the expensive Mystichrome paint-job. Tarell turned the complete exterior paintjob around in a week for Aaron, who was busy planning a family move to Utah (he's in the Air Force and they felt they needed him more in Utah, go figure). Finally, Carl Messenger from Competition Auto in North Carolina finished up some last minute wiring for Aaron, including making the '04's remote entry and trunk release work on the '93.

The project's culmination was a quick cruise to Sonic to hang out with some friends and club members and give the car a few break-in miles. Aaron was happy to report that not only did the freshened Cobra run great, but his leery '93 Cobra owning friends gave him the big thumbs up when they saw the finished project (it is, after all, built off of a rare, low-production Fox body). The only deviation from the Cobra body's stock looks, besides the extreme paint of course, is a Cervini's Heat Extractor hood, and the '04 Cobra chrome wheels. Otherwise it's as stock as the '93 Cobra came. Inside Aaron used a combination of the '93 and '04 Cobra's interior bits (mostly the '04 though). The major changes, of course, are the seats, dash, steering column, and console.

Underhood, the '04 Cobra engine is, of course, stock, right down to the air inlet and filter housing. Aaron made the engine swap easy by using the '04 engine cradle, which bolted right into the Fox body. The Terminator came with a T56 six-speed Tremec trans and that's exactly what's in the tunnel of Aaron's '93, with the stock '93 Cobra stick axle out back. Aaron even converted the '93 to use the '04's hydroboost assist unit and ABS braking system. Of course, the larger '04 Cobra brakes found their way to the '93 as well. Magnaflow mufflers with DynoMax 2½-inch polished stainless tailpipes not only offer a great exhaust note, but the tips look completely stock, just the way Aaron likes 'em. We can only wonder after building this four-valve fantasy what's in store for Aaron's next build.

The Details
Aaron Stiles' '93 Mustang Cobra

Engine

  • '04 Cobra 4.6L 32-Valve
  • 3.55-inch bore
  • 3.54-inch stroke
  • Factory Eaton supercharger

Transmission

  • Tremec T56 six-speed manual

Rearend

  • 8.8-inch
  • Ford Racing Traction-Lok differential
  • Moser 31-spline axles
  • Ford Racing 3.55 gears

Exhaust

  • Stock exhaust manifolds
  • Magnaflow 2½-inch mufflers
  • Dynomax 2½-inch tailpipes

Suspension

  • Front: Bilstein struts, '01 Bullitt coil springs
  • Rear: Stock four-link with lowering springs

Brakes

  • Front: 13-inch Brembo cross drilled and slotted disc, two-piston PBR caliper
  • Rear: 11.65-inch vented disc, single-piston caliper

Wheels

  • Front: Ford Racing Chrome Cobra five-spoke, 17x9
  • Rear: Ford Racing Chrome Cobra five-spoke, 17x9

Tires

  • Front: Goodyear Eagle F1 GS, P275/40ZR17
  • Rear: Goodyear Eagle F1 GS, P275/40ZR17

Interior

  • '04 Mystichrome Cobra seats and steering wheel, stock '93 Mustang black carpet, '04 Cobra dash, steering column and console, Pioneer double-DIN Bluetooth CD player, Alpine speakers in doors and rear quarter trim panels, one-touch power driver's window controls

Exterior

  • DuPont Mystichrome basecoat/clearcoat, paint by Tarell Halloway, Carolina Collision, Cervini's Heat Extractor fiberglass hood