Frank H. Cicerale
June 1, 2007
Photos By: Michael Galimi

If you ask any Ford lover about the '03-'04 Cobras, the one word that would likely come to their minds right away would be the snake's nickname, Terminator. In a sense, that name is quite appropriate as the blown Four-Valve monsters routinely wiped Camaros, Corvettes, and all others who came at them off the face of the Earth. Coming from the factory with the ability to run deep into the 12-second zone, with a few bolt-ons the Terminator Cobras could throw 11-second times up on the scoreboards with relative ease. Talk about one badass hot rod.

OK, so we all know these cars are sickeningly fast. But while most Cobra owners are happy with the original SVT special at first, Bob Dill decided that sickeningly fast just wasn't enough. After buying his '03 Cobra brand-new, he had Ford ship the car to Steeda Autosports in Pompano Beach, Florida. The crew at Steeda spun some wrenches to create Bob's Steeda Cobra, making the already-quick Terminator even quicker.

After throwing on a 2.8-inch blower pulley and running the steed on the dyno, where it rung up figures of 449 ponies and a tire-frying 472 lb-ft of torque, Bob had the Cobra shipped back to his house in Templeton, Pennsylvania. Like most Mustang owners, he thought his new car was cool, but eventually, the 53-year-old had a fever to give the snake more attitude. The only cure was more horsepower and a stand-out appearance.

Cosmetically, the car still looks just as it did when it left the Steeda shop. The Cobra is dressed in Steeda graphics and has the ultra-cool Cobra R-style wing bolted on to the rear decklid. Bob wanted the Cobra to scream attitude, so he bolted on a Vertical Doors lift kit to make the doors go up instead of out.

The hind end of the snake is all the competition sees. The license plate says Terminator while the Cobra R wing says bring it on.

While the exterior appearance of the car was altered slightly, most of the dress-up work and appearance modifications came inside the cabin. Bob contacted Autographzs, which stitched in the lettering on the headrest and seats of the snake. With Bob earning cash by working in a steel mill, it was only right that the Cobra give the opposition the cold steel. With that in mind, Autographzs lettered the Ford Racing logo on the headrests and the Cobra emblem, Terminator nickname, and the car's new name, Steel Cobra, on the seatbacks.

Bob didn't stop there, however, as he wanted to make the car hiss before it bit. After sprucing up the instrument cluster with Ford Racing oil pressure and boost gauges, Phoenix Imaging came up with the carbon-fiber console lid and speedometer. UPR billet HVAC knobs made their way into the center console, while an MGW brushed-aluminum fuel door replaced the stock piece on the rear quarter panel. The stock head unit was replaced with a Pioneer AVH-P7490 DVD system. With the back seats up, you can't find the rest of the audio components. Pull the rear seats down, however, and you will find the juice behind the tunes. Bob hooked up an Audiobahn A260 420-watt amplifier and an ACAP2 chrome capacitor of the same brand to enhance the sound. The bass thumps come from a set of Audiobahn ALUM 10Q subs, and the mirrored plexiglass graphics on the seatbacks came from Digital Designs. Making sure the high-end audio-visual system doesn't pull power from the necessary functions of the car, Bob replaced the stock battery with a higher-output Optima Yellow Top piece.