Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
1997 Ford Mustang Cobra - May Strike If Provoked
Jeff Schuman’s ’97 Cobra is a weekend cruiser and a force to be reckoned with.
Many of us Mustang enthusiasts have a clear vision of the perfect Stang and one we aspire to own. Others search for a car that calls out to them and pushes their "fancy button." Jeff Schuman of Plainview, New York, is a prime example of the latter.
Jeff didn't know what he was looking for when he came across this triple-black '97 Cobra while browsing eBay almost six years ago. He liked what he saw, and with the SVT machine conveniently located on Long Island in Bohemia, he made his strike.
"I hit sort of an early mid-life crisis," Jeff explains. "Growing up, I've always had cars. I took a 15-year break and finally wanted to get back into it, but it had to be a convertible," he added.
But this isn't Jeff's first Mustang rodeo. "My cousin gave me an '81 four-cylinder with an automatic when I was in college," Jeff explained. It goes without saying that the Fox was nothing compared to the Cobra.
Upon purchasing his Cobra, Jeff contacted Gabriel's Collision a few boroughs away in Brooklyn to refresh the Mustang's look with a new coat of black paint. The left fender was outfitted with painted-on red stripes for a racy look. Dennis at Twins Collision in Long Island City even pinstriped the intricate Cobra emblem on the inlet tube.
A Saleen S281 spoiler and one-piece, angel-eye-style headlights, along with a Classic Design Concepts lightbar, give the car an aggressive look to the exterior. Auto Mat of Hicksville on Long Island installed the fresh leather and suede interior to make the front office pop. The real fun came as performance modifications came to light.
Under the hood sits a 281-cube modular mill with 42-lb-hr injectors, plus MSD coil packs and wires. The big ticket item is the polished ProCharger P1SC producing 10 pounds of boost. It supplies the snake with venomous power, while FRPP headers handle exhaust gases, which are released though a Mac exhaust system, giving it a vicious rumble.
Tokiko springs, shocks, and struts take care of front and rear suspension, while Maximum Motorsports upper and lower control arms reside in the rear, and Kenny Brown subframe connectors insure a tight and solid ride. Baer two-piece slotted and drilled rotors and Hawk Performance brake pads provide quick and comfortable stopping power.
The T-45 transmission was upgraded by Super Street Performance in Farmingdale, and is backed by an FRPP King Cobra clutch kit. The setup allows Jeff to slam gears should an adrenaline craving arise. he did mention that a six-speed is in the works.
For now, Jeff enjoys touring the streets in his 450-rwhp Cobra. "I drive it as much as I can, but only in nice weather. My Mustang has been lowered, and the roads aren't great in New York, so it's really only a summer and weekend car."
Jeff also told us about his new involvement in the Mustang hobby. "I'm still friendly with the gentleman who sold it to me. We're involved in car clubs that host charitable events, like the car show we organized to raise money for a playground for mentally challenged children."
Obviously, Jeff had no idea of the life change his Cobra would cause when he came across the car on eBay. "From just buying a little mid-life-crisis toy, owning this Mustang has turned into a big adventure," Jeff explained. Of course, with an awesome Cobra like this, we're sure that there are many more fun times to be had.