Kristian Grimsland
Associate Editor, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
September 28, 2012
Photos By: Cesar Andre

It's no forgotten truth that in 2003, SVT released a car so monstrous it was named the Terminator. Keeping up with such a vehicle was a fight for life for its competitors. Even eight years later, Terry Schroeder's '04 Screaming Yellow Termi is a force to be reckoned with. It's not uncommon to see the streets of California filled with hot rods, exotics, and unique rides. Terry wanted a piece that would stand out amongst the locals, and he was on the hunt for a Competition Orange Cobra. He searched every Ford dealer near him, but he couldn't make a score. While in search of the limited-color Snake, he stumbled upon a Screaming Yellow coupe that swayed his interest.

Terry grew up driving an abundance of Mustangs, all of which were black. And racing was the one thing he did with each Stang, whether it was ripping down the dragstrip in his '69 Mach 1, drag racing his 10-second '88 GT, or road racing his '67 Shelby GT500. Terry decided to switch gears (pun intended) when he bought this banana. The '88 GT was sold to long-time friend and mechanic Bob Frontino of Performance Associates in San Dimas, California, to help fund his new project.

We've all set out with aspirations of building a vehicle that we can call our own, with intentions for how to get there. However, the original plan often becomes nothing more than a rough sketch. "I started with making my Cobra into a show car, but that didn't last for long," explains Terry. "I got a little carried away with it," he says with a hint of a childish laughter in his voice.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

To begin turning this "little Snake that could" into a showpiece, Terry went to work on the exterior. At a glimpse, you may not notice anything out of the ordinary from the factory Screaming Yellow color, but look a little closer and you'll see pearl white ghost flames blending subtly into the paint. Inside the car, you'll find the six-point rollbar blends perfectly with the stock dark charcoal gray interior. "I wanted something on the car, but something that you didn't see at first," Terry explains. "If you see the car from 20 feet away, you have no idea the flames are there."

Next, Terry turned his head toward horsepower. Getting a 10.0- second car that would pass California smog is a huge challenge, so Performance Associates came up with a plan and went to work. Terry's ride would soon be equipped with new parts to help make the Snake a little more venomous. The stock 4.6L was mated with a 2.3L Whipple supercharger with a 3.00-inch upper pulley and a Metco 4-pound crank pulley, jumping the boost to 19 pounds. A pro-series, dual-pass heat exchanger was added to help dissipate heat.

According to Terry, shifting the T56 was not always easy, so a big change came in the trans tunnel. An FB Performance-built 4R70W automatic transmission got the call to replace the stock six-speed, set up with a with a manual valvebody and transbrake to help with consistency and track times. A 9-inch, triple-clutch torque converter set with a 3,000 stall allows the car to launch just as hard as it looks. Helping to set the launch just right is a MSD Two-Step; a Hurst Original Roll Control kit is used to help heat up the tires.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Hook is important, so it was necessary for this Cobra to lose some weight. Up front, the factory K-member was replaced with a PSR tubular K-member and A-arms. For dampening, Tokico D-spec adjustable struts were matched with a set of 175-pound springs. Turning to the rear, you'll find a set of QA1 12-way-adjustable shocks and Steeda Sport springs, along with Paul's High Performance toe-link bars. The rear IRS is equipped with a 3.55 gear axle ratio, a Control Freak differential cover, and The Driveshaft Shop high- performance Level 5 half-shafts.

Terry has gone a best of 10.86 on 100- octane fuel at 128 mph, cutting a 1.51 60-foot time with the six-speed transmission. Utilizing a SCT X-Caliber 3, tuner Randy Ritchey at Performance Associates has this Cobra cranking out 623 rwhp and 608 ft-lb of torque. Currently pushing the envelope even further, Terry is waiting to re-tune the car with an automatic and methanol injection. After breaking three torque converters on the dyno with his new setup, he anticipates the fourth one to be more than enough. He plans to come home with a new personal best at his next track outing.

"Usually when I buy a car, I say I'm only doing this," explains Terry. "But that didn't happen." It's obvious that wasn't the case, but we are certainly glad it did—not only to see such wicked power terrorizing the streets of California, but to see it's doing it with an attitude.