Rod Short
September 1, 2003

As we look at Cobra Jet, Mach 1, and Boss Mustangs today, it's hard to imagine what it was like to see those cars every day on the streets and car lots. While those days are long gone, it's easy to overlook today's Mustangs that will no doubt become just as legendary as the muscle Mustangs from the '60s. One prime example is the '97 Cobra owned by Brent Green of Lexington, North Carolina.

"I had an '89 LX 5.0 and a '95 GT, but I was almost ready to get a Corvette," Brent explained. "I was going back and forth, but after driving the Cobra, I loved it. I think it's a better car than the Corvette, and it feels like it has more power."

In and of themselves, Mustang Cobras are future collectibles that will no doubt become more valuable in time. With a hand-assembled, all-aluminum, 32-valve DOHC version of the 4.6-liter powerplant, just 7,475 of these cars were produced in 1997. With a 9.85:1 compression ratio, the Cobra engine was rated at 305 hp at 5,800 rpm and 300 ft-lb of torque at 4,800.

While impressive right out of the box, specialty manufacturers like Saleen, Steeda, and Roush were stroking even more power from these cars with an impressive list of add-ons. Brent created an even more venomous Cobra on his own by adding a Vortech S-trim supercharger, which provides 8 pounds of boost. Helping manage the extra air capacity is a Pro-M 77mm mass air meter with twin-BBK, 62mm throttle bodies, all controlled by a Superchip computer module.

Enhanced fuel delivery comes from a T-Rex fuel pump with an MSD control box and wires sparking the fuel mixture to life. Exhaust flows through a BBK high-flow catalytic H-pipe and dual Flowmasters for minimal power-robbing back pressure. Helping to provide extra handling and traction for all this horsepower is a set of HP Motorsports' subframe connectors, upper and lower control arms, and Eibach lowering springs that dropped the car two inches on all four corners.

While purists may question modifying a future collectible, everything added to the car is available, in one form or another, from the Ford Racing catalog. Brent simply went with the best power-adder available, along with other pieces to work as a supporting cast.

Since the car is used purely on the street (not designed for the dragstrip), Brent has charmed this Cobra into becoming an even more exceptional performance car-which might have more than one Vette or Viper owner looking back over their shoulders!