BASF no longer makes the Mystic paint, but SVT took extensive steps to ensure that repair material would be available for a long time to come. Nobody can obtain replacement paint without providing a valid Mystic Cobra serial number. The 2004 Mystichrome paint came from Dupont and is freely available to anyone, without restriction. As well, there are a number of similar paints available that enthusiasts can use, including BASF's Extreme Color paints, Dupont's ChromaLusion products, KameleonKolors by House of Kolor, PPG's Harlequin and Dupli-Color's Mirage material.
When Mike first got the Cobra, he knew that it was special and meant to keep it that way. Then, he got invited to an open lapping event. "I didn't originally intend to open-track a rare 1996 Mystic Cobra, but one time on track [at] Summit Point's main circuit and I was hooked." In March of 2004, Mike first ran into Brooks Performance of Chambersburg, PA. He liked their idea that they could enhance the handling, performance and safety of the car without cracking open the engine. With the installation of a Stage II suspension, Mark said, "The car's handling was vastly improved without any sacrifice in street performance. I could feel the difference in power recovered by stiffening the chassis. Handling in the turns was balanced and predictable."
Full length subframe connectors from Kenny Brown, along with his G-load brace helped reduce the Cobra's unit body meanderings and let the suspension pickup points stay closer to where they should be. Bilstein struts and shock absorbers, coupled with Eibach springs manage the bumps wherever they may be found, whether at speed or not. Brembo 13-inch front brake rotors and upgraded PBR calipers take on most of the stopping duties, while PBR calipers do their thing on stock rotors out back. As Mike's track experience grew, so did both his driving skills and ambitions. Keeping with the theme of maintaining an unmolested engine, he later had Brooks install a 4.10 ratio rear axle cog and a Pro 5.0 shifter.
Aside from his enjoyment in throwing the Cobra around road tracks, Mike also takes it out to shows from time to time. Often, he comes home with some hardware to occupy the mantel piece. In the summer of 2003, a trip to the All Ford Nationals in Carlisle, PA, netted him a first place award. A return to Carlisle two years later showed that the competition had definitely improved, but not enough to bump him off the podium. As a result, he returned with the third place recognition. The unique SVT Mustang is also a pretty consistent winner when it comes to the local enthusiast club shows.
Last year was a very good one for the Mystical reptile. The upgrade menu included replacement Maximum Motorsports' upper and adjustable lower rear control arms that would go a long way to keeping the rear axle planted when turning on the power. Kenny Brown's operations were again called, this time to supply a set of caster/camber plates so that better track handling could be dialled in. Driveline upgrades were also implemented. A call to D&D Motorsports brought a 6-speed, T-56 manual transmission to the front door. The closer spacing of the gears would allow Mike to stay in the power band of the engine longer while flailing around a road course. At the same time, a Steeda Tri-Ax shifter and Dynatek driveshaft were added. An upgraded, 11-inch clutch package, as used on the '03-04 Cobras, was also strapped on. Incremental power improvements were also obtained by replacing the factory exhaust system with Magnaflow products.