Eric English
September 1, 2009
Perfect for an actual vintage racer, period authentic track car, or "day two" style restomod, this is Cobra Automotive's competition-proven front disc package-compatible with wheels such as 15-inch American Racing Torque Thrusts. The kit contains massaged KH Lincoln-spec four-piston calipers, beefy 12-inch rotors, aluminum hats, billet caliper brackets, stainless lines, Grade 8 hardware, and carbon Kevlar pads in either a street or race compound. Drum brake spindles (includes '65-'67 disc) are required, as are '65-'67 disc brake hubs, or Cobra Automotive's own aluminum or billet steel hubs.

Cobra Automotive
Cobra Automotive's Carl Vogt explained his company's angle on improved Mustang braking. "We've got the most powerful and well developed vintage correct brakes on the market," and we believe him. As one of the nation's leading preparers of classic Mustang road racers, Cobra Automotive has developed and tested what really works. Their setups normally focus on a big front disc/big rear drum approach, reflecting the common limitations of popular vintage racing rules. "The strictest vintage sanctioning bodies won't allow rear discs on pre-'67 cars," explained Vogt, illustrating the timeline when these staples of today began to appear on Trans-Am efforts.

Cobra Automotive's most impressive front brake setup is nearly identical to the factory Trans-Am cars which ran in the late Sixties-meaning a big Lincoln/T-bird front disc and caliper combination. Kelsey Hayes was the manufacturer of these four-piston binders, which Cobra Automotive has refined into a superstar, and paired with a big 12x1.25-inch directionally vented rotor. "The JL8 four-wheel disc Camaros hate us when our rear drum cars out brake them," chuckles Vogt. It just goes to show that drums aren't necessarily as archaic as they seem.

Out back, Cobra Automotive offers three big drum kits-a 10x2.5-inch replication of the original GT350 setup for small bearing rearends, and two 11x2.25-inch versions (street or track) for "Torino" 9-inch bearing ends. Unless restricted by racing regulations or rearend configuration, the 11-inch packages are the way to go. Despite being slightly narrower, the greater diameter of the 11-inch binders provides superior braking power, and costs less than the 10-inchers as well. While Cobra Automotive's clientele is primarily the vintage racer or open tracker, its setups are well worth considering for a period style street car as well. To maximize the brakes, Cobra Automotive also has the right master cylinder and wheel cylinders for whatever your application requires.

Cobra Automotive
(203) 284-3863

Sample pricing direct from Cobra Automotive:

  • '65-'70 Mustang: front disc kit with two-piece 12x1.25-inch/four-piston Lincoln/Kelsey Hayes calipers, $1,850
  • '65-'70 Mustang: 11x2.25-inch street rear drum kit, $595

Currie realizes that drum brakes haven't entirely gone the way of the dodo bird, and still has plenty of products to support the vintage binders-both stock and performance in nature. If you have a 9-inch with either of the large bearing ends, Currie can set you up with its best drum package, an 11x2.5-inch kit that runs $349.95. Small 8- and 9-inch bearing configurations are limited to 10-inch packages that aren't particularly performance oriented, but still have a place for restorers and those simply wanting to service stock brakes.

Currie Enterprises
Not surprisingly, the rearend experts at Currie are oriented specifically to rear brake applications, but there's more than enough variety to give them serious consideration whether you're purchasing a new rearend, or not. Beyond being a dealer for the traditional aftermarket brake companies, Currie has numerous offerings of its own, with applications for everything from Mustangs to Galaxies.

Currie builds its 9-inch rearend housings with the customer's choice of bearing ends-meaning small bearing (most early Mustangs/same as 8-inch), early large bearing, or later "Torino" large bearing-the latter of which has become an industry standard. When equipped with the Torino ends, Currie's most popular disc kit is the 11-inch Explorer setup that lists for $499.95. The OEM parking brake mechanism is included, which Currie says is second to none-the biggest downside being that the kit doesn't mate up to the other style bearing ends. On the other hand, a 10-inch Super Street kit is available for all 8- and 9-inch applications, and is based around proven '91-'93 Thunderbird Super Coupe hardware. While small by modern standards, it may well be the ticket for those wanting to hide modern discs behind their 14-inch Styled Steels.

Currie Enterprises
(714) 528-6957

Sample pricing direct from Currie:

  • 10-inch Super Street rear disc kit for all 8-/9-inch applications, $599.95
  • SN-95 Cobra rear caliper brackets for all 8-/9-inch applications, $149.95