Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
December 1, 2007
Photos By: Greg Clark

This Issue marks the 12th installment of project Stolen Goods and the conclusion of the buildup portion of our '93 Cobra. It has been a long road, but the snake is finally running, hissing, spitting, and biting at whatever's in striking range.

More than two years ago, your humble author was approached by a good friend, George Xenos, about the sale of his 1,331-mile, '93 Teal Metallic Cobra Mustang. While it was completely void of its original drivetrain and suspension components, Xenos' religious upkeeping-including, of all things, an inflatable bubble-kept the Cobra's shell and interior in pristine condition, new-car scent and all. My friend needed out, so an asking price was set, then agreed upon, and a little while later, money and Mustang changed hands. While I've owned many fast Fords, I always wanted a '93 Cobra, and now I had one in my possession.

Stolen Goods sat dormant for another six months before work actually commenced on the project, but proper planning laid out an effective strategy on how to return this snake to the pinnacle of Ford performance.

Yes, we at Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords had hoped to outperform not only the stock Cobra numbers of the '93, but those of the '95 and '00 Cobra R models as well. We're here to tell you that Stolen Goods made good in the horsepower and torque numbers, as well as the quarter-mile times. It's only a matter of time before we get SG back to the track to knock off the rest of the performance goals.

Remember when this was all we had? No motor, no trans, and a bunch of four-cylinder suspension parts.

Having worked on numerous project cars during my tenure at MM&FF, I've learned a few things about owning, driving, working on, and caring for a late-model hot rod, and the main goal for this project was for it to be virtually maintenance-free. Get in, turn the key, and go.

When it came time to decide how to build the engine, we went normally aspirated. Cubic inches would play a vital role, as would the induction components, which were selected to provide abundant torque and horsepower, with stock-like driveability. Awesome throttle response and the ability to have this Pony rip off a corner was as important as quarter-mile times, since most of the miles would be clocked on the street.

Jesse Kershaw and the rest of the Ford Racing Performance Parts group had signed on for the project, and in addition to the numerous components that they would later supply, the big-ticket item was the foundation of our Cobra's powerplant-a new FRPP Boss 302 block. This all-new piece was more than adequate for the road-racing and dragstrip terrorizing that we planned. Filling said Boss block is a D.S.S. Racing rotating assembly that consists of a forged steel crank, forged H-beam connecting rods, and D.S.S. forged Pro-Lite pistons. While the cubic-inch count comes to 347, we attained it using a better rod ratio thanks to the large cylinder bores the Boss offers. This, in the long run, will allow our engine to make tons of power for years to come.

Obviously, we knew we'd have to sacrifice some power to make the car user-friendly, but enjoying the car as much as possible and not being under the hood time and again were the main priorities. To that end, we contacted induction guru Rick Anderson at Anderson Ford Motorsports (AFM) and talked with him at length about our requirements. What we decided on was a trick set of AFM-ported Twisted Wedge cylinder heads from Trick Flow Specialties, Trick Flow's Street heat intake manifold, and an AFM B-41HR camshaft. Anderson also recommended Meziere's electric water pump as well as a Velocity mass airflow meter from Professional Mass Air Systems. Combined with an AFM Power Pipe, we were assured that our 347 would be breathing soundly.

On the opposite side of the combustion process, we went with DynoMax and Cyclone products for the exhaust system. When it came time to choose the exhaust components, we put our vast time at the dragstrip to good use and focused on sound in particular. The DynoMax Ultra Flo welded muffler got the nod for its incredible exhaust note without the drone commonly associated with welded-case mufflers.

We'd rather be driving Stolen Goods than cleaning it, so you won't find much fancy stuff under the hood. We opted for the black Trick Flow and Ford Racing Performance Parts powdercoated products for a stealthy, factory look that was low-maintenance as well.

We originally planned to use shorty headers for ease of installation and maintenance, but we needed to maximize our NA engine combination, so we opted for Cyclone's ceramic-coated 1 5/8-inch long-tube headers. It took a little finagling to install the tubes, but time-wise it was on par with an equal-length shorty-header install. The Cyclone header's ceramic coating holds the heat in and keeps it out of the cabin, which were pluses.

Part of the sound that we were looking to achieve would come by way of an x style midpipe setup. We found out later that DynoMax didn't offer one for use with its Cyclone long-tube headers, though. The H-pipe we ended up using sounds great; for those who like a deep, muscular sound, it's perfect. Eventually, we plan to fabricate our own x setup using the x crossover kit that DynoMax sells so we can extract the higher-pitched exhaust note from the snake.

This And That
The key components that Stolen Goods needed to run came from a variety of great companies that you'll usually find advertising in MM&FF. The folks at Federal-Mogul opened up their Fel-Pro gasket catalog and provided us with everything we needed to stick this part to that one. ARP Fasteners gave us most of the hardware, such as head studs, intake manifold bolts, and such, while Brothers Performance supplied us with all of our fuel-system needs, from the 38-pound injectors, to the 255-lph fuel pump, and the adjustable regulator and fuel-pressure gauge.