Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
December 1, 2007
Photos By: Greg Clark
There was no need for mods here.

To make sure we had plenty of traction, we called up Mickey Thompson and ordered a set of 275/40/17 ET Drag radials. We had a pair of 17x8 '99 Cobra wheels laying around, but the M/Ts called for a 9- to 11-inch-wide wheel, so we called up Ford Racing Performance Parts and ordered a pair of '95 R wheels and '03 Cobra wheels. Both measure 9 inches in width, but the '03 wheel has slightly more backspacing, and we weren't sure about the wheel-to-inner-fender clearance, so we got both to test.

Unfortunately, the wheels didn't make it in time for the drag test, so the Mickeys got mounted on the 8-inch Cobra rims. As you can see from the photo, the contact patch isn't optimal, but the tires did offer plenty of traction at the strip nonetheless.

The Runday Sunday test and tune event at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida, was packed with cars and unfortunately plagued with oil-downs and crashes, so we got only two runs in before calling it a day. The first pass was a get-acquainted, easy effort. A lazy 2.03 60-foot time and 5,500-rpm shifts netted a 12.81 at 109 mph, which was pretty good given the 96-degree temps and excessive Florida humidity. The Flex-a-lite and Meziere cooling components worked their magic in the lanes, though, as engine temps were a relatively cool 130-140 degrees.

Pass number two started off somewhat better, with the 60-foot time dropping to 1.93 seconds. Shift rpm was raised to 6,500 on the stock tach, which equated to an actual rpm of 6,100. Elapsed time dropped to a 12.58 at 110 mph. Not bad, but certainly not indicative of the 110 mph's capability. Still, Stolen Goods managed to eclipse all of the factory Cobra numbers as well as those of the '93 and '95 R-models.

After checking our records, the 12.58 at 110 ties MM&FF's test of the '00 Cobra R, but given a few more passes, low-12s, if not high-11s on drag radials aren't out of the question. We'll be sure to get back with you once we've had the Cobra back at the track, if you don't catch us at one near you beforehand. Stolen Goods will be hitting a couple of Southern events this year, and you can bet it'll be out and about in the spring as well.

After the rainstorm cooked our mass air meter, we had Professional Mass Air Systems send us another one in short order so we could get to the track. We didn't have time to make the three-hour trek to HP Performance to verify the tune-up, so HP's Tony Gonyon recommended we double-check it with a wideband air-fuel unit like this one from Innovate Motorsports. George Xenos had Innovate's LM-1 and XD-16 components up and running in no time, and we were able to verify that the tune was good to go.

Credit Where Credit's Due
One thing that struck a chord with readers and fans is that we built Stolen Goods on our backs and in a garage, just like most of you. And while I would like to take credit for how well the project turned out, I mostly just orchestrated things and took photos. There have been a lot of people involved who did far more than myself.

Without the help of the manufacturers, things certainly wouldn't have gone as well as they did. When we broke parts or needed things shipped overnight, these companies stepped up to make our deadlines happen. Those of you who have been reading MM&FF for some time may notice that many of the companies we used during this buildup have been in the magazine for years, and it's their tried-and-true aftermarket parts that made this project relatively simple to put together.

I frequently made calls to d.s.s. Racing's Tom Naegele, AFM's Rick Anderson, and Maxi-mum Motorsports' Chuck Schwynoch, as well as many other authorities. When I had questions, they had answers. These are the sort of people you hope to deal with when building a project, and they are highly recommended.

While I spent my share of time underneath the car, it was my friends and family who really stepped in to make this happen. Obviously, George Xenos provided me with the perfect platform-a deal that I couldn't pass up and a project he didn't want to part with. The good thing is, though, he had a hand in returning the Cobra to greatness, almost pretty much like he had originally planned.

I may have helped Xenos install the motor and transmission, but he was largely responsible for all of the wiring, assembling the front engine dress, installing the exhaust, and bleeding the brakes, while I snapped the photos. His attention to detail and meticulous workmanship has made the Cobra-despite its aftermarket parade of parts-look and operate like stock.

Ray Clark and Brian Bohnsack turned the wrenches when it came time to install the Maxi-mum Motorsports suspension, and Mark Johnson wielded the welder when it was required. He also supplied his dually, and Rob Baldwin offered his car trailer to transport the Cobra to its new home.

Time to tear it up. Be sure to check out for a couple of videos we took, along with most of the editorial articles on the buildup.

My brothers Brian, Tom, and Anthony, along with Dennis Fahey pitched in, loaning an axle and wheels to get the car movable and helping out whenever an extra hand was needed. I also need to thank my sister-in-law Kim Lewis, who allowed me to tie up her extra garage with my projects. Yes, that's projects in the plural, as I still have two more cars there. All in due time.

Then there's my wife, Erica, who has put up with my many late nights spent watching all of my compadres assemble Stolen Goods, and our illustrious Editor Evan Smith, who gave the go-ahead for the project in the first place.

I have to admit, it's been both fun and painful at times. However, it's done, and it's time to enjoy it. Like many project cars before it-Superfly DOHC, Stocker, The Fridge, and other nameless Fords-Stolen Goods slithers off into project-car semiretirement only to return for this story or that. We plan to use it to test out the latest perfor-mance tires and anything else we can think of. What's that? Do I smell nitrous?

Thanks for reading.