Last month we told you about the mean and nasty collection of IRS-suspended, six-speed-equipped '03/'04 SVT Cobras dubbed the "Production" class at the MM&FF Cobra shootout ("Six-Speed Slaughterfest," p. 62). Just because the Cobras were labeled "Production," it didn't stop the contestants from running amazingly fast. Jay Knott was the undisputed winner after he laid down the smack with a jaw-dropping 9.85 at 142 mph. That's an incredible feat considering the IRS and factory six-gun gearjammer were in place. This month, we're kicking up the heat factor by featuring the other half of our Cobra shootout-the Modified class.
The engine rules were identical to the Production class, meaning it was "run whatcha brung"-as long as you packed a Four-Valve modular engine. Larger blower? No problem. Nitrous? Ported heads and cams? No problem.
So what's the difference between the classes? Well, the Modified class is designed for Cobras that have a live rear axle and/or automatic transmission replacing the factory six-speed/IRS combo. A traditional, stock-style setup normally found under Mustangs is required, however, as ladder bars and racing-style four-links are strictly prohibited. That leaves competitors with a wide-open set of rules to modify their cars.
The shootout was by invitation only, and we selected a wide range of cars that featured many different combinations. So, in one sense it was a shootout, but it was also a showcase of Stangs, builders, and combinations. Everything was represented, from Kenne Bell blowers with loads of nitrous to stock blower combinations. This provides a wide perspective on what it takes to run in the 10s-and even in the 9s-with one of SVT's best-ever products.
Before the first car turned a tire we knew we were in for a wild show thanks to the great track preparation by the Englishtown track crew. The surface was sticky and the weather was awesome. As we do in all MM&FF shootouts, we weighed every car and provided drivers ample cooldown periods so the best times could be produced. These weren't gutted race cars. They were all great examples of real Cobras that the average person can relate to. Just about all the participants drive their cars on the streets frequently. As wild as some of the performances may seem, a lot of the modifications can be easily duplicated. Believe us, we were all over each car like a fat kid on a plate of cupcakes.
By the end of the day, it was clear that SVT had come up with an amazing machine. The Cobra is built with the best parts and can withstand enough boost and nitrous to run nines. We hope you enjoy the results as there were some outstanding performances and diverse combinations. We only wish we could have invited more participants. But don't worry, this is one shootout we'll be doing again and again.