Regular readers of 5.0&SF should recognize Matt Knab's '03 Cobra. We featured it just last year; plus it was in John Urist's pit at last year's Bradenton NMRA opener to showcase its Hellion Power Systems single-turbo system. Matt's Cobra makes big power, and he tried to be a part of last year's Nitto Tire KOTS, but last-minute transportation issues kept him from attending. This time around, however, he procured his mother-in-law's truck, rented a trailer, and was good to go.
Matt lives right down the road from our Tampa, Florida, offices so we've seen his Cobra on several occasions, but this year's KOTS was the first time we had an opportunity to drive it. It was worth the wait. The driveability of his Cobra is similar to Matt Simonds' Mach 1-which you'll read about shortly-but it's readily apparent that Matt's Cobra lives a more pampered lifestyle compared to Matt's Mach.
When we first took off in Matt's Cobra, it was also readily apparent that it has a well-sorted suspension system. With the Maximum Motorsports catalog thrown at the car, it's no surprise that it is so tight. The car felt connected, and the suspension is pretty much perfect. Everything worked on Matt's Cobra, but the clutch was somewhat grabby, and there was a noise coming from the IRS. It turns out Matt's car had a bad wheel bearing, which explains the racket.
Even with the somewhat grabby clutch, Matt's Cobra was easy to drive thanks to its stock interior, nice gauge layout, and solid brakes. Matt had all his bases covered with the Cobra with excellent, stock-like driveability, but yours truly would've loved to row the built T56 with a pistol grip-style shifter knob. That would've turned up the Cobra's driving enjoyment a notch.
In the end, Matt's Cobra was one of our favorite KOTS cars. It blended obscene horsepower with the driveability of a daily driver. By making 812 hp and still spinning, Matt's Cobra scored a 7 in the Horsepower segment. By running a 12.84, Matt's Cobra scored a disappointing 3 in the Drag Race portion. Tech Editor KJ Jones really liked Matt's car and how it was put together, giving it a perfect 10 in Engineering, while Editor Turner gave the car a 9 in Fit and Finish. Matt's Cobra also impressed on the Ride and Drive, scoring a 9 in that category.
It seems Matt didn't have too many friends in attendance at the KOTS, that or his vote lobbying could use a lot of work. With such a nice Cobra, we think he should've scored better than a 3 in the Popular Vote category. Matt finished with a final score of 74.5.
|5.0 Tech Specs|
|ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN||fuel lines, stock Cobra fuel rails,|
|Block||Lucas 75 lb/hr injectors|
|'03 Cobra Iron||Exhaust |
|Displacement ||Stock ceramic-coated manifolds,|
|284 ci||custom 4-in downpipe, Borla|
|Rotating Assembly||Stinger cat-back exhaust|
|Stock Cobra crankshaft, Oliver||Transmission |
|billet rods, CP custom 17cc||Stock Cobra T56 with 26-spline|
|pistons, Total Seal rings||input shaft, McLeod throw out|
|Camshafts||bearing guide shaft, SPEC Stage|
|01 Cobra intake cams, '03 Cobra||3+ clutch, Fidanza aluminum|
|exhaust cams||flywheel, Pro-5.0 shifter |
|Cylinder Heads ||Rearend |
|Stock 2003 Cobra, Boss 330||Stock IRS, 3.55 gears, The|
|Racing-ported, Ferrea valves,||Driveshaft Shop Level 5 axles,|
|Crower valve springs ||Maximum Motorsports urethane|
|Intake Manifold ||bushings, Kenny Brown|
|'01 Cobra upper and lower||Performance differential bushings,|
|Throttle Body ||Billet Flow/MJCHIP IRS brace |
|Accufab 60mm twin blade|| |
|Mass Air ||ELECTRONICS|
|SCT BA2800 ||Engine Management|
|Power Adder||Stock Computer, SCT Pro Racer|
|Hellion Power Systems single-||Package |
|turbo kit featuring Precision||Ignition |
|78mm turbo, air-to-air intercooler,||Stock, NGK plugs|
|Nitrous Express 50hp nitrous kit||Gauges |
|with boost referenced progressive||Stock, Auto Meter Phantom|
|controller||series fuel pressure, water temp,|
|Fuel System ||oil pressure, and boost gauges;|
|Ford GT fuel pumps, dual fuel||SBC ID 3 boost controller, LM-1|
|pump driver modules, Fore||wideband, Raptor shift light |
|Precision fuel hat, -10 Teflon-lined|| |