1996 Mustang Cobras - Rivalry Cut Short
The Passing Of Andrew "Krimpet" Bauer Cut This On-Track Rivalry Way Too Short
From the December, 2003 issue of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
By Michael Johnson
Photography by Michael Johnson
Horse Sense: If you never met Andrew "Krimpet" Bauer, you probably know someone just like him. Picture the life of the party in your circle of friends. The party is a bore until that person arrives. He has the craziest antics and keeps you in stitches all night long. You wonder where he gets his imagination and zest for life. Now picture that person gone forever.
Bill Tumas was tired of sinking money into his constantly broken, supercharged '91 GT. So, in April 1999 the North Wales, Pennsylvania, resident purchased a black '96 Cobra with just 2,500 miles on the clock. "I had been reading about the Four-Valve cars," Bill says. "After bringing [the '96 Cobra] home, I immediately installed pulleys, a Flowmaster after-cat, and a Pro-5.0 shifter. Soon after, I took the Cobra to the track with my good friend Andrew 'Krimpet' Bauer to see what the car would do against his bolt-on, AOD-equipped '98 GT." Bill was rewarded with 13.6s at 102 mph to Krimpet's 14.0s at 98 mph. "I was impressed with how well the Cobra ran with such minimal mods. So was Krimp-two weeks later he rolled up to my house in his own '96 Cobra."
Andrew earned the nickname...
Andrew earned the nickname Krimpet because his dad works at Tasty Baking Company, where one of the most popular items is called a Krimpet. It's a special butter sponge cake topped with scotched butter icing. It was a blessing in disguise when the Bauers purchased their son's Laser Red '96 Cobra. "We both really enjoy the car," Joseph says, "not only because our son owned it, but also because owning and modifying the car has rekindled our interest in drag racing."
Because Krimpet's Cobra was the same Laser Red color as his former GT, he hoped his parents wouldn't notice it was a different car. Well, they did notice, but they were actually cool with their son's new purchase. And so the mods began.
Meanwhile, Bill was upgrading his Cobra with 4.10 gears, a Dr. Gas X-pipe, a Steeda timing adjuster, and a mail-order performance chip. With Krimpet following suit, their race for the 12s was off to a furious start.
Bill won that race by running a 12.98 at 106 mph and making a final-round appearance a few weeks later at a domestic-versus-import shootout. Shortly thereafter, Krimpet borrowed Bill's new drag radials and busted out a 12.84 at 105 mph to lower the bar even more. Even their mutual friend Brian Kirk got in on the action by getting a '97 Cobra and outfitting it accordingly.
All three attended a Fun Ford race, and even though none of them made it past the first couple rounds of eliminations, Bill bested Krimpet and Brian with a 12.88 at 105 mph. At the '00 Modular Shootout, the trio once again lined 'em up to see who could run the quickest. Bill and Brian ran in the Four-Valve N/A class while Krimpet was lured to the bracket class and the prospect of winning a Paxton supercharger. Bill finished runner-up to Barry Shepard, and Brian took third in the Four-Valve N/A class. Krimpet lasted two rounds in the bracket class and went home blowerless.
With each of them surpassing the 12-second zone, the 11s became their next goal. Bill's black Cobra was the first to go under the knife at the hands of Jimmy Chahalis at LaRocca's Performance, where 4.56 gears, a 31-spline Traction-Lok, Moser 31-spline axles, BBK long-tube headers, and a McLeod clutch were added, along with a fresh tune-up. "We took it to the track that night," Bill says. "It ran 12.30s at 110 right out of the box on new Mickey Thompson ET Streets, with consistent 1.70 60-foot times."
Krimpet's Cobra was the next to visit LaRocca's, where it received the same additions save for the long-tubes, as Krimpet was low on cash. "We picked up [Krimpet's car]," Bill says, "and even though the weather was awful, he ran a 12.51 at 109 mph to my 12.42 at 109 mph."
Unfortunately, due to it being totaled, Brian's Cobra never made it to LaRocca's.
Bill's engine gets help from...
Bill's engine gets help from several products aimed at cleaning up the intake and exhaust tracts. But a set of 4.88 gears is one of the main reasons this car runs so hard. First and foremost, Bill would like to thank his wife and best friend, Tanya, Jimmy Chahalis from LaRocca's Performance, Dave Guy at Kauffman Motorsports, all his SuperStallions friends, and, of course, his own shop, Track Toys Racing (www.tracktoys.com).
"A few weeks later," Bill says, "[we were] at the '01 SuperStallions of the Net Spring Nats at Cecil County Raceway in Maryland. Krimp and I continued the race to the 11s. But this was Krimp's day, as he bested all the other N/A Cobras in attendance as well as a few supercharged ones." Bill had chip trouble, so he took it out and lined it up against Krimpet for the last run of the day. "I got out early," Bill says, "but he took the win up top with a 12.31 to my losing 12.40."
Not handling the loss well, Bill headed back to LaRocca's for a fresh chip tune, drag springs, and a pair of Weld Draglites up front to match the rears. As Krimpet was out of cash, it was up to Bill to go after the 11s alone. A few weeks later, a trip to Cecil County Raceway enabled Bill to come close to the 11s, with a 12.09 at 112 mph in good air.
"The following year, racing got too expensive," Bill says, "so Krimp sold some parts off his car, and I didn't race as much. I was never able to run better than a 12.20 after that, and I was getting bored with the car." In June 2002, he even contemplated selling the Cobra because of the lack of racing he was able to do with Krimpet.
Virtually mimicking the underhood...
Virtually mimicking the underhood of Bill's car, the Bauer's Cobra has made a best of 305 hp and 292 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. It has also run a best time of 12.23 at 110 mph. "It has been over 33 years since I was on a quarter-mile track," Krimpet's father, Joseph, says, "so we are both approaching our new sport with a conservative approach gained through the intervening years." Please-before long Joseph will be driving it like Krimpet.
Unfortunately, Krimpet ran into more financial woes and was forced to sell his Cobra. His parents-having grown to like the car-purchased it from him. According to Krimpet's dad, Joseph, once his son started a new job and got back on his feet, he became increasingly interested in the limited-production '96 Mystic Cobras. Fellow SSOTN member Brian McCauley had one for sale, and Krimpet was able to realize his dream by buying it. "Once the deal was complete, we were going to race as a 'family' team at Cecil County Raceway," Joseph says. The Bauers planned to make their racing debut at the SSOTN Fall Nats in November.
Bill and Krimpet were able to square off a couple times on the street, but they never made it to the track. On September 1, 2002, Krimpet died in an automobile accident while driving his dream car. Instead of planning for a fun day at the SSOTN Fall Nats, the Bauers had to plan their lives without their son Krimpet and the joy he brought everyone. "I lost my best friend and my best competitor all at once," Bill says. Devastated and grieving, Bill and the Bauers stopped working on their Cobras.
SSOTN decided that in Krimpet's honor the '02 Fall Nats would be renamed The Andrew Bauer Memorial Fall Nationals. Wanting to make a good showing in memory of Krimpet, Bill and the Bauers decided to get their Cobras ready to race. Bill added 4.88 gears, a C-Locker differen-tial, a VRS X-pipe, JBA headers, an Anderson Ford Motorsport Power Pipe, a custom Autologic chip by Dave Guy at Kauffman Motorsports, and lightweight Cobra seats. Except for more street-friendly 4.30 gears, the Bauers' Cobra received many of the same components.
Says Bill, "There wasn't a dry eye in the house at the Andrew Bauer Memorial Nats, as Krimpet's parents staged their son's former Cobra for the first pass of the day. It was great to see the Laser Red Cobra back where it belonged."
"The fall race was a tremendous success," Joseph says. "More people turned out to honor our son than we could have ever imagined. Ever since that event, virtually every SSOTN member has truly helped us, looked after us, and included us in their events. Their generosity is unmatched by any comparison."
At the race, Bill was going for the 11s. He ran a 12.15, a 12.07, a 12.06, and a 12.02, all at 113 mph. "On my last run of the day," he says, "I staged the car and ran the best 60-foot and eighth-mile the car had ever run-yet no time was recorded at the quarter-mile mark. I know that was my 11-second pass, and my friend Krimpet just didn't want me to get it before he did."
Being a former stereo installer...
Being a former stereo installer and salesperson, Bill outfitted his car with a full Kenwood DVD video system and Play-Station 2 gaming system. Furthering the Cobra's interior comfort level (upper right) is a pair of Cobra Daytona seats. Bill keeps a check on things underhood via Auto Meter gauges. Right after we photo-graphed Bill's Cobra, he had Rhodes Custom Auto Works (where Drag Radial racer Spence Hart works) add a rollcage to make his Cobra a safer place to race.
The Bauers haven't gone as...
The Bauers haven't gone as crazy as Bill with the interior of their Cobra, but they have followed suit down to Rhodes Custom Auto Works for a rollcage. A Hurst Line-Loc allows Mr. Bauer to do a burnout Krimpet would be proud of.
Neither of these cars has...
Neither of these cars has the look-at-me syndrome-just classic SN-95 Cobra looks mixed with well-matched wheels. Bill's black Cobra features smoked headlights with HID bulbs and ballasts along with smoked sidemarkers, while the Bauer's Laser Red Cobra relies on what the factory gave 'em.
|5.0 Tech Specs|
|ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN||SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS|
|Stock aluminum Cobra 4.6||K-member|
|Cylinder Heads||D&D Performance tubular|
|Stock aluminum Cobra Four-||Caster/Camber|
|Ported Stock Cobra||Tokico Illumina five-way adjustable|
|Pro-M 80mm, Anderson Ford||Stock, Hawk pads|
|Motorsport Power Pipe, UPR||Wheels|
|air filter||OE Concepts Chrome Bullitt|
|Exhaust||(street), Weld Draglites (track)|
|JBA headers, VRS X-pipe,||Tires|
|Flowmaster mufflers||Nitto NT555 (street), Futura|
|Fuel Pump||skinnies (track)|
|Walbro 255-lph||Rear Suspension|
|Stock||UPR upper and lower control arms|
|Broken T45, McLeod clutch disc,||QA1 adjustable|
|Ford Racing Performance Parts||Springs|
|pressure plate, Pro-5.0 shifter,||Kenny Brown|
|Steeda handle, FRPP aluminum||Brakes|
|driveshaft||Brembo rotors, Hawk pads|
|8.8, C-Locker differential, 4.88||OE Concepts Chrome Bullitt|
|gears, Moser 31-spline axles||(street), Weld Draglites (track)|
|ELECTRONICS||Nitto NT555 (street), Mickey|
|Engine Management||Thompson ET Drag (track)|
|Stock computer, Auto Logic/||Chassis Stiffening|
|Kauffman Motorsports chip||Maximum Motorsports subframe|
|Ignition||connectors, Rhodes Custom|
|Stock, FRPP plug wires, NGK||Auto rollcage|
|TR6 plugs|| |
|Stock, Auto Meter|| |
|5.0 Tech Specs|
|ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN||SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS|
|Stock aluminum Cobra 4.6||K-member|
|Stock aluminum Cobra Four-||Struts|
|Stock Cobra||FRPP B springs|
|Stock Cobra||Stock Cobra rotors, stainless|
|Mass Air||steel lines, Hawk pads|
|Pro-M 80mm, AFM Power Pipe,||Wheels|
|K&N filter||Azev Type-A 17x7.5|
|JBA headers, Bassani X-pipe,||BFGoodrich g-Force KDW 245/40|
|Flowmaster two-chamber mufflers,||Rear Suspension|
|stock tailpipes||Traction Device|
|Fuel Pump||UPR double-adjustable upper|
|Walbro 255-lph||control arms, Maximum|
|Injectors||Motorsports adjustable lower|
|T45 by Scott Lehr, McLeod Kevlar||QA1 adjustable|
|disc, FRPP pressure plate, FRPP||Springs|
|aluminum driveshaft, Steeda||FRPP B springs|
|Rearend||Stock Cobra, Hawk pads|
|8.8, Ford Truck differential,||Wheels|
|Superior 31-spline axles, 4.30 gears||Azev Type-A 17x10|
|ELECTRONICS||BFGoodrich g-Force KDW 275/40|
|Engine Management||Chassis Stiffening|
|Stock Cobra, Autologic/Kauffman||Steeda subframe connectors,|
|Motorsports chip||Rhodes Custom Auto Works|
|Stock Cobra, FRPP 9mm plug|| |
|wires, NGK TR6 plugs|| |