Horse Sense: When we photographed Dave's Cobra at the '04 Superstallions Fall Nationals at Cecil County, we were also shooting Ryan Hecox's ATI-ProCharged Cobra at the same time. That event is when the nitrous started cutting out, and Ryan is the one who recommended Dave check the window switch. Sure enough, that was the issue.
We've all been where Crum Lynne, Pennsylvania's Dave Dur was when he purchased the '99 Cobra seen here. During lunch at the office, Editor Turner was able to pry former Senior Tech Editor Houlahan away from his frozen dinner and Chocodile lunch to install new OZ 18-inch wheels on his SVT Focus, which Turner said was going to remain stock. So far, the car has a cold air kit, SCT tuning, a carbon-fiber dash overlay kit, and now the wheels. Editor Turner's '98 Cobra was also supposed to remain as-is when he purchased it from Paxton a couple years back. So much for that plan.
Seeing Dave Dur's Rio red...
Seeing Dave Dur's Rio red New Edge really gives us a case of Cobra envy. Dave's example benefits from a Cervini's '00 Cobra R hood, a Mach 1 chin spoiler, '01 tinted headlights, a stock rear wing (moved back 3 inches), and chrome Autumn Fleet Sales '03 Cobra wheels for the street. Not pictured are the Bogarts Dave uses while running high 10s on the juice.
We don't have enough space to chronicle the changes Dave Dur's Cobra has gone through-and that's just up until now. But that's the trap we fall into with our Mustangs. We tell ourselves, Well, if I add this or that, the car will be done. Yeah right-the words "Mustang" and "done" rarely are in the same sentence. As Mustang enthusiasts, it's in our blood to change/upgrade even if the modification is not necessary. We can't leave well enough alone, and the car will never be fast enough.
"I bought the Cobra because I wanted a nice car to drive on weekends," Dave says. "Initially it was supposed to remain stock." Yes, we've heard this way too many times before. But Dave had no reason to modify the car since he already had an '87 LX with a 393 stroker under the hood. The LX easily provided the speed fix Dave sought, and we're sure the Cobra served to attract members of the fairer sex. "All my friends said I couldn't leave it alone," Dave says, "but I was good for a year by adding only an after-cat and window tint."
Right before the '02 Superstallions of the Net Fall Nats, however, the 393 had itself for dinner, which meant the Cobra would be making passes down legendary Cecil County Dragway's 1,320-foot playground. "I had raced the Cobra once up to that point, and it had run 13.30s bone-stock," Dave says. At the Nats, with just drag radials, an H-pipe, and an after-cat, Dave's Cobra ran a 12.78 at 106 mph, but he grenaded the factory T45 in the process. "Since money was a little short at the time, the only replacement option was to 'borrow' the TTC-Tremec TKO from my '87 LX," he says. "Well, that was the end of leaving it stock."
The interior of Dave's Cobra...
The interior of Dave's Cobra screams comfort and safety at the same time. The comfort comes in the form of Cobra Daytona seats, while safety is covered by an exquisite Rhodes Custom Auto eight-point chrome-moly rollbar with swingouts. An SLP Line-Loc makes burnouts child's play and a D&D Motorsports shifter makes gear bangin' a breeze-which Dave performs well, thanks to a lot of talent and an '03 Cobra clutch disk with a McLeod pressure plate.
With no engine or tranny, Dave ended up parting out the LX so he could concentrate on the Cobra. It didn't help that he met and became good friends with fellow Superstallions of the Net member Bill Tumas. Bill had (and still has) a pretty wicked Cobra himself, and after reading about Bob Cosby's NMRA exploits with his own '99 Cobra, Dave was motivated to take his Cobra to the next level.
"I decided to start chasing 11s in naturally aspirated form," Dave says. He added a UPR intake tube, a Pro-M 80mm mass air meter, Steeda underdrive pulleys, BBK long-tube headers, and he swapped in a solid axle from a friend's '98 Cobra. "I ran as quick as 12.40 before I broke the TKO," he says. He had the stock T45 rebuilt and headed back to the track, only to snap the transmission's input shaft on the third pass. With this being a common occurrence, Dave did some research and many people recommended adding an aluminum flywheel, which is reportedly gentler on launch. "Bob Cosby sent me a spare input shaft he had lying around, and I was back in business," Dave says. In that trim his best time was a 12.01 at 113 mph-oh so close, but not close enough.
"I never did get into the 11s naturally aspirated because the horsepower bug bit again," Dave says. "I wanted 10s, and bad." To that end, Dave added a Nitrous Express 125hp nitrous kit and set out to skip the 11s and go right for the 10s. With a Kauffman's Performance-optimized Superchips tune in the stock computer, he hit the track. "I ran an 11.32 at 119 mph the first time out at Atco Raceway, but I also got kicked off the track for lack of safety equipment." To make sure that never happened again, he took the Cobra to Rhodes Custom Auto (where our boy Spence Hart works) for an eight-point chrome-moly rollcage.