Horse Sense: Of the 5,100 Cobras built in 1993, including 107 Cobras Rs, there were only 448 black-on-black models. Erik's is number 2,250. Like many'93 Cobras, Erik's has never been driven in the rain or snow-we're sure it's been washed, though, which means it has been wet-nor has it ever been left in a parking lot. "Every portion of the car is clean enough to eat off of. Period," Erik says. Does that mean we can put our lunch from Wendy's on the roof?
"This is the absolute last of the breed, and it doesn't get any cleaner or newer than this," Erik Radzins says. Normally such bravado would be met with more sarcasm than a Dane Cook performance. However, when you've been around and seen as many Mustangs as we have, we can say Erik's synopsis is rather accurate. When we saw his '93 Cobra in person at the '07 World Ford Challenge in Indy, we were blown away by its cleanliness. As far as Fox Mustangs go, we'd be hard-pressed to find one as original and preserved as his Cobra. The icing on the cake is that the car is tastefully modified as well.
Prior to buying this Cobra, Erik had what many of us would consider the perfect job. He worked in development at ProCharger and on the tech lines to help those in need of installation tips. As such, his Mustangs and his buddies' cars took advantage of ProCharger's best offerings to fill that need for speed. Throughout the years, we've been able to sample the company's finest, including Erik's '97 Cobra in the '05 King of the Street competition where the car finished a strong Second. Built with fellow ProCharger employee Dorian Comeau, it was one car we wanted in our garage. It was equally at home going through the drive-thru as it was on the dragstrip.
The exterior of Erik's Cobra...
The exterior of Erik's Cobra is about as stock as stock can get. With just more than 30,000 miles on the car, the paint is still original, and the wheels are in perfect shape. We don't know if his bet is still up for negotiations, but not too long ago Erik offered $100 to anyone who could find a dent or ding in the body-he should be glad he doesn't work with us! Speaking of stock, we're so used to seeing lowered Mustangs that Erik's Cobra almost looks strange with its stock ride height. However, he says the car is as quiet as new Mustang when being driven, something most of us aren't accustomed to for sure. Since the Cobra has always been stored in a climate-controlled environment, all the trim and window moldings are flawless. "And the astray door works just fine," Erik says, kicking 80 percent of Fox Mustang owners in the teeth.
At a dragstrip back home in Kansas, Erik was warned not to run any quicker than 11.99 since the car didn't have a rollcage. What did he do? When the lights dropped, he let the Cobra creep a few feet to trip the clocks, counted to three, and let the hammer fly for a 14.1 at 135-mph pass, and he still beat the import in the other lane. Unfortunately, the track tech staff wasn't amused.
In 2004, Erik and Dorian started House of Boost, which is what we would describe as an after-hours speed shop, to amuse themselves outside of ProCharger's confines. This side project allowed the guys to dabble with other boosted applications- not just those from ProCharger's home office. At the same time, Erik and Dorian were able to focus on their mechanical ideas for boosted applications and do their own research and development. Even while at ProCharger, Erik and Dorian loved to be involved in House of Boost installations that involved other manufacturers, but there was a certain awkwardness in doing so. Anything they did at House of Boost carried with it an underground connotation.
"I loved my job at ProCharger," Erik says. "The company was great to me." However, as time went on, House of Boost gained momentum, as well as a following beyond that of its humble beginnings. It was time to either punt or go for it.
Around May 2007, Erik, Dorian, and graphic artist/Web developer Shaun Friesen decided to go for it and broke from their regular jobs to go full-time with House of Boost. "All three of us had to make sacrifices to open the shop," Erik says. He sold his Lightning, the aforementioned Cobra, and a custom Suzuki TL1000R motorcycle so he could still afford his daily Taco Bell intake, get House of Boost up and running, and purchase the '93 Cobra seen here. (Every time we talk to Erik during lunch hours, we have to hold so he can place his order for the border's finest.)
In addition to Erik, Dorian, and Shaun, a private investor helped procure an actual shop-new construction in Lenexa, Kansas, not far from Erik's Mission, Kansas, hometown. The boys put the brakes on their careers to build the House of Boost into the go-to place for custom cars and trucks for consumers and manufacturers alike. The goal is to become the Midwest's version of West Coast Customs (California) and Unique Autosports (New York). Erik, Dorian, and Shaun hope to make House of Boost a household name.