"best laid plans"
Ben O'Brian's '93 Cobra
Article by: Bob Goodson
Passion, this is what drives us to work endless hours and spend hard earned money on our projects. The late nights getting the heart of the beast back into the engine bay for that weekend race, or for some of us it is that final push to get the car out of paint and back together for the next show. That’s the exciting part of our hobby. I’ve always said “I LOVE modification, I HATE maintenance.”
Sadly, the latter is the result of a failure, a mishap, an oversight, or an accident. We’ve all been there. The mad rush causes that bolt head to break off clean with the block. Yours truly has been there with a daily driver. Or that accident that wrecks the plans you had for weeks because the car is now sidelined for major repair. Now hold that thought.
Imagine yourself saving your hard earned pennies for a long time. You get your kids settled and they are fully grown starting families of their own. Fox Mustangs are your hard-core love and passion. So you are able to build that building you want and go on the hunt for a few of your favorite foxes to collect and tinker with. I think that most would agree that a 1993 Cobra is at the top of the list and possibly a Cobra R if your budget allowed. Ben O’Brien’s dream is just that. And it was becoming a reality.
Ben writes: “After the kids had left the nest I started my search for the Mustangs that I had long admired. The list was long and a couple weren't going to be easy to find but the search is part of the fun. The list included mainly Fox bodies. I had already found a very low mileage 1986 Comp. Prep SVO so my attention now turned to the 93 Cobra's. The R was out of my price range, but I found a red high mileage 93 Cobra for a very good price, for a daily driver. It would serve me well. I had always loved the Teal 93 Cobra's and thought that would bookend the red daily driver in the garage really well. “
Ben found one through his network of friends. The owner of a local shop knew of a car that he had serviced. The owner had bought the Cobra new but it had been stolen and recovered very shortly after. The good is that the thieves took the Cobra intake, front seats, and really nothing else.. The great thing is the insurance company didn’t total the car because very little was damage; close call. Also, the car was stolen when Ford was still supplying all parts for Foxes. So all the parts used to repair it were OEM Ford pieces. We all know how hard it is to find those parts these days. When the owner got the car back he pulled the motor to make sure nothing was damaged and basically blueprinted as he put it back together. The meticulous detail in going through the car is second to none. All of the rotating assembly was balanced by removing weight to make it run better than stock. A new set of ceramic coated headers and exhaust were installed, along with a new Ford Cobra intake, and new leather seats. The car had around 56k miles on it when Ben purchased it. All factory documentation came with the car, along with an extra set of OEM floor mats. Since Ben purchased the car it has had Koni shocks/struts installed and a new water pump. A new clutch was installed when the rear main seal was replaced, just for good measure. This 93 Cobra was well cared for even though it was taken for an uninvited joyride, by some uninvited guests. It’s the perfect car for a driver because Ben likes his cars to be able to be driven without worry; so this was a win.
Back to the thought of“sidelined for repair”. Think about the perfect place for you to park your car. That dream house for your cars. Now, think about getting it built after years of planning and saving. You start getting things set and you even add a couple of other dream cars, to your dream garage. Then one day that thing happens, the one thing you can’t control, that unthinkable event that makes all that you have dreamed a full on nightmare. In Ben’s case this would be mother nature. In 2010 an F5 tornado rips through the area and his dream car garage lie in its path.
In chatting with Ben the details are surreal. Large beams laying on top of your cherished babies. The thought of“are they salvageable” runs through your mind when you’re walking through the garage after the carnage. What took years, if not decades of hard work, to assemble and build, was destroyed in a matter of minutes. This is an event that can test the strength of ones passion. But, Ben didn’t let that affect him and really took it in stride. This speaks to his character. He’s not one to let a challenge affect him. Ben is one that steps back and assesses the situation, and comes up with a plan of action. Although the cars were damaged Ben was lucky in that it didn’t total any of them. This 93 Cobra needed to be repainted and have some repair done on the roof. Thankfully that was all that was damaged on this car. As of this writing, he has gotten many of the cars involved in the tornado repaired. He’s since built a new garage and the walls do have some “memories” of that incident hanging on them. It has taken some time to recover from that event and you’d never know any of the cars ever went through something of that magnitude.
That was a second close call with a car that is VERY desirable. This 93 Cobra doesn’t need to test the other 7 lives it has, that’s for sure!
Ben comments at how smooth this car runs. It’s not the most powerful car he owns but it is a fine example of one of the last Foxes produced. He also has all of the original documentation on the car. It currently has 64,000 miles and provides miles of smiles for Ben. We at Foxcast Media couldn’t agree more.
Until next time. Keep it Foxy Baby! Peace! BG