Terry Wideman's '81 Cobra
Article by: Bob Goodson
There’s a routine to every day. You know, get up, hit the john (yes I said that), grab your favorite cup of joe, jump in the shower, head to work, check Craigslist and Ebay…. Yeah, the routine. Don’t laugh at the last one. If you’re a car guy/gal you peruse those daily if not hourly. It’s ok, just admit it. If you don’t, well, there’s counseling for that. HA! A few years ago I was trolling the usual Ebay/Craigslist searching for anything Mustang related, specifically Foxbody stuff (you’d expect that reading it here) and this 81 Cobra pops up local to me. It jumps out at me because it is 1. a Cobra, 2. a T top car and 3. a Recaro interior optioned car. It still had the weak V8 in it but it was solid. I was tempted to call the owner but held back because I’m working on another project (those details to come later.. stay tuned into Foxcast Media). So I see this car pop up in my searches for a week or two. Then it disappears and I think, Dang! It was a solid car. And I’m a sucker for the 79-81 Cobra’s and 82 GT’s. They’re aggressive in that angular Transformer 80’s look that is just killer.
About a week after the ad disappeared I’m scrolling through Facebook and a familiar face pops up in my feed. I’m thinking…nah… It can’t be. So I expand the post and sure enough there’s the 81 Cobra that a friend of mine bought. But it wasn’t for him, it was for his wife. Then I scratched my head and thought “she’s not really a Fox girl”… but… well I’ll let Terry describe it from his perspective.
Terry writes: “This started as a beginner Fox for my wife. She really wasn’t big on the Fox cars (S197 Lady) but since I absolutely love them, she said she’d like to have her own.
Like any car nut, that was all I needed. Basically I heard “BUY A FOX!!!” I immediately thought, for my special lady the average fox body Mustang wouldn’t do. A few weeks into the search, BAM! An 81 Cobra with factory auto and factory Recaro interior! It was a 3 owner absolutely solid ride, running, driving and shortly thereafter made a deal! My thought was just freshen the paint, new decals and good to go......... yeah, I suck at just a little will do! LOL!”
Just like any good car project you have to gather a plan. As he mentioned the original plan was to freshen the car up a little. After all it was a really clean Fox body Mustang which is VERY difficult to find these days. Much less one that was approaching 35 years of age at the time. So once the ideas were tossed back and forth a theme emerged from the thought of “Cobra”.
The fire wall forward is from a 1988 GT. The swap was done not due to any damage but to have the proper openings for electrical for upgrading the fuel delivery and induction from a carburetor to fuel injection. This wasn't the only upgrade, we’ll call it the tip of the iceberg. In keeping the Cobra, a Cobra, a 1993 Cobra upper and lower intake were mounted on a freshly built 347. Nearly all upgrades are Cobra related. A 1995 cobra rear axle, 1995 spindles, 2003 Cobra front brakes, 95 cobra master cylinder and booster, 1993 Cobra vibrant red paint and 93 cobra R reproduction wheels with Toyo Proxes R1R tires. Other modifications are Eibach lowering springs, bilstein shocks/struts, Eibach front and rear sway bars, full length Stifflers subframe connectors with matrix bars, Maximum Motorsports torque arm, Maximum Motorsports panhard bar and keeping it factory auto the C4 was swapped with a 4R70W trans with a MSD Atomic controller.
Terry was excited to build the car with the theme of all Cobra stuff and adding it to a car that originally was more “show” than “go”. It’s definitely got the “show” AND the “GO” now. That’s not the best part to him. He writes: “But my favorite addition to it was the tag I surprised her with... Definitely fits my lady"! I'm happy to say she absolutely loves her fox body Mustang and is now a Fox fan to the point of acknowledging everyone she sees when we're on the road! I AM BLESSED!!!!”
We’d agree Terry. It’s not every day that you get to go on the hunt with permission from the better half and THEN get to modify it.
Until next time – Keep it Foxy Baby – Peace. BG