Copy and Photos by C. Asaravala
Update, July 2004 - In early July we were
informed by local police that our car had been recovered
and an arrest was made. We immediately headed to the
impound lot to assess the damage. What we saw was unbelievable
(see side bar.) Someone had gone to the effort to steal
arguably the most desirable of 5.0L Mustangs only to
turn it into an $800 cobbled together jallopy. To this
day we cannot understand the stupidity of this thief.
For a while we at least had the lofty but plausible
explanation of believing the '93 Cobra had been stolen
by someone who knew and appreciated what it was, its'
modern muscle car beauty and rarity. We envisioned that
perhaps the car had been stolen so it could make it's
way via cargo container to some collector abroad - ala
Gone in 60 Seconds. In the end we had no such consolation
and we're certainly left even more demoralized knowing
the car was recovered in the pathetic state which you
see here. Many of you will be dissapointed to learn
that we choose not to purchase the car back from the
insurance company. We had already settled - financially
and mentally, and felt this car is now best left a part
of FordMuscle history. - Ed.
2004 will be a hard day to forget for the FordMuscle
staff. Between the hour of 6 and 7pm someone stole our
1993 Cobra project
If you've ever had a vehicle stolen then you are likely
familiar with the uneasy feeling when your gut realizes
before your brain that your car has been taken. It's
a combination of shock and acceptance. Eventually your
brain responds with denial - perhaps you forgot where
you last parked it, or perhaps it was just towed. Eventually
the two are in sync and anger is the end result.
magazine project cars are owned by someone on the staff.
The 1993 Cobra was my car. It still is my car.
I used it to commute in daily, and as you read we used
it to install and test new products. It was a unique
car, number 3722 of under 5000 ever produced by Ford
SVT and the teal color was the least produced of the
three colors available. Those who knew late model Mustangs
gave this car a close look. Those who simply had a taste
for good looking cars stopped to give this car a second
glance. All of these things of course made the car a
target for thieves. I knew this the day we purchased
it, 13 hours away in Washington state. As a result I
never left the car out at night, usually driving another
lesser valued car to the store or gym. The few times
I had to park the car overnight at an airport lot I
removed the rotor or coil wire, on top of arming the
alarm and securing the "Club".
the end the vehicle was stolen where and when I least
expected - from a busy corporate office parking lot
at the end of day. They probably had it marked for days
if not weeks according to police, monitoring my habits,
such as when and for how long I'd leave the car. Someone
knew enough to know the car wasn't any old Mustang.
These thieves weren't looking for a joy ride and this
car is not likely going to get chopped and left on cinder
blocks. If this car hasn't been shipped out of the country
yet, I suspect it's probably going to have its VIN numbers
swapped from a wrecked Cobra, making it appear to be
resurrected and restored and untraceable in the DMV's
Whomever took the car certainly picked the right car.
We had just recently installed a new suspension,
preparing to enter the car in local autocross events.
The engine modifications were pushing out over 300
horsepower to the wheels. There wasn't a flaw to
speak of. It was clearly a car to envy. While we'll
replace the '93 Cobra project with something different
and just as exciting their will always be an empty space
inside me for SVT 3722. However they didn't get everything.
The pride and purpose one puts into a project car simply
cannot be stolen. They may say they built the car, but
they can't believe it. I suspect the low-lifes who stole
the car are simply incapable and incompetent of defining
a sense of pride and purpose for themselves. They'd
rather ride around in someone else's creation, believing
our vision was theirs. Posers.