We are all well aware of the Ford Performance Cobra Jet Mustang racer’s long list of records and wins in National Hot Rod Association competition. These amazing factory drag cars are ready to rumble right off the trailer and in the hands of an experienced race team they can really fly. It’s not often that you see one running with the pedal to the floor beyond a quarter mile, however.
That’s just what happened with the crew at JMS Chip & Performance teamed up with Rick Hernandez and his 2008 Cobra Jet. They set out to see just how fast this drag star could run in the standing mile. Turns out it’s pretty damn fast. In fact, it’s record setting.
It set the record for the world’s fastest Cobra Jet Mustang in the standing mile
To pilot the Cobra Jet at such meteoric velocities, Rick tapped experienced driver and former NMRA Real Street racer Jay Meagher (who now runs a company called Real Street Performance), who actually bought his first Mustang from Rick—an ’85 Mustang GT—back in the day.
“He asked me if I would drive it because I have taken my Supra to a couple of half-mile events,” Jay said. “I didn’t really think it through, but I said ‘Yeah, I’ll do it.’ I really selfishly did it because I wanted to go that piece of concrete, because it is probably the baddest piece of concrete on the planet.”
That smooth, shuttle-friendly concrete was a major factor in allowing the drag-oriented Cobra Jet to run nearly 200 mph.
2008 Cobra Jet Mods
• ANSU fuel injectors
• American Racing Headers long-tube headers
• Comp Cams camshafts
• Cloyes Camshaft Drives
• JMS PowerMAX fuel pump booster
• Metco pulleys
• Ram Clutches
• Rockett Brand Racing Fuel
• Snow Performance water-meth injection
The Mustang fought its way up to speed and Jay worked to keep it on a straight path. In deference to the sustained speeds, the team opted to run NASCAR racing slicks, which struggled for traction in the lower gears but maintained integrity at top speed. Still, the soft drag suspension kept kept Jay’s focus laser sharp.
“Keep in mind that is a really nice piece of cement, so you are not getting bounced around like you would on many other surfaces,” Jay enthused. “…That piece of concrete out there at NASA is really, really flat.”
Impressively, this CJ still runs the 2.3-liter TVS supercharger it was born with and it ran the big number in NHRA-legal FSS/F Trim.
“The only changes to run the mile were the addition of a larger intercooler tank, the removal of the forward facing hood-scoop and the addition of water methanol to keep things cool,” Brad said. “It was not our intention to make this vehicle illegal for NHRA class racing. We just wanted to go out and have some fun and see how fast it would go in NHRA legal trim.”
We just wanted to go out and have some fun and see how fast it would go in NHRA legal trim
In the end, the results speak for themselves. On its second hit the CJ ran the number and the team walked away with an official certificate for its troubles.
“Most folks don’t race their real Cobra Jets and most folks also can’t take their record-setting mile cars and legally set an NHRA class record,” Brad added. “So, it’s pretty cool that this car now has five records and it is still racing.”
We need to add at least another 100 horsepower to hit the 200-plus-mph mark
“Can we go faster? Yes. The 195-mph hit was only the second standing-mile run on the car,” Brad said. “…We need to add at least another 100 horsepower to hit the 200-plus-mph mark. At this point we are researching how to do it and remain in NHRA legal trim.”
We suspect you might see this Cobra Jet rocketing past a space shuttle at over 200 mph in the near future, so stay tuned.