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2003 Ford Mustang Cobra - New Lease

Paul Adams Survived Cancer And Bought This Car To Celebrate.

By , Photography by

We've all experienced a life-changing event of some sort, no matter what our age-an event that radically changes one's perspective, causing a shift in priorities. Some of these events may seem trivial when viewed in the larger scope of an entire lifetime. But some of us have experienced a hardship that threatened to cut our very life short.

Imagine facing potentially terminal cancer in your twenties. Imagine being prepped for surgery to remove a huge tumor in your brain. You're wheeled into the O.R., and nurses and technicians hook you up to more machines and monitors than you've ever seen in your life. In the meantime, the surgeons glibly discuss their golf handicap or compare yacht payments or divorce settlements as they finish scrubbing in. The anesthetic is administered, and there's a really good chance you may never wake up again.

After a 12-hour procedure, Paul Adams did wake up again. He was missing a section of his skull, but the tumor was gone and the doctors were optimistic. His wounds eventually healed, his bones mended, and he's remained cancer-free.

Paul has always been a racer. He had owned a low-10-second Fox-body Mustang before his surgery. After the surgery, his wife bought him this brand-new '03 Mustang SVT Cobra. He left the car mostly stock during the recovery process, but over the 18 months, he's gotten serious about making horsepower. There isn't a much better platform for making power than these cars, either. The engines are overbuilt from the factory and easily withstand power levels far greater than the stock 390hp rating. Adding more power is easy, too-add more boost. A Whipple supercharger is the popular weapon of choice for Terminator Cobra owners, and Paul's Mod motor now sports one of the biggest Whipples you can buy. Bigger injectors, an after-cat exhaust system, and ECM reflash support the bigger blower, but those were the only things needed to make this a 10-second car.

Paul's Cobra dials up more than 700 hp on the chassis dyno, and when he can hook up, it tears off low-10-second e.t.'s. Still, he wants more. He has an AOD-E and 9-inch rear axle conversion in the works to transform this daily-driven Cobra into a sub-9-second dedicated dragstrip weapon. After what he's been through, can you blame him?

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