A 9 Second Cobra Terminator 13 Years In The Making

Published September 19, 2016

Jim Bryant bought his 2003 Cobra brand new from the dealership. In those days, the stock build was enough to blow away most challengers. Fortunately for Mustang fans, that factory build was never going to be enough for Jim.


Everywhere he went, he was making friends and instigating races on the track. Currently the Sonic Blue Cobra is capable of producing 811 horsepower to the rear wheels. The whine of the Kenne Bell 2.8L supercharger is a distinctive trait of this car. Before this, Jim was running a 2.2L supercharger but he needed more.


Unlike so many stories of restorations or builds, this one doesn’t have a happy ending though. Jim Bryant passsed away shortly before his Cobra was set to be featured in a Mustang photo shoot.

His car came to be known as The Blue Devil as it was among the first with a 2.2L Kenne Bell to top 700 horsepower. He had the kind of personality that exploded into any Mustang scene and he loved to mess with supercar drivers.


All those highway and surface street miles took their toll though. Blowouts and costly replacements but never got the best of Bryant. One of these was the end of the factory motor’s time under the Sonic Blue hood. This brought in a 5L built on a Ford Racing BOSS engine block.

All this power brought the Cobra to 780hp and the suspension needed work to take the stress.  New control arms, antiroll bar, struts, coilovers, and camber/caster plates did the trick. A set of Ford 3.55 gears, an upgraded differential, and a solid axle were also added as part of the rebuild.


Despite protests from friends, Jim was determined to have his drag car also be his road car. Countless tunes and tweaks got the car down to 10.1 then 10 seconds on the strip. The day that Jim clocked a 9.8 seems to have been one of the happiest days of his journey with his Cobra. Shortly after that, he cracked 9.59 seconds on the raceway at Sacramento.


Even through health complications, Bryant couldn’t be swayed. His car and friends were far too important to leave behind. When he was too sick to go on, his friends pooled time and money to build a new motor for the Cobra. They gave him one final surprise that couldn’t have made him happier. Even in his final days, he knew this Cobra would go on as a legacy to his passion.



James Murrell
About James Murrell

I love to research and admire all sorts of vehicles from restored classics to top shelf supercars, monstrous offroaders to weird concept vehicles. I absolutely adore any vehicle I can get behind the wheel of.

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