As Ford gets ready to ship 2013 Mustangs to dealers, it's also been busy getting new turnkey Cobra Jet drag cars ready for an assault on the National Hot Rod Association's Stock and Super Stock classes.
Last week, Ford began shipping bodies-in-white from the Flat Rock plant to nearby Watson Engineering, in preparation for building the CJ cars. Watson is tasked with removing non-essential sheetmetal items such as the real parcel shelf, sections of steel from the cowl and inner fenders, plus under skin gussets, designed to save weight.
In order to add the required structural integrity and satisfy NHRA rules, Watson is also installing a full 4130 Chromemoly rollcage in each of the bodies. This cage design meets NHRA 8.5 second ET requirements, which is more than adequate for cars running in Stock and Super Stock.
Once Watson has modified each of the 50 Cobra Jet coupe bodies, the shells will be shipped back to Flat Rock, where final assembly, including installation of the driveline, suspension, wiring and rudimentary interior will take place. Once the cars are completed, they'll be shipped from Flat Rock to designated dealers.
For 2013, Cobra Jets are available with either a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter quad cam V8 that sports Ti VCT (twin independent variable Cam Timing), CNC ported heads and a unique Cobra Jet induction system, or a supercharged version that adds a monstrous 2.9-liter positive displacement roots blower.
All 2013 Cobra Jets feature a modified rear suspension designed to improve drag launches and standard Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS). Although the build process has already begun, Ford says the cars, which will be priced at around $86,000 with normally aspirated engine and $93,000 with the supercharged motor, won't be available until some time this summer. In addition, despite building 50 examples, orders through dealers (the CJ is listed as part number M-FR500-CJ) are strictly on a first come first serve basis.