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You are here: Home > ModMax In the NEWS > 1997 Cobra Al Papitto: Sleeper Spell

1997 Cobra Al Papitto: Sleeper Spell

Thanks to the magic of a Navigator Four-Valve, Al Papitto's '97 Cobra sleeper delivers a 398hp wake-up call
Photography by Michael Johnson
1997 Ford Mustang Cobra Front Passenger Side
If any Cobra qualifies as a sleeper, it’s Al’s, with the lone variations being a Cobra R hood and American Racing Le Mans wheels. Even with the car’s sleeper status, Al will make known its real power on the unsuspecting at a moment’s notice.
1997 Ford Mustang Cobra Front Passenger Side
1997 Ford Mustang Cobra Engine
Al reports the engine has been a rock ever since he’s had the car running. “The only real problem with squeezing in the 5.4, which is 2.5 inches wider than a 4.6, is that the valve covers can’t be removed with the engine in the car,” he says. His goal with the intake was to make it look factory, which it indeed does. Al also had to modify the factory Cobra fuel rails by cutting off the stock brackets and making new ones in order for them to work.
1997 Ford Mustang Cobra Interior
1997 Ford Mustang Cobra Rear Driver Side
Horse Sense: Before getting into drag bikes, Al Papitto was an SCCA Rookie of the Year in 1978, a Regional Champion in 1979, and he finished Second in points in the South Atlantic Championship series that same year. To get started, Al attended two race schools behind the wheel of an MG Midget. When he entered the SCCA competitive ranks, it was at the helm of a B/Sedan Toyota Corolla, which is the equivalent of a current GT3 car.

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