DEARBORN - Scott Spencer has been a fan of go-fast goodies since he purchased his first Ford at age 15. Years later, he followed his father’s footsteps and chose a career as an airline pilot. These days, when Scott isn’t in the air traveling the world, he stays grounded with his custom-built Factory Five Cobra replica that serves a constant reminder of his late father. We first met Scott when our Ford Performance Tech Line support team guided him through his custom Cobra build and Ford “Coyote” engine installation. Combining the classic features of the original Cobra with today’s powertrain technology makes Scott’s ride even more impressive. Here’s his story behind his Coyote Cobra build:
“Hi – my name is Scott Spencer. I am an airline pilot and a lifelong Ford fan. I purchased my first Ford at age 15 back in 1989, which was a Red 1967 Mustang Convertible with a Parchment interior and a 289. Over the years I have always been a fan of the Mustang platform. I purchased new a 1991 Mustang LX 5.0 and also a 2007 Mustang GT. Beyond Mustangs, I have also enjoyed a few Ford trucks. My current daily driver is a 2012 F-150 with the 5.0.
“About a year ago I decided I wanted to build a Factory Five Cobra replica. After much research, I came to realize the Ford Coyote crate motor was a must-have for my build. I outfitted it with a Ford clutch and power-steering set up, TKO-600 5-speed manual transmission, leading back to the 2015 Mustang’s factory IRS. I must admit it was quite a feat getting the modular Coyote to fit in the Factory Five engine bay. The driver’s side has only about a quarter-inch of room left, but it somehow fits.
“The modern Ford drivetrain powering this 2,500-pound car delivers quite a punch! My goal was to build something with a unique look that would also enjoy modern power and reliability – and the Coyote crate engine fit that goal perfectly. I was particularly impressed with the Ford Performance tech support team (1-800-FORD-788) and their ability to help me and solve some of the custom-install problems on my unique build. The first time I ever turned the ignition key, the motor fired right up and ran beautifully! The fact that I can jump in and enjoy modern reliability in a car with this kind of performance capability really ups the enjoyment!
“Since this Cobra is clearly a replica, I was inspired to add a few unique touches that veered away from the traditional Shelby Cobra. Instead of the traditional racing stripes I went with one, thick stripe with some thin pinstriping on the sides. I also chose a color scheme that is unique to my build with custom colors. One area I really enjoyed personalizing was with the shifter. My shifter is an actual control stick from my father’s Air Force jet that he flew in Vietnam back in ’68. On a training flight, the stick had a mechanical issue and was removed from the airplane. After it was removed from the jet, my father asked if he could keep it and the mechanics gave it to him.
“That stick sat in my Father’s office on display my entire life. I fondly remember playing with it throughout my childhood – squeezing the trigger and buttons and pretending I was the pilot. When my father passed away, my mother gave me the stick to display in my office. But when I started the build on the Cobra, I decided it would become my shifter. It certainly gets some interesting comments, and I always enjoy sharing the story. It is fitting for me as a second-generation pilot – and is a part of my car that is a tribute to my dad.
“The build has been very enjoyable, only to be topped by the actual driving. The power on tap with the Coyote and the IRS make it a real treat to drive! The Cobra may not say ‘Ford’ on the hood, but the lifeblood of the vehicle is Ford-powered through-and-through – and I love it!”
Editor’s Note: One of the most popular features on FordPerformance.com and in our Fast News e-newsletter continues to be "Ford Fan Spotlight," where readers can send in their own reasons why they're fans of Ford Motor Company. You know who they are: Ford "superfans;" grassroots Ford racers; unique Ford vehicle owners; loyal Ford enthusiasts; notable Ford club people; special Ford families; and/or any avid supporter of Ford, Ford vehicles, Ford motorsports or Ford Performance who deserves a little bit of special recognition.
All you need to do to get you, your car or candidate considered is to send in a brief description (200-300 words or less) and a few photos (in .jpeg format, preferably 300 dpi) of a person (full name and hometown, please) and vehicle that you think Ford Performance should feature (and why) in the "Ford Fan Spotlight" for an upcoming installment of Fast News and posting on FordPerformance.com. Then email it to: AskTFR@Ford.com. Should you wish to send a video, you simply need to post it on www.YouTube.com (preferably 1-2 minutes long) and send in the link, along with a brief description, to that same AskTFR@Ford.com email address. We'll choose one submission each week.