Project: Secondhand Snake

If you have spent any time in the Mustang aftermarket, you know that the sky is the limit when customizing your pony. An endless line of parts vendors await to accept your hard earned cash via credit, debit, or first born child. Pages and pages of parts that look cool and parts that make you go faster are just a “I hope my wife doesn’t find out” click away. Flip through the pages of any Mustang publication and view the gleaming forged wheels, polished superchargers, custom paint, and tuned suspensions all attached to a brand new $30,000+ vehicle. If you are anything like me you have hit one major roadblock to creating your dream car – MONEY. Since most of us don’t have an endless budget to spend on our favorite toy we spend hours on the net trying to save a couple bucks here and get the best deal there. We scour Ebay, Craigslist, and forum classifieds for components to make our ride stand out without foreclosing on our home in the meantime. June 2013 “Project” ROTM winner, Wickedsnake00, epitomizes this philosophy with his Secondhand Snake.

Wickedsnake00 (aka Chris C. of Columbus, IN) has taken on the daunting task of creating his prized pony from a broken down horse. Somewhat lovingly referred to as “Dumpster Fire” or “The Big Dirty”, the 2000 GT was acquired by Chris in 2010. To put it nicely, the car was basically a pile. After 2 solid weeks of labor, the neglected ride was finally road worthy but not exactly “best in show” material. The GT did have a few features going for it. 03/04 Cobra side skirts, bumpers, brakes, and interior were all intact along with exhaust, springs, and an aftermarket clutch. As Chris poured his efforts into his pile, the objective became clear – to create an 03/04 Cobra clone on a shoestring budget. Almost every part used in the transformation was bought used or a junkyard find. The 2 valve was pulled in order to make room for a a 4 valve mill scrounged from an intensive internet search. A complete Eaton swap was added along with aftermarket cams and a port job on the heads.

Building this car basically from the ground up has not come without setbacks. Snapping crank bolts, failing head gaskets, and a leaking oil cooler have plagued Chris’s build. You may remember a thread regarding a “mystery no-start condition” that lasted 2 weeks only to disappear on its own. A fair amount of time was also spent in dealing with “repairs” that the previous owner had made. Intermittent electrical gremlins have plagued the build since day one. A victory here and a setback there – Chris is pursuing his project with the all out spirit of a true pony fan. No matter how challenging the issue, he continues to wrench on his steed. For his commitment to the “Dumpster Fire”, MM salutes a fellow member who doesn’t just sit and add parts to an online shopping cart – he hunts them down the old fashioned way.

Chris puts his passion for this stang best in his own words:
“How do I feel about it? I loathe it. I hate it with a passion. I believe it is cursed. I would love to torch it and be done with it – but for some reason, maybe a mental defect on my part, I want the damn thing done. I will not be defeated by this evil piece of iron. It’s terribly depressing seeing all the fresh paint, all the fixed parts, all the upgrades on the car, all those hours, all those late nights, all the blood, sweat, and tears (literally) and despite all that, it is still dead in the water. But it will not get the best of me. It will run. It will rise from the ashes if it’s the last thing I do!”
 
article written by: Shelbydog!