Road & Track

Death by Cobra Jet, or how to almost die on the drag strip

It was hot. Too hot, really, for repeated passes in a 2010 Mustang FR500 Cobra Jet, notable for its ability to scoot from violent launch to drogue chute deployment in the ass-clenching span of 8 seconds or so.

Its veteran driver was cursing; its nervous passenger sweating in his Nomex. Between runs, beleaguered staffers ran quickly-melting bags of ice to the car in a vain attempt to cool the blown 5.4-liter V8. Ominous signs, really—and this is before a post water-box stall stole precious heat from the Goodyear drag slicks.


With the benefit of hindsight, it's obvious that this would be an ill-fated run.

At the christmas tree, Cobra Jet loping aggressively, it was less clear how it would end. All Max Prince knew was that he was anxious, unsettled, and about to accelerate faster than he ever had in his life, strapped in next to a pissed-off man he'd known for less than 10 minutes.

Here's the whole story.

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