Motoramic

2013 Mustang Cobra Jet dragster pops impressive wheelie, then crash lands

Justin Hyde
Motoramic

At drag strips across America, there's nothing quite like the late model Ford Mustang Cobra Jet -- a purpose-built, limited-edition drag racer designed to give leadfoots all the speed of a race car with the durability of factory assembly. This year, Ford made only 50 Cobra Jets, the top version of which comes with a 690-hp engine for $93,000. One of those 50 made an impressive wheelstand at a Maryland drag meet earlier this month -- followed by a less-impressive crunch into the wall.

Prepped by tuner Johnny Lightning Performance, this Cobra Jet had been impressive in earlier runs at the ABM Nationals in Cecil County, Md., scoring 8.9-second 1/4-mile drags at what seemed to be less than full power. Likely tuned well beyond 690 hp, the Cobra Jet lined up for its final heads-up run when it hangs in the air off the starting line.

A video from inside the car shows the driver yanking the wheel in the air -- a mistake that raised the chances the Cobra Jet would bite in the wrong direction when it landed. Given that a Johnny Lightning Cobra Jet had caught air in previous drag races, a pair of wheelie bars might have cut down on the showmanship but also reduced the chances of having to straighten out a $93,000 race car. The driver wasn't injured outside of a solid hit to his pride.

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