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During a recent track day at Goodwood motor racing circuit I photographed a rare Ford Mustang, the Cobra R. This was a special one as it had racing driver Kenny Burns set up on it, specially prepared for motorsport purposes...
The Special Vehicle Team (SVT) is a collection of talented individuals employed by Ford and charged with the responsibility of designing and developing the venerable auto manufacturer's high-performance vehicle lines. The Mustang SVT Cobra-R is widely regarded as one of the best SVT products of all time.

As the "R" designation in its name stood for "Race", the car did not have a radio, speakers, wiring and antenna, air conditioner, foglights, sound deadener, rear seat, rear safety belts, rear carpeting, and roll-up cargo cover, among other items. There were no power options; the car had power steering, roll-up windows, manual door locks, and manual-adjustable mirrors. Also, manually-adjustable Opal Gray cloth bucket seats from the Mustang LX were lighter than the GT/Cobra sport seats, and a piece of thin gray carpeting secured by Velcro covered the bare hatch and rear seat area. The deletion of all this equipment shed some 450 pounds, but it was somewhat offset by the necessary addition of heavy-duty hardware to enable the car to handle the rigors of competition.

To stiffen the chassis, a strut tower brace was installed to tie the cowl together, and a pair of V-braces (used on all 1983–1993 Mustang convertibles) attached in an X-pattern tied the subframes together. The Cobra R featured Eibach springs that were a bit too stiff for the street, but perfect on a racetrack. The Cobra R also benefitted from the adjustable Koni shocks and struts, helping to cement the car's reputation as a serious driving machine.

Owner Charlie owns a selection of Mustangs but this is his most prized possession, with the second Stangfest at Goodwood taking place he couldn’t resist the opportunity to take it out on the legendary circuit. The car photographed beautifully on a glorious summers day, and from low down the stance of the car really showed off its credentials. The photos will be featured in a future Fast Ford feature covering the event run by Mustangs Unleashed, Nemesis performance and the Mustang owners club of GB.