1994 Ford Mustang Cobra

Owner: Ken Kaczor; Durhamville, NY

Photographer: Bruce Galler/Pentax K100 DSLR

The year 1994 was a good news/bad news one for Ford gearheads—gone was the classic boxy Fox-body styling that defined the late-model Mustang, and in its place was the swoopy import-influenced SN95 shape. The 5.0-liter’s power also took a dive from 225 hp to 205 hp, although most casual observers weren’t aware of that fact due to Ford’s practice of fudging the numbers back then. All wasn’t bad, however, as the Ford Special Vehicle Team (SVT) made a limited number of 5,009 Cobras featuring the wildly popular GT-40 intake and cylinder heads, for a much-improved 240 hp.

As big a step up as the Cobra’s GT-40 goodies are, Long Island’s Ken Kaczor decided his ’94 Cobra needed more. A lot more. In the 14 years he’s owned the car, Ken has gradually boosted the Cobra’s power with a variety of induction combos, but now it lays down a healthy 620 hp to the wheels, thanks to a ProCharger D-1SC blower, AFR heads, an UltraDyne hydraulic roller cam, and a 347ci stroker kit from Probe. Ken says the dragstrip in Englishtown, New Jersey, awaits, and he will attack it in mind-bending fury with help from an Art Morrison four-link back-half conversion, a built C4 three-speed auto, an eight-point ’cage, and 33x18.5 Hoosier slicks!

1962 Mercury Monterey

Owner: Frank Mares; Riverside, CA

Photographer: owner/Olympus E-500

PHR’s Photo Contest is the perfect fit for Frank Mares; he’s been playing with cars and cameras since he was 14 when he got his first of each—a ’61 Triumph Spitfire and 35mm Argus. A lot of cars have come and gone in the years since (cameras too, we imagine), and the latest in the long line is this sweet ’62 Monterey. It was severely neglected, but solid when Frank horse-traded his way into the driver seat. The paint and interior where in good shape, but all the vital systems such as cooling and braking were in need of a full rebuild. Now that it’s back on the road, the Merc draws plenty of attention and comments, mostly from people admiring the good looks and wondering why they’ve never seen one before. We’d definitely call it a cool off-the-radar cruiser, perfect for Slo Touring. Speaking of that, EFI, overdrive, and a rack-and-pinion conversion are on the list of mods to come. When not wrenching or snapping shots, Frank’s a writer as well; you can read more about the Merc’s resto on his blog at AmberLightGarage.com.

1967 Pontiac GTO

Owner: Steve Carlson; Kennewick, WA

Photographer: owner/Nikon D5000

While Pontiac might now be a distant memory, in all likelihood we have that GM division to thank for the entire muscle car revolution—and a way of life that powers our performance hobby to this day. It began as a blip on the radar in 1963 when more than half of Tempests and LeMans were mysteriously ordered with the optional 326ci V-8—talk about a pent-up demand for performance! It then turned into a full-blown storm when Pontiac’s John Delorean and Jim Wangers took the trend public with a larger 389ci engine for the first “official” muscle car, the ’64 GTO. By 1967, all of Detroit was in the performance fray, and no brand was more prominent than Pontiac with its Wide Track ad slogan and a beefed-up midsize GTO.

Fed up with new car dealerships and warranty issues, in February of 1992, Steve Carlson and his wife, Anita, decided to go old school with their next daily driver. The couple found a highly optioned numbers-matching ’67 GTO needing serious reconditioning, and bought it for $1,500. Four years and $20K later, Steve and Anita finally got the restoration on the road—albeit not as a daily driver. Mods are limited to the mild side, with a Pypes exhaust system, pocket-ported stock heads, and a Ram Air intake pan.