Build Spotlight: Fred Henson’s Texas Twister Mustang Cobra Jet

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Images Provided By: Andrew Casselberry of Ford Racing Performance Parts

If you’re in the market for a killer track car with stunning good looks, handing your project over to Mike Roth of MR2 Performance Race Cars is always a stellar idea, and that’s exactly what NHRA racer Fred Henson did with his stunning 2010 Mustang Cobra Jet, named Texas Twister. But that’s not all this looker of a car has going for it. In fact, under the hood you’ll find one of only a few Ford Modular 5.4L Cobra Jet engines built by the one and only Charlie Westcott Jr., “The Man” when it comes to hardy-built, track-dominating HEMI engines. Check out more on the car below.

smIMG_1538Henson’s car started out as a Ford Racing 2010 Mustang Competition Kit, complete with a white body and additional interior (carpet, dash, console, etc) and exterior (front and rear fascia glass, headlights, taillights, etc) kits.

Originally intended to be a NHRA legal Stocker car, the Mustang quickly took on a different approach, with Henson opting to turn it into an NHRA Super Stock competitor. So Mike Roth of MR2 Performance Race Cars, was commissioned to take the car from its humble beginnings to a track-dominating race car.

As you may know, Roth is the genius behind a number of other NHRA cars, including Brent Jones’ 2010 Dodge Challenger Drag Pack car called “The Driller”, which we took a look at last year through our sister publication Dragzine.

smIMG_1531Also on the project were Jesse Kershaw of Ford Racing Performance Parts and famed HEMI drag car king, Charlie Westcott Jr. With all this talent on board, it was apparent that the result of their joint endeavor would be amazing.

smIMG_1540As we said before, the Texas Twister features one of only a couple 5.4L Ford Cobra Jet engines built by Westcott. This particular power plant features a 4.0L Whipple/Ford Racing supercharger with a Cobra Jet monoblade throttle body, Whipple/Ford Racing intake manifold with intercooler, Westcott’s own custom Militia Cams camshafts, Jesel cam followers and lifters, custom valves from Militia Cams, and an aftermarket crank with Crower rods, Mahle rings and Bill Miller Engineering (BME) forged aluminum pistons.

The block has been machined for custom HD ductile iron sleeves made especially for the application. Additional components include Aeromotive fuel system, custom CNC ported heads from Westcott’s company Militia Racing Products, a custom oil pan and pickup from Charlie Gilbertson of Charlie’s Oil Pans, a crank trigger ignition with MSD coil packs and custom long-tube headers with fender exit exhaust.

smIMG_1535The Westcott-built Cobra Jet engine is backed by a Joel’s on Joy Cobra Jet 3-speed automatic transmission with a trans-brake, controlled by a Precision Performance Products aluminum 3-speed shifter. The gearbox is connected to a MR2-built Ford 9-inch rearend via an aluminum driveshaft. The whole package produces about 1,200 hp and 950 lb-ft of torque.

In addition to the the superior performance features, the car also has many custom aesthetic components, including the awesome Tim Hachinski paint job and Scott Brown-designed graphics.

smIMG_1526“The sheer number of hand fabricated parts is astonishing,” Henson told us of his car. “The trunk showcases a fuel cell custom fabricated in the shape of a Cobra with his hood flaring. The interior, with its faux snakeskin covered seats, and engineering to make comfort a number one priority, also includes cleverly hidden wiring harnesses, the whole package is a work of art to be treasured for many years to come!”

Though the Texas Twister has been seen at a couple of events this season, testing is the number-one priority for the car this fall. Henson hopes to have the car completely dialed in for a spring debut with the goal of running 7.90s in the highly-competitive NHRA Super Stock class.

smIMG_1529“I would like to thank all of the vendors who made this possible,” Henson told us. “To name a few- Jesel valve trains, Bill Miller Pistons, Militia products for the camshafts, Joel’s on Joy for the transmission, Tim Hachinski for the amazing paint job, Scott Brown for the graphics, Larry Hodge for taking care of the tires and wheels and so many more that I’m sure I forgot.”

Best of luck goes out to Henson on the testing and official debut of his Texas Twister Cobra Jet. Be sure to keep your eyes on the NHRA Super Stocker class for continued intense competition, as well as on Westcott’s work as he continues (hopefully) to dapple in amazing Cobra Jet builds!

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About the author

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles - she's owned and driven it all. When she's not busy writing about them, she's out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn't love a tech-savy gal that knows her way around a garage?
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