As good friends in the late ‘90s, Bill Tumas and Andrew Bauer spent a lot of time talking about their ’96 Cobras and taking them to the track.
Tumas, who lived in Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania, had a black one, and Bauer, who lived in nearby Doylestown, Pennsylvania, had a red one, and they were going rounds while also going back and forth on who would be first to reach an 11.99 elapsed-time in the quarter-mile via a stock Four-Valve engine with basic bolt-ons.
They aspired to enter a heads-up class like NMRA American Racing Headers Factory Stock, but before they could make that happen, Bauer — whose nickname was Krimpet and whose Cobra was nicknamed Krimpstang — died in a car accident in his other vehicle in 2002. As his family and friends sat grieving, his Cobra sat in the garage until ’08, when Bauer’s parents reached out to Tumas and offered it to him.
“When I got the car from Andrew’s parents, I left it the way he had it, with the Four-Valve and the T45 transmission, and I drove it to work and I raced it at the Andrew Bauer Memorial Nationals every year at Cecil County Dragway in Maryland,” said Tumas, a product specialist and video host for CJ Pony Parts in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “Eventually, I sold my Cobra to Gordon Wagner, and I would race Gordon in Andrew’s Cobra at every Andrew Bauer Memorial Nationals, and I would lose since Andrew’s Cobra was not supercharged. So around Christmas of last year, I decided it was time to change that by turning Andrew’s car into a Factory Stock car and entering the Factory Stock class, like Andrew and I had talked about.”
Tumas plans to replace the car’s stock Four-Valve engine with a Ford Racing Performance Parts 5.0 Coyote crate engine featuring custom coil covers by Power by the Hour engraved with “Krimpstang” in honor of Bauer. He’ll replace its existing Tremec T45 transmission with an upgraded Tremec five-speed and a Fidanza clutch, and he’ll install UPR and Maximum Motorsports suspension components under the car, which will roll on Race Star wheels wrapped with Mickey Thompson ET Street Radials. The combination will be tuned by Adam Browne at Revolution Automotive, and Scott Lehr has signed on to be crew chief.
Tumas, who will either install a rollbar in the car himself or hire a shop to do it, has indicated that the car will likely be painted a different shade of red.
The plan is to debut the car in American Racing Headers Factory Stock at the 18th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA World Finals, Sept. 29-Oct. 2, 2016 at Beech Bend Raceway in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which is around the time of what would have been Krimpet’s birthday.
“I think a stick-shift Coyote car can be competitive in Factory Stock if I set it up right and do my job behind the wheel,” said Tumas, who lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Tanya, whom he refers to as his biggest supporter in the project. “Hopefully it will run low elevens to start and then eventually mid-tens. Either way, it was time to do this in honor of Andrew because it’s what he wanted for his car.”