Progress Thread “Rising from Ashes 10” 04 Terminator build thread


I tend to be on the ocd side…
SN Certified Technician
Apr 22, 2009
East TN
I bought…rather traded for this car. I have some low mile original cars. Bunch Ive built…All of them and the rest of my cars have perfect clean historys and such. This car is the what I refer to as “Gatlinburg Fire car”… or Great Smoky Mountains wildfires, also known as the Gatlinburg wildfires, were a complex of wildfires which began November 28, 2016. Some of the towns most impacted were Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, both near Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
This Cobra was a car I had seen almost since new. The original owner bought the car new in TX right before moving to Gatlinburg in 2005. He daily drove the car for the next 11 years. Then the the wildfires suddenly hit. He loaded his wife and new baby and all they could fit in their suv and escaped the fires….leaving the Cobra in the middle of the driveway. Hours later their house was completely burned to the ground. The only thing they owned left was the good ole cobra. Everything around it burned down. The firefighter fighting the fires recognized what the car was and kept it hosed down so the heat and fire wouldn't catch it. They were allowed to return a week after the fires and there was the car. Of course the keys were burnt in the house so he got a locksmith and they came out and made keys. Then he started the car up and drove it away to their temp housing outside the area. To be continued……..
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Wow, what a story .
We went down to the Smokey Mountains for our 25th anniversary, such a beautiful area of the country !
You could still see areas that were burned, it was heart breaking.

I always tell myself I will get a Terminator someday, one of my favorite Mustangs.
Can't wait to see this build , maybe it should be the " Smokey " build .
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Basically the damage to the car was melted plastic and smoke. The front bumper and drivers side got the most melt. It cracked the front windshield and melted the molding. The rear glass was fine but it also melted that molding. The cowl panel was melted. Tail lights were warped from the heat. Driver side scoop warped and rear bumper warped. The owner was paid very well for his property and this car. He in turn bought a new car and this one was parked. Then 2 yrs later he sold it to the mechanic who had serviced it for the last 14 yrs. Hoping he would fix the car up and keep it. Despite the fire damage this car has a clean clear title. But instead of hiding the history, I think its something that makes the car special. At least to me who is going the build the crap outta it now.
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My personal car goals were having an example
Of every Mustang from 79-04. So when I decided to find An 03. It was goin to be a Terminator. Have an 02 Saleen and 04 Mach 1. So I set out to find one That needs work that I could build and get into for cheap. I found a Black 03 in Peroria IL that needed a lot. T-56 had issues, it smoked and and had some bumper paint issues. Ended up buying it for less than a roller GT. Here is it loaded up and headed back to TN July 2019 and into the shop to
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While Im fixing this 03 black cobra the mechanic who bought Smokey (04 yellow cobra)..from the original owner got a quickie paint job put on the car by the “best”
Painter in knoxville. Ha ha! Later we’ll compare work. Anyway after throwing a quick paint on the yellow cobra he flips it to another guy who I later became good friends with. He basically just drives the car before getting traded out of it and a bad deal to a car flipper.
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So I tried to buy the yellow cobra from the 3rd owner in May 2019 but he wanted 17-18k for it and we couldn’t work out a trade deal so I picked up the black cobra. Fixed a couple things on it and a little K and K paint magic. It was ready to trade when the 4th owner of the cobra got it. And since he was a car flipper, he was selling within a couple weeks. So I worked out a deal to trade knowing this was the smokey fire survivor. Something none of the sellers were disclosing. So we arrange to meet on Sunday August 18th, 2019.

seller is amazed by the paint on the black cobra. All I did was a little paint and alot of buffing. I see the melted rear glass molding and know its the car Im looking for so I just let him know this car was in a fire. He’s like yea but it was painted and is fine. So after im done pointing out all the issues. We settle on my black 03 cobra for the 04 yellow Cobra and 4k from him….and the car is headed back with me.
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So to keep track of the money part of this car. Paid $5,800 for the black car.
Put $1,200 into it factoring in pickup expense.
Traded for ole Smokey and got 4k
So we are at $3,000 into this car as the build begins. Plus I’ll he selling the wheels on it.
But first I got to have a little fun with it.
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I am amazed you got that black cobra for 5800!!
Yep. Got a good deal because it needed work. But thats the reason I disclosed pricing on these cars. Just to show you dont need a ton of money to get some nice cars to play with. Just time looking, persistence and a little know how.
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Since the tail lights were warped and I didnt like the wheels and sold them( another $700 off the total money in the car).
I threw on more old stuff I had laying around
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