It only lasted two week! 03 owners must read!


New Member
Sep 10, 2003
As some may know I traded my Cobra in a month ago. The owner of the Ford dealer next to the Acura dealer where I traded the car purchased it.

Now on to the good part! The owner of the Acura dealer drove the car for a week and then gave it to the Sales manager to drive for a few days before they handed it over to the new owner at Ford. Well the Sales manager wrecked the car on the third day he had it. Supposedly the rear driver side wheel came off with the half shaft and some other suspension components all in one piece going down the freeway! The car rolled three times, went through some trees and down a ditch. The driver is still alive to tell the story! I have pictures of the car but nowhere to post them.

He says he never got on it. I find it hard to believe so many components could fail all at once. To me it looks like he went sideways and lost it.

If this it true though all modded 03 cobra owners should take note! The way this wheel came off is deadly. If anyone can post the pics pm me your e-mail and I will send them to you. I really feel some here should see how this happened.

The insurance company is perusing a lawsuit with Ford Motor Company.
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I wonder what / if any mods were made to the suspension? Did you also have stock wheels and tires ? I have heard of this happining with guys jamming 20's on a car and having so much rolling mass they mess up the axle / suspension and you have bad things happen. Its really hard to belive you can blame a stock set up driven under NORMAL conditions ever doing this ...
Gemex - Give us a run down again on what the IRS was like. All stock components? No poly bushings? No aftermarket IRS brace or half-shafts? Did the axle break at the stub shaft? Please get those pics posted ASAP! I am more interested in seeing what's left of the axle that broke than I am the rest of the car!

gemex said:
The insurance company is perusing a lawsuit with Ford Motor Company.
on what grounds, if its an 03 Cobra potentially coming upto being a 4 year old model on a proven system. The car was heavily modified by the looks of it.

And come on a sales guy driving a Cobra, not whishing to stereotype but if he hadn't put his foot down then I must be the King of England.
Only suspension mods to my car were the Kenny Brown Differential brace with polyurethane bushings. The wheels are stock Anniversary rims.

I have some great pictures that were taken by the insurance company.

As some may know, my car only had 5800 miles on it. It was never raced and I only took it to the strip twice to see ¼ mile and top speed.

The insurance company determined it was component failure. The half shaft is still in one piece. It appears to have been disconnected at the nickel at the rear differential.

My knowledge of names for suspension components is weak, so stay with me. The “A” looking piece that connects the wheel to the body of the car (looked like solid aluminum) snapped in half. The insurance said it looks to be due from a poor or defective casting. That is what gives them an in to go after Ford.

I am also surprised the driver side was the one that came off. I thought if it were to happen it would be the other side sense it would be the one loaded up on torque. :shrug:
300bho/ton, I totally agree with you, that was my first reaction, but when I looked at the car I then had my reservations. I also got to talk with the guy driving it, and there are very credible witnesses to the accident that did see the wheel come off FIRST!
ShakeandBake said:
something isn't right here... :bs:

so the sales guy was going the speed limit in a modified Cobra, then his wheel popped off...ahhh ok.

Whether the exact details are correct or not can be debated until we're all blue in the face. The bottom line is the car had a major IRS component failure at speed which resulted in total vehicle loss.

Looking at the wheel that came off I see no signs of a side impact, it looks like it snapped where the half-shaft enters the differential. Every broken half-shaft incident I've heard or seen has happened when there's an abundance of traction under hard acceleration and a little wheel hop thrown in. The thing about all the other half-shaft failures I've seen is they all happen at a pretty slow rate of speed. This failure happened at what appears to be a pretty decent clip.

So Sherlock Holmes... what is your theory on what happened?

There are some other pictures that show more damage then this. There is a 24” long 6” wide rip in the roof over the driver’s side that took out the headrest. The guy is only 5’6” so it just missed taking his head off. When I get more time to scan them I’ll post them.

U.M. like you said, this kind of failure understandably could occur with wheel hop and or a hard launch, not at speeds in the 55-70mph ranges.

I don’t know what to think. The driver’s side of the car doesn’t show any impact that could have caused the tire to come off after an impact. Like I said there are also several eyewitness accounts that saw the accident. When the wheel came of it actually impacted a minivan that was on the freeway also causing major damage.

When I had the car it was impeccably taken care of. It was never abused, and if the sales manager drove it hard it would only have been a week at the most.

I think all should take note of the possibilities! :shrug:
Hey Gemex.... what are the chances those fancy drilled rotors caused the problem? Maybe the rear drivers side rotor broke during some very heavy braking at high speed. This could cause the damage depicted in the pictures... As soon as the caliper caught on the edge of the broken rotor it would rip that whole rear assembly apart.