This Young Man’s First Car is a Terminator Mustang Cobra

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18-year-old California teen starts his life of driving at the top of the New Edge Mustang lineup

What was your first car? That battered, rusted-out Dodge Aspen your older brother dented and drove into the ground? Your mom’s old, purple Toyota Previa minivan that got you to school, but no phone numbers? The kid in the above video, Peter, got a 2003 Terminator Mustang Cobra as his first set of wheels.

Aside from suspension upgrades and a catback exhaust, his Mustang hasn’t really received a bunch of mods. The rattle-prone interior has certainly gone without them. That’s OK. It’s big enough to fit Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire in the driver’s seat, even if Farah complains about how poor the driving position in New Edge Mustangs typically is.

He doesn’t have any bad things to say about the Cobra’s engine, though. Despite the fact that cars with 500, 600, and even 700+ horsepower are no longer unimaginable these days, Farah still thinks the 390-horsepower, supercharged 4.6-liter V8 makes the Cobra into a fast Ford. He finds the independent rear suspension to be as comfortable over crappy pavement as the engine is satisfying. If only the shifter for the 6-speed manual were a little easier to reach.

Thanks to his long arms, Peter has no problem getting to it. We have a feeling he’ll have no difficulties remembering his 18th birthday, either. He spent part of it riding shotgun next to Farah as he blasted down sunny California roads in his Mustang Cobra.

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Derek Shiekhi's father raised him on cars. As a boy, Derek accompanied his dad as he bought classics such as post-WWII GM trucks and early Ford Mustang convertibles.

After loving cars for years and getting a bachelor's degree in Business Management, Derek decided to get an associate degree in journalism. His networking put him in contact with the editor of the Austin-American Statesman newspaper, who hired him to write freelance about automotive culture and events in Austin, Texas in 2013. One particular story led to him getting a certificate for learning the foundations of road racing.

While watching TV with his parents one fateful evening, he saw a commercial that changed his life. In it, Jeep touted the Wrangler as the Texas Auto Writers Association's "SUV of Texas." Derek knew he had to join the organization if he was going to advance as an automotive writer. He joined the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) in 2014 and was fortunate to meet several nice people who connected him to the representatives of several automakers and the people who could give him access to press vehicles (the first one he ever got the keys to was a Lexus LX 570). He's now a regular at TAWA's two main events: the Texas Auto Roundup in the spring and the Texas Truck Rodeo in the fall.

Over the past several years, Derek has learned how to drive off-road in various four-wheel-drive SUVs (he even camped out for two nights in a Land Rover), and driven around various tracks in hot hatches, muscle cars, and exotics. Several of his pieces, including his article about the 2015 Ford F-150 being crowned TAWA's 2014 "Truck of Texas" and his review of the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider, have won awards in TAWA's annual Excellence in Craft Competition. Last year, his profile of Wagonmaster, a business that restores Jeep Wagoneers, won prizes in TAWA’s signature writing contest and its pickup- and SUV-focused Texas Truck Invitational.

In addition to writing for a variety of Internet Brands sites, including and, Derek also contributes to other outlets. He started There Will Be Cars on Instagram and Facebook to get even more automotive content out to fellow enthusiasts.

Derek can be contacted at [email protected]

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