I own both an 86 GT Vert and an 01 Cobra Vert; I've autocrossed both of them. For comparison purposes, the 86 does not have stock suspension while the Cobra pretty much does. Besides the sn95 5-lug Cobras brakes, the 86 is running the longer sn95 a-arms, MM Bilstein 300# C/Os, MM bumpsteer kit, MM sta-bar, MM CC plates and STB up front. In the rear I have MM adjustable-height LCAs, MM PHB, rod-ended PM3L, MM adjustable sta-bar, H&R Super Race conventionals with Bilsteins and .5" spacers on each axle to increase rear track width. The Cobra has H&R Super Sport conventionals all around, Bilsteins all around and KB STB and CC plates up front. The rest of Cobra's suspension and IRS are all stock including bushing material. The 86 has a stock motor and 5-speed with 3.27s out back. The Cobra has some minor mods and 3.55s. The 86 has standard KB SFCs and a g-load brace; the Cobra has KB SFCs with matrix brace and jacking rails and the stock g-load brace. Both cars run Cobra wheels shod with Hankook Ventas Evo V12s: 245/45/17s on the 86; 255/40/17s on the Cobra.
I prefer the 86 over the Cobra in autocrosses despite the Cobra's power advantage and anti-lock brakes. It's "fit" and "control" for me. I feel as though the old Fox fits me better, I can see the track better, and I have a better feel for the car's dimensions and where it is on course. I also believe that with the above suspension mods, the 86 is equal to or superior to the Cobra's suspension. Besides, the IRS in stock trim leaves a lot to be desired. It tends to squat on streight-line exceleration (axle tramps really bad) and/or goes max camber (both negative and possitive) in corners. Both of these characteristcs cause the tires to go to the edge and lose traction. To be fair, since I run the Fox much more, I'm also more familair with it so I suppose with enough seat time and perhaps additional mods, the Cobra might be a better handler but I have my doubts. Just something to consider.