I apologize for the lack of Fords in this weeks postings, but I hope I can make it up with this one. This is a 1969 Ford Torino Cobra, equipped with the 428 Cobra Jet Ram Air motor. This was Fords answer to the wildly popular Plymouth Road Runner, and was intended to compete with that rival on performance, as well as price. Let’s explore this Torino Cobra…
The Torino Cobra was a new offering for 1969, and came standard with a 429-4V CJ V-8, Competition Suspension, a 4-speed floor shifted manual, and larger tires. To make sure no one missed the fact that this car meant business, the trimmings included a blacked out grill, locking hood pins, and its own cartoon character in the form of a Cobra Snake on wheels. To keep the costs down, the cobra used the lesser Fairlane trim level, but who cares, just look at this thing.
All Ram Air equipped 429-4V Cobra Jet models had a functional hood scoop, with 428 Cobra Jet emblems placed on each side of the scoop. This car was ordered with the Bucket Seat and Console Package (of which I have no clue as to what option package that was). Of the modifications performed by the owner of this Cobra, a Hurst Shifter was one of the best. Contemporary road tests of the time found the standard shifter was lacking in feel and precision.
Production Numbers? Ford didn’t break down the Torino Cobra numbers, but the web site Fairlane Registry puts it this way:
Cobras? How many were made. Well from the numbers above you can safely say that less than 58,000. Obviously not all were Cobras. People who have pondered this question generally agree that about 12% were Cobras. This would mean that were 3625 Formal Roof Cobras and 3582 Fastback Cobras or 7200 Total. Using an estimate of 15% that gives us 1080 still on the road.
That was my original guess; I was wrong. Actual production numbers are just over 14000 Cobras made with most (11000ish) being fastbacks. The Fairlane Cobra Registry currently has documented 650 Cobras. About 4.5% of total, not a lot.
So, once again we have an incredibly rare Ford Fastback. What do you think of this Cobra, and does it make you want to go out and find one of your own? Let me know.