In the collector world, rare cars with gobs of factory power usually command big attention and serious money. Need proof? Just look at all those Hemicudas and Cobra Jet Mustangs that routinely pull six-figure prices simply because they exist. The question then becomes; how do you get one of those legendary powerplants, that’s wrapped in an ultra-rare shell, without draining your kid’s college fund? Well, you take a serious look at a gem like this eye-popping 1971 Ford Torino Cobra! A true full-size factory muscle car, this Cobra’s date-correct 429 Cobra Jet V8, correct close ratio 4-speed transmission and correct Grabber Blue on black color combination ensure it will draw a crowd at even the most exclusive Ford gatherings. If you’re in the market for a special Ford that’s stacked with a top option drivetrain, this amazing Torino Sportsroof is your next car!
Before we dive into this awesome blue oval’s details, we’ll see what Kevin Marti of Marti Auto Works had to say about the car’s basics:
* 1 – 1971 model year
* A – Built in Atlanta, Georgia
* 38 – Cobra 2-door Sportsroof
* J – 429 cubic inch 4V Cobra Jet Ram Air engine
* 11,791st Ford vehicle scheduled for production at Atlanta
* 09/70 – Assembled in September of 1970
* 63H – Cobra 2-door Sportsroof
* J – Ford #3657-A Grabber Blue exterior paint
* RA – Black vinyl bench seat
* R – 3.25 Traction-Lok axle
* 6 – 4-speed close ratio manual transmission
* 25 – Richmond Ordering District
* 4-speed close ratio manual transmission
* Traction-Lok differential
* F70x14 Wide Oval belted raised white letter tires
* Power steering
* AM radio
* Color-keyed racing mirrors
* Tinted glass
* Backlite louvers
* Trim rings and hub caps
This buff Torino popped out of Ford’s hot Atlanta factory on September 2nd of 1970 in the midst of the great American performance wars. After spending a short time as top notch showroom candy at Thompson Motors in Hampton, Virginia, it began a long life of solid maintenance and back road workout routines. And today, covered in a fresh coat of correct Grabber Blue paint, it sits as the beneficiary of a thorough frame-up restoration that was conducted on solid, all-Ford bones. Pull the car out into the harsh fall sun and you’ll find professional paintwork that shows very well from every possible angle. Underneath that paint, each of the body’s panels is Kansas-flat which, given the size and shape of those panels, says a lot about the integrity of their platform. And the car’s fit and finish is well above anything the factory offered, featuring even gaps and tight closing hinges all the way around.
Complementing the car’s sea of bright blue paint is a tasteful array of trim pieces which incorporate a few subtle touches to let other drivers know this is no ordinary Torino. Up front, prominent chrome trimmed headlights and a wide, silver-trimmed and cobra-branded grille combine with an angled chrome bumper and ridged front fenders to provide a fierce, aggressive look. Top dead center on the hood you’ll find a small, “Cobra JET” branded shaker which looks perfectly natural between broad black stripes. And sprinkled down the fuselage you’ll find stainless wheel lips, traditional chrome door handles, “Cobra” quarter decals and body-matched racing mirrors which add detail to an otherwise monochromatic profile. At the top of the car, factory-tint glass sits inside bright stainless borders, pristine chrome drip rails, painted silver door accents and a virtually flat Sportsroof roofline that’s complete with optional rear window louvers. And at the back of the car, a familiar black valence hangs a bright Cobra emblem between showroom fresh tail lights, a show worthy chrome bumper and spotless stainless exhaust tips.
Lift the car’s war painted hood and you’ll find a date-correct D1VE 429 Cobra Jet V8 which has been fully detailed to a better-than-factory appearance. While Ford brass rated these big engines at 370 horses for the sake of appeasing whiny insurance agents, they probably had a hard time keeping a straight face. That’s because real world numbers were closer to 460 horsepower, allowing this sizeable car 13-second quarter mile passes with some basic shade tree tuning. At full throttle, the flapper valve opens, drawing cool air through a correctly decaled ram air induction system into to a large Holley four-barrel carburetor. Below that carburetor, finned aluminum valve covers hang at the sides of an original cast iron intake which holds a correct Autolite coil next to a traditional points distributor and fresh suppression cables. The smooth mill breathes through cast iron manifolds which exhale into a true dual exhaust system. And all the while a correctly decaled radiator cycles water through reproduction Autolite hoses and correct tower clamps. As you can see, the car’s spotless engine bay has been properly sprayed in a smooth coat of satin black paint. All its correct ancillary components, from fresh decals and an Autolite voltage regulator to a correct power steering pump and a reproduction Autolite Sta-Ful battery, are present and accounted for. And the road-ready big block is fast, potent and runs every bit as good as its brilliant Ford Blue paint suggests!
Peek underneath the car and you’ll find a clean and solid undercarriage that’s punctuated by factory blue floors. In the center of those floors, a close ratio four-speed manual transmission proves just as effective as ever at slinging gears and scorching stoplights. From there, power is channeled down the driveshaft to a rugged combination of correct 3.25 gears and Dutchmen axles that are housed in a correct Ford 9-inch Traction-Lok rear end. And the torque finally meets the road through a familiar set of chrome Magnum 500 wheels which wear equally vintage F70-15 Firestone Wide Oval Super Sport tires. The car’s suspension remains in stock form with double A-arms at the front and parallel leaf springs out back. Spent gases are whisked through aluminized, true dual pipes which employ an H-pipe crossover and great sounding dual chamber Flowmaster mufflers. As mentioned before, there’s a freshly rebuilt power steering system that makes turning easy and parking a cinch. And braking is an equally smooth process thanks to rebuilt manual drums that occupy all four wheel hubs.
Between the car’s sizeable doors, a black vinyl interior offers the one thing many basic muscle cars didn’t – comfort. While the bench seats may not look like the lap of luxury at first, a brief stint behind the car’s wheel reveals just how comfortable they really are. Fresh black carpet, which is framed by chrome Ford sill plates, covers rock solid floors while an equally nice headliner lines the long, slopped roof. The dash is stock but Ford’s choice to use individual gauge pods versus a standard cluster makes it look more modern than other cars of the day. At the center of that dash, a correct Philco AM radio rides above a well-integrated Auto Meter oil pressure gauge and a chrome Hurst T-handle shifter. In front of the driver, a factory steering wheel combines with chrome accessory knobs and pleated black door panels to provide a fresh and appealing driving environment. And behind the cabin, a nicely restored trunk, which features a correct mat, a correct lid decal, a full-size spare tire and a correct jack, rides under large Kenwood package tray speakers.
The sale of this awesome blue king snake includes an original owner’s card, a vintage ‘operating features’ brochure, the Marti Auto Works report outlined above, and a few restoration receipts.
There simply aren’t that many chances to own a top dog muscle car – especially at this money. And with its ram air V8 and slick-shifting 4-speed transmission, this car is guaranteed to be a blast to drive! If there’s room in your shop for a mint Ford, this 1971 Torino Cobra is a worthy inhabitant at any cost.