- Documented 1 of 1
- Comprehensive restoration
- Super Cobra Jet 428cid V8
- Toploader 4-speed manual
- Ford 9-inch Traction-Lok differential
- Elite Marti Report
In the collector world, super rare cars with gobs of factory-installed power usually command attention and serious money. Just look at the original Hemi Cudas and Cobra Jet Mustangs that routinely pull six figures prices simply for existing. Would you like to have one of those legendary powerplants wrapped in an ultra-rare shell without draining your kid's college fund in the process? Take a look at this 1969 Ford Torino Cobra. A true R-code car, it's Formal Roof, original 428 Super Cobra Jet V8 and Toploader 4-speed ensure this Cobra will draw a crowd at even the most selective of Ford gatherings. A true 1 of 1 car as documented by Kevin Marti, this is rare FoMoCo metal at the highest level offered for a price that would barely pay for the restoration. If you've been looking for a special Ford, this amazing Torino might be the perfect choice.
Before getting in the details, we cover the basics by decoding the VIN:
K: Built at Kansas City
45: Cobra 2-Door Hardtop
R: 428-4V CJ Engine with Ram Air
108609: Sequential Unit Number
The data plate:
65A: Cobra 2-Door Hardtop
W: Meadowlark Yellow – Ford #3120-A
1A: Black Broadcloth/Vinyl Bench Seat
29H: Scheduled for Build: August 29, 1968
71: Los Angeles Ordering District
V: 3.91 Traction-Lok Rear Axle
6: Four-Speed Close Ratio Manual Transmission
And the Eminger invoice:
Cobra 2 Door Hardtop: $3,189.00
428 4V 8-Cyl Ram Air Engine: $133.44
Black Vinyl Roof: $90.15
Traction-Lok Differential: $63.51
Optional Axle Ratio: $6.53
Visibility Group: $24.01
Electric Clock: $15.59
F70x14 White Letter Tires: $13.05
Rim Blow Deluxe Steering Wheel: $35.70
Power Front Disc Brakes: $64.77
AM Radio: $61.40
Rear Seat Speakers: $25.91
Front Head Restraints: $17.00
Deluxe Seat Belts: $15.59
Argent Styled Steel Wheels: $38.86
6,000 RPM Tachometer: $47.92
Total Options: $653.43
Destination Charge: $150.70
This Torino popped out of the Los Angeles factory in November of 1968 in the midst of the muscle car wars. It sat on the lot at Bob Kieffe Ford in Mojave, California for roughly five months before the original owner handed over the $3,993.13 sticker price and drove it home. After a lifetime of west coast living, the car remained in decent shape, even before its comprehensive restoration. Covered in a fresh coat of Meadowlark Yellow paint, this is one of just 17 documented Cobras to wear the color brand new. The paintwork is immaculate and shows well from every possible angle. Underneath the paint, each panel is Kansas-flat and, given the size and shape of those panels, that's awfully important on this car. Fit and finish is well above what the factory offered with even gaps all around. While most enthusiasts are probably more familiar with this car's sloped siblings, the vinyl-covered Formal Roof lends a sleeper vibe that even a beige fastback couldn't pull off.
Complementing the sea of Meadowlark Yellow is a tasteful array of trim pieces with a few subtle touches to let other drivers know this is no ordinary Torino. Up front, a black rectangular grille is wrapped in stainless trim with a pair of headlights anchoring either side. Turn signals are built into the fenders, neatly worked into the stainless trim that ties into a body-hugging chrome bumper. The hood scoop is the first real indicator that this is no regular grocery-getter. Combine the fresh “Cobra Jet 428” badges on either side of that scoop with the Cobra emblems found on the front fenders and any basic gearhead knows this car packs a punch. The vinyl top looks great as does the glass and stainless trim incorporated into its gently sloping shape. Out back, squared taillights anchor a “Ford” emblem punctuated by one final Cobra emblem. Another tightly fitting chrome bumper rounds out the rear end.
Lift the hood and you'll find the original R-code 428 Cobra Jet V8 which displays a correct casting number and matching 9K108609 partial VIN. While Ford brass rated these engines at 335, they probably had a hard time keeping a straight face. Real world numbers were closer to 400hp, allowing this sizeable car 13-second quarter mile passes with some basic tuning. At full throttle, the flapper valve opens, drawing cool air through the correctly decaled air cleaner cover and into to a C90F-H Holley four-barrel carburetor. The original intake manifold remains in place between a pair of Cleveland heads dressed in finned 428 valve covers with factory-style breathers. At the front, charging is provided by a new V-belt setup that turns a factory alternator and GM style power steering pump that was added during the restoration. The powerplant breathes through cast iron manifolds that exhale into a true dual exhaust system through MagnaFlow mufflers for a snarl the OEM exhausts simply didn't have. Looking around the bay, all the usual parts are here including the stock front mount oil cooler, relocated horn, Autolite-branded hoses and a tagged Autolite Sta-Ful battery.
Peek underneath to find an exceptionally clean undercarriage with satin black floors. In the center, a Toploader four-speed manual transmission carries its correct RUG-A-J stamping and proves just as effective as ever at changing gears. From there, power is channeled down the driveshaft out to the Ford 9-inch Traction-Lok differential. An original Drag Pack car, this Torino left L.A. with 3.91 gears, but those have since been swapped to a more real-world friendly 3.25 ratio. The suspension remains in stock form with double A-arms at the front and parallel leaf springs out pack. Look closely and you'll note the correct stock staggered shock configuration is in place out back. As mentioned, the car has a freshly rebuilt power steering system that utilizes a GM style power steering pump to make the turns easier. Braking is an equally easy process with power disc brakes up front and power drums in the rear. The chassis meets the road through a set of Argent styled steel wheels wrapped in Firestone Wide Oval F70-14's that further the cars sleeper look.
Between those sizeable doors, a black vinyl interior offers the one thing many basic muscle cars didn't – comfort. While the bench front seat may not look like the lap of luxury at first, a brief stint behind the wheel will unveil how comfortable they really are. From that seat, it's easy to admire the simple but effective details that made this Cobra stand out from the crowd. At the ground level, fresh black carpet covers the rock solid floors, while an equally nice headliner lines the 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. In those pods, factory gauges keep tabs on basic items such as speed, revs, fuel, temperature, oil pressure and voltage. Functions such as lights and windshield wipers are controlled by attractive chrome pulls, while the AM radio sits just to the left of the ignition. The steering column is topped by a Walnut-trimmed rim-blow deluxe steering wheel while the shifter wears a matching walnut shift knob. Behind the cabin, a nicely restored trunk features a correct mat, spare tire and lug wrench.
Documentation includes an Elite Marti Report which breaks down the car to a 1 of 1 based on selected options as well as an Eminger invoice that verifies those options were originally part of the car. Also included is an original owner's manual that explains each of the car's functions as interpreted by Ford's marketing department.
There simply aren't that many chances to own a true 1 of 1 car – especially at this money. With the Super Cobra Jet and slick-shifting Toploader, the car is guaranteed to be a blast to drive as well. If there's room in your shop for a mint Ford, this 1969 Torino Cobra is a worthy inhabitant at any cost.
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