Live Auctions

1-of-1: 1969 Ford Fairlane Cobra 428

In years past, claiming that a classic car was a genuine 1-of-1 was a slippery slope. However, with the advent of services like Marti, documenting these claims has become easier. That brings us to this 1969 Ford Fairlane Cobra. The owner claims it is a unique vehicle, and the included paperwork supports this. It presents extremely well and appears to need nothing. Its overall condition would suit a meticulous buyer, and that person could be you. Located in Addison, Illinois, you will find the Cobra listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN of $50,000, although it appears that he will entertain offers.

The seller doesn’t provide any historical information on this Cobra, but it presents superbly in Black Jade. The paint isn’t original, with a previous owner treating the vehicle to a respray in its factory shade. The paint holds an impressive depth of both color and shine and shows little evidence of flaws or defects. It coats laser straight panels with tight gaps and no evidence of previous accident damage or repair. The best news for lovers of vehicles from this era is that this classic appears completely rust-free. There is nothing visible in the excellent selection of supplied photos, and the owner makes no mention of problems in his listing. The exterior trim and chrome are excellent, while the steel wheels and dog dish hubcaps give the car a subtle appearance. The glass appears flawless, and except for the small Cobra and 428 badges, it would be easy to overlook this classic as a garden-variety Fairlane.

In naval terms, a Q-Ship is a heavily armed merchant ship with concealed weaponry. That term could just as easily be used to describe this Ford. Apart from the previously mentioned badges, there’s no evidence of what potential buyers will find when they lift the hood. Doing so reveals the legendary 428 Cobra Jet V8 that churns out an impressive 335hp. The rest of the drivetrain includes a four-speed manual transmission, a 3.50 Traction-Lok rear end, competition suspension, and power steering. The vehicle may tip the scales at more than 3,700lbs, but it should still be capable of blitzing the ¼ mile in 14.6 seconds. For potential buyers, there’s plenty of good news with this classic. It isn’t clear whether it’s numbers-matching, but the impression given by the seller is that the drivetrain is original. He provides this excellent YouTube video which includes a walk-around and allows us to hear the car running and driving. It shows no evidence of vices or nasty surprises for the next owner, and that Cobra Jet sounds magnificent. It appears that this is a turnkey proposition for its next owner.

The seller believes that this interior is original and unrestored. If this is accurate, its condition rates as above average. There are a couple of minor flaws with the edges of the door trims, but they appear to represent the only upholstery faults. The rear-view mirror is missing, as is the cover off the dome light. Otherwise, it seems to be complete. One refreshing feature is the lack of cracks in the dash pad. These are particularly susceptible to problems, and replacements are hideously expensive. That is one cost that the new owner won’t need to consider. The original owner ordered this classic with a console, AM radio, and factory tachometer. These remain intact, and there are no aftermarket additions.

Locating a unique classic like this 1969 Ford Fairlane Cobra is a wonderful experience. It harkens back to a time when manufacturers were willing to push the envelope with relatively affordable muscle cars. Those days are long gone, and any modern offering with performance credentials is likely to empty your bank account fairly quickly. It is also debatable how many of those modern cars will be future classics that will appreciate. If you are a Blue-Oval performance fan, this Ford will look attractive. Even if you’re not particularly aligned to that brand but love muscle cars, this Cobra must be a tempting proposition. Is it compelling enough for you to pursue further?


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Nice. If you like the “sleeper” look this fits the bill. I might also term it unadorned, or even plain. The sport steering wheel is cool but looks out of place; the regular two-spoke Ford corporate wheel would fit the theme better. The 1 of 1 from the Marti report is correct, of course if you base it on the specific collection of options. It seems more fitting to say it is 1 of 106 1969 Cobra hardtops 428 4-speed in Black Jade.

    The pictures at what appears to be an auction house made sleuthing this way too easy: it was recently sold at Mecum for $37,400.

    Like 50
  2. Cadmanls Member

    Very nice car, I bet rowing though the gears right foot stuck to the floor was fun for someone at sometime. Doubt it will happen again, kind of a shame as that’s what it was built for, someone checked the right boxes. Got to wonder with a set of drag radials what this beast would be capable of. 428 CJ was a good running engine, top loader and 9 ” it’s magic!

    Like 11
  3. David

    Darn fine car. 35 is a fair price good luck with the 50. Dog dishes are fine but I see it in torque thrust mags and Hoosiers. This car will hold its own to anything of the time

    Like 11
  4. Sam Shive

    I’d drive it like I stole it. Jay Leno says You RESTORE A CAR TO 100% Then you drive it back down to 75%

    Like 26
  5. James Quinn

    50K and they sprayed over the door tag? It’s not hard to get new rivets and do it right. Makes me wonder how good the paint job is. Interesting that it doesn’t have power brakes.

    Like 9
    • Boatman Member

      James, it doesn’t even have discs! All that go and no stop.

      Like 11

      The window stop above the door data plate is held in place by regular hardware store bolts. No bezels around the door lock knob holes either. Those are the kind of details that make a car worth the big bucks.

      Like 7
      • Boatman Member

        There are several things wrong or missing on this car. The seller doesn’t care, he’s just flipping it.

        Like 8
      • Grumpy

        Tach inoperative, D letter falling off trunk, hole not covered in trunk, no rear view mirror, brake issues lots of inexpensive fixes he should do to justify that price. Just my personal opinion.

        Like 10
  6. CCFisher

    Gotta love the drama in those Marti reports… “9R45Q167214 is that Cobra.” It’s like a game show reveal. I can hear the suspenseful music in the background. If you have to drill down to the type of radio installed to make it 1:1, then it really doesn’t matter.

    Like 11
  7. Joe Haska

    I am sorry I can’t bad mouth this car. The only thing that’s wrong wit it is:

    Like 19
  8. Stan

    Love the clean sedan look. What an incredible car. Beautiful 3 pedal perfection. Factory tachometer included

    Like 8
  9. Dave

    Bought a 69 Fairlane new, 390, 4speed, white on white bucket seats. Sharp car,looked a lot better than green.

    Like 5
  10. Boatman Member

    You can call it a Fairlane or Torino, but it’s a COBRA. PERIOD.

    Like 8
  11. Don Page Jr.

    What car in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s couldn’t be one of a small number built? The answer would be a lot more than most people realize. Back then, you could order it just about anyway you wanted it. They came with basic equipment and you had to check the boxes, and your wallet, to get the accessories you wanted. As far as it being a 1 of 1, if you have to include the radio to get to that number, it’s no longer relevant.

    Like 6
  12. Bakes

    Beautiful car. My first car was a 68 Fairlane, lime gold black vinyl roof parchment interior. Still have parts of it – dashpad, grill, etc – even though the car itself has been gone for 35 years. Couldn’t bear to get rid of all of it.

    Like 4
  13. Robt

    Nailed it. Complete with that wood steering wheel and the steel wheels. Yes Ford.

    The only thing I’d change out, and some might call it heresy, is that 428. For my money I’d much rather a nice healthy 351 windsor for a much more balanced package! Oh and discs up front.

    Like 4
  14. Robt

    Absolutely love the notch back.

    Like 3
  15. A.J.

    Very nice car.

    But the 1 of 1 is ridiculous because of the sport mirrors and AM radio???

    Like 5
  16. Jackie Hollingsworth

    Blue-Oval Power…….Nice Machine.

    Like 2
  17. Mark

    Very nice, I prefer the fastback.

    Like 1
  18. Michael Berkemeier

    There used to be one of these that sat in front of a house on the south end of Mechanicsburg, Ohio, on St. Rt. 29. It was identical…same color, everything. It would be interesting to know if this is the same car. That would’ve been probably 20-plus years ago but, it was nice so, likely, it still survives.

    Like 2
  19. Stevieg Member

    I knew a guy back in the 1980’s that had one with this drivetrain. He beefed it up (I don’t know what all was done to it, I was very young back then & didn’t know or understand squat lol) and he ran his at Union Grove. He used to trailer it there, and it had no plates, so I am pretty sure it was bad to the bone lol.
    I will never forget that car!

  20. Troy s

    Fearsome Ford! Only, and I mean only a true blooded Fords or nothing nut would have bought that car, then or now, and actually “get” it. It’s Ford all the frills or fancy colors, no stripes, boring wheels, all wrapped around a 428 screamer and 4 speed. A none brand loyal customer looking for a thrill ride in ’69 would have walked right by this car, not realizing it was a street racer instead of an undercover cop car. Nice to see one of these.

    Like 1
  21. charlie morrison

    Number one I have never heard of this car in all my years,what have I been sleeping under a rock? I absolutely love this car the colour scheme and everything. If all the paperwork is intact I like what the owner said he will entertain offers, so he knows what he has for sure. This is one of those cars you have to go see in person and come packed with the cash. Pictures are beautiful but it’s hard to believe how nice this car is,anyway I wish the owner and buyer the best

    Like 1

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