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25k Original Miles: 1993 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra

While we’ve seen our fair share on 1993 Mustang SVT Cobras at Barn Finds in recent times, this one stands out for me on a couple of fronts. The first is that it is a spotless survivor with a genuine 25,000 miles on its odometer. Adding to its desirability, it is a classic that features what is easily the rarest paint and trim combination the company offered in the ’93 Cobra. The owner has decided that the time is right for this pearl to find a new home, so he has listed it for sale here on eBay. It is located in Baytown, Texas, and solid bidding has pushed the price beyond the reserve to $48,600.

If you said that I could have a ’93 SVT Cobra in any color that I liked, I would probably join the 1,355 original buyers who chose Teal Metallic Clearcoat. There’s something about that shade that suits the lines of the Cobra perfectly, and this impression is only heightened when the car in question is nicely preserved. The presentation of this Mustang is hard to fault. The paint holds an impressive shine, with no evidence of flaws or problems. The panels are laser straight, and all of the distinctive aerodynamic additions that were a hallmark of the SVT package appear perfect. However, the beauty of this vehicle is more than skin deep. The owner supplies a clear shot of the Cobra’s underside, and it is spotlessly clean. There is no evidence of chips or marks and not a trace of surface corrosion. The beautiful 17″ alloy wheels sparkle in the sun, with no signs of discoloring or physical damage. The glass is flawless, and I’d probably be willing to stick out my neck and describe this car as one of the nicest examples I have seen in a long time.

I’m not sure if it is a sign of advancing years, but there are times when The Malaise Era seemed a lifetime away, while at others, it feels like it was only yesterday. For those of us who lived through it, that period in automotive history was pretty miserable. There is a firm focus on how tightening emission regulations strangled the great American V8, but no engine was immune. There were some cars from this era with four and six-cylinder motors that would’ve been more effective as boat anchors than powering a motor vehicle, but the impact was most graphically demonstrated with the V8. If we compare what buyers could expect from a 302-equipped Mustang in 1970 versus the best that was available in 1979, it becomes abundantly clear. A 1970 Mustang 302 produced 220hp and could fire the car through the ¼ mile in 15.9 seconds. In 1979, that same engine was pumping out 140hp, and that same journey had blown out to 16.5 seconds. The ET comparison might not seem that dramatic, but it starts to look pretty sick when you consider that the ’79 model was more than 220lbs lighter than the earlier version. It’s a good thing that Ford had chosen to focus some of its attention on weight-saving measures in the late 1970s, otherwise, that gap would’ve been enormous. However, help wasn’t far away for performance enthusiasts. In the early 1980s, manufacturers started to investigate lighter and stronger metal alloys for engine components and tackle the black arts of fuel injection and electronic engine management systems. By the time 1993 rolled around, Ford had a pretty comprehensive set of tools at its disposal, and the engine in the SVT Cobra graphically demonstrated this. The company delved into its parts inventory for better cylinder heads, fuel injection, an improved intake, a better throttle body, and a more efficient exhaust system. The result was that the 5.0-liter engine that had produced 140hp in 1979 was churning out 235hp in 1993. It’s also worth considering that this is Ford’s “official” figure because many knowledgeable individuals believe that the truth lay somewhere beyond 260hp. There’s no point in having a bucketload of power if you can’t get it to the road. To this end, the company produced the SVT Cobra as a total package. The engine’s ponies find their way to a Traction-Lok rear end via a T5 manual transmission. Power steering, four-wheel power disc brakes, and an upgraded suspension package that included Tokico shocks helped the car to handle and stop competently. Point this beast at that same ¼ mile, and the journey would be over in 14.1 seconds. The American performance car scene had rediscovered its mojo, and Ford was happy to trumpet this fact to the world. Our feature car has a genuine 25,000 miles showing on its odometer, although the owner doesn’t indicate whether he holds verifying evidence. He describes its condition as being as-new, which suggests that it runs and drives well.

I have learned not to take things for granted, and even though the owner describes the overall condition of this car as being 10/10, I can’t help but search for flaws. This search seems in vain because I can’t find much to fault with this classic. The interior is original and unmolested, and there is no evidence of the sort of wear and damage that might place a question mark over the mileage claim. Even the prone outer edges of the bucket seats show no problems, which is a significant plus point. If I were to buy this car, I would be tempted to install some high-quality slipcovers over the front seats to keep them in their current state. I mentioned rarity earlier, and we’ve reached the point where that is worth discussing. The company produced 4,993 examples of the SVT Cobra across three paint colors. They also offered the cars with a choice of three interior trims, and more than 60% of buyers paid the additional money for Opal Gray leather trim. However, across the entire production total, a mere 185 buyers chose the combination of Teal paint and Black cloth trim that we find with this car. The next rarest combination was Black paint and Gray cloth, which accounted for 327 vehicles. Not only does it make this car rare, but its interior is also nicely equipped. Buyers will find themselves with air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a power driver’s seat, power mirrors, intermittent wipers, a remote hatch release, a leather-wrapped wheel, and a premium AM/FM radio and cassette player. I’m not surprised by the owner’s claim that everything works as it should.

Fox-Body Mustangs have become one of the strongest performers in the current classic market, and the ’93 SVT Cobra is one of the leaders on that front. It isn’t unusual to see tidy low-mileage examples push beyond $42,000, while pristine cars regularly change hands for $60,000 or more. The condition of our feature car moves it towards the upper echelon, and if it did hit that higher figure, I wouldn’t be surprised. If you have been searching for one of these in excellent condition, this one deserves a closer look. It might be a move that you won’t regret.


  1. jwzg

    Great write-up for an even nicer car. That’s a lot of $$$ for a not-so-rare machine that I’d beat like a rented mule on the weekends.

    Like 10
  2. SMS

    In collage a fellow student bought one of these. His first new car. He let me take it for a drive. Only thing I remember was how good it looked in the color. Still looks great.

    Like 4
    • FrankB

      Really?? YOU went to collage?

      Like 12
      • SMS

        “Went” is the key word here. Is proof that they let anyone into those places

        Like 7
    • Steven Brown

      At what age did you go to Collage? I went to Hi Cool too

      Like 2
      • SMS

        I went late. Kudnt spell enganeer. Now I ar won.

        Like 0
  3. qmmq

    Now fellas…Do we really need a grammatical police officer involved in this thread?

    This is exactly why I enjoy this site. Damn good writing, and super comments. You guys made my evening, thumbs up on both replies.

    Like 8
  4. bikefixr

    Nice car. Great color. But I’m scratching my head as to the prices. Not rare. Not hard to find. Not that great of a performer. I can buy a super-clean late model Shelby for this kind of $. What’s the attraction?

    Like 9
  5. Nels Leutwiler

    Why is this a barn find? I thought barn finds were……

    Like 0
  6. Frank

    As the car salesmen say, A sucker is born every minute! Does the bidder realize what he can purchase for $54,600?

    Like 1
  7. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Well…. I’m pretty sure he/she does understand what else might be available (collectible cars, new vehicles, etc.). But if this is what he/she want, so bet it. These have increased greatly in value in recent years and this is about their market value.

    Like 3

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