428 Cobra Jet Project: 1969 Torino GT R Code

Brian BirknerBy Brian Birkner

Let’s face it, just about anything that left the factory with a 428 Cobra Jet V8 is a hot commodity. Originally propelled by a 428, this ’69 Torino is missing its original drive-train, and thankfully the price reflects this concern. All too often Factory big block cars missing their engines can be gravely overpriced, but this Torino GT is actually attainable, although needing a complete restoration. Offered for $5,000 this Ford could be your long term big block dream come true. Check it out here on craigslist out of Topeka, Kansas. A big thanks to Barn Finds friend “Mike F” for this Cobra Jet find!

Right in that open void lived a 428 Cobra Jet engine mated to a C-6 automatic transmission. Unfortunately the original drive-train is lost to history, but with some time and patience, a 428 could certainly be sourced for this project. The seller has run a Marti report on this Ford to ascertain the information on this once great muscle machine.

Having either survived really well, or having been restored along the way at some point, the interior is in very reasonable condition. The dash appears crack and flaw free, and there is a lot to work with if you chose to do a full restoration.

Simply looking at the door jambs tells a lot about the history of this Torino. Having left the factory in Royal Maroon paint, this Torino has also been red, yellow, and currently primer in its lifetime. Thankfully there is not a tremendous amount of rot in this car, but there is some rust and body damage to contend with. The passenger rear quarter has definitely been hit, and was poorly hammered out be an amateur. Also the paint/filler is incredibly thick on that quarter as well. The passenger wheel arch looks mostly rust free, and the rocker looks decent as well. The driver side wheel arch suffers with rot that bleeds down into the rocker region. There is also a large hole in the rocker that was rust induced.  Both lower wings of the front fenders have rust, but beyond that the exterior appears quite reasonable. There is some minor under body rust that isn’t terribly alarming, but definitely needs attention. The inner fender/front foot well area has a hole on both the driver and passenger side. Also the front edge of the floor pan to the foot well area has some rust as well. The rest of the floors, rails, and trunk are all very solid making this Torino a fair enough restoration candidate. Although not perfect, some have started with much worse candidates to restore. Being a factory 428 Cobra Jet certainly makes this muscle car a worthwhile project. Would you take on this Big Block project?

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Comments

  1. whmracer99

    I’m not sure I want to see this after they blast it to get all the filler and rust off of it. Reasonable price but I bet there’s a ton of work hiding underneath all the paint and bondo. Big enough engine compartment for easy Coyote update.

    8+
  2. markp

    This Torino is missing the 3 small trim pieces that go behind each of the small rear side windows. The 69s have 3 pieces of trim, the 68’s are 4 pieces. So you will have to find this trim for both sides that was only made for 1 year which will be a pain.

    0
    • Mike

      68s had 5 , not 4…

      0
  3. Randy

    Upside down from the start, unfortunately. At a bit more than twice the price, you can get a complete 69 Torino with the 428CJ and C6 still intact and operating.

    9+
  4. Carl

    Don’t I see 3 pedals?

    0
  5. geomechs

    This is aggravating! I get so frustrated when I see a muscle car for sale that’s missing the muscle. So often the vendor doesn’t even know/remember what happened to the original motor. An FE isn’t that hard to find although the 428 is going to be a major challenge. Well you can always take a 390 and punch it out about .100″ and stroke it .200″ and you can legitimately call it a 428. I’d settle for a 390.

    8+
    • markp

      The costly part of a CJ is finding real CJ heads and CJ exhaust manifolds. CJ exhaust manifolds will not fit 390 heads. I was lucky enough to get a set and put them on my 68 Torino GT 390. They are worth more than the engine.

      0
    • Mo Evans

      Yea. But what about those CJ heads that made it so hot.. I have a set of 406 heads and they might give it some boost.

      1+
      • geomechs

        Hi Mo. You’ve got a point; those heads made those engines breathe fire. The downside to them was extremely short valve guide life due to the shorter guides. The 390 S in the Mustang GT and the Cougar did the same thing. I had a Mustang GT with a 390. The heads were pulled for guides twice before I got it (18K miles). Manley guides lasted a lot longer.

        3+
  6. Oingo

    Looking at the pictures I can see why the drivetrain was pulled.

    8+
  7. redwagon

    torino gt’s with the coveted 428 are cheaper than the corresponding mustang with a 428. gee, i wonder where the engine and drivetrain went?

    so now you have a roller w/o engine or drivetrain that could be ‘restored’ but will never be numbers matching and never be as valuable as a 428 mustang. it is the worst of both worlds.

    to boot, in this case, the body has some serious needs that will not be fully known until it is sandblasted. not for the faint of heart or wallet. needs a true torino lover.

    11+
    • Tom Member

      Body, kind of cheesy…..swiss to be more exact !!

      Cool car….I guess finding the right date/code drivetrain would be worth it DEPENDING on how many of these were actually manufactured. (I did not read everything – so forgive me IF it mentioned production numbers somewhere.

      Sorry, GM guy. although I love any muscle car with Letters like GT or SS, nice big engines with 4 speeds and the options the better!

      0
  8. Dave

    Not for the faint of heart or wallet indeed.

    6+
  9. Nik.R

    Why is the gt symbol in the centre? Any one that I’ve seen its next to the headlights on the drivers side

    4+
  10. BILL GRAHAM

    I had a 1968 428 SCJ Torino in about 1977. I paid $800.00 for it and could not wait to unload it for the 1970 440+6 Cuda I found in Globe Az. for $1300. Driving that Torino was like driving a school bus! It is HUGE compared to the cars we are used to today. Looking in the rear view mirror, the rear bulkhead appears to be a mile away.

    3+
    • whmracer99

      Learned to drive in a 1970 Cobra Jet Torino (I know, what where my parents thinking?). Huge car that cornered decently for vehicles of that time (today’s SUV’s probably corner better than that car) but very quick in a straight line, made all the right noises, and was hard to break (I know, I tried). I prefer the 1970 and up body style but there was almost no vision out the rear glass and it was woefully under-tired (F70-14s IIRC) for it’s power and size.

      3+
  11. mike D

    the seller mentioned parts that he has that will be included in the price, therefore, no, or little searching for body parts .. on the bright side, there are other engine combos ( big) that will suit it just fine, until you can find ( if ever) a year correct 428 . ( let’s face it, will never find the original one) this was a pretty good car in it’s day hope someone gets it and does justice for it ( not me, unless I hit the lottery )

    1+
  12. Robert

    428 Cobra Jet engine mated to a C-6 automatic That’s funny the car has a clutch pedal and a hole in the floor where the shifter was ????

    0
  13. Ron

    Nobody suggesting an LS swap for this, amazing.

    0
    • Tom Member

      Now that’s funny right there! Larry (the cable guy!)

      0
    • glen

      There’s one!

      0
  14. Troy S.

    Since it will never be worth top dollar anyways w/o the original matching driveline, I say make it a fun driver. Maybe a built 351 with a 5 speed and deep gears, or a newer fuel injected set up, or maybe even a 460. Sorta like a personal prototype that will run just fine on today’s unleaded gas.

    0
  15. Karguy James

    ALL of those missing 428CJ parts are very expensive. Special CJ heads, CJ Exhaust manifolds, valve covers, intake, carb, Ram Air aircleaner, pulleys and of course the engine itself. Even the C6 trans was a special cast tailshaft version. You are easily looking at over $10,000 in parts just to then have to totally rebuild.

    It was an engine donor a long time ago and still is.

    1+
  16. Will
    0
  17. Jason Yother

    If only the 428 was a big block which it isnt.

    0
  18. Mike

    I haven’t ever seen a C6 that needed a third pedal…and my 68 GT came with bucket seats…

    0
    • CATHOUSE

      If you take the time to read the CL ad you will see where it clearly states that the car was originally an automatic car, now has clutch pedals and a hole in the floor.

      I believe you will find that bucket seats were an option, even on the GT package.

      0

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