428 Cobra Jet with Ram Air! 1969 Ford Torino

If you get dreamy-eyed after hearing the phrase “428 CobraJet,” and if you furthermore appreciate sellers who (justifiably) geek out over production casting numbers, boy do we have a car for you! In fact, the listing for this 1969 Ford Torino in Olympia, Washington includes almost nothing other than pictures of parts, casting numbers, and documentation. The listing here on eBay asks $10,000 to Buy It Now, and includes the Make Offer button. When new, this powerful Torino came with the desirable 428 CJ motor, four-speed gearbox, and other interesting features.

Since we’ve run out of current pictures of the car after one, how about a Marti Report? The Raven Black paint and gold interior makes it perfect for a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. While the combination of a bench seat and a close-ratio four-speed is less rare than you might think, the non-locking 3.50 rear axle is a bit of a puzzler in a Cobra Jet car. The lack of a Traction Loc (limited slip) differential stands out as either an oversight or the choice of someone more interested in Show than Go.

I’m no casting number guru, but generally speaking the number after the first letter indicates the year of manufacture, making this C7ME unit a 1967 block, still stated as a 428 CJ unit. The seller lists a host of other parts dating from between 1967 and 1968. Of course many 1969 cars were produced during 1968 or with parts that were manufactured in 1968 so further research would be necessary to determine what might be original. Our Ford experts can chime in with comments, but it’s my understanding that during this time frame, Ford engine blocks did not include a partial VIN so “numbers matching” really comes down to whether the parts were manufactured at such a time that they might have been used in building the car.

This earlier picture shows the car before it was “dipped” in “a protective coating.” That crease in the left rear quarter will take some work, but nothing horrible. The seller reports rust in the left A pillar and rear deck lid. We never see the right side of the car so it could be crushed or gone or gouged out by a log skidder. Likewise the interior, underside, engine compartment, and front end could be perfect or perfectly miserable. That might be a Ram Air hood, but the Ram Air parts from the top of the engine can run $2000 or more on some cars. If this one checks out, for $10,000 you’re getting a genuine Torino Cobra Jet and a bunch of late ’60s 428 parts. Not a bad start compared to some cars we’ve seen. Is this mixed-bag Torino pulling at your heart strings?

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  1. Bob S

    Assuming nothing major was missing, an offer on $10,000 would not be unreasonable to me. They are a great car, and that 428 under the hood with no posi, could turn a lot of tires into smoke. They are great engines, and the car has a nice look to it.
    Identifying FE casting numbers is a complex subject.
    The casting number, refers to the year that part was designed, and it was fairly common for Ford to use that casting for a number of years.

    The casting indicators on the block, eg. C7ME, would indicate that the block was designed as a truck engine. The block casting indicators for the Ford cars, were normally something like C6AE. That casting was used for several years with other displacements, as well as the 428.
    They all look the same, but you have to look inside to really see the differences. The FE series block castings, had a tremendous number of variations.
    Because I was not into numbers matching, I never worried about the casting numbers. I have two 390/335hp engines, and one 428 engine, C8ME, and one 428 block, C7 ME.
    There are differences in reinforcement webs in the castings in the various designs, but it seems that it was the core and not the outer casting where the majority of the changes were incorporated. The core used, determined the displacement.
    According to the book I have, the shaker hood was an option for the CJ and the SCJ, but I don’t know for certain because all the SCJ engines I have seen, had a dual 4 barrel manifold.
    BTW, I would love to get my hands on an SCJ, forged crank, LeMans rods, and much more. Killer engine.
    428 versions attributed to various casting numbers.
    C7ME-A ’67 – ’70/ 428 c.i.d. 428-4V, Police Interceptor, Cobra Jet
    C7ME-C ’67/ 428 c.i.d. 428-4V, Police Interceptor, Cobra Jet
    C8ME ’68 – ’70/ 428 c.i.d.


    Like 14
    • Grumpy

      I could have helped you out with the SCJ 37 yrs ago. Couldn’t give it away. Finally sold it to a guy doing tractor pulling.

      Like 1
    • Piros1

      I have a 428CJ short block that I have had for many years. I had it built for my pickup back in the early 1970’s. When I set it aside I lubed it up real good but I haven’t put my eyes on it for some time. It has the polished rods but it is bored .40 over. Not sure if it is the steel crank or not. It started leaking oil out of one of the oil passages into the coolant so I replaced it it with another 428SCJ that is still in my old 67 high boy truck and hoping one day I will be able to restore the truck to its original glory. I would consider selling the 428CJ since I have no plans for it. I have been told there is a fairly easy fix for the oil passage issue by an old mechanic friend that has long since past away. The engine is in eastern Missouri.

      Like 1
  2. Marty

    There are no pictures of the car in bare metal making me think the coating is hiding things. A black epoxy coating is not where I would want to start as I prefer a phosphate coating and not what rust seal leaves. I see it worth about 2k less in the early picture. Certainly not 10k now. I would have coated the underside, engine bay and passenger compartment with epoxy and only if no rust repair was required. Dp90 is an upsell the strippers like to push. I do my own paint and rust removal with dustless blasting followed by whatever treatment works best for what follows. This is a car I would need a lot more pictures of and some I bet cannot be had.

    Like 1
  3. Jerry

    I owned two 69 torinos back in 1984. The fastback had a 351C . The hardtop had a 351W , but both had the factory hood scoop. Back then they cost me $700 and $600, both in great shape.

  4. Troy s

    One of the less important problems with Ford in general,,, outside of the Mustang, was the lack of interest in the brand itself outside of basic transportation,, for years it seemed. From ’74 on, I’m guessing here.
    Ford guys I knew were well rounded in knowledge of such engines as the 428, 390, most bragging was on the racy 427. Most folks werent interested at all. Others I talked to couldn’t remember what a ’66 Fairlane or ’69 Torino even looked like and some of those guys would have been around these new!
    Bob S., those dual quad manifolds you remember seeing on the SCJ, couldn’t be factory, right? Only 428 with dual quads I’ve ever seen or heard of were the ones in the Shelby GT500 before the CJ. I mean showroom stock here. A mixed bag is appropriate for this one,,,on the cheapy cheap it could be made into something other than a showroom fresh stocker.

    Like 1
    • Bob S

      That makes sense, because that was where I saw them.

      I had a chance to buy one, but whimped out, because the owner put a rod through the block. Even in that state of repair, although it included the top loader, I didn’t know how much coin it was going to take to repair it, because it was going to require a new block. Now, I wish I would have paid the money.

      Like 2
      • Troy s

        Yeah, I hear you, man. I think every one of us has passed up on deals like that only to kick our selves later. Mine was in the form of a ’67 Fairlane GT
        powered by what I referred to as a medium riser inspired 428 swapped in. Right down to the solid lifter camshaft. 2300 hundred bucks in ’84, awe, that’s just too much money….dohhh!
        Advertised in the cheapy local Penney Saver of all things, hence the low interest in these blue oval terrors back then.

        Like 5
    • Barney

      The factory duel quad was standard on the 67 GT 500, the R code 67 427 and Comets and 64 R code 427 Galaxies. I’m pretty sure some Ford guy that knows more than me may correct me but that’s the ones I am aware of. I don’t know of any 428cJ or 428SCJ cars that came with factory Installed dual quads. Of course then there’s the fifties Y blocks but that’s another story

      Like 3
  5. Arthur

    I like the Dustless Blasting idea that Marty mentioned. That will certainly reveal the true condition of this Torino. Interestingly, I visited the eBay page and it reveals that the listing has ended as the car is no longer available. I wonder what happened.

  6. CCFisher

    Government regulations required a partial VIN on engine blocks starting in 1968. If this one has no VIN stamping on the block, it’s not original.

  7. Bobby Cartner

    My son has a true 428 Cobra Jet engine for sale right now.

    • Todd Hollar

      Might be interested in motor. Where are you located?

      • Piros1

        If his doesn’t work out let me know.

  8. Barney

    If the intake is aluminum it’s incorrect. The CJ intake was an 85 Cast iron wonder. It was patterned after the factory aluminum 428 non CJ found in the 66 seven liter. I always wondered why a Ford decided to do the CJ intake in cast iron

    Like 2
    • Piros1

      I had an aftermarket aluminum intake on one of my previous 428’s and it would constantly blowout thermostats. Finally I tried replay he aluminum with the original cast iron unit and never had an issue again. Never did figure that one out.

  9. DS

    My 69 CJ Cyclone has the partial vin. Stamped on a flat boss just below the Drivers Cyl. head on the rear of the block. My 68 427 Has it on the end of the rear drivers Cyl head.

    Like 1
  10. Bob S

    Because I have three different single 4 barrel manifolds that were supposed to all be for the 428, this discussion forced me to learn whether they all would belong on a 428 if someone was doing a restoration.
    I have the cast iron low riser, and a cast iron medium riser, that are both C8 castings and came off a 428.
    My aluminum manifold, is a C7AE 9426-F casting, and from what I have found, this manifold was installed on the police interceptor version of the CJ, so it could be correct for the engine. It looks identical to the manifold I have on my 390/335 hp.
    The biggest advantage of having the aluminum manifold, is that it only weighs 25 lbs, compared to the back breaking 70 lb iron monster. Anyone that has ever removed one by themselves, will know what I am talking about. :-)

    Like 3
  11. TimM

    Great car sorry I missed the listing!!!

  12. Bmac777 Member

    I read somewhere years ago that Ford put open axle rear ends in a lot of cars that should have got Traction Loc and I have seen some examples, But I’m not a Ford tech guy.
    An example is in “Bullitt” , there’s a scene when Mcqueen takes off and it’s all single wheel.

  13. Paolo

    You had me at “gouged out by a log skidder.” To my eyes the regular 428 is particularly ugly to look at. A bulky, top heavy brute with ham fisted design execution and no effort made to refine the aesthetics. It just gets the job done..The CJs hit hard like a fist to your face. I owned one. Bought it with 54k mikes, completely stock and the motor had never been opened for any reason.It was absolutely the most powerful car in stock form I ever owned. (I have never owned a 426 Hemi or 440 6 pack.)

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