428 V8 Project: 1969 Ford Torino Cobra

The Torino name was poised to replace the Fairlane, but it was a gradual phase in beginning in 1968. Things got hotter the next year with the introduction of the Cobra, in hardtop and “Sportsroof” body styles (the latter would become popular in NASCAR racing). The Cobra came standard with the new 428 “Cobra Jet” V8, like the one featured in the seller’s car. This ’69 Cobra is going to need body work and a gas tank if you want to do anything but let it run off a bottle in the driveway. Located in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, this Ford is offered here on eBay where the bidding has touched $6,300, but the reserve is still being elusive.

An interesting footnote about the 1969 Cobra is that nowhere on the car did it have the name Torino (or Fairlane, either, for that matter). But most believe it was a subset of the Torino brand since it was s sportier version of the Fairlane. The Cobra’s 428 cubic inch engine had a 4-barrel carburetor, of course, and was available with or without Ram Air induction. All Cobras came with upgrades such as a 3.25:1 open differential, heavy-duty cooling package, 55-ampere alternator, chrome valve covers and dual exhaust. When the Ram Air was added, like with the seller’s car, the differential was changed to 3.50:1 and the awkward looking (in my opinion) functional hood scoop was added.

The Fairlane/Torino series was quite popular in 1969, with 400,600 copies built that year. The Cobra represented a fraction of that number, with just 3,786 hardtops and 11,099 Sportsroofs produced. Perhaps the NASCAR angle generated enough interest to prompt buyers to choose that style 3 to 1 over the more conventional roof line. We’re told this Ford was purchased new in High Point, North Carolina and has stayed in the state ever since. While some body work has already been done given the presence of grey primer, there still is some light rust in the front fenders and rear quarter panels.

Digging further into the condition of the car’s body, the Ford is going to need a new right front floor pan while the driver’s side might settle for a patch. The floorboards in the rear seat area are still good. You’ll find more crusty stuff under the hood and the bumpers are gone, but the bumper brackets are included. One of the door’s window glass is also missing. The Cobra left the factory with Candyapple Red paint and the seller is providing a Marti Report that will document the car’s roots.

From the seller’s description, the engine runs but not for long as it can only run off a bottle of gas. The fuel tank has been pulled and will require replacing before the car can do anything but idle. But we don’t how roadworthy this vehicle will be once this situation is rectified. The odometer reading is 78,000 miles, so the engine and automatic transmission ought to have life left.

Given that the (Torino) Cobra saw a lot fewer builds than say the Chevelle SS 396 or Pontiac GTO, you don’t see many of them these days. Which may account for these automobiles going for as much as $50,000 today in great condition. If the reserve on this car isn’t high and you have a sufficient slush fund in the bank to finance the restoration, this could be a great muscle car to add to the harem.


WANTED 1977 Dodge Dodge Aspen RT Peferred driver, super PAC edition, fixer-upper. Contact

WANTED 1987 Dodge Charger Looking for a 1987 Dodge Shelby Charger GLHS Ready to buy now, serious buyer Contact

WANTED 1982 Corvette Chevrolet Corvette Under 40,000 miles. White exterior, Contact

WANTED 1967-1969 Pontiac Firebird Looking for an original 400 convertible, 3 or 4 speed preferred. No restomods. Contact

WANTED 1974 Porsche 914 2.0” “In a barn for over 30 years.” Contact

Submit Your Want Ad


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    North Wilkesboro NC, 1969 Cobra, wonder if previous owner(s) were NASCAR fans, perhaps from back in the day.

    There is plenty of confusion over whether this is a “Fairlane Cobra” or a “Torino Cobra” or just a “Cobra.” I think the Wikipedia reference does a good job of explaining it. Following the factory brochure, I tend to think that the most correct name is just “Cobra,” which means it is a Ford Cobra (just like other models in the lineup were the “Ford Fairlane” and “Ford Torino.”)

    It’s a big project, I hope someone undertakes it.

    Like 10
    • Steve R

      Ford called “Cobra” in 1969, they added Torino in 1970. There are several 1969 Ford advertisements on YouTube, many start out with the Cobra, none of them tack either Torino or Fairlane, the three are treated as stand alone models.

      Steve R

      Like 7
      • piper62j

        In mid 1968 Ford designated the Fairlane as a Torino GT option.

        Like 1
    • Dave

      With that pushed out grille I think that it’s a Talladega! NASCAR virtual raced at North Wilkesboro last year and the track was the inspiration for the track in Cars3.

      Like 1
      • Steve R

        Talladega’s had extended front fenders and rolled rocker panels. They also only came with a Q engine code since Ram Air was not available due to its hood scoop. If you Google 1969 Ford Torino Talladega VIN, it will give you a breakdown.

        Steve R

        Like 3
      • Gordon Lehnert

        There was also a Falcon 70 1/2 with the same body style except for the scoop. It came with a 302. I had one I bought from the original owner in 1985 for $325.00 it was immaculate with factory a/c am/fm radio. Evan had the window sticker and owners manual. Not to be confused with the 70 Falcon a square looking model. Many people thought it was a Torino but it was a 70 1/2 Ford Falcon. My wife loved it. I say loved it because we had to sell it because we moved out of state and had too .many vehicles. But I bought her a 65 Falcon Futura which was equally as nice, different body style and a different story. Drive safe everybody.

  2. Troy s

    And therein lies the problem with the name Cobra. Fastforward even ten years after its introduction, say “hey, check out that Ford Cobra!” and everyone is looking for a two seat sports car with brass knuckles under the hood. I just call them Fairlane Cobras to erase any confusion with a completely different car altogether and Still, “where, where”
    This one needs plenty of attention, but according to the seller its a super easy fixer upper. Could be nice.

    Like 2
  3. 67Firebird_Cvt Member

    Ok, stupid question but trying to learn here. If you were to drive this in the rain where does the water go when it enters the hood scoop?

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.