48k Original Miles: 1971 Ford Torino Cobra

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For the person on the hunt for an original survivor, this 1971 Torino Cobra might be just the car. It isn’t perfect, but it appears to be an honest car that is ready to be driven and enjoyed. The Torino is located in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN price of $29,950 for the Ford, but the option is available to make an offer.

The Torino is said to be original and unrestored, and while the original Medium Yellow Gold paint is looking quite good, the black on the hood is looking a bit baked. The car remains quite presentable, and unless the next owner is seeking perfection, then the temptation would definitely be to leave the black untouched, thus preserving the car’s originality. One new feature on the Torino Cobra for 1971 was the Body Side (laser) Tape Stripe, which had previously only been available as a Torino GT option. Those appear to be in good condition, and apart from a couple of minor marks and scratches, the whole car is in remarkable condition for its age.

Getting the Torino up and mobile is a 351-4V Cleveland V8 engine, a 4-speed, wide-ratio manual transmission, and a 3.25 Traction-Lok rear end. This Torino is said to not only be all-original, but the car has only covered 48,000 miles during its 48-year lifetime. The owner says that this Torino is fully sorted and that it runs and drives like a new car. It also comes with a substantial pile of documentation, including the original Bill of Sale, Build Sheet, Dealer Plate, Marti Report, and manuals.

As befits a survivor of this age, the interior of the Torino is good, but it isn’t perfect. The upholstery on the front seats is showing a bit of discoloring, but I suspect that they might respond well to a clean. The carpet is also showing its age a bit, but I think that the marks are probably beyond the cleaning stage. They aren’t terrible, so I would be inclined to leave them because replacing the carpet would compromise the vehicle’s originality. The only other real fault is a couple of cracks in the wheel rim, but it might be possible to have this restored so that it doesn’t deteriorate further. On the luxury and comfort front, the Torino is equipped with a factory AM/FM stereo radio, and factory air conditioning.

As an original survivor, this ’71 Torino Cobra looks like it is a good car. It appears to be straight and solid, and it is a low mileage vehicle that comes with significant documentation. As a classic, it probably occupies a prime position in the market. This is because while the mileage is low enough to positively impact upon its potential value and desirability, it isn’t so low that the next owner would be afraid to drive the car in case the value was negatively impacted. This is a classic that the next owner should be able to enjoy without these fears, and that’s really what owning a classic car is supposed to be all about.

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  1. Dirthharry

    Torino: The capital city of the Piemonte region in Northern Italy. Personally, I would like to take it to Torino and terrorize some Italian Cars. I like survivor cars that can be driven, including dropping the clutch, if it breaks it can be fixed.

    Like 13
  2. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Looks pretty good but I’d like to see some under body shots also. I’m no expert on this but didn’t the Cobra come with the shaker hood? There’s a few things, reports or not that IMO need clarification. Don’t know if the $$ are good or not but could be a fun car.

    Like 7
    • Michael Sheedy

      “J” code ram-air came with the shaker hood from the factory.

      Like 7
    • Mike B.

      351 cars had the shaker as an optional item. And as Mr. Sheedy said, the J-code 429CJ’s (and SCJ’s) came with the shaker.

      Like 0
  3. art

    Nice car. Note that the left quarter panel has been repainted. You can see that the drivers door, quarter panel extension, and trunk lid are a different shade.
    Still, this car is sharp and equipped with A/C makes it more desirable.
    Someone took care of this Ford.

    Like 4
  4. Troy s

    Man, they’ve got some muscle here today. Well, it looks like one anyways.
    I said it the other day about a Torino GT with a 429: killer looking body style for Ford, the outside is spot on with any of those other sporty mid sized cars from 70′-72′, 351 Cleveland is okay in a car this size might need more gear to really get moving, but the interior particularly the dash is just so boring! Again the four speed helps in more ways than one here but outside of the shifter there’s really nothing separating it from Dad’s ordinary family hauler. Love the car, but I’d goof it up with gauges, big tach, sport wheel, etc. I know it’s too valuable to mess with….just sayin’.

    Like 3
  5. JOHNMember

    It would be a lot more fun with the 429, but with the 351 and A/C, probably a much better driver. I kinda like the unusual color, it stands out. Not necessarily a Ford guy, but I like it!

    Like 4
  6. TimM

    Great car!! I think the price is fair for what it is!! Anything that has the cobra designation usually brings big money!! This car looks clean and well cared for the only rust I saw was a little bit of surface rust on the passenger side shock tower!!!

    Like 3
    • BoatmanMember

      Looks like the battery either leaked or blew up at some point.

      Like 0
  7. Stillrunners


    Like 1
  8. Gaspumpchas

    Would love to own this car, My $$ is on that sweet 351 c- with a 4 bbl this baby will fly, as those clevelands had such great heads and huge valves they breathed so well. Inspection a must, kinda wonder why the guy didn’t fix the rust on the shock towers with a rattle can. Good luck with this butterscotch beauty!

    Like 2
    • JOHNMember

      I am actually happy he left the shock tower as-is. Ih he tried to paint it, it would stand out like a sore thumb, that’s how “restorations” go bad for some people, You start with something somple, next thing you know the motor is out to paint the engine bay, then you paint the engine, then you detail the suspension, then… pretty soon you have a pile of parts. Many people get in WAY over their head, or their capabilities. But again, if you tried to touch up that 48 year old paint in just one spot, it wouldn’t look good overall. It’s a survivor, resist the temptation. Make sure the A/c works well, fix any little mechanical things and drive/show it as is. Besides, “survivor” cars are what collectors want these days. Again, not a Ford guy, but always liked the 70/71 Torino’s

      Like 1
  9. DougJ

    Like chas said, the 4 barrel Cleveland was a whole different motor than the 2 barrel. 4 bolt mains, huge valves that would BREATHE. Great engine.

    Like 3
  10. WR Hall

    I had a 73 Ranchero I bought as a total POS with a 351 C. I did lots of work including a not great engine rebuild. No matter it was VERY QUICK! I can only imagine how much faster it would have been if I knew then what know now about engine building. By the way it an FMX Automatic and probably a shift kit.

    Like 1
  11. JP

    I had one of these back in the day & wasn’t a Ford man but have to admit that it was pretty quick!

    Like 1
  12. DAVID 6

    😲 i have a 351 ho, 4 barrel
    that mickey tompson gave me 4 work
    performed, it’s in a 1958 f100 6′
    styleside’ + 9 other nothing
    newer than 73 car’s & truck’s
    too old 2 finish 😎

    Like 2
    • TimM

      David 6 how can I get in touch with you to see what you want to sell???

      Like 1
  13. KKW

    The most underrated and underappreciated muscle car of the era. Maybe not the fastest, but definitely the sharpest.

    Like 3
  14. mark houseman

    In 1981 I met an old man that had a 1970 Cobra Ram Air 4-speed with 385 miles. He bought it new. He wanted to sell it for what he paid for it…..I think it was 2800.00. It was yellow/black with the flat black hood and hood locking pins. Had dog dish Ford center caps. He said he wanted them so he wouldn’t have to worry about someone stealing the magnum wheels. I was 21 and had no money. My father was only in to antique cars and didn’t care about any muscle cars. I will always remember that car and what I could’ve owned with a little help from my father. Dang shame!!!!

    Like 2
  15. Woody

    These Torino’s are cool cars,one sold a few days ago had the ram-air “shaker” hood and original parts that could fetch a couple thousand dollars alone. The car went for just over ten-thousand,I think it was a great deal!

    Like 1
    • JOHNMember

      I think back at all the cars I bought for a few parts and basically threw the rest away, but back then, I had neither the space or $$ to store everything. What we considered “too far gone” then is entirely different today. If I only had that time machine…

      Like 0
  16. Del

    Torinos are neat. Like the color.

    But Ford really cheaped out on the interiors

    Like 1
  17. Woody

    Thinking-back I’m reminded the early ‘80s buying my first car,the rare ‘69 Plymouth M-code 440 Barracuda fastback that needed bodywork and with limited storage and cash my nice project had to go,my brother still has a ‘70 Cobra 429 which our dad owned.

    Like 1

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