9,135 Mile 1969 Ford Torino Cobra

1969 Ford Torino Cobra 428

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Finding an R-code Torino Cobra 428 barn find is a pretty rare occurrence, finding one with less than 10k original miles is unheard of! These Fords were built for drag racing and most of them saw quite a few quarter mile blasts. This one supposedly has just 9,135 miles on the clock and was found in a barn. It’s out of the barn now and needs a good cleaning and some sorting. You can find this muscle car here on eBay in Galesburg, Michigan.

1969 Ford Torino Cobra Interior

At first glance, this looks like it really could be a 9k mile car, but there are a few things that concern me. First off, it has been repainted in the past. The seller guesses some time in the ’70s or ’80s. While the paint looks decent, it leaves me wondering what might be hiding underneath. It also suggests that this car has already been “restored” once so it’s hard to say what else might have been changed already.

1969 Ford Torino Cobra 428 CJ

The engine looks to be in decent shape, but is a bit of a mystery. The seller states that the engine has been rebuilt and offers the numbers for the intake, heads, carb, and transmission, but doesn’t offer the engine’s numbers. It could have the original engine, but it would be nice if they would have clarified if it is or not. The 428 Cobra Jet is an impressive engine, especially in R configuration. There was however one higher option engine, the Super Cobra Jet, which was a serious drag car engine when optioned as an R-code. This one looks to be the standard CJ with the Ram Air induction, but is still potent with over 300 horsepower. I hope the seller can clarify what is going on with the engine though, as that could greatly impact the value and fun factor.

1969 Ford Torino Cobra

So what do you guys think? Is the engine the original or a replacement? Does this car really have just 9k miles or has that dial been rolled back a bit?

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  1. Gnrdude

    Mehhh Needs allot of work To be Put back to 100% correct Condition. Too many Original and Hard to find Parts Missing.

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  2. Chuck

    Looks like it lived a hard life if mileage is true.
    The door jam where the left quarter welds to the jam does not look like factory quality work.

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  3. Birdman

    I question the legitimacy of the whole thing… the mileage, the motor, etc…

    Why would a car need to be repainted (possibly restored) and have the engine rebuilt in less than 10,000 miles? None of it adds up….

    And where’s the back seat?

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    • Joe

      Possibly a track car with paint design. Mixed street and 1/4 mile at a time with 1/4 mile return ending with 9K. A hard life. Not sure why there is a vin tag on door and one with paperwork. Overall, like 69 Torino 428 CJ’s.

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  4. Glen

    The ad states he doesn’t think any of the drivetrain is original.

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    • Gnrdude

      It Also states that the Car was in FACT a DRAG Car, so 9kMiles is Quite a Few trips down the Strip. & it’s missing just about everything original to the Car.

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  5. Bobsmyuncle

    Does ANYONE keep the cars they find?

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  6. joeinthousandoaks

    9100 hard miles at 1/4 a mile per start.

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  7. mark

    9000 miles accrued 1/4 mile at a time = time for a rebuild.

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  8. piper62j

    I’m very skeptical of this car.. The rear bumper is pushed in on the driver side.. Screws sitting in on the r/f shock tower.. Both shock tower support braces are missing and the front seat appears to have either a seat cover over the original upholstery, or the original upholstery has begun to wear thru at the outer hinge brace..

    Nahh.. No way this car has that low mileage and,,, it’s been hacked on.. Buyer beware.

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    • Jim

      Piper62j, what is missing from the shock towers? They look factory. Mine are the same(Torino GT 428CJ), they weren’t reinforced like the Mustangs.

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    • Jim

      I’m sorry to say the seat cover is original, its the same cheap vinyl and pattern as mine, I wasn’t sure so I went out and looked, it looked familiar.

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  9. McQ

    Where to begin….many issues like this car was originally equipped with power disc brakes (standard on FAIRLANE Cobras). Originally a C-6 Automatic (which was a very rare R code servo with a cast iron tailshaft plus HD clutches, etc.). All 4 speed CJ unibody cars came with staggerd rear shocks to help dampen wheel hop.

    I was fortunate to have worked in a Ford dealership in ’69. The sales manager allowed me to order our dealership drag car. Mustang? No way. I selected a FAIRLANE Cobra formal roof; black on black; drag pack with 3.91’s (4.30’s optional) and automatic. I wanted to order the 4 speed but Sales Mgr. said automatic required so he could enjoy running down the strip too. Oh and ram air too. Drag Pack was available to non Ram Air 428 CJ’s too. The drag pack 428 CJ didn’t make any more horsepower over the standard CJ but it did have capscrew rod bolts similar to the 427. Two rear gear ratios available with drag pack only – as mentioned 3.91’s or 4.30’s and both with traction lock.

    Our George Muggli Ford Sales (Grandview, WA) FAIRLANE Cobra ran consistently 13.7’s/100+ mph at Deer Park Drag Strip north of Spokane. We would pack six of us in that black FAIRLANE , drive over 200 miles and run in Pure Stock on the standard Goodyear Polyglas tires (14″). In the heat of summer! Were we hot? Absolutely not. Cool all the way.

    My opinion on this “Torino” Cobra is it’s a true ’69 FAIRLANE Cobra in very good condition but would be best restored back to original. Note on the Marti Report the car is a Fairlane. Confusing because for ’70-’71 the Cobra did become TORINO.

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    • Jim

      I’d love to have that car now! I want to add the drag pack was standard on the Cobra and optional on Torino GT, also Mustang Mach 1 428 cars. It included 31 spline axles, Detroit Locker posi unit which (clunked making tight turns) also most got modular iron rear end center section hag but not everyone one, oil cooler, special fan clutch, 4spd cars got a different clutch, auto’s had different valve body and governor and staggered shocks in rear. Only in ’69 not ’68 any 4spd Torino could get staggered shocks as a stand alone option. Mine doesn’t have them. Great cars though.

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    • Dan

      Hey, Mike. Great to see your note. What a memory!… But, there were actually only five of us in the car… (bucket seats in front) Cheers, Dan

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  10. McQ

    One feature I forgot to mention that was unique to the Drag Pack 428CJ’s was a very cool Engine Oil Cooler. Necessary due to the consistently higher RPM’s the 428 ran thanks to the lower rear gear ratios.
    And that C6? What an amazing transmission. The Cobra ran best by just leaving the trans in Drive. And we held on when that C6 made the shift to 2nd…..seriously it would burn rubber and fishtail to the right with that shift. Such a fun car to drive.

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  11. Jim

    I can help with this one. The repaint may be from having a hundred stickers on the car which was popular back then, a lot of guys are more subtle now. And the glue on those old stickers became permanent after baking in the sun over a few years period. The only way to remove them was to sand or grind them off. Besides turtles paint didn’t weather well back then. The drivers side quarter panel at the B pillar still has the original spot welds, Although there is some gray primer overspray showing on the edge. The original color which shows in the trunk is the same as my ’69 Torino GT Fastback, it’s called “Caribbean Maroon” and the respray is a very close match, it may be a cheaper enamel from the nineties when the paint companies were still tweaking their mixtures to comply with EPA reg’s. If anyone has a body shop you could probably explain the crap that went on during the ’80-’90’s. I decided the vin and it is what he claims. The back seat was probably removed for weight. The problem eith the vin; this is nuts, my car had a ’68 police 428 replacement shirt block in it when I bought it. I was able to track down the original owner in Alabama where the car was built, sold and owned since day one until I got it in 1999. The original owner (an old racing family) still had the original in a shed from when he pulled it out in ’75. I spent the day with him and his sons and believe that it’s the original, another very nice car guy. He verified from the guy I bought it from that I now owned it(they’re friends) and sold it to me for one dollar. If had a bad cam and spun a rod bearing, Shiite gas been rebuilt and waiting to go back in. He also gavd me a grest deal on some other old fe engine parts. Both motors have no vin! The pad that should have been machined flat and stamped is raw raised area on both. All the homework I was able to do including Ford engineering people when I was Service mgr at a dealer came up with the same answer, stamping fe blocks was hit and miss during the ’60’s, especially during and after the engine plant strikes. It may of may not be original, if the block isn’t stamped you can only go by casting numbers. It sucks but that’s the way Ford was then. By ’67 the Windsor engines were all being stamped and the 385 series 429-460 were all stamped from day one. This us a nice car and it wasn’t butchered like a lot and raced within an inch of its life. The ram-air air cleaner is missing and some badging but that can be sourced, the intake manifold looks a little taller than the cobra jet intake, possibly an old 427 piece but the casting numbers will tell. One more, the interior floor that looks like red rustoleum primer is the factory primer, the trunk is correct, the cobra didn’t get speckled paint. This car I can help with.

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  12. McQ

    This Cobra is one of four because: it was ordered with 3.00 gears! A highway cruiser for sure. Obviously back in ’69 few 428 CJ buyers wanted 3.00 gears. Maybe a great get-away car for out running the law!

    I did notice also that on the Marti Report Torino is listed. It’s just a minor issue for me. All the original FoMoCo materials initially listed the Cobra as an optional package for the Fairlane. Again a minor issue.

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  13. Jim

    The Marti reports are very good but not always perfect, Ford’s records weren’t either back then. That 3:00 ratio was an oddball but could be special ordered. I believe in ’68 the Cobra was an option in the Fairlane line but to make the car more unique for ’69 it was its own model.

    Like 1
    • McQ

      Sorry Jim but you’re incorrect about the drag pack being standard on the Cobra model. Most Mustang/Torino, etc. 428 CJ’s were standard (and standard was an excellent power package). The Cobra was Ford’s response to the hugely successful MoPar Road Runner/Super Bee packages. A low optioned car with lots of power.

      Another point – the Detroit Locker was added in ’70 for the Drag Pack when 4.30’s were selected. For ’69 both 3.91/4.30 were the Traction Lock equipped.

      All 428 CJ cars had 31 spline axles to go with the Nodular iron differential case.

      There were no ’68 Fairlane Cobras. The 428CJ did become available in April, 1968, for Mustangs, Fairlane/Torino/Cougars. Very few were built especially for the Fairlane-Torino.

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      • Jim

        McQ, I could be wrong on some, I’ll dig out my books and sales flyers. I’ll let you know what my Ford propaganda says.

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  14. piper62j

    My bad.. I could just barley see the 4 holes in the cowl panel where the supports would bolt to.. I researched other Torinos and they do not have the tower supports..

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    • Jim

      Piper62j, there are 4 holes in the lip or rail on the firewall, I’ve never seen anything from the factory attached to them. It’s logical to think if they put holes there and every step taken during manufacturing costs, they would have a purpose. I’ve seen two road raced Torinos use the holes for home made braces, perhaps Ford did that for NASCAR?

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  15. JimmyinTEXAS

    When does a “1969 Ford Torino Cobra 428 R-Code” cease to be a “1969 Ford Torino Cobra 428 R-Code”. Or any other car for that matter. This reminds me of George Washington’s ax, Yup original G.W. ax. head has been replaced once and handle twice, but this is it, still has cherry juice on it…

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    • JayGryph

      Mustang of Theseus.

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  16. piper62j

    Jim.. I’ve been on CL, EBay, Youtube and haven’t seen one Torino with those braces.. You may be right in that it might have been some sort of modification, but definitely not a factory production requirement.. Go figure..

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  17. Jim

    Like I said the two road racing Torinos I’ve seen that had braces were made by the owners, similar to the Mustang brace but I’ve never seen anything from Ford bolted to those holes. Maybe some engineer thought they would use a brace but didn’t, who knows.

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  18. Dan

    I don’t think Ford stamped VIN numbers on the block back then, I could be wrong, but thinking I read that somewhere. I have a neighbor who owns a ’68 with the 428 Cobra Jet engine…and he is the original owner…nope won’t sell it….

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  19. Jim

    I have a 1970 truck 390 block I just finished welding, I looked at it, it has the same raised pad as my 2 428’s but it’s machined smooth and us stamped. I called my buddy who has a collection if fe’s, he agreed the later the block the better chance it was stamped, none of his fe blocks with casting numbers prior to ’68 have numbers with the exception of a 427 side oiler. I think Ford engine serial numbers are going to be an open ended conversation until some old Ford engine plant guy comes forward to explain.

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  20. Randy

    I have a similar car, a 1969 Torino GT 428CJ R-Code Formal Roof. Mine has the auto trans (this car started life with one) with that R servo. This car looks like it has had a hard life, but I wouldn’t worry about the block VIN number issue. Some CJ’s got stamped, some didn’t. Never say never with Ford. Just worry about the date codes matching. I do not believe the mileage. Just too much wear in a lot of places. There’s a lot missing on this car (like the ram-air and smog) but they’re certainly fun to drive!

    BTW, if anyone has a rust-free body shell or sheet metal in this style of Torino, please contact me!

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  21. Rocco

    I like this old cars.
    I know for sure that a friend of mine ’69 Mustang 428CJ
    or not (was there a 428 non CJ available?), C-6 auto, came from the factory with a 3.25 ratio open, and 28 spline axles, no Nodular case. His and mine other buddy had a ’69 Torino (don’t remember if it was a GT or Cobra) with 428CJ, C-6 auto, had 3.50 ratio Trac-Loc, 31 spline axles. This was in 1976.

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  22. Bryan

    Here’s a pic of my Black Jade 69 Fairlane Cobra that i bought from my Mom in 1981 (when I was 17). She bought the car new at Pingrey Ford in Selah, WA in 1970 (near Yakima).

    Nobody came close to beating this car while I was in high school, and lots of Camaros and Trans Ams tried! As a reckless youth i didn’t wreck the car and never even received a speeding ticket.

    I had the car stripped and repainted about 15 yrs ago; the body shop couldn’t believe it had zero rust and zero bondo. I’m 52 now and this car has been in my life since I was 6 yrs old.

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    • Rocco

      What trans came in it in ’69 (4-speed/auto)?

      Very nice ride!

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  23. piper62j

    Nice car Bryan.. Sweet..

    Like 1
  24. McQ

    Beautiful ’69 Cobra in one of Ford’s best color offerings. Did Mom and you live in Grandview in late ’70’s? I was living up road in Sunnyside at that time and remember a nice Black Jade Cobra Sportsroof driven by a lady. Saw it often as what appeared to be a daily driver.

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    • Bryan

      Yes, McQ, that’s the same car! We lived in Grandview from 1977 to 1984. She worked in Sunnyside and drove the car daily until I bought it from her around 1981. The car moved with me to the Tri-cities after I graduated in 82.

      The Cobra originally came with dog-dish/ poverty caps but I replaced them with the chrome styled Ford wheels when I restored it.

      Here’s a pic of my sister and I in front of the Cobra in Yakima in 1973.

      Like 1
  25. McQ

    How coincidental. As stated I remember that Cobra clearly. As you can see from my original post – Grandview Muggli Ford Cobra story I was a genuine fan of these cars. The guy who gave approval for me to order the Cobra was Bob Fergus who went on to own Fergie’s Cars when Muggli moved to Wapato. George Muggli allowed the deal if Bob bought the car. We all took turns driving it on the strip. Bob trusted me enough to let me cruise around the valley. True story: In a street race with a B stock (Cobra’s were C stock … 335 horsepowr rating) ’69 Six Pack Super Bee 4 speed, I was able to pull the Bee by a fender. Second run he got me by a fender. Seriously it was that close. The Bee was the fiberglass lift off hood model that was under rated at 375. Of course the 428CJ was way under rated by Ford at 335 horsepower. Everyone knew that was done to keep CJ powered cars in C Stock where they dominated.
    You’re very wise to have kept your Fairlane Cobra. What a special vehicle from the Muscle Car era.
    I left Sunnyside in ’82 moving to Spokane. But I still have a residence(cabin) up at Rimrock. I pass through the tri cities occasionally. I’d enjoy meeting you so I could have a close up admiring look at your one owner ’69 Cobra.
    Oh do you remember the Calypso Coral (orange) ’70 Cobra 429 SCJ around Grandview? Ordered new by Muggli Parts Man Bud Walker. Drag Pack, 3.91’s, C-6 – it ran well but not as well as the 428SCJ. Drag Strip proven.
    So glad you’ve got that Cobra!

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    • Rocco

      I love these stories.

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  26. Jason Houston

    I, too, adore stories of cars and people that have come full circle!

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  27. Bryan

    McQ, Bob Fergus sold my Mom a Ford LTD after I bought the Cobra. Small world! Email me at bryanst428@msn.com

    Like 0

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