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9k Original Miles: 1993 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra

Even though they were built in limited numbers, we’ve seen a few examples of the 1993 Mustang SVT Cobra appear on our desks here at Barn Finds in recent times. This one looks like a bit of a gem, and the owner has treated it to a few tweaks that should improve on what was already an accomplished driver’s car. The good news is that if a buyer is looking for complete originality, they could reverse most of these changes. It has a genuine 9,300 miles on the clock, which means that there should be plenty of life left in this classic. With values continuing to climb, now could also be an excellent time to get one of these classics parked in the garage. The Cobra is located in Seguin, Texas, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. Bidding has soared to $40,100, but this remains short of the reserve. The owner offers a BIN option of $55,000, and even that figure looks pretty attractive.

The good people at SVT created 4,993 examples of the Cobra. They offered these classics in three colors, and this is 1-of-1,854 where the buyer chose Black. I recently chanced upon some updated information that reveals that this was the most popular color choice. Some resources had previously led me to believe that the company had applied Vibrant Red clearcoat to 1,882 cars, but the actual figure is 1,784. The Holy Grail of the ’93 SVT Cobras is any vehicle finished in non-clearcoat Vibrant Red. If you ever happen to find one of those, you will have chanced upon a genuine 1-of-9 car. The Black that graces these panels looks extremely nice, with a brilliant shine and depth of finish. There is one small scratch on the passenger side front fender, but the rest is close to perfect. The Cobra’s cause has been aided by the owner’s decision to fit a protective cover over the vehicle’s front. This area of the Cobra can be prone to chips from errant stones, but this one has avoided that fate. The panels are as straight as an arrow, and rust is not an issue thanks to a combination of the dry Texas climate and the owner’s policy of never taking the Mustang out in the rain. The distinctive Cobra aerodynamic additions are in good order, as are the 17″ alloy wheels. The owner has installed aftermarket tinting on the glass, but this would be easy to remove if the buyer seeks originality.

Ford has a heritage of high performance, which also means that it has a Parts Bin that is full of fantastic components designed to extract the best from any car that they chose to weave their magic over. Ford’s SVT Department rummaged around in that bin, and their efforts were rewarded with a 5.0-liter V8 that offered performance that recaptured the Mustang’s glory days. By upgrading the intake, throttle body, injectors, cylinder heads, and exhaust, that sweet little V8 leaped from 205hp to an “official” 235hp. Bolted to the back of the V8 is a 5-speed manual transmission, while a Traction-Lok rear end, upgraded springs, Tokico shocks, and 4-wheel disc brakes rounded out the Cobra package. Pointed at a ¼ mile, this car should knock over that journey in 14.1 seconds. While various sources quoted a top speed figure of 150mph, as Barn Finder jwzg rightly pointed out in his excellent feedback to this Cobra article, that has always been the subject of some conjecture. The actual figure could potentially be more than 10mph lower, which is why we sometimes need to take these claims with a grain of salt. Wherever the truth may lay on that subject, if you manage to achieve it on a public road, you will likely find yourself making a financial contribution to your local law enforcement agency! This Cobra is numbers-matching, and the motor has never been touched. The owner has installed a 3.73 rear end, along with Bilstein shocks and struts, Eibach springs, MAC ceramic-coated headers, and an upgraded exhaust that includes Magnaflow components. He has also fitted Hotchkis upper and lower control arms, Maximum Motorsports caster/camber plates, and a strut tower brace. All of these upgrades should improve the performance and handling in a car that was already pretty respectable. For those that crave originality, he has retained all of the original components so that a future owner could return the vehicle to a showroom fresh state. The upshot of all of this hard work and capital outlay is that the Cobra runs and drives well, with no leaks or other problems.

When a buyer handed over their cash for a Mustang SVT Cobra, the standard interior trim was either Black or Gray cloth. However, 60% of buyers chose to hand over the additional $523.00 to have their seats upholstered in Opal Gray leather. That is what we find here, and the overall condition remains as impressive as you might expect in a car with less than 10,000 miles on the clock. There is no significant wear and no physical damage to the seats or the other upholstered surfaces. The dash is in good order, none of the plastic pieces have succumbed to UV deterioration, while the carpet and genuine Cobra floormats are in good order. The elastic on the door pockets are just beginning to sag, but the buyer should be able to address this easily and cheaply. The owner also acknowledges that the motor on the driver’s seat is becoming sluggish, so the buyer might need to invest $70 on a replacement motor. The original stereo turned up its toes, so the owner has fitted an aftermarket radio/CD player. The final change that the owner has made is to replace the factory shifter with a Hurst unit. I think that he may have retained the original so that a future owner could swap this back at any time. Apart from the power seats, the Cobra comes equipped with a driver’s airbag, ice-cold air conditioning, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, a remote hatch release, and a leather-wrapped wheel.

This 1993 Mustang SVT Cobra is a striking car, and its overall condition and mileage suggest that it should have many years of motoring enjoyment left to offer its next owner. For me, the only potential downside of writing for Barn Finds is that I keep producing articles about cars that I would love to park in my garage. This Cobra is one of those cars, but I’m not in a position to join the bidding war at present. Are you?


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Good write-up Adam. I think the key to these Cobras is that they are a complete, well-done package with solid performance, but they are also easy to live with. Thus the recent rise in values makes sense.

    Like 2
  2. Mikefromthehammer

    I read (in a comment somewhere on Barn Finds?) that “numbers matching” was not something Ford did. I wonder if there was an exception for “specials” produced by SVT?

    Most cars look their best in black. Unfortunately, that is for the first 10 minutes after being washed. They are dirty again as soon as the clock strikes 11 minutes.

    Like 3
    • Steve R

      That only relates to 1960’s and earlier cars. The federal government has mandated that VIN numbers must be stamped into blocks for several decades. My buddy helps with VIN verifications for the CHP that’s one of the things they check, they’ve found several restomods with late model drivetrains where the engine came out of a stolen car.

      Steve R

      Like 2
      • Mikefromthehammer

        Thanks, Steve R and jwzg for the info on numbers matching Fords.

        Like 1
      • Todd Zuercher

        That article matches what I’ve believed and known about Fords for many years as well, although I’d add that the Mustang Boss 302 cars weren’t the only ones with matching numbers on the blocks – the 65-67 K-code Mustangs did as well. I got in a ‘discussion’ either here or the other auction site recently with someone who was also insistent that all Fords since 1968 had the car’s VIN stamped on the block based on something he found online. I’ve been involved with Broncos for many years and I know from working with them that the Ford blocks in them had engineering codes on them and a production date code that can put them in the same timeframe as vehicle production.

        Like 0
      • Todd Zuercher

        And here’s an article that appears to refute/correct the originally linked article. I guess the partial VIN stamp *should* be there on all ’68-newer Ford vehicles.


        Like 0
    • robj Member

      I have one, original owner. Also in Black. My first and last black car. The look great when clean but seem to grow hair in, like you said, 10 minutes.

      Like 2
  3. Phipps Hadaway

    if i had this in high school when it was new i would have smelled like shrimp constantly

    Like 5
    • Tom

      Seriously…shrimp? Is that all the better you could do?

      Like 0
  4. JCA Member

    Wow, nice. They sure have gone up. Looks like he paid around $25k for it 7 years ago. Interesting list of part failures… radiator, wires and radio….

    Like 0

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