Big Block Barn Find: 1969 Ford Torino Cobra

Ford Torino Cobra

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This is the kind of barn find we all dream of! A big red barn with hay and a mysterious car hiding in the corner. I know if I had stumbled upon it, the moment I spotted the car my heart rate and blood pressure would have been through the roof! Hiding under this tarp is a rather rare and desirable muscle car with a big block V8. Everything is better with a big block right? Alright, so not every car benefits from having a big block shoved under the hood, but this particular car benefits infinitely from having one. This 1969 Torino is the desirable Cobra version with the mighty 428 Cobra Jet and the Ram Air option.  It was parked in this barn by the original owner 23 years ago and is still in original condition. The seller claims it currently runs and drives great, so be sure to check it out here on eBay out of Bayside, New York.

Cobra Jet Under Wraps

After the incredible success of the Plymouth Road Runner, Ford decided it needed a cheaper muscle car that could compete with the Mopar. To keep costs down, Ford used the base Fairlane 500 as the starting point instead of the more expensive Torino, so in reality this is a Fairlane Cobra. After Ford ran a few ads calling it the Torino Cobra, the name stuck. Things only got more confusing after they built the Torino Talledegas, which were based on the Cobra. Whether you call it a Cobra, a Fairlane, or a Torino makes little difference to me though. All that I care about is that big block up front and all the torque it’s capable of producing!

Ford 428 Cobra Jet

The Cobra was more than just an engine option, it was an entire performance package that took the mundane Torino (eh Fairlane) and turned it into a mean street machine. The 428 was rated at 335 hp, but in reality was putting out closer to 400 horses. The Torino wasn’t a particularly nimble car to begin with, so the added weight of the 428 Cobra Jet was negligible. The added power and thrust on the other hand, made this into one big rocket! For those who felt the Cobra Jet needed even more power could option their car with the Ram Air package, which made the hood scoop functional.

Torino Cobra Interior

Since adding more power meant one thing, more speed, Ford decided it would be wise to improve the suspension and install higher performance tires. The car still handled like a boat, but it was a bit easier to hustle through corners. Truth is Ford’s main concern wasn’t making the Torino turn or stop, but going fast in a straight line and they certainly achieved that goal. If one did decide to attempt to throw their Cobra into a fast turn, the bucket seats and center console helped to keep them in place. And if things get a little hairy in the middle of a fast turn this one was optioned with the upgraded front disc brakes, which should help slowing this rocket down a bit. Overall this car is in solid shape, but will benefit from a good detailing and some attention.

1969 Ford Torino Cobra

This is a rather desirable muscle car, especially amongst the Ford crowd, but sadly the seller believes the car is worth top dollar. Bidding has already climbed and stalled in the five digit area while the reserve is still unmet, which makes me think they might be valuing it well above true market value. I personally don’t see anything wrong with them making a little money for the work they’ve put into it, as they have fixed the brakes and gotten it running again, but hopefully they realize it isn’t a perfect car. Their statement, “I know what I have and I’m not giving it away for nothing” makes me a bit nervous and leaves me wondering what they paid the original owner for it. If they had restored it or it was in pristine condition, then I could see it going for top dollar, but it is still going to need a lot of money and work invested into it. I guess we will just have to wait and see where bidding goes from here. So if you were in the market for a Torino Cobra what would you be willing to pay for this one?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Michael

    A unique car but it looks like the seller thinks this is a Mustang. It’s probably rarer than a CobraJet Mustang but rarity is only one component of value.

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  2. mike

    no rust?? not buying that..dry barn?? needs a lot of work to make right…nice butt crack picture..should lower the price…

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    • Moxman

      I saw the butt crack shot too; and was totally grossed out by it. I also question the “no rust” statement. To substantiate that claim, the seller should have taken pictures of the trunk floor and the interior, with the carpet lifted. I don’t know what these cars are worth, but this one will need a complete restoration; which could run $25K…or more?

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    • ConservativesDefeated

      Really! Beat me to it! As a country we have fallen farther than we ever thought possible!

      As to the car………..its a slushbox in a big wandering Ford. In a straight line it might beat something heavier…… but…..

      Funny…..forty years later to see people’s response to cars we once saw as just bloated barges.

      Sic Transit Gloria

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  3. jim s

    very interesting car. i think it would need a PI as i think i see rust. i wonder what the story on the other motor is. nice find.

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  4. DolphinMember

    One of the most appealing pics among these is the underside shot. Some of the other pics, not so appealing.

    I’ll bet that dogleg next to the door would poke thru easily. By the looks of it there’s some filler there under some blown in primer. Looks like some other bubbling down low too. Still, in decent shape considering it’s been in New York. Bare floor and trunk shots needed to tell much more.

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  5. Shilo

    I NEED this car. Love it!!!!

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  6. tom999p

    Too bad, another instance of an old man being taken advantage of in the name of the almighty dollar. He tried for years to buy it, now is dropping it like a hot potato once he has it…

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    • Spinnerneil

      My close friend had one of these, screaming fast, the down side this same friend blew 3 auto trans. C6 I don’t know but this was a real problem

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  7. Mark E

    Having stored many cars in a REAL barn like this one, I’d be at least as concerned about rodent damage as rust, seeing how long this car has been stored there with hay and crap on the floor. Then again, hm, is that floor dirt or concrete? Maybe I -would- be more concerned about rust…

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  8. geomechs geomechsMember

    If I wanted to see the finalists for the annual Plumber’s Cleavage awards, I would’ve turned to that channel. Dammit, the guy should’ve taken that picture out! Now I’m going to need a year’s counseling.

    Aside from that, it (the car, silly) looks like a great find. While not especially a muscle car fanatic, I could enjoy having a car like that. I’d even do it up the same color.

    Yuck!!!! Plumber’s butt shot…. Gross you out or what?!?!

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    • DolphinMember

      I feel your pain, Geo, but out of pain sometimes comes something funny.

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  9. Clay Bryant

    Butt crack shot?I didn’t see no butt crack.I just look at cars on here………………………..

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  10. Dirty Dingus McGee

    That butt crack photo should be worth a couple thou off the price. Didn’t need to see THAT first thing in the morning.

    Not normally a follower of the blue oval and don’t believe I’ve ever seen one of these before. Fastback yes, but not the coupe. Considering the age and location, it looks to be in pretty good shape. No idea on the value, but I would guess anything around $15K or so would be a decent deal.

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  11. junkmanMember

    These motors were famous for lower end problems, caution recommended !!

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  12. pursang

    There’ s a barn in Bayside, Queens, NY?

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  13. rancho bella

    Missing parts, dash has been drilled/cut to add after market gauges, what is all of the rust colored debris on both sides of the front floor, perhaps just dirt, mold inside.
    Upside is……….it is a formal roof and much harder to come by and an R code.
    A PPI should be done, just to iffy. As to prices………..I am clueless any more

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    • Mike B SVT

      Rancho, the brown gunk on the floor is from the firewall insulation falling apart due to age. Now imagine the first time you drive it with the windows down… all that loose crap being blown around like a rotten brown tornado all over you and your passengers!

      But yeah, missing parts… distributor and aircleaner will set you back about $2k. Repro smog setup would be about $1.5k, if you wanted to go that far with it.

      Personally, I prefer this formal roof style over the fastback. Nice color combo too ~ diamond blue with the blue interior, very cool.

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  14. Barry Thomas

    Surprised that this one has bucket seats, as I thought most would have been with a bench. Rare car, since these Fords never saw much action in the market place as a notchback or the fastback. One of my business associates has a restored ’69 notch. Can’t see this being worth too much more than the top bid. And yes, what was that fellow thinking when he posted “that” pic?
    Barry Thomas’ “Wheel to Wheel” blog

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  15. DonM

    Glad I viewed the listing before breakfast. It constantly amazes me how people have no shame.

    Never liked these bloated turds anyway. What’s the point of going fast in a straight line if you have to slow down so much for the curves? Last american cars I liked was first generation Mustang notch backs and the first gen Merc Cougar (but NOT the second gen Mustang). Probably why I had never owned an American “car” until I got a 60 Buick this summer.

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  16. paul

    Put away dry, but you may have a tug-of -war with the Anaconda living in the heater vents.

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  17. William Henshaw

    Not the nimblest car available, but it wasn’t meant to be. This car was built to go in a straight line very fast. It is what it is. Looks complete, but could just be a complete pile. I don’t want to go to New York to inspect it, although I hear they make the best salsa there. Is it rare? Super Cobra Jets are rare, Talladegas are rare, I would guess this would be next in line. Price seems high to me and it needs more work and money thrown it’s way. Looks like something I would leave in the barn.

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  18. Mike_B_SVT

    Finally got to look at all the pics ~ yay Plumbers!
    Anyhoo, car looks pretty solid to me. Maybe some pin holes in the usual places, and a touch behind the rear wheels. $15k is probably tops, as they can be found relatively easily – although I haven’t priced these in a while. Still, looks like a good place to start if you want a formal roof cobra.

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  19. Jesse Mortensen JesseStaff

    The seller pulled the listing before the auction was over so we can only assume that a deal was made offline.

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