Blank Slate Cobra! 1971 Ford Torino

Horsepower numbers for many muscle cars peaked in 1970 or 1971 before dropping both on paper (from the change from gross to net ratings in 1972) and for real (from lower compression ratios to meet emissions requirements). Subsequently 1971 marks the zenith of muscle’s golden age, and the 1971 Torino stands as Ford’s final entry on that stage. This 1971 Ford Torino Cobra in Fayetteville, North Carolina lacks a host of mechanical and cosmetic pieces. With a listing here on eBay, this Cobra awaits the opening bid of $2500.

To learn more about the genesis and design of the muscular 1970-71 Torino take a virtual walk and read Ford Designer Bill Shenk’s first-hand account on the Birth of the 1970 Ford Fairlane/Torino page here on, including how an Oreo cookie from his lunch played into this attractive aerodynamic design. While a standard grille probably graced this Torino, it may have had the optional hideaway headlights, and that setup alone could set you back $2000 on eBay. However the hideaway grille will continue to accrue value whether it’s attached to your car or not so, as an investments go, why not have one you can drive around?

The seller reports rust in the front floor pans, rocker panels and the underside of the trunk lid. Many sellers don’t have the guts to strip their interior flooring bare. regulars know that sometimes the carpeting is the only barrier between their classic’s interior and the grass or dirt below.

Originally equipped with an “M” code 351 four-barrel, this car might represent a host of connected panels for a rustier 429 Cobra restoration or a fairly solid Pro-Touring platform. Coyote swap, anyone? I love these Torinos, especially with the hideaway headlights. Plus they’re the closest thing in the USA to the Mad Max Falcon Interceptor. Who do you picture as the next owner, and what would you do with this blank slate Cobra?


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  1. RichS

    I’d combine a couple of your ideas and go Pro Touring Falcon Interceptor.

  2. Bill

    This guy has already stripped off all the good stuff for this to be a parts car, check out his other items. He has three of them buy looking at the ad that will end the same way.

    • Steve R

      He has a good business model. Buy a car, strip it, sell the part on eBay, list the shell for sale, have somebody pay you $2,500 to haul away the $200 carcass.

      Steve R

  3. LAB3

    Off topic and perhaps only a matter of symantics but compression ratios being lowered was done in anticipation of lead being removed from gasoline. Compression ratio in of itself has no direct effect on what ends up coming out of the tail pipe.

  4. Grumpy

    All the good stuff has been stripped off. An awfull lot of work to locate correct parts and reassemble it to work properly.

  5. Thomas

    I passed up on a running ’70 Torino GT with a shaker, 351C and a 4-speed just a few months ago locally. He wanted 5G for it. Should have jumped on it.

  6. Glen

    According to the coyote website, kits are only available for 68-70 Torinos. That seems odd to me. How different is the 71 to the 70?

    • Todd Fitch Staff

      Hi Glen – I thought the same thing and figured it was probably a typo. The ’71 is more like the ’70 than the ’68-’69 Torino or any other car on the planet. My understanding is that, even if you DIY as much as possible, you can sink well over $10,000 on a Coyote swap just for the motor, trans, and bare minimum stuff to make it work. However the idea of an EFI motor making over 400 HP with decent MPG (if you keep your foot out of it) and ability to perform at any temperature or altitude is highly appealing… to me anyway!

      • Joe Orango

        Todd I have a 1969 Fairlane CJ 428 C6 , 350 zoom gears, and would like to put a efi and electronic ignition. Do you have a suggestion?

    • Ed

      Glen, only difference I can think of between a 70 and 71 torino is the grill and centre emblem 1970 has a one piece grill and round emblem. 1971 has a split grill and square emblem. Hideaways are same for both years.

    • glen

      Thanks guys, typo makes sense. I should bring it to there attention.

  7. Troy S

    These are arguably the best looking mid sized Fords from back then, and mechanically speaking had potentially better engines than the earlier FE powered models. I still see a few of these around at shows, not many, just a few.

  8. Dale long

    If he will come down on the price I have all the parts to put this car back together minus the motor and transmission. I used to have the same card until I hurricane came through and drop the tree on top of it. I saved all the parts off of it but could not Salvage the body.

  9. Rocco

    What is the deal with the VIN#? The one listed with the e-bay ad doesn’t match the one pictured with pics.

  10. Todd Fitch Staff

    Hi Joe – I’m no expert but Pertronix is the go-to for standalone ignition upgrades (points to solid state) For EFI (which may or may not have ignition add-ons) the magazines like FAST but I’d also look at Megasquirt – They grew from a very sound scientific background and have more DIY stuff. Good luck!

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