EXCLUSIVE: 1970 Ford Torino 429 Cobra Jet

Reader Paul S has quite the amazing find parked in his garage! He found this Torino 429 Cobra Jet in California about 12 years ago. It had been parked for years and was in need of a new home. He transported it to Frantown, Colorado and then put it in storage and that’s where it has remained ever since. He’s done some work to it recently and has it running and driving, but it still needs more work to be a real show stopper though. He’s asking $20,000 for it and it is still in Frantown, Colorado. If you’d love to give this Torino a new home, be sure to message him via the form below!

I know what your thinking, $20k is a lot of money for a Tornio project, but remember they didn’t build many 429 Cobra Jet powered Torinos. Nice Torino 429s can fetch up to six figures, given that this one is solid with a straight body, original paint under the primer and a fully rebuilt engine, it seems to me like an incredible buy! I would try to carefully remove the grey primer to see how the original gold paint is looking. Chances are it will need a new coat of paint, but I think it would be well worth the effort to try and save the original paint.

These cars were quite quick when new, especially given their size. There were several performance levels offered with the 429, from 360 horsepower up to 375. This Cobra is packing the middle level engine with a cool 370 horsepower. The optional Shaker hood should help the engine breath a little better during those sprints down the quarter mile, while making this one mean looking machine! Paul has already rebuilt the engine, installed a new radiator, and installed a new Flow Master exhaust to make sure it runs and sounds great.

The interior looks to be in decent shape, but Paul admits it will need a new headliner, the dash is cracking and the steering wheel could probably use being replaced. The dash will be the most difficult piece to find, but it might be easier to have it refurbished.

It might not be in perfect condition, but it really doesn’t look like a huge project to undertake at this point. Paul has done most of the heavy lifting already. The paint is a bit of a bummer, but you never know what you might find under the primer. Some careful work might just reveal decent paint underneath and a cool patina. These really are grand and impressive machines, especially when you consider something his heavy is capable of hitting 60 mph in just 6 seconds! I can see why they are fetching so much money these days.

I want to thank Paul for listing his big block Torino Cobra as an Exclusive! If any of you have a classic that you are thinking about selling, please consider listing here on Barn Finds!

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  1. ShaunD

    What a fabulous car. If I didn’t live in the U.K. I’d love to take this project on.

  2. David montanbeau

    I can help to ship it fo the UK.

  3. Dave Member

    I’m a big fan of engine breath.

  4. charlie

    “Chances are it will need a new coat of paint” Ya Think?

  5. Cubs win

    Auto or stick?

    • Cherokee Bill


      • Nova Scotian

        Clutches in the trans are gonna be soft after all these years. Plan on a rebuild. ASAP

      • Rocco in Florida

        You can do a lot with a C-6 tranny. The C-6 and the Chrysler 727 are the best performance transmissions. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take a 4-speed over a slush any day, but if it isn’t possible, a C-6 behind a big block is sweeeeet.

      • RS

        A friend of mine who was an auto trans builder for many years would disagree with you on the best auto trans. You pegged the TF and C6 as best but he explained to me once why the TurboHydro (especially the TH400, for its HD nature) is best: as he told me, the TF and the C6, as each shifts to the next gear, they release a clutch and apply a clutch. The TurboHydro only applies another clutch, there is no timing of releasing one to apply the next. It’s just ‘apply, apply’ as it shifts to 2nd and 3rd, which he said makes it more reliable.

        And I’ll take a good automatic of any sort over a 4 speed any day myself. Automatics don’t miss shifts. 4 speed is more fun to drive around town tho.

    • Rocco in Florida

      Do you mean, a “slush” or a “hook”? LOL

  6. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    I remember it like it was yesterday when I saw up close and personal a Red ’70 Torino Cobra 429 non-shaker hood with a Toploader 4-speed. I drooled then and am drooling now. Is it an auto. or 4-speed transmission?

  7. Jeff V

    Had one in hs, mine was an auto (C6) on the column with bench seat. I was in auto-shop and installed air shocks on the rear & N50 tires with Cragers. Also installed a fire extinguisher on the dash, I was thinking race-car cool lol. Mine was yellow with black int & hood. My hs buddy had a red one with the factory rear window louvers. We had fun! (75-76). Joined the Navy and let dad have it, after hs!

    • RS

      The late 60’s / early 70’s ‘must do’ list for a cool high school car:
      1. Under dash or maybe in-dash stereo with tape player.
      2. 120 watt amplified Mindblower speakers in the rear package shelf, or possibly Jensen coaxial or triaxials. (Amazing how much better car stereos sound today.)
      3. Big tires in back
      4. Air shocks in back
      I think that covered the basics…

      • Mike

        Dude, don’t forget the “side pipes”…LOL

        Like 1
  8. Kevin Wernick

    I had a buddy in high school back in the day, who had a red 70, basic Cobra, no frills 4speed bench seat, dog dish caps with beauty rings, but it would get down the road in a hurry. Torinos were probably the most underrated, unappreciated muscle car of the era. Too many Mustangs already in the spotlight.

  9. Dairymen

    Awesome car, I had 1 with a 351 in it, but when did you see 1 bring 6 figures?

  10. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Why is there a snorkel air filter housing with a shaker hood scoop?
    One of my favorite Fords..and I didn’t have many

    • Kevin Wernick

      Good point, been so long since I’ve seen one, I can’t remember what the air cleaner actually looked like. One of my favorite Fords too, and I do have many. Correction to the writer, it’s “Franktown” Co., not Frantown.

    • Ed

      The snorkel was factory on Torino Shaker air cleaners. Not sure about mustang but my 70 Torino has the snorkel. Nice car and they were under rated by most.

      • scottymac

        What was it with Ford later in the Seventies, their air cleaners looked like they had an oil filter stuck on the side?

    • Sean

      So in the rain it could still suck in air, not water. Different than mopar shakers

      • G 1

        Look at a Buick GS. Bird droppings would land in there
        That oil filter looking thing on some of the Ford engines like a 460 is a resonator.

    • Mike_B_SVT

      As mentioned, the snorkel is factory. Same for mustang and cougar with ram-air. It does beg the question of how much “ram” effect you are actually getting when there is an open path right out the end of the snorkel!

      Hmm… maybe more like a “cold air induction” instead.

    • wuzjeepnowsaab

      So how did other makers handle rain water? AMC, Dodge/Plymouth (thinking Dart hood scoops), GM? Lots of cars from that era had forward facing air scoops.

      Cold starts/running should easily have been handled by the choke system. And a snorkel under the hood wouldn’t stop water coming from the top anyway…so dunno? Probably not enough water would make it in there anyway, but…

      Looks funky either way

      • Mike_B_SVT

        The scoop induction was controlled by vacuum. When you mash the gas intake vac drops and a flapper kicks open allowing the cold air to reach the engine.
        The pic is my Cougar, but you can see the flapper on top, which is similar to what you would find underneath the scoop part of the Cobra shaker (similar to Mustang shakers as well). It is open in my pic, but when the engine is running and pulling vacuum it snaps closed. Mash the gas and it opens up.
        Rain water (and stray wash water) gets drained out of the bottom of the air cleaner base through small drain holes.

        As for cold starts, yes the choke takes care of it. The snorkel draws warm air off of the exhaust manifold for faster warm-up. When it gets up to temp a flapper shifts and pulls cooler air from the side of the engine bay. Except when you excercise the Ram Air induction ;-)

        Like 1
  11. Howard A Member

    We’ve seen, thanks to BF’s, a sampling of what was offered in ’69 and ’70. The ’69 442, the Chevelle, well, Ford was NOT to be outdone here, and this was the monster to do it. We didn’t see many Torino’s with the “Shaker” hood scoop, but the one’s we saw made a heck of a noise. I think the ’70 Torino was my favorite, and this one is no exception. Quite a piece of history here, now, like someone else said, let’s hear from the MOPAR camp. I’ve ridden in cars like this ( never owned one) but I could just imagine someone’s face, who drove nothing but Kia’s, when the “loud pedal” was mashed. BTW, that snorkel on the air cleaner, was for warm air intake when cold. Without it, these things would stumble like a poet on payday.

    Like 1
    • Angrymike

      Wow, I don’t know how, but I’ve never thought about today’s youth and their Honda’s. I sold my 67 Chevelle SS 427, replaced with a low mileage 06 Mustang GT convertible, but I’d like to see the faces of the youth after one ride in and old muscle car.
      I took my mother in my Chevelle once, I kinda stomped on it to get around traffic, I’ll never forget my mother’s face ! She screamed at me to slow down immediately, even though I didn’t hit 60, kids probably would be about the same without the autistic screeching ! Mom’s gone now and it’s one of my best memories, if my father was alive he’d have probably have given my crap, but it was a great memory……

      • G2

        Can’t wait till we feature a 67 Chevelle SS – (or 06 Mustang) so I can post a picture of my 41 Buick – and somehow try to tie it all together (Sheez..!!)

      • RS

        That Chevelle looks SO GOOD compared to what it would if some kid got hold of it and put clown shoe wheels on it with 1.5 inch tire sidewalls.

  12. glenn merithew

    Hi, a big barn finds fan I love the site, I had a 71 torino cobra it had the 351 cleaveland red with black interior and the c6 auto I loved that car going down rt 60 and hitting 100 mpr was a blast ah the good old days still regret to this day getting rid of it ah youth oh well thanks for letting me wax on

    • RS

      We may be the last generation that really knew how to enjoy being young. Our cars were better, our music was better, our lives were better IMO.

      Like 1
      • Kevin Wernick

        Amen to that. Btw, no auto trans was stouter than a C6 back in the day

      • Trey

        RS, that’s so true. The lives of today’s kids are worthless.

      • SR

        RS my friend you speak the truth, it’s not your opinion. We didn’t have friends, we had buddies, friends were people you knew that had a sister you wanted go out with. Buddies you hung out with helped with each other’s cars and you knew they had your back. I’m sure I’ll be hearing from some of the little snot nose punks.

    • Rocco in Florida

      @ Glenn M.
      Someone must have installed the C-6 at a later date in the ’71 Torino. The smallblock C-6 for 351’s didn’t come out ’til ’72 in the 351C Cobra Jet(Must.,Torino,Cougar) only. All 2V carburater 351’s had the FMX trans. Later in ’78, Ford even put them in F-150 trucks with 302 2V carb’s.

      • Kevin Wernick

        I had a 73 Cougar with a 2-barrel Cleveland and a C6. As I recall, it was either the only year, or the final year of that combination. And there never was a Ford pickup with an FMX, if that’s what you’re saying.

      • Rocco in Florida

        @Kevin W.
        I’ve been in the transmission business(owner & builder) for 41 years. I’ve never seen a C-6 behind a 2-barrel Cleveland in a Pony or mid-sized car. Maybe I’ve never encountered a “1973” Cougar, but plenty of ’69-’72 Cougars with 351’s(W’s or C’s), and they all had FMX’s. I did see a ’72-’74 Torino 351C 2V with a C-4 (pan fill) once.
        There were FMX’s in F-150’s occasionally in the early ’70’s.

  13. Ty

    I’m a Mustang guy but I own a couple of Torino’s. Both are 71, one a GT fastback and one a GT convertible both with 4V Cleveland’s and shakers. In my opinion 70 and 71 Torino’s are one of the most underrated muscle cars out there. Beautiful coke bottle styling and that 429 CJ and 351 Cleveland are tremendous engines. Lots of money for this car but it appears very solid, you could pay less for a rusty car and end up with similar amount invested in the end. Stepping up and paying for a solid car is always advisable if at all possible. This car appears to be a great starting point and would be relatively easy to restore. Nice find.

  14. Chebby

    This model of Torino is one of Ford’s best-looking cars.

    I agree that air cleaner set up looks odd, also that it has the honeycomb strip on the trunk lid but not the full-width smoked tail lights, and no cobra emblem in the center of the panel. Although looking at some restored examples, there are others like that. Would love to see the Marti report on this one!

  15. scottymac

    Can anyone explain to me why Ford didn’t drop the 460 crank in this engine to take on the 450hp LS6 Chevelle?

  16. Nothin!

    what’s that thing in the trunk?

  17. Bryan

    The 69-71 Cobra’s were low buck muscle cars targeting the same consumers that might consider the popular Road Runner. Pontiac’s newest entry at the time, the austere GTO Judge, was created for the same reason.

    You will not find a Torino badge on any Cobra because it was a distinct model….not a trim option like the “SS” Chevelle. Funny how people don’t refer to Road Runners or GTX as a Belvedere (which they were based) or a GTO a LeMans, or a Buick GS400 a Skylark, etc.

    These poor Fords have a real identity crisis when it comes to their true model name….Cobra! Even though Ford outright owned the name by 1968 they just couldn’t shake the association with Shelby….Ford mgmt probably didn’t want to. So, the cars were inevitably referred to as Fairlane Cobra or Torino Cobra (by press, customers, dealers, Nascar) to distinguish them from Shelbys.

    This car for sale is not just a 429CJ powered Torino….it is a Cobra with a shaker scoop! It is really the same as comparing a nice Plymouth Satallite (Torino) to a Road Runner (Cobra).

    • Trey

      The Judge was not a competitor to the Cobra or RR.

      And in 1970-71, it was a Torino Cobra regardless whether a badge was on it or not (for 1971 i think it was).

      • Tony C.

        Not really related to the subject but does anyone know where the name ‘JUDGE’ came from for the GTO ?

  18. Mike_B_SVT

    The “thing in the trunk” is the California Evaporative Emissions “option”.

    Starting in 1970, California law mandated the prevention of gasoline vapors from entering the atmosphere. This required a special non-vented gas cap, fuel filler neck, and a gas tank with vents that would direct the fuel vapors through a line to the front of the car. In the engine bay area there would be a charcoal canister that would store the vapors when the engine was off, and was also connected to the side of the air cleaner so the vapors would be pulled into the engine and burned when the car was running.

  19. Trey

    This car is a 1970 Torino Cobra, not “Torino Cobra Jet.” Ironically, the standard engine was not the CJ. These cars are not that rare in general.

    • Kevin Wernick

      There was also an SCJ. Haven’t heard that one mentioned yet.

      • Trey

        It’s the 375-horse version mentioned in the story. CJ plus drag pack equals SCJ.

  20. stillrunners lawrence Member

    Nice car – nice color…and good price – y’all built any big blocks lately – not cheap!

  21. ROTAG999

    Not a big Ford Fan but do have a soft spot for the 70-71 Torino great looking cars

  22. cudaman

    In 1981 I could’ve bought a 1970 Cobra 428 ram air 4-speed from the original/one owner. It was NOT a Torino. I never even new there was just a “Cobra” that was the Torino body. It was yellow with flat black hood, hood pins, and black interior. He wanted what he paid for it. I think it was $3200.00. Here’s the kicker……it only had 385 miles…..that was not a misprint, 385 miles. It was literally brand new. I will never forget it. I asked my father to help me buy it. He had several antique cars but would never consider a muscle car. I will always wonder where that car is today………

    • Rocco in Florida

      In my opinion the 428 cars ran better than the 429’s, with the C-6 or 4-speed.

      • Kevin Wernick

        The 68-69s actually were faster than the 70-71s. It was proven in NASCAR.

      • Trey

        Kevin, the Talladega was Ford’s 1969 aero warrior. The new body for 1970 was not superior in aerodynamics and Ford did not develop the King Cobra enough to fix its problems, so it never made production, hence an unfair comparison.

        Additionally, the race cars never ran with 428s.

      • scottymac

        Thought it funny, though, that the Cyclone with that gunsight grill was a better race car than the ’70-’71 Torino. There’s a picture somewhere of A.J. Foyt racing (USAC?) the two door post coupe because it had better aero than the fastback.


    • Trey

      It’s a Torino:


      In 1969, it’s a Fairlane, but often called simply Ford Cobra.

  23. Kevin Wernick

    I do, Tony C. The name Judge came from Rowen and Martin’s Laugh In tv show, remember it well

  24. Kevin Wernick

    It’s time to settle some dispute here. There was only one Cobra, that being Carrol Shelby’s 2seater. Aside from that, Cobra was never a model, it was a performance package for the Torino. They were all Torinos.

    • Bryan

      You are wrong Kevin! Your comment may reflect your personal opinion but it isn’t factual. The 1969 Ford Cobra was the first car built and marketed by Ford using the Cobra name, and it continued as such until 1971.

      Ford acquired the name from Shelby in 1968. The joint AC/Shelby relationship ended in 1967 and no more AC Cobra’s were built or sold in the US. No surprise the 428 “Cobra” Jet engine is introduced midway through 1968, followed by the Cobra in the fall of 68 as a 69 model.

      I possess dealer literature for 1969 advising salesman how to market the Cobra to Ford customers; it clearly boasts that the Ford Cobra is a distinct model, not a “performance option” as you put it. That’s why they didn’t have Torino or Fairlane emblems (duh).

      What changed in 1970 was that the Torino and Fairlane hiarchy changed; Torino was now the primary line instead of the just fanciest Fairlane as in 1969. No matter for Cobra, as it still stood as Ford’s top performance intermediate “model”.

      I think Ford realized rather quickly that consumers were confused, like you, with the Cobra name affixed to the ass-end of a Ford.

      • Trey

        Bryan, I think that’s a excellent response.

      • Kevin Wernick

        Ok, I’m getting older and my memory is getting shorter, I’ll have to do a little research before I give in. Now since you seem to be so knowledgeable about these cars, I have a little trivia question for you. Let’s see if you can answer this one. What was the ultimate “sleeper” in this particular body style of Torino? Notice I said Torino. I bet nobody here can guess.

      • Trey

        Kevin, you’re talking about the 1970 1/2 Falcon.

        And that’s an easy one.

  25. CJ

    What is that thing in front of the driver side shock tower? I see a horn on the same side toward the front of the car….

    • Rocco in Florida

      It looks like an aftermarket AIR horn, or just a louder horn. Just a guess.

  26. Scott

    Is on the steep side but being negotiable it’s not in the ” I really don’t want to sell it class” & there’s a lot to work with looking @ the sheet metal. The glass is good also. It’s worth a look if your in the market for a solid project.

  27. Scott

    What’s your point G2? One of the most appealing things this website has to offer is the avenue to look back & share those times with each other, most of today’s youth have no idea what the muscle car era was like but most would drool over your Buick if you pulled up next to them at a stoplight. As car guys of that era it’s our job to pass that torch on so they can appreciate those fire breathing beast we drove. That’s the point I see.

  28. Brad

    ’70 thru ’72 were my favorite body style of the Torino. In ’71, my Dad was in the market to trade our ’68 Malibu for one: Robin egg blue with the cool “laser” stripe down the side. However, the next day, Mom comes home with a ’71 Charger 500, which, in my opinion, was a very cool car as well. You can probably guess correctly which car we ended up with.

    In regards to your comment regarding patina, a muscle car of this nature shouldn’t have much patina. Old boulevard cruisers, lead sleds, and antique cars can still look ok with a tasteful amount of patina. In my opinion, however, muscle cars are supposed to be very shiny, with no blemishes in their finish. It may be that I’m from the Midwest; we really like shiny things ! :)

    • Rocco in Florida

      @ Brad;
      I’m with you on your second paragraph. Also old trucks.

  29. Car Guy

    This car is definitely worthy of a ground up restoration. It will take deep pockets, but the owner should be able to pocket more than the investment if the car is properly done.

    • Trey

      At 20 grand, it’s a loser of an investment.

      • Kevin Wernick

        You’re right about the Talladega Trey, and thank God they never produced the King Cobra, because they were UGLY! I do have to disagree with you on the 428 though. If I remember right, the NASCAR teams were still running 427s

      • Trey

        Kevin, I’m unsure what comment about the 428 you disagree with.

  30. Scott

    Yes Sir, Scottymac, but in that time frame of racing all A.J. needed was four wheels, one forward gear, a rubber band & some elmers glue and he took care of the rest. He was the best at putting a bad race car in victory lane that’s for sure.

  31. Jsieao

    I’m sure this is in fact is a Torino, but for a short period of time, Ford sold a 70 1/2 Falcon. Looks just like this car. Many “conversations” about its existence at car shows. I had close friends that had 429SCJ 4spd, 351C 4spd & 6 cyl versions. Very cool cars.

  32. Grid Member

    This time of year I start developing a patina.The more hours a day of being pushed, the meaner the patina. The “oil filter” on the side of the air filter was, in Mercury’s words at least, to retain an air of gentility when you floored the go-pedal (in case you were racing the Rolls shown above). The incoming air, partially routed through the filter, rid the engine of the wonderful noise a 4-barrel makes and allowed the Lincoln/Cougar owner to accelerate politely, with alacrity, but without excessive volume. Makes you want to hold your little finger out when you’re drinking your Yuengling, doesn’t it?

  33. Melvin Burwell

    Dream car. Too much for me.

  34. David Montanbeau

    At a local show.

  35. David Montanbeau

    At a Show

  36. David Montanbeau


  37. David Montanbeau

    Same owner as the Torino

  38. David Montanbeau


  39. David Montanbeau

    Same Merc

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