Ram Air 429 Cobra Jet: 1971 Ford Torino Cobra

It seems like everyone was in the muscle car game in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The Baby Boomers were coming of age and they wanted hot, fast cars. One of the later entries was the Ford Torino Cobra as the Torino began replacing the Fairlane nameplate in 1968. The Torino Cobra saw low production in 1969-71, with the last year only seeing 3,054 copies. This car is from that batch and correctly identified as a J-Code unit having the 429 Cobra Jet V-8. But this is not a garage queen with a lot of work (and money) needed to get it back up to form again. It’s located in Hammonton, New Jersey (mid-state) and available here on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $10,000. There is also a Make Offer button.

In an article just this year, author Richard Thompson categorizes the Torino Cobra as “one of the most underrated muscle cars.” The fastest Torino Cobras were from 1970-71, where the car could do 0-60 in under six seconds with a horsepower output north of 370. For those two years combined, Ford only made 10,729 Cobras, only about one percent of overall Torino production. So, they weren’t commonplace then and certainly not now. Production-wise, they were overshadowed by GM and Chrysler. Source: AltDriver.com

The seller indicates that this 1971 Torino Cobra is a one-owner car, with the original buyer having died. It comes with original paperwork such as the window sticker ($4,612.75 new!) and build sheet. Physically, the car has fallen victim to the passage of time, with the seller telling us it will need floors, passenger side quarter panel, hood, and trunk lid, and both doors have rust on the bottoms. Also, both front fenders have small dents in them. That’s all a shame as it looks as though the car still wears its original paint, although not pretty now. The undercarriage looks rather crusty with no glaring holes, and the glass and trim pieces are said to be all there and in good shape.

The interior hasn’t fared much better than the exterior. We only get a couple of inside pics, but the front bench seat covering needs replacement as does the carpeting and steering wheel. We don’t know about the back seat or headliner. The door panels may be salvageable. The radio has flown the coop; however, you’ll find this car has an eight-grand tachometer, so the Cobra meant business.

In the early days of the car’s life, there was a warranty issue with the motor as the seller tells us the block is a factory replacement from Ford. Documentation is provided that attests to that transplant. But the engine is currently in some state of disassembly and the seller believes those parts are still around. However, as a bonus, the buyer will be getting another correct 429 block. While the car was a 4-speed from the factory, that gear is missing along with the driveshaft ratio and pulleys. So, lots of work to be done to get it running again.

In its prime, the 429CJ-4V V-8 would have been rated at 370 hp, 450 lbft of torque with the 4-barrel carb and optional Ram Air Induction.  The seller has the original shaker for the car. Aided by somewhat by low production figures, 1971 Torino Cobras can go in the mid-$60,000s in really nice shape. When fixed up, this Cobra would be a nice change at car shows that always seem to be dominated by big block Chevelles, Camaros and Chargers.

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  1. Classic Steel

    I think the line of factory replacement is quite over used these days. I definitely would like to see dealer documentation and write up plus date. So with all the Ford replacements were they just crappie motors or rode hard and put away blown.

    I guess one could say replacement block if the shade tree mechanic uses an engine pulling tree and places a Jasper engine within.

    Like 4
  2. Troy s

    Wow, a well beaten ’69 Cobra Jet Torino and now this fearsome Ford….here on the same day? Amazing powerful car here with all the attributes of a sixties muscle machine, right down to the eleven and a half to one compression ratio. Right up until the interior makes its bland appearance.
    I think Ford blew it by calling them a Cobra, noTorino or Fairlane Cobra, just Cobra. Tell average folks “check out that Cobra!” and everyone’s looking for a two seat sports car with angry side pipes.
    Nice to see one again.

    Like 6
  3. mgreene

    Better check the head intake ports for hidden baseballs! Ahh, those days of naturally aspirated horsepower is refreshing.

    Like 1
  4. TimM

    Lots of work but the potential to have a car of this caliber is well worth it!!! Nice find!

    Like 1
  5. bikefixr

    This is another one where you’ll never get the money out of it. Yeah, maybe $60K if it’s pristine..but it’ll take $75K to get it there. My favorite FORD.

  6. Woody

    With new paint and laser stripes,finish cleaning up interior,this J-code 429 with 4-speed would be tops for cruise nite and car shows! As long as torq boxes and under-carriage is solid this is a great buy!

    Like 1

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