Low-Mile 1996 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra

The fourth generation of the Ford Mustang ran between 1994 and 2004. And if maximum performance was what you were looking for then, the SVT Cobra may have been on your shopping list. This 1996 edition saw fairly low production with its Laser Red paint and saddle leather interior combination. It also has been well-cared for and has low mileage for the vintage. Lake Havasu City, Arizona is its current habitat and it’s available here on craigslist for $9,500. Kudos to rex m for sending this tip our way!

1996 would be a transition year for the Mustang as Ford replaced its aging 5.0-liter V-8 with a new aluminum 4.6-liter modular unit. The Mustang GT got a single-overhead-cam version (SOHC), while the SVT Cobra received a dual-overhead-cam set-up (DOHC). The Cobra’s block was aluminum, while the heads had split ports and huge valves with four valves per cylinder. This little beast produced 305 hp and 300 lb./ft. of torque, which helped the Cobra achieve 0-60 in 5.5 seconds and a 14.0-second quarter mile. The Mustang saw total production of 135,000 units in 1996, with 10,000 being Cobras, 7,500 being Cobra coupes, just under 2,000 painted in Laser Red, and about 1,000 with the latter paint and a saddle leather interior. The seller’s car falls into this group. Thanks, Mustang Specs, for breaking down the data for us!

The 1996 Cobra here came from Washington State and was always garaged and kept out of the Pacific Northwest rain for years. The paint shines up well and there is no mention of rust anywhere. The windows are dark-tinted, and the polished five-spoke wheels add to the badass look of the car. The interior looks spotless from what we can see, with no cracks or wear. At 55,000 miles, this car has been well-taken care for the past 24 years.

Recent or newer upgrades to the Cobra include:

  • Michelin tires with about 2500 miles
  • New rotors and pads for braking
  • Air conditioning that blows cold
  • Tune-up with all the usual items plus a new fuel pump and KN air filter

We’re told the engine runs well and the 5-speed transmission with a Hurst short-shifter does its job. The aftermarket exhaust system was installed by the car’s prior owner and it’s loud, so you won’t sneak up on anyone. NADA says these cars can fetch $13,000, and they may be undervalued compared to other vintage Mustangs. Given the car’s condition, the seller’s price might be a good way to get into adding an older car to your harem, something cool for Cars & Coffee!


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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    The discussion in some threads includes concerns about prices of collector cars becoming out of reach. Well if that is your concern, here’s your chance. Straightforward Cobra Mustang, looks to have been well-kept, some recent maintenance, not-too-high, not-too-low mileage, good performance, sporty looks. All for under $10k. I suspect this model is at the bottom of its depreciation curve and will likely start moving up.

    Look up your local Mustang club, join in, and have some fun.

    Like 7
  2. jwzg

    If I had the money…

    This is a great buy.

    Like 2
  3. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    I am tempted but it’s hassle shipping it here.
    If I were able to travel (no Covid) I would have a holiday over there and drive it to the port.

    • Bill Member

      And when you get to Lake Havasu you can visit the London Bridge. Seems kinda crazy.

      Like 1
  4. shan_paramus

    laughed at the list of “upgrades” like replacing worn tires and brakes & pads, and best of all, “air conditioning that blows cold”- well, that certainly would be a much-needed upgraded over the previous AC unit

    have zero idea what the market for most old cars- vintage or no- are, but this sounds like a great deal

  5. Nick

    Nice Mustang though it’s priced at least $8000 too low. But why?

  6. Greg

    This car sounds cheap. These are great cars and they are very dependable. Honestly I think he’s light on the price unless it’s got a bad carfax.

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