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Needs a Motor: Ford Torino Cobra


I struggled with whether to post this Cobra project, as the engine and transmission are missing. For rare cars, that kills off some of the excitement for me, but I guess if the model is special enough, you can overlook the fact that it will be a non-numbers matching resto. Check out this 1970 Ford Torino Cobra here on eBay with an opening bid of $1,500. 


The Marti Report confirms this as a genuine Cobra, and it’s a factory close-ratio 4-speed car. The seller points out that the original owner likely ordered it as a minimalist driver’s car, with manual steering, manual brakes and a simple AM radio! Some folks may say this makes it less desirable, but I actually feel the opposite. This is a car that requires 100% of your attention and represents an era of muscle cars that has sadly passed.


It will also require a good relationship with a bodyshop! Rust is prevalent throughout, and I see lots of daylight through those floorboards. The seller doesn’t specify the worst areas but does mention that it will need floorpans and the trunk pan replaced. The photos show rough-looking lower sills as well, but the seller promises the frame rails and torque boxes are solid.


Who wouldn’t love to drive a car with these emblems? The seller points out that this is a great car for the DIYer who wants to tackle the engine build, cosmetic repairs and all other associated maintenance themselves. That person is not me, but would any of you take this project on? It all depends on where the reserve is, as the opening bid won’t be enough.


  1. Kuzspike

    Hmm. I wonder if the missing motor is in that thunderbolt clone sitting beside it?

    • Mark S

      My thoughts too, and now he wants money for what was a cobra.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      The Fairlane looks very interesting. I see a big tach on the dash, and a cage in the interior. Possibly a really serious performer?

    • Rocco Member

      I would HOPE he wouldn’t put a 429ci. in a T-Bolt clone. I would rather have a 390 in the clone. At least it would represent the appearance of a 427.

  2. Cleric

    Would there be anything left of this car after a dip?

  3. Howard A Member

    I wouldn’t waste my time on the Cobra, pretty far gone, but I do like that ’64 Fairlane Thunderbolt. I wonder if it’s an original, with wire over the intakes ( high beams) Hood, of course, hood pins, and what appears to be an aluminum front bumper. Those are rare cars, the Cobra, rare, but too much work. Good luck finding an original drivetrain for it. Wasn’t the 429 Cobra Torino the fastest( or one of) cars in 1970?

    • Ed

      Howard I think you will get a huge debate started as to fastest north american production car produced with all camps claiming top car. The SCJ Torino had all the right components to be a top performer of that era and was and still is, always overshadowed by the more popular mustang . As a result, when restoring a Torino, the parts are expensive and hard to find as unlike the mustang, parts are not reproduced as readily. A very underated car in my opinion.

  4. JW

    IMHO a waste of time messing with this car, too far gone.

  5. James

    You can pick up a 429 fairly cheap from 68-71 T-birds with the N code spec. So it is not like an expensive and hard to find 428CJ engine from an earlier Mustang.

  6. Larry K

    Fred Flintstone might want it.

  7. James Scott

    The metal maggots have been busy.

  8. RicK

    Wasn’t there an optional tach that fit in that square hole on the dash to the left of the steering wheel or am I just totally high on crack?

    • Troy Whittle

      You are correct.

  9. Ed

    You are not on crack. There would have been a delete plate, optional clock or ribbon tach to the left of steering wheel.

  10. sir mike

    Tell us more about the Fairlane….looks like a great car.

  11. Al D

    Picked over parts car with all the good stuff gone. This one will eat you alive trying to piece it together.

    • racer99

      Had the exact same thought. Drove one of these in high school (great car to learn how to drive in — right?) and all the good stuff is gone with the exception of the dash housing setup for the tach. Would make one wonder if it was used as a parts donor car. I would have to think the 4 speed with bench seat is a rare combination but not rare enough to justify the work it would take to put this one back together. Initial option list would make me wonder if it was purchased as a drag car as driving this on the street with manual steering and manual brakes couldn’t have been much fun.

      • Troy Whittle

        I still have my 1970 Cobra 429 CJ. 4-speed. 3:89 TL. 9 inch. Now Tremic TKO 3550 5-speed .68 O-drive.

    • Rocco Member

      He even said the original third member(I’m sure “N” case) was gone. I noticed the 31 spline axles are gone also. There isn’t anything there to command $6K-$7500. Did he even say if there was a title?

  12. grant

    Too bad it’s soooo far gone. Ideally when it’s time to find my Torino I want one that is a base model. I’d prefer a base car so I can set it up like I want it without feeling bad. This being a Cobra it might get saved but it is pretty far gone. Think it’s time to raise a glass, it’s toasted.

  13. scottymac

    As a Ford guy, I’ve had to wonder for 46 years why they didn’t build a 460SCJ to play against the Chevelle LS6 454. Any ideas?

    • grant

      Have wondered the same thing. I’m assuming they didn’t want internal competition with the boss mustangs.

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