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Only 1k Miles! 1994 Ford Mustang Cobra Pace Car

As is the case with many cars chosen to pace the Indianapolis 500, the selected manufacturer would make a specific number of replicas for public consumption. Such was the case with the 1994 Mustang SVT Cobra, which saw a run of just 1,000 units in honor of the 78th running of the Indy 500. This car is a museum-quality piece and has only seen 1,000 miles of use in the past 26 gentle years. It currently calls Carver, Massachusetts home and is available here on craigslist for $22,900.  Our pal Ikey Heyman has done it again by finding this Rio Red delight for us!

The fourth generation of the Mustang was introduced in 1994 and was based on an upgrade to the Fox Body platform. The Cobra model used Ford’s 5.0-liter V-8 engine that had its own intake manifolds, cams, fuel injectors, and heads, all of which enabled the engine to see output increased to 240 hp. The car received two special honors that year. It was chosen as Motor Trend’s Car of the Year and was selected to pace the Indianapolis 500 for the third time (the others being 1964 and 1979). In celebration of the latter, Ford cranked out 1,000 Cobra convertibles, all painted Rio Red with a Saddle Brown top and leather interior. Thanks to American Muscle Museum for these pace car details.

The often-used term time-capsule certainly applies to this pristine Mustang. It’s totally stock and original, having been with its original senior owner until 2020, accumulating no more than 1,000 miles in the process. That owner no doubt wanted to keep it exactly as it came, going as far as to never washing it, never putting the top down, never taking it out in the rain, and only storing it in a heated garage. The car was never dealer-prepped, so the factory plastic was still on the seats, floors and door handles until recently. None of the pace car decals that came with the Mustang were applied; they were left in the trunk per the owner’s request.

The SVT designation for the Cobra 5.0 engine stands for “Special Vehicle Team” which no doubt referred to the group that executed this car. The seller says the Mustang looks and drives great, which is just what you would expect. Besides increased horsepower for 1994, the 302 Windsor V-8 used in the SVT Cobra Mustang had 285 lbs-ft or torque at 4000 rpm, so I guess it would do a credible job of stretching your neck upon acceleration.

If the original owner was expecting to see the value of this car to go through the roof in appreciation, that didn’t happen. The ‘Stang would have had a base price of $24,000 new, but the Indy 500 paraphernalia would have added a premium to that. Hemmings says that the top dollar for one of these 1,000 cars is $35,000, but the average is about half that. Given its condition, the seller’s asking price doesn’t sound crazy, if you’re in the market for one.


  1. Avatar photo Bob_in_TN Member

    I always thought these were pretty neat cars. As with other Pace Car models from all manufacturers, many were lightly used. So it is not hard to find low-mileage examples of this model. The prices on these, as Russ noted, are solid but not sky-high, and this one seems priced about right.

    But here’s another case of — what to do with it, would you drive it? I think if I was in the market for one, I’d go for something with (somewhat) higher mileage so adding mileage wasn’t an issue.

    Like 2
  2. Avatar photo Steve R

    The price is low because the 94 Mustang’s including Cobras were orphans. The 93 and earlier Mustang 5.0’s had a much stronger following. Their immediate replacements were never accepted in the same manner. That started to change with the later-90’s Cobra’s appeared with the DOHC 4.6. That engine really woke up the Mustang platform, far surpassing the performance level of the 5.0’s produced to that point. Most Mustangs produced between 1994 and the introduction of the 5.0L Coyote engine, save for the Cobra’s, Mach 1’s and various Shelby’s will never come close to having the same dedicated following as the Fox body cars.

    As for this car, drive it sparingly, but drive it. It’s not likely to ever be particularly valuable, even with such low mileage. Someone might as well put the top down and enjoy the driving experience.

    Steve R

    Like 6
  3. Avatar photo Claude Allain

    I’m a mustang guy, but these model and the 78’79 models are the ugliest for me.

    Like 2
  4. Avatar photo Don Olson

    I have the same car but drive it often (just yesterday). It has about 26k miles. I saw the car at the detroit auto show and loved it. After taking a $500.00 deposit in feb 1994 my regular dealer tried to back out on the deal. my lawyer contacted him but to no avail. I wrote letter to Ford Motor Co. General Sales Manager and he contacted dealer and i got the car. All cleaned up and polished it still get’s a lot of great comments. Sorry i sold my restored 70 mach I last year but something had to go. my 38 ford wagon may be next but i will really cry if i sell it.

    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Chuck F 55chevy

    Not my fav, I am a Pace Car fan, a clone 55 Chevy convertible would be awesome. A co worker had a 67 Camaro, but I couldn’t talk him out of it. One day I saw a 1970 Dodge Challenger Pace replica for $4500, the owner kept telling me to check back with him after he got it out of storage. 4th day of checking and he says a buddy is taking him to get it, but he has first dibs. I later saw it, was in nice shape.
    I liked the 78 Vette Pace Cars, black and silver go together well. I liked the C5 Vettes also, but the purple with yellow wheels Pace Car was fugly. I finally got my Pace Car, a one of 500 2008 Corvette convertible. I never knew they made them as coupes also. Oh, I passed on a Fiero Pace car once also, on par with that Oldsmobile quad 4, what year was that?

    Like 1

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