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Original Survivor: 1993 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra

It is common for owners to modify their cars to make a personal statement. They perform the work with good intentions, unaware that their pride and joy may become a future classic whose value will climb if it remains unmolested. The last of the Fox-Body Mustangs have reached classic status, and the right car will command an impressive price. That brings us to this 1993 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra. Its owners have resisted the urge to undertake modifications, making it an attractive proposition for many potential buyers. This one isn’t perfect, but its condition rates as excellent for a driver-quality car that can be driven and enjoyed immediately. The Cobra is listed here on eBay in Flagstaff, Arizona. Bidding sits at $33,000 but is short of the reserve.

Buyers could order their new 1993 Cobra in three colors, although you could argue the figure as four counting the non-clearcoat version of Vibrant Red. This classic wears the clearcoat version that shines magnificently. It isn’t showroom standard because a few marks and chips prevent it from achieving perfection. These are pretty insignificant and are in keeping with any vehicle with 81,000 miles under its belt. The panels are laser straight, and the aerodynamic body additions exhibit no evidence of cracking or physical damage. The Cobra has spent its life in Florida and Arizona, making it easy to understand why it is rust-free. The panels are clean, and the underside retains its original undercoat. The glass is spotless, and the original owner elected to equip this Ford with a sunroof. It rolls on its original 17″ wheels that are as clean and shiny as the rest of the exterior.

Undoubtedly, many people rejoiced when cars like this Cobra appeared on showroom floors. After a diet of feeble and asthmatic automotive mystery, it was cars like this Ford that demonstrated the technology existed that allowed vehicles to produce respectable horsepower while pumping out fewer pollutants and returning impressive fuel consumption figures. Hiding under the hood of this Cobra is Ford’s venerable 5.0-liter fuel-injected V8 the company had breathed upon heavily to offer an exhilarating driving experience. With upgraded cylinder heads, a unique intake, an improved camshaft, plus other smaller changes, it put 230hp under the driver’s right foot. The power feeds to the Traction-Lok rear end via a T-5 manual transmission, while Tokico shocks help keep the 17″ tires planted firmly on Planet Earth. Performance figures are all you might expect, with the journey down the ¼ mile taking 14.5 seconds. Ford declared a top speed of 150mph, but owners found the reality fell a few miles per hour short of that figure. However, it did demonstrate that American manufacturers had rediscovered their performance mojo. The seller indicates this Cobra is a numbers-matching classic, with the only non-original items being consumables like oil, filters, tires, and the battery. They don’t make an unrealistic mileage claim, with the odometer showing 81,000 miles. It runs and drives well and is the type of classic where the next owner could fly in and drive home.

When it came to interior trim selection, most of the 4,993 buyers in 1993 selected Opal leather. The original owner of this Cobra was 1-of-362 to combine Vibrant Red exterior paint with Black cloth interior trim. It remains in good condition for its age. The outer edges of the heavily contoured front buckets have avoided the wear typical in these classics, and the map pockets in the doors aren’t sagging. The remaining upholstered surfaces show no evidence of wear, the carpet is excellent, and there’s no crumbling plastic. The seller states that the factory air conditioning blows cool, although it may need a recharge. Comfort and convenience features include power windows, power locks, a power driver’s seat, cruise control, a leather-wrapped wheel, and a factory radio/CD player. There is also enough documentation to satisfy most enthusiasts, including the SVT certificate, Window Sticker, original Ford Dealership vehicle brochure, and Ford SVT Welcome Letter.

Most Fox-Body Mustangs remain strong performers in the classic market, although the last of the breed stands head and shoulders above the rest. It is especially true for cars like the ’93 SVT Cobra, which has experienced phenomenal value increases over the past three years. Vehicles that would have struggled to top $30,000 a short time ago can command prices double that figure. Given our feature car’s overall condition and originality, I believe bidding will need to nudge close to $40,000 before passing the reserve. However, given those ongoing value increases, it could also represent a solid long-term investment. Is that enough to convince you to pursue this Cobra further?


  1. RayT Member

    It has been a long time since 1993, but I still remember the SVT Cobras I drove vividly. Even at the current prices, I see them as being on the verge of being undervalued. Especially the limited-production “R” model, which was by far the most fun of the bunch, if you could do without a rear seat, A/C and other doo-dads. If I had the dosh, I’d make myself suffer the discomforts of same.

    Fox-body ‘Stangs were great cars, and the SVTs were the best by far. Handling and straight-line speed were amped up considerably — it was said that the 230-horsepower rating was somewhat understated — and, now that the Statute of Limitations has passed, I’d say the 150 mph max was doable, at least by one of the cars I drove.

    Very few cars have stuck in my memory (and so positively) as the SVT has. To me, it’s no “investment,” Adam. I’d drive the wheels off one if I could. That’s what they were built for! Make mine Teal, please!

    Like 10
    • Adam Clarke Staff

      Thank you so much for the feedback, RayT. I’ve always believed that the claimed top speed was achievable, although I have heard others claim that the car runs into an aerodynamic brick wall above 140. There’s only one way to test that theory, but I, unfortunately, don’t have access to the car to do it! As for the paint shade, I’m with you. Teal looks stunning and would be my first choice.

      Like 2
      • jwzg

        The X3Z computer pulled timing above 95 mph, so the best you could get out of these was around 140-145. It just didn’t have the beans to pull 5th gear with the aerodynamics, so there was a mix of contributing factors.

        Like 2
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    Nice car. Friend has one identical to this that he bought for his birthday a few years ago. Says he just can’t stay out of it.

    Like 5
  3. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Good write-up Adam. Like RayT pointed out, the 93 Cobra checks lots of boxes. Good performance (especially for its day), sporty looks, many upgrades over the basic — and by then, venerable — Fox Body. The market has figured this out, too. Even higher-mileage examples like this example now bring big bucks. Buy this one and drive it.

    Make mine Teal too.

    Like 5
  4. qmmq

    The SVT in 93 actually handles like a dream. These were IDR suspension.

    Like 2
    • Stan

      Sure about that Q ? I think it was later models with IRS

      Like 1
  5. OldSchool Muscle

    My brother had the same exact car. He did some tuning and exhaust work to it .On the surface it looked stock but this thing ran like a beast!!! I was jealous !! He ate my 89 lx for lunch HAHA!! Miss the fox body mustangs!!

    Like 1
  6. That 80's Guy That 80's Guy

    A nice swan song for Ford’s 3rd generation Mustang, but definitely eclipsed by then-new 4th-gen GM F-bodies, which were dynamically superior in every respect. Of course, as has been the case since 1970, the Mustang was the better car to live with everyday, so it always wore the sales crown. I think it also made Ford complacent in trying to wring any significant HP increases on the later plain-Jane Mustang GT’s. Ford lost the HP crown that year and it would take decades until a non-SVT edition Mustang had parity with the Camaro.

    I guess my point in this rant is that this ’93 would be the last truly special Mustang until the ’03-’04 Terminator cars (I don’t count the 2000 Cobra R because, well, 300 units made them unobtainable to the common man).

    Like 0
  7. George Mattar

    Teal please. The best car of 1993 hands down. I was 37 then and raising 3 young girls. No money. Was driving a 1988 Monte Carlo SS and 65 Impala that year. Ah memories.

    Like 1
  8. CCFisher

    This what I like to see – a desirable car that’s been used, enjoyed, and lovingly maintained.

    @qmmq – Mustang Cobras didn’t get IRS until 1999.

    Like 3
  9. chrlsful

    fox bodied is a fav (along w/the 6 ThriftPower i6 motors). Began w/a Grenade-a, fairmont/stang and went thru cougar, lincoln, Mark VIIIIIII, T-bird, ltd/marquis and some claim to all the SN95’s (end in ’04). A wonderful source (25 yrs) of parts swapin for us modders. Which is great for us who wrench/sell to those looking to buy “classics”. This age chorhort is the one buying now the boomers are aging out of ‘the muscle’ of the earlier decades (‘64.5 – ’78). I think of puttin the aero stang nose ( on my ’85 ltd waggy) just cuz I cant find the “4-eyes” needed to replace the sun cracked bezels.

    Like 1
  10. Dan MO

    I had a 94 Super Coupe with a 5 speed. After three adult beverages or four I was coming home and looked at the odometer at 15k and thought wonder what she’ll do?😊 And came into the same thing you described it kind of hit the wall at 135 plus the front end was getting light and I kept in it to 140 and that was enough. Interesting now that I read your comment, thanks

    Like 1

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