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Turn-Key Survivor: 1993 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra

We’ve seen a few examples of the 1993 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra cross our desks in recent times here at Barn Finds. Their condition seems to range from one extreme to the other. Some are amazingly well-preserved trailer queens with virtually no mileage on their odometers, while others have lived life hard and fast and are looking rough around the edges as a result. This Cobra walks a welcome middle ground. It has obviously been driven and enjoyed, but it has also been treated with care and respect. It is ready for a lucky new owner to slip behind the wheel and revel in the classic car ownership experience. Located in Westminster, South Carolina, you will find the Mustang listed for sale here on eBay. Spirited bidding has pushed the price to $32,100, but this remains short of the reserve.

Ford offered the SVT Cobra in three paint shades, and the Vibrant Red that this car wears was the popular choice by a slim margin. There were 1,882 cars finished in this shade, while 1,854 buyers selected Black. Languishing in third was Teal Metallic, which 1,355 buyers chose. The paint on this car looks to be in good condition. The color is consistent, with no evidence of scratches or other damage and no signs of patchiness or deterioration in the clearcoat. The panels are as straight as an arrow, and all of the distinctive Cobra plastic additions are damage-free. The positive vibes continue when you look at the state of the original 17″ alloy wheels. These can be prone to discoloring from brake dust if the car has a history of being driven hard. The ones on this car sparkle in as-new condition, and the original owner chose to add the optional flip-up sunroof for a bit of extra fresh air on sunny days. The Cobra remains largely unmolested, although the owner has installed aftermarket window tinting. If this isn’t to the buyer’s taste, it is an addition that is easy to remove.

The Fox-Body Mustang marked the beginning of Ford’s ability to understand tightening emission regulations and demonstrated that they could once again produce cars with winning performance while producing lower emissions than ever. The SVT Cobra sealed the deal because its performance made it worthy of wearing the hallowed badges. The 5.0-liter V8 that found its way under the hood of the Cobra did so after being filled to the brim with tasty components from Ford’s vast catalog of performance parts. The short block was identical to that found in the GT, but by the time the company had added GT40 cylinder heads and upgraded the intake, throttle body, injectors, exhaust, and camshaft, that sweet little V8 was pumping out an official 230hp. That figure has always been the subject of some conjecture because there is evidence that suggests that the actual output was somewhere above 250hp. There’s no point in being blessed with a wealth of horsepower if you can’t get it to the road. Therefore, the upgraded T5 5-speed manual transmission and Traction-Lok rear end were additions that owners welcomed with open arms. Rounding out this package, the company upgraded the springs, bolted in Tokico shocks, and gave the Cobra the enormous 4-wheel disc brakes that it richly deserved. Thanks to the wealth of power and the excellent aerodynamics of the Fox-Body, this car should be able to blitz the ¼ mile in 14.1 seconds. If the driver is feeling brave, they could keep the hammer down and wait for the Mustang to run out of breath at 150mph. There was no question that Ford’s performance classic was back with a vengeance. The owner says that the odometer of this car shows 46,700, but he can’t confirm the actual mileage. He has replaced the tires and muffler, but the rest of the mechanical components remain exactly as they were when this car left the factory. Frustratingly, he provides no specific information on how well the vehicle runs or drives. However, if the visual condition is used as a reliable gauge, the news should be positive for the next lucky owner.

Buyers faced a limited interior trim selection with the SVT Cobra, and while Opal Gray or Black cloth were the standard trim choices, 60% of buyers stumped up the extra cash to equip their pride and joy with Gray leather. That is what we find in this car, and its overall condition remains impressive. The seats have developed the typical wrinkles that are part of the character of leather upholstery, but there are no signs of significant wear or physical damage. The remaining trim and plastic look just as impressive, while the door pockets haven’t developed the sagging that is common with these classics. For a car that Ford produced 28-years-ago, its interior is not short of comfort and safety features. As well as a driver’s airbag, it is equipped with air conditioning, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, a power driver’s seat, a remote hatch release, a leather-wrapped wheel, and the premium AM/FM radio and CD player.

I might be slightly odd, but if I had the money today to go out and buy a classic Mustang, I would probably choose a 1993 Mustang SVT Cobra over almost any offering from the 1st Generation vehicles. While a ’66 GT Fastback with a K-Code under the hood would get my pulse racing, the SVT Cobra is a complete package that can match the ’66 GT for performance but is easier to live with on a daily basis. Values for virtually all derivatives of the Fox-Body Mustang have been creeping upward in recent times, and the SVT Cobra is no exception. You will struggle to find a really good example for under $42,000, while pristine examples can easily fetch $60,000. They still fall within the realm of affordable classics, but by a slimmer margin with each passing day. That means that prospective buyers might have to act soon because there’s a good chance that they will slip beyond the reach of the average enthusiast if the current trend continues. Is that enough to tempt you to give this one a closer look?


  1. jwzg

    Pretty good write-up, Adam but a couple of things:

    1) The 4 wheel discs weren’t really enormous; they were barely adequate if anything and should have at least been standard equipment.

    2) For some reason, the top speeds on these were only in the low-140’s according to most magazine road tests of the era. As a matter of fact, the ‘94 with better aero and the same engine only pulled down 137 mph in a MotorTrend top speed test circa 1994. Blame Mass Air, more conservative spark curves, and more torque biased cam specs.

    Like 4
    • Adam Clarke Staff

      Thank you so much for your feedback on this, jwzg. I’m always happy to be corrected if I drop the ball on something. I have just completed the draft on a Black example of the SVT Cobra, and that article should go live within the next day. I was happy to acknowledge your contribution in the latest article, and I hope that you continue to enjoy the stories we produce.

      Like 2
    • jwzg

      Adam, you always seem to know which cars push my buttons. Here’s a link to one of the comparison tests in which C&D put a 1993 Cobra against a 1993 Z28:


      A little background on the top speed. Motor Trend got 142 mph out of a 1988 GT in their Top Speed 10 Shootout:


      Why was the Cobra slower with about 40 more hp? Well, above 95 mph, the Cobra’s unique EEC module pulls timing and adds fuel, which really kills off the top end on these. I would imagine with the right mods, it’d go close to 150, but having driven a Fox body in excess of 135, I can tell you that kind of speed is downright dangerous.

      Like 1
      • Adam Clarke Staff

        jwzg, I aim to please with my articles. It’s always good to know that people enjoy the body of work that we all produce. It has been a privilege writing for Barn Finds, and I hope to be able to continue sharing my passion for classic cars for many years to come.

        Thank you so much for the information above. I’ve saved both articles as they give me some “real world” statistics to fall back upon. I’ll keep endeavoring to produce the sort of work and attempt to continue featuring the classics that appeal to you. Regards.

        Like 3
  2. Arthell64

    1993 Cobra is my favorite mustang. A much better car than the first gen mustangs. With only 4993 production I think these will to continue to climb in value.

    Like 4

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