Venomous 429: 1970 Ford Torino Cobra Jet

In the world of iconic muscle cars like Chevrolet’s Chevelle, Plymouth’s Road Runner, and Pontiac’s GTO it’s easy to why some of the lesser-known muscle cars could live in the shadows. But there are still some incredible cars from that era hanging out in the shadows and this 1970 Ford Torino might just be one. Submitted by reader Levi Andrus and found here on Craigslist in Middletown, New York this Torino could excite a good number of the Ford muscle car faithful.

The seller states upfront that this is a non-running project, but gives some details that make it a worthy project nonetheless. Words like Cobra Jet, ram air, four-speed, and J-Code will certainly incite some interest in this car. Looking through the pictures might only serve to increase that interest for some as it appears to be a solid project.

The seller states that this is an original car with the factory 429 Cobra Jet and four-speed transmission. If true that would seem to add to the value of such an interesting muscle car. But caution should be used here as it has apparently had an amateur restoration previously. Talk of patchwork floorboards is a cause for concern and making this car right wouldn’t be for the faint of heart. From personal experience, re-restoring a car seems harder than just restoring a car.

While the seller states that the paint is about a 10-year-old Maaco quality job, they don’t say whether or not it has been resprayed in the original hue. That orange definitely draws attention and would be a great color choice if originally on the car. The interior needs some work but appears to all be there. This car might be a good candidate to fix up and drive for while prior to restoration or just jump right in and restore. The $18,000 price tag seems a little steep for a project, but this Torino’s unique options might justify that price. Is that a reasonable price for a unique muscle car with these options?


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  1. RoughDiamond

    When I was in my 20s I went and looked at one of these that looked identical. I remember pulling up to the Seller’s driveway and you could tell he was a car guy based on the numerous muscle sitting in it. He let me look the car over, but unless I had the cash to buy it I could forget driving it. I didn’t and totally understood his stipulation.

    Like 14
  2. Karguy James

    Looks like it was originally yellow or cream color. Not a bad place to start but still pricey.

    Like 5
  3. Howard A Member

    Price notwithstanding, I think this was the hottest stick you could get from Ford in 1970. The Mercury Cyclones, similarly equipped, were more of a “gentleman’s” muscle car, the Mustang, at the other end, but these were right in the middle. A nice car,,,but not too nice, the baddest combination Ford had, I think it was downhill for neck snapping, press you in the seat muscle cars, after this car came out. Once the Superbird and Daytona were outlawed, these cars took home all the bacon at the track, and in 1970, you could walk into a Ford dealer, and have darn near that same car. It was quite a time in automotive history. I’m glad I lived through it. Very cool car.

    Like 16
    • Johns 409

      I feel your post.I remember similar experiences.I was 14 in 1970 and can remember all the cars I wanted back then.Couldn’t wait to get my driving permit.I remember Sunoco 260 gas was 103 octane and the price was scary as it was what a car like that needed.My first job ever was in the Sunoco station in Seymour,Ct. I remember seeing the price of “260”back then and said to myself wow,with this stuff I can’t get two gallons for a buck as it was an “outragous” $.63 cents a gallon and you could smell the difference in this blend.Back then most guys in their 20’s or 30’s had a car that needed it.

      Like 4
    • scottymac

      Sorry, Howard, these were dogs on the track, and that’s from a true blue Ford guy. Someone even cast a convex rear window, trying to get the air to flow better and lessen the drag. Teams reverted to the 1968-69 Torinos, until they could get ’71 Cyclones figured out, then Pearson cleaned up. Shoot, even loud mouth Darrell Waltrip started his Winston Cup career in a Cyclone.

      Like 3
  4. Gaspumpchas

    Think at that price it would be a hard sell, as cool as it is. You can get one in much better shape in the 20’s. Being in the rust belt and having a questionable resto, buyer beware!!!

    Like 3
  5. Snotty

    Ford seamed stingy with gauges, on the torino based cars,and their whole line-up of cars in this era.Where as with the Mercurys you could get a full compliment of gauges,probably kept a few buyers from signing on the line for these from the dealers…. Onto another subject, I used the TIP form the menu with no success, it said the e-mail was sent, but when I checked the sent mail, no sign of it. BARNFINDS what am I doing wrong? This was one of the tips I tried to send, looks like a great vintage car auction with 400 cars. Here is the link:

    Like 1
    • Gaspumpchas

      Yes Snotty, you are correct. They put the tach down next to the steering column, both hard to find and hard to read, especially when you are trying to bang some gears!!

      Like 1
  6. Junior

    Sorry If I am going to pay $18,000 it better come with ac and chrome wheels if I am having to fix it up.

    Like 3

    These come with four tunes: the standard 4BBL, the Police interceptor, the Cobra Jet, and the SUPER Cobra Jet, The PI was the best for street racing and general use with the giant valves and small ports for midrange Vs the CJ’s that were top end engines! ALL were capable of great entertainment!

    • Trey

      That’s not quote correct. Standard was the Thunder Jet, although I am unsure if Ford called it that for the Cobra model. Next step was the CJ. Third step was the CJ with ram air. Both CJs could be equipped with the Drag Pack.

  8. Steve

    FYI J-code is Ford-lingo for 429 Cobra Jet with Ram Air. BTW the Cobra Jets were rated at 370 horses with or without Ram Air. A J-code could also be a Super Cobra Jet if it has the Drag Pack option(with or without Ram Air), and that would be the top dog. The Drag Pack mandated the 3.91:1 or the 4.30:1 axle ratio, and it included 4-bolt mains, forged pistons, solid lifter cam, 780-cfm Holley carb, and an engine oil cooler. The Detroit Locker rear diff was included when the 4.30:1 axle was ordered and the Traction-Lock lsd came with the 3.91.

    There were 7,675 Cobras in 1970, but only 1,475 had the Drag Pack and thus were Super Cobra Jets. I assume the seller would say so if it was a SCJ.

    Like 5
    • Steve

      BTW the SCJ was rated at 375 horses, again with or without Ram Air. That was the rated hp; in reality it is thought to be significantly higher, as a mere 5-hp bump is not realistic given the mods involved.

      Like 3
  9. 1CoolRide

    As someone who Loves this iteration of the Ford Torino, I can tell you this is a classic example of “Buyer Beware”. While these examples are beautiful, rare and fast, they are very prone to rust. In speaking with old timers who sold them I often hear “Rust was a Dealer installed option” as most were starting to rust just sitting on the lot.
    Do to this fact and the lack of market awareness, replacement sheet metal is non existent. I had to purchase a very low mile formal roof just to get a quarter for my Big Block convertible. One area in particular, is the cowl which rots from the inside out. Good luck finding a rust free example, and the very complex compound curves makes it all but impossible to hand form one.
    Add to this the hundreds of spot welds you will need to drill out and you will soon consider a much easier and less expensive classic such as a Nova or Mustang.

    Like 4
  10. Tom Nemec Member

    Well IF this car is really what it is stated to be and considering Steve’s great comments, if it is an SCJ car then maybe $18K is the right price to acquire. It is going to take AT LEAST another $80K to get this car to #1, maybe more. Market is down a bit now. Buy it for $18K and your are probably going to be north of 6 figures.

    Saw a documented 69 Camaro Indy Pace Car convert 396 BB #1 condition car sell for $80K at Mecum Monterey yesterday…..just sayin…..just agreeing….buyer beware…….money pit ahead. Again, I think it should be restored, no doubt, but it would be interesting to know what the market is on this car IF done to #1 condition

    Like 2
  11. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Just saved a 428CJ head….after which I wounder if it was the mate to my 410/390 that had the guts and one head with the intake….and the R code cast iron headers in that 63 1/2 sports roof………oh and on point – nice car – more will be coming up as the caretakers die off – thanks to you caretakers.

  12. Trey

    There is no such thing as a Torino Cobra Jet. This is a Torino Cobra.

    Like 1
  13. Woody

    In 1980 my late father purchased a 1970 Torino 429 from the original owner who bought it in California and drove it to PA. The car was given to my brother that still owns it and sits in original but rough condition,seems to have just about every option available for that year with ram air,ac,rim blow steering wheel,electric windows and seats,and beautiful leather trim interior. The car has the original cream color exterior and flat black hood with the shaker ram air.In its day this car would set you back in the seat when it was hammer time and not much would touch the Snake 429 Cobra.

    Like 2

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