Featured listing: 1996 Ford Mustang Cobra SVT

A Mustang with a bit more bite. Where we come from that's a Cobra!

1996 Ford Mustang Cobra SVT Convertible
1996 Ford Mustang Cobra SVT Convertible

This ClassicCars.com Marketplace featured listing is a 1996 Ford Mustang Cobra SVT for sale in Carrollton, Texas. And no, the town was not named after Carroll Shelby, but maybe the residents should, as it would make this listing even more juicy.

“Sherman, set the Wayback machine for 1996!” If we time-travel back to middle of nineties, the animal on everyone’s mind was not a snake or pony. In fact, it happened to be a cow. This wasn’t just any one cow, but many. And, the cattle were far from normal, and could in all honesty be called crazy. This was the year of mad cow disease. Somehow, the 1996 Ford Mustang Cobra, an American pony car was taking a backseat to a British heifer seemed hard to believe. Well, that was true, albeit didn’t last that long. Mad cow disease would not deter car enthusiasts and those seeking performance. 

1996 Ford Mustang Cobra
1996 Ford Mustang Cobra SVT Convertible

The 1994 Mustang was redesigned and featured a much appreciated, organic design attributed to Bud Magaldi, which was first seen in the 1993 Mustang Mach III concept car. This show car had soft features and looked slippery fast. This was complemented by a 450 horsepower 4.6-liter motor. Sadly, that power never made it to the production version. When the Mustang GT rolled out in ’94, it still retained the third-generation Mustang 5.0-liter motor that was good for just 215 horsepower. This was not in the same league as the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird. Ford knew this before the new production model ever hit the streets.

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In the mid-nineties, the general public was looking for something thrilling. The top three movies that year were Independence Day, Twister, and Mission Impossible. Get the picture? The car consumers were not any different. They wanted something to get the blood flowing and the heart beating quicker.

1996 Ford Mustang Cobra SVT Convertible
1996 Ford Mustang Cobra SVT Convertible

The 1996 Ford Mustang Cobra was created to fix the performance issues. The Mustang Mach III 4.6 finally came to market, albeit with 305 ponies and 300 lb.-ft of torque. The suspension was upgraded with Cobra only shocks, struts, and springs. This was now the complete package. This had upgraded brakes and even had the ABS (optional). The Cobra was nimble enough and could get from 0-60 in 5.5-5.9 seconds, depending on what source you believe. This did trim a second off the time of the Mustang GT in both 0-60 and the quarter-mile, crossing the line in a hair under 14-seconds.

As legend has it, the fourth-generation, 1996 Ford Mustang Cobra also has the distinction of being a hand-assembled engine under Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT). Perhaps this is relatable to the Aston-Martins of the time, which was also a Ford brand at PAG during the 90s. Conceptually speaking, the idea of a more powerful engine in a lightweight body is more inline with the origins of the Cobra.

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1996 Ford Mustang Cobra
1996 Ford Mustang Cobra SVT Convertible

This Laser Red colored 1996 Ford Mustang with Saddle leather interior is distinct because of its mileage, or more accurately the lack thereof. This has just 28,626 miles on the odometer! Looking at the photos, the overall condition is impressive. This SVT Mustang Cobra thankfully has a proper 5-speed manual transmission. This also is somewhat rare, as only 962 convertibles were painted in Laser Red in 1996. Only 2,510 convertibles were produced in total. Who knows just how many still exist, and the odds of finding another with minimal miles and in wonderful condition is fairly low. For the asking price of $16,000, it might be a while before one stumbles across an example of equal caliber. 

To view the listing on ClassicCars.com, click here

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