HomeAutoHunterAutoHunter Spotlight: 1970 Ford Torino Cobra

AutoHunter Spotlight: 1970 Ford Torino Cobra

Doing the Road Runner one better


With the introduction of the Plymouth Road Runner for 1968, the performance market in Detroit was shaken up. Sure, the GTO was still the king, but there was a new guy in town, and he had a marketing trick up his sleeve. Other companies jumped on that bandwagon, but they never were able to catch up to that trolling desert bird. One of those cars, a 1970 Ford Torino Cobra, is currently featured on AutoHunter, the online platform driven by ClassicCars.com. This Cobra features a J-code 429 Cobra Jet with ram air, C6 Cruise-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission, Baer four-wheel disc brakes, color-keyed sport mirrors, rim-blow steering wheel, bucket seats with center console, custom wheels, and more. Finished in Bright Yellow with black vinyl, this Torino Cobra includes the build sheet, Marti Report documentation, original window sticker, and clear title.

When Ford’s answer to the Road Runner was introduced for the 1969 model year, it was known simply as the Ford Cobra. Standard power for the Cobra was the 428 Cobra Jet, which was much more substantial than the Road Runner’s 383. Cobras were available as a SportsRoof (Ford’s marketing term for fastback) and hardtop coupe. Almost 15,000 were built, which was quite good considering the high level of mechanical specification, but Plymouth sold over 80,000 Road Runners.

For 1970, Ford redesigned its mid-size series. The Cobra was now known as the Torino Cobra, though it was trimmed more like a Fairlane 500 in standard form than the more upscale Torino. Available body styles was narrowed to the SportsRoof, of which Ford stylists tried to make even zoomier than before. Under the hood was a trio of Ford’s 429, which was first used in the 1968 Thunderbird. Standard was the N-code 429-4V (“N” being the engine code in the 5th character of the VIN), sometimes known as the Thunder Jet. With 360 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque, it was a fine start.

Next up was the C-code 429 Cobra, which today is generally known as the Cobra Jet. Horsepower was 370 and torque was 450. At the top was the J-code 429 Cobra Jet, which was the same engine as the C-code but with ram air. A flat black-out hood was standard with the Torino Cobra but ram air added a Shaker scoop.

If you wanted even more power, you could opt for the Drag Pack for either of the CJs, which got you 3.91 or 4.30 gears (the latter available with Detroit Locker rear later in the model year). Other features of the Drag Pack included four-bolt mains, forged aluminum pistons, 780-cfm Holley, oil cooler, solid-lifter cam, and more. Ford only added 5 horsepower on paper for 375 though, like many other engines of the era, it produced more.

This vehicle is one of 7,675 Torino Cobras produced for 1970, and one of 1,357 built with the J-code/automatic combination. The exterior has been refinished in the original Bright Yellow after a bare metal body restoration. Features include fender-mounted antenna, matte black hood paint with Shaker hood scoop, twist-lock hood pins, dual color-keyed sport mirrors with manual driver-side remote, 429 emblems, bright wheel lip moldings, and black trunk trim. A walk-around video can be seen on the auction page.

A set of 17-inch five-spoke Budnik Wheels aluminum mags is wrapped in new 225/50/17 (front) and 275/40/17 (rear) Michelin radial tires.

The front buckets and rear seats are upholstered in black vinyl. Features include AM radio, console-mounted automatic shifter, woodgrain rim-blow steering wheel, and new black carpet. The selling dealer states that the front bucket seats have been reupholstered with factory material.

The instrument panel consists of a 120-mph speedometer, 8,000-rpm factory ribbon tachometer, and gauges for the fuel level and temperature. An additional set of three vintage Stuart Warner gauges for the battery voltage, vacuum, and oil pressure are located above the center console. The odometer reads 87,224 miles, which the selling dealer reports to be accurate.

This Torino Cobra has its original 429 Cobra Jet with ram air. Engine features include finned aluminum valve covers, D0OE-R heads and CJ rods, factory Quadrajet carburetor, and full-length tubular headers.

Underneath the Torino you’ll find an independent front suspension and solid rear-drive axle with Auburn 3.73:1 rear differential. Braking is provided by power four-wheel Baer discs. The selling dealer states that a Global West upper control arm kit and NOS lower control arms with new bushings have been installed. Additional undercarriage photos can be seen in the image carousel on the auction page.

The auction for this 1970 Ford Torino Cobra ends on Friday, June 2, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. (PDT)

Visit the AutoHunter listing for more information and photo gallery

Diego Rosenberg
Diego Rosenberg
Lead Writer Diego Rosenberg is a native of Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey, giving him plenty of exposure to the charms of Carlisle and Englishtown. Though his first love is Citroen, he fell for muscle cars after being seduced by 1950s finned flyers—in fact, he’s written two books on American muscle. But please don’t think there is a strong American bias because foreign weirdness is never far from his heart. With a penchant for underground music from the 1960-70s, Diego and his family reside in the Southwest.


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