Prototype

A Ridiculously Rare Ford Torino King Cobra Prototype Is Up For Sale

It can be yours for $459,900.

The 1960s was an exciting era for NASCAR. Competition between Ford and Chrysler was fierce, but the rivalry really intensified at the tail-end of the decade during the infamous “Aero Wars,” which spawned some of the most outlandish cars the sport has ever seen with radical designs to make them faster and more aerodynamic. When the Dodge Charger Daytona posted a serious threat to the automaker in 1969 with its brash nosecone and huge wing, Ford knew it had to step it up a gear to maintain its dominance in the series.

Ultimately, the car it intended to enter, the Torino King Cobra, didn’t make it to the track, but two working prototypes were made – one of which is currently for sale on eBay Motors. The orange Ford Torino King Cobra prototype can be yours for the modest price of $459,900, or potential buyers can make an offer to the seller. That may sound like a lot, but opportunities to own a prototype car as ridiculously rare as this don’t happen very often. Originally, the Torino King Cobra was designed to show what a road-going version of the homologation special would look like, and comes equipped with a Boss 429 engine mated to a four-speed manual toploader transmission.

How much power the prototype produces isn’t known, but the race-spec version was going to be fitted with a V8 tuned to produce 700-horsepower, positioning it as a serious threat to Dodge on the track. Sadly, the Torino King Cobra project was caned before the 1970 NASCAR season. In the same year, Ford’s president at the time, Bunkie Knudsen, was fired, and his replacement cut Ford’s motorsport budget by 75 percent. The final nail in the Torino King Cobra’s coffin came the following year when aero cars were banned from NASCAR in the 1971 series. Both prototypes were bought by NASCAR team owner Bud Moore for $1,200 in total.

This particular prototype spent years gathering rust in a South Calolina field, before it was restored by two Ford fans who recognized its rarity. Considering how hard it must have been to identify the car, let alone find all the race parts, they did a remarkable job restoring the prototype to such pristine condition.

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