Co­bra bites into mar­ket

Don’t ex­pect to get the FPV he­roes cheaply, writes NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

FORD Per­for­mance Ve­hi­cles’ V8 Co­bras have turned into an in­stant clas­sic. Buy­ers are pay­ing $30,000 above the rec­om­mended re­tail price for the used ver­sions of the cars, which had a rec­om­mended re­tail price of $65,110 for the GT sedan and $61,200 for the ute.

One web­site has two Co­bra sedans for sale, one with 10,000km on the clock listed for $80,000 and the other with just 500km for $95,000.

An­other buyer has a $109,000 ask­ing price on a Co­bra that has done just 29km. An­other has $84,990 for an ex­am­ple that has trav­elled 1500km. Yet an­other buyer has his XC Co­bra listed with his BF Mk II Co­bra for ‘‘best of­fer over $200,000’’. It is the same story with the Co­bra Pur­suit utes, with prices vary­ing from $74,000 to $87,000.

FPV gen­eral man­ager Rod Bar­rett says he could have built more Co­bras if Ford had let him.

‘‘We were re­stricted. I would have liked to have built more. In 40 years, though, those 500 cars will still be clas­sics,’’ he says.

Last year FPV built 400 sedans and 100 utes with a Co­bra badge.

All 500 cars were snapped up by deal­ers, but a hand­ful re­main, with some FPV deal­ers hold­ing back on stock to main­tain in­ter­est.

Cashed-up buy­ers are clearly keen to spend what it takes to se­cure a piece of Ford his­tory, Bar­rett says.

And he says FPV had to field some neg­a­tiv­ity for recre­at­ing a com­mem­o­ra­tive Co­bra from the 1970s.

‘‘We copped a bit of crit­i­cism for recre­at­ing the Co­bra, but it’s an icon worth re­mem­ber­ing.’’

The latest Co­bra sedan and ute is pow­ered by a Boss 302 en­gine de­vel­op­ing 302kW/ 540Nm, and is equipped with FPV stain­lesssteel fab­ri­cated ex­haust man­i­folds and a high­flow dual-ex­haust sys­tem.

For mo­tor­ing buffs, 302 was the ca­pac­ity in cu­bic inches of Ford’s small-block V8 en­gine and is also ex­actly dou­ble the 151kW out­put of the 1978 Co­bra’s 4.9-litre V8 en­gine.

The GT Co­bra has a lim­ited slip dif­fer­en­tial and is avail­able as a close-ra­tio six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion with a high torque clutch or the ZF six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

The latest Co­bra came about to mark last year’s 30th an­niver­sary of Ford’s one-two win with driv­ers Al­lan Mof­fat and Colin Bond at the famed Bathurst en­durance race.

To com­mem­o­rate that win, Ford Aus­tralia re­leased 400 Fal­con XC Co­bra coupes in July 1978. Those cars are now highly col­lectable, with one 220,000km ex­am­ple re­cently priced at $71,500.

Cashed up and con­victed: en­thu­si­asts are pay­ing way above mar­ket prices to get a Co­bra sedan (above) or ute into their garage.

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