If you are looking for a rare automobile to add to your collection, this 1970 Ford Torino King Cobra "tribute" with authentic nose piece might be just what you've been waiting for. The car is being sold on ebay.
Ford created the King Cobra project in the 1960's to compete with the success of Dodge Chargers and Daytonas and the SuperBird of Richard Petty on the NASCAR Racing Circuit.
The King Cobras were prototypes, and were powered by a powerful Boss 429 cubic inch V8. It was the sloping long nose piece similar to the one used by Plymouth on the SuperBird that made the King Cobras distinctive though. The idea was to make the car an "aero warrior".
Today only one other car with an original nose piece is known to survive.
This car being offered for sale has an original surviving sloping nose piece that was attached to a different car. It is advertised as being one of the first front ends produced, and is different than later versions because of the latch placement.
So this Torino is not one of the prototype vehicles, but it does have one of the original nose pieces. The rest of the car is close to the prototypes though as it comes with a 429 V8. So it's a tribute car with an original front end body piece from the prototype series. It is being sold by VanGuard auto sales.
The asking price, currently on ebay is $129,000. Worth it? Well it's worth what somebody is willing to pay. Only time will tell if it generate the asking price or if it will sell.
Ford dropped the King Cobra program when NASCAR changed the rules, and increased the number of street cars that had to be produced to 3000 from 500, in order for supporting race vehicles to qualify for competition. Ford executives obviously didn't think they could sell that many King Cobras in this configuration as street cars, so the racing end of things came to an abrupt halt.
Here are the details on the vehicle being offered for sale:
( from ebay listing )
Original Numbers Matching 429ci Cobra Jet Engine 1077 6 - Suffix Code on Back of Block Numbers Matching C6 Transmission Cast Iron Tail Housing Heavy Duty Nodular 9" 3.00:1 Differential 31 Spline Factory A/C Quadrajet Carb Upsized 2.5" Reproduction Exhaust Cast Iron Manifolds Crossflow Radiator Polished Aluminum Valve Covers Power Front Disc, Rear Drum Brakes New Calipers and Rotors New Brake Lines Power Steering Restored Steering and Suspension New Springs and Shocks Original Driveshaft with Stripes New U Joints Parking Brake All New Fluid Lines New Fuel Tank
Factory Candy Apple Red Paint 1 of 2 Surviving Prototype King Cobra Front Ends Replated Exterior Chrome Professionally Polished Stainless Straight and Solid Body Beautiful Fit and Finish Solid Trunk is Finished as Nice as the Exterior Full Size Spare Tire Floors are Finished in Red Oxide Primer Undercarriage Appears to be All Original Metal Pinch Welds are in Great Shape Frame is Solid and Clean New Magnum 500 Wheels BFG Radial T/A's 245/60/15 Front, 275/60/15 Rear
Factory Black Bucket Seat Factory Console Floor Shift Interior has been restored using as much of the original upholstery as possible Rim Blow Steering Wheel Professionally Restored - Inoperable Ultra Rare NOS 140mph Speedometer with Ribbon Tach Factory AM Radio Rechromed Dash Bezels Door Panels are in Great Shape Seatbelts Front and Back Carpet is Beautiful Nice Headliner and Dome Light
And directly, from the ebay listing here is the background information on the all important front nose piece:
( from ebay listing )
Story on the Front Nose:
If you want rare, this is the definition. The story begins with only 3 original cars believed to be made for testing purposes. This is strongly believed to be one of the earliest original front ends. There are no part numbers on the original noses as they were vendor-produced prototypes. In the beginning wind tunnel testing showed that the hood latch was too far back so the hoods had the latch moved forward. This is the only known nose with the rearward latch area. Bud Moore purchased 2 of the King Cobras from Ford after the program was killed. He kept the yellow production version that had more refinements to the fiberglass front end. The other car had a damaged front end so a new standard production front end was installed and the car was sold. The front end was then sold separately and was tracked thanks to Steve Daniele and Greg Moore through its ownership and this is strongly believed to be that front end. The only surviving all original car is Bud Moore's yellow car with no graphics. It is optioned very similarly to our Cobra with a C-Code 429CJ, Automatic Transmission, Power Steering, Power Disc Brakes and Air Conditioning. The other known original KING Cobra is Calypso Coral has had an engine swap from the original 460 Wedge engine to a BOSS 429. There is another Yellow Cobra that is considered to be an original with Holman & Moody VIN numbers. The previous owner worked with Steve Daniele, the only known source of reproduction King Cobra front ends. His production run consisted of 4 front ends. He confirms that he used a repaired original front end from Joey Adams in Louisiana to make the mold. Steve also indicated he remembered that the original front end had damage to the front corner, this car has consistent repairs that are visible from the interior side in the front nose cone area. The owner also worked with Dr. John Craft as well as sources from Holman & Moody and Bud Moore to verify that this is an original front end. From what the owner found so far, it is believed by all involved that this front end is the repaired original from the Vermillion King Cobra restored by Steve Daniele in the 1980's. This front end has the 'chop gun' blown in fiberglass construction with some fiberglass mat repairs in the front corners and lower fascia. The few (and only known) reproduction noses, made by Daniel, used a glass mat construction throughout not the 'chop gun' style of the originals. Furthermore, this hood has a steel reinforcement and does not require a prop rod or stands, as do the reproduction hoods. This is truly a rare investment quality vehicle that has been given the royal treatment as far as restorations go. No expense was spared and this vehicle could easily be the centerpiece of most vehicle collections.