The Ford Mustang is one of those cars that has a cult following. Just about every Mustang has its own unique history. Just think about it. Run the VIN. However, there are some Mustang models that are so very rare that clones of them are made. The Ford Mustang Cobra Jet is one of those cars. I’ll give you a pop quiz, and then give you some history on the Mustang Cobra Jet, okay?
What’s the most expensive Ford Mustang currently for sale today? The 2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, at $54,650? Uh-uh. It’s the 2014 Mustang Cobra Jet, which isn’t street legal (it doesn’t have a VIN, so don’t try to tell the police officer that the previous owner shaved it off – that doesn’t get pity, it’s pithy though!). The 2014 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet will run you $97,990. And, that’s before the registration fees for the NHRA and other costs set you back another $10,000.
In 1968, Bob Tasca, a senior engineer on the Ford Mustang Mach 1, wanted a faster Mustang – one that could win against a purpose-built dragster. Why? Well, he was mad that he’d lost to some “hoon in a 442 W30.” He was mad. His Mustang Mach 1 wasn’t fast enough for him. He went to his boss, told the story, and then asked his boss for $100,000 in development costs. He left with a check for $100,000, and five junior engineers. They immediately started work on a bone-stock Mach 1 Mustang. They took the stock cam off, put on two high-rise cams, went out, raced around the parking lot, and started work on the transmission. Thus, the story of the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet was born.
Anyways, they called up Muncie Transmissions, who promptly gave them five four-speed transmissions with overdrive. They had to fork out $5,000 for those trannies, but it was money well-spent. They put the transmission in, raced some kids in a Camaro, won, raced against the same “hoon in a 442 W30,” won – three times, went to a bar, and celebrated. Good for them.
Then, it was a matter of tires. The tires kept going up in smoke when they floored it – at any speed! They went to a local tire shop, bought drag slicks, realized that the car would be much faster if it wasn’t street-legal, went back to headquarters, and went into Lee Iacocca’s office. Lee loved it. he told them to shave off the VIN, trailer it to a dragstrip, and do whatever it took. That’s exactly what they did.
Within a year, the car was ready for production. It was expensive, but faster than anything south of an Indycar (according to Tasca, “this thing will whip the a*$ of any dummy who races this thing.”). The dealers started clamoring for the car. It came, as well as buyers. Since the car wasn’t street-legal, dealers would keep a car at a local dragstrip. Good plan.
Today, the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet is stripped-down, just like its older cousin. The bodyshell is stripped-down. Inside, the rollcage, Recaro seats, and unique suspension hardware and the computer bank take up the interior. Not bad. The engine is powered by a 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger, which is mounted atop the stock 5.0-liter V8 shared throughout much of the Ford line.
Even though the original car was offered with a stock 428 cubic-inch V8 that was naturally-aspirated, that didn’t stop Ford Racing from supercharging the car. The 2014 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet has an all-new three-speed manual transmission, a parachute mount for those planning to drive over 150 mph, and two new colors. One is matte-black, and the other is Gotta-Have-It Green (that’s the actual name!). As one might expect, the Mustang Cobra Jet is rare, and will stay that way, with only 50 examples being produced (all have been spoken for). Orders were on a first come, first serve basis, and buyers confirmed their orders with Ford Racing.
I’d take one, but money comes into play. I don’t want financing, and it will take a long time to pay back Ford if my buyers only pledge $1.22 a day…