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It was easy to spot the bright 1970 Cobra in the pits at Beech Bend Raceway Park during the Holley NMRA Intergalactic Ford Fest. The Grabber Blue beast had those magical 429 badges on the fenders and the “Cobra” emblazoned on the back and sides. Mark Schiffner of Audubon, Minnesota is the proud owner of the big-block Ford that he’s owned for 36 years.
“I’ve owned this car since 1985,” said Mark. “I started working on it in high school and it’s still street-legal. It’s a real N-code Cobra that came with a 429, but it had a 351 in it when I got it. These days, it has a stroker 460 measuring 545 cubic inches, with AFR heads, long-tube headers, a Torker II intake and a big 1050 Holley Dominator carburetor.”
The big, blue Ford also sports a Randy Malik Performance solid-roller camshaft, a C-6 automatic transmission, 3.50 rear gears in the 9-inch and a set of Caltracs. Mark also went with Torque Thrust wheels to maintain the period-correct look. The wheels are wrapped with Hoosier racing tires to enhance traction.
“I’ve had this car longer than both wives, but I’m still married,” said Mark jokingly. Amazingly, he purchased the Cobra for $650, but it’s worth quite a bit more these days. We offered to double his money, but he declined.
Ford’s 429 Cobra Torino epitomizes the term “Muscle Car” with a big-cube engine stuffed in an Intermediate body. The second-generation Torino for 1970 has classic lines with a long nose, hardtop body, fastback roofline and Shaker scoop to let the Cobra Jet mill breathe easy. Mark’s Ford wears the Grabber Blue paint nicely and it sports the factory striping and blacked-out hood. It also has a vanity plate reading “HSSSS.” Ford 1970, there was a long list of options, and five engines were on the list. You could get a 250 I6, a 302, 351 Windsor, 351 Cleveland or the 385-series 429 at 7.0 liters. This one came with the 370-horsepower CJ, although there was a 375-hp version known as the Super Cobra Jet.
With a race weight of 3,850 lbs. the Ford is capable of mid-10s, with a best elapsed time of 10.50 at 128 mph. Mark is excited about being at Ford Fest and seeing all the great Fords on the grounds. He’ll be competing in Ford Muscle and we wish him luck on track.