1970 Torino King Cobra
by Keith Fudge
Ford Motor Company has proven its racing heritage time and time again; however, one of the most “race worthy” cars that Ford ever envisioned was never put into full production. A few of these cars got out (three to be exact) and recently Dennis Gage and the crew from My Classic Car had the chance to see one of Ford's most impressive examples of American muscle: the 1970 King Cobra.
Steve Honnell is the owner of this rare snake and he proceeded to tell Dennis about the history of the car. This car was designed to compete with the Dodge Daytona and the Plymouth Superbird during what were called the “Aero Wars” on the NASCAR circuit, however, a variety of circumstances prevented Ford from going to a full scale production (it was rumored that 3,000 were to be built). As Dennis commented, from the firewall back, this car is a stock 1970 Torino, but it's what's up front that counts and from the radically sloped nose to what rumbled beneath the hood, this car was anything but stock. Interestingly enough, of the three that were produced, all came with different engines. One had the Boss 429, one was equipped with a 429 Cobra Jet, and this car was equipped with a 429 Super Cobra Jet. Soon after he got the car Steve made a few adjustments, replacing the 429SJC with a 494 cubic inch engine complete with wedge heads and a Holley 780 cfm carburetor. Now this snake hisses along at the tune of 650 horsepower at 11.7:1 compression! Coupled to a four-speed transmission, this snake can motor down the road. Steve said that he still has the original motor in a crate at home. Well, you know that Dennis is all about Fords so it wasn't long until he was urging Steve to take the King Cobra to the streets and that they did.
It was a beautiful day cruising the Tennessee backroads in this awesome specimen of Ford muscle. There was no doubt that this rare snake would create fear on the track or on the street! With its rumble and sleek design, this car is truly a Ford legend. Steve, take good care of this beauty and we'll see you down the road!