Silver Cobra Emblem

Ford Austalia's
XC FALCON

Silver Cobra Emblem
Hiss-tory

Cobra - Limited Edition.

With the demise of the GT nameplate in 1976, Edsel Ford II, then managing Director of Ford Australia, suggested reintroducing one of Ford's most famous names on a limited edition V8 coupe.

"Cobra" was in the 60's, a name which became known worldwide on the fabulous Shelby cars. These Shelby Cobras were dominant in major motor sports events, including LeMans and Daytona.

Also, to make the new Falcon an instant classic, it was decided to manufacture a limited run of 400 cars, resplendent in the Blue and White colour scheme of racers from the United States.

200 of the cars came out with the 302 cubic inch motor (4.9 litre) with varying gearboxes and accessories. The other 200 came out with the big 351 cubic inch motor (5.8 litre) and while most (120) were automatic with all the upmarket filaments like power steering, air conditioning and power windows, the other 80 came with 4 speed manual gearboxes.

But the ones of interest to followers of motor sport and particularly bathurst, were the 30 of these manuals, which came with all the "goodies" to enable them to become winners on the race track. The extras on these cars were aimed at overcoming the punishment that a race car has to endure, particularly over 1000kms around Mount Panorama. Twin belts to drive the ancillaries, air coolers, heavy duty radiators, close ratio gearboxes, bonnet air scoop and special front spoiler, wider rear wheel arches, suspension tower supports and braces plus twin thermatic fans and Sheel racing seats were among the more obvious additions.

The XC Cobra, was in essence, a plain hardtop model. It was based around the Falcon 500 series coupe, unlike the pedigree of the GT Falcons, which were based around Fairmont specifications. What sets the plain Falcon coupe and the Cobra apart is the following: Cobra's were fitted with a limited slip disk brake diff, giving the car four wheel power assisted disks all around. All Cobra's were fitted with 15" x 7" Bathurst Globe Mag Wheels on 70 series radial tires. They also had tinted rear windows, twin exhaust pipes, quartz halogen headlights, cut pile black carpet, AM push button radio, power assisted heating & ventilation, Front and rear fiberglass spoilers and colour coded front and rear bumpers.

The Cobra's were all painted Bold Blue first (colour code L1127A) with the White (Snow White) added afterwards to create the GT stripes. The Blue Stripes were bordered by pale blue edging. This unique look was finished off with the Cobra Motif being added on each side behind the front wheel arch above the engine capacity badges (4.9 or 5.8) and also on the rear spoiler.

The first 200 cars built were 351 equipped. The second 200 were 302 equipped. Only one exception to this is known of, car 351 was factory fitted with a 351. No special body number prefixs were given to the Cobra. The Body numbers are usually JG65UM00XXXK. [XXX being the build number].

Ford shipped only two cobras to each premium dealer, which resulted in the demand exceeding the supply. The front spoiler was not fitted at the factory, but shipped to the dealers in the boot of the cobra, complete with the hardware required for fitting it, this to be done by the dealers.

A couple of other Ford vehicles received the Cobra treatment too. They were:- One short wheelbase F100; One Transit van; and Four Falcon utilities. These were all produced at the factory for promotional purposes, nobody appears to know where these vehicles are today. (See the Photo).

Building of the cobras commenced on August 1, 1978, and final shipments were scheduled for September 15, 1978. The price for the Falcon Cobra in 1978 was $9,405 [RRP] for the base model. The Options 97 Pack (Bathurst Model) was priced at $11,166 [RRP].

Prices for the Falcon Cobra in 2001 were between $15,000 and $28,000. The Bathurst Model values ranged between $33,000 and $42,000 depending on the vehicles condition.

Of the 400 cars produced, there are between 250 & 300 still hissing out there today, of which a couple have migrated and are now roaming other parts of the world. There is one in the United Kingdom, and another in the United States.

Pure Aussie Muscle taking on the world.

Ford Falcon Cobra, a spirited car for the enthusiast

If you'd like your Cobra photos added to my site
Please E-mail them to me at

wheels@jfpresentations.com

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