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						12 K Cobra Project
Needs Finishing: $12K Replica Roadster

Cheap Cobra project car asks $12,500

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Facebook Marketplace

Adopting an abandon project car can be a risky undertaking. Unless you have some sort of inside information on the car’s construction, a whole book of receipts, or are just a really trusting fellow, you’re best off by tearing the car back down significantly to verify what’s what. That being said, you can save a whole fist full of cash over buying new if you’re handy, and maybe even secure a good return on your investment if it’s the right buy. Considering entry level Cobra roadsters trade hands for $30,000 or more, this roadster project on Facebook Marketplace is an enticing buy at just $12,500. But what are you really getting for your money?

Like other projects that have bounced around, the seller of this Cobra doesn’t know who the original manufacturer is, and we’re left with only a couple clues. It’s tough to get a good straight view of the all-telling rear wheel arch, but we can see the gas filler is recessed into the rear quarter. Also, the taillight-mounting surface is raised off the rear quarter. That being said, we still can’t find the smoking gun to I.D. this body as a CMC, Street Beasts, Shell Valley, etc.

Another unknown quantity is the chassis, and the seller reports that it’s a custom built frame with a Mustang II front end and a four-linked Pinto axle in the rear. The Mustang II front end is solid, but I’d want to know what spec that Pinto rear end was originally. If memory serves, V6 Pintos had a four-lug 8-inch rear, which is fairly strong, but a smaller axle was fit in the four-cylinder cars, which wouldn’t be suitable for V8 power. I’d also be inspecting the hell out of this chassis to gauge the quality of its construction, as we’ve seen our fair share of “unsafe at any speed” chassis fab on cheap project cars. As for the rest of the mechanicals, the car has a Ford 351 Windsor engine installed, along with a three-speed automatic, presumably a C6. The seller states that all the wiring and plumbing needs to be done before she’s a runner.

Like many unfinished project cars we see, I think there are plenty of pros and cons with this one. We’ve addressed a few of the big concerns but would be remiss to move on without talking over the positives. There’s of course the price, which likely makes it the cheapest roadster you’ll find on the market today. And even if you invested another $10,000 into getting this thing right, you’re still probably in the green. The body also looks to be in really nice shape and no one’s scoffing at the 351 Windsor either.

What I think this one comes down to, is comparing what you’re getting here versus what you have buying an affordable builder’s kit through a company like Shell Valley. The cost is very comparable, and the chassis components are a lot better with the new kit, but you’ll definitely be out more time and money to get the project rolling. But either way, I’m willing to bet this one won’t last long.

Find it here on Facebook Marketplace in Monee, Illinois.

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Cobra Project Car