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						Supercharged Cobras 1
Supercharged Serpents

Boosted Cobras on the used market

By Dean Larson

There’s not much in the world that beats the feeling of a driving a supercharged V8 engine. The supercharger is a bolt-on performance trifecta: it looks awesome, sounds awesome and provides boatloads of power throughout the rpm range. Instead of striving for all-out historical accuracy, these Cobras for sale up the fun factor with a bit of belt-driven forced induction.

Vortech Supercharged FFR

Our first boosted Cobra comes from our home state of Wisconsin, and is located in a town with a quintessential Wisconsin name — Waunakee. This 2009 Factory Five looks to be a fairly standard Mustang-donor build with the exception of a Vortech centrifugal supercharger under the hood. The centrifugal supercharger is a sort of supercharger/turbocharger hybrid that utilizes a compressor housing and compressor wheel like a turbo, but is powered by a belt, instead of exhaust gasses and a turbine wheel. The Vortech unit makes between 5-6 psi of boost, which makes it safe on an unmodified engine, and provides roughly 275 hp and 344 ft-lbs of torque.

The seller doesn’t give much additional info, but the car shows nicely on the exterior and has a well-appointed interior. The mileage is average at 4,500 and the price isn’t terrible, just $32,900.

Bargain Boosted MkII

Our second supercharged snake shares much in common with the first, but seems to be a better deal in almost every way. This MkII Factory Five listed on Lexington, Kentucky Craigslist is another Mustang-donor build with Cobra-style four-lug wheels and a 302 under the hood. The car has less than 2,000 miles on it, and boy does it show. Our friends at Levy Racing in Arizona applied the black paint with gray ghost stripes that have a mirror-like finish. All the chrome-work and stainless components on the car also shine like new. It looks like a lot of effort went into the interior, and the only area that doesn't show perfectly is around the glove box.

Now, lets move on to the heart of the matter, the power plant. This Ford 302 has been treated to some serious upgrades, including AFR cylinder heads, a Holley supercharger and a Holley 750 cfm carburetor. The Roots-style Holley blower peaks at about 8 psi of boost, but the additional mods compound the power gains. The seller doesn’t give any power specs, but we’ve seen similar engine combinations make well over 400 hp and 400 ft-lbs. While it might divide opinions, I'd rank this as the best-looking engine bay on the list; it's hard to beat the look of a Roots-style blower. 

This MkII looks fresh from top to bottom and ready to enjoy. At just $29,000, this boosted roadster is priced low for any Cobra, let alone one as nice as this. The low asking price and quality of the finished product make this FFR a clear winner for us. 

Paxton-Equipped MkIII

A selection of supercharged Ford V8s just wouldn’t be complete without the Paxton name. This Factory Five MkIII Roadster equipped with Paxton centrifugal supercharger is a nice-looking ride and commands the highest asking price in our lineup at $74,995, but more on that in a moment.

This MkIII is definitely the best equipped in our list with five-lug hubs, a Tremec TKO600 transmission and nice-looking supercharged Ford 302. The Paxton centrifugal supercharger kit used here produces about 7.5 psi of boost, good for a 30-percent gain in horsepower according to Paxton. The seller doesn’t list any other information on the engine, so it’s hard to rank this Cobra against the other two, but we’d assume it to be somewhere in between. The Cobra is nearly perfect cosmetically, and it's upholstery is among the best we've seen. 

As nice as this MkIII is, we doubt it will be selling any time soon. There’s some obvious Cobra confusion going on in the ad and it seems like the seller doesn’t quite understand the difference between a Cobra replica and the Shelby continuation series. They correctly identify the car as a FFR MkIII at the start of the ad, but later claim "The current owner considers this car a museum piece and is the highlight of anything built in the Shelby continuation series cars." At nearly $75,000, the Cobra is priced somewhere between a replica and the considerably more expensive Shelby continuation cars.

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Cobra Supercharger