Sign Up

Our Privacy Policy identifies how we handle personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act. Read it prior to submitting your information.

By clicking “Register” you agree to our Terms Of Use and Privacy Policy.

Ford’s special edition built out of necessity

Born out of its success in 1977, the Ford Falcon Cobra was born out of necessity and has gone into the history books one of the much loved limited editions launched in Australia.

Ford had taken all before it in 1977 as it dominated the Australian Touring Car Championship with Moffat Dealer Team drivers Allan Moffat and Colin Bond, who had defected from Holden before the season.

Then there was Bathurst as the famous scenes of the two Ford Falcon Hardtops cruising down Conrod Straight side-by-side in a crushing display of dominance leaving Holden after revenge.

And boy did the Lion get revenge.

It started at Sandown 1977 when just prior Holden launched the Torana A9X, which did in fact win its first race the Hang Ten 400, but underdeveloped for Bathurst teams struggled. But once it was up and going, it ended up forcing Holden out of the sport due to its dominance at the end of 1979.

Back to the Cobra. In 1978, Ford had announced a major generational change to its flagship Falcon model creating the squarer XD, which was to come in four-door sedan and station wagon variants ending the Hardtop Coupe introduced first with the XA in 1973.

This was a concern as more than 400 hardtop bodyshells remained unsold at Ford’s Broadmeadows Assembly Plant in March 1978.

Inspired by American tuning ace Carroll Shelby’s designs in the US, Ford Australia Managing Director at the time Edsel Ford aimed to take advantage of the brand’s success on the track by launching a special edition Falcon.

Featuring Bold Blue stripes along the side and over the top of the Sno White body, it featured also Cobra emblems similar to what Shelby had on his models of the 1960s.

A nice touch was a sequentially numbered plaque on the dash.

Powerplant wise, the first 200 Cobras contained the 5.8L 351 Cleveland V8, while the remaining 200 has the 4.9L 302 Cleveland, except for 351 in which it had the first option.

The Cobras featured the choice of either an automatic or manual transmission, four-wheel-disc brakes, limited slip differential, 15-inch Globe wheels, front and rear spoilers, plus a dual exhaust.

Production numbers 002 to 0031 or known as Option 97 specification models provided the basis of the Bathurst Cobras enabling Ford to homologate a range of extras for The Great Race in October. These included a twin electric fan set-up switchable from the dash, gearbox oil cooler, suspension bracing and re-worked rear-wheel body housings.

These are identifiable through the large rear-opening bonnet bulge.

In late 1978, the two Moffat Dealer Team Falcon Coupe Hardtops were painted in the same Shelby-inspired scheme as the Cobras, but it gave the operation no success as the advent of A9X was in effect. In fact, Ford pulled its support at the end of the season leaving star drivers Moffat and Bond as privateers, although the latter continued to fly the flag in rallying.

In order to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the famous Ford 1-2, FPV unveiled a limited edition BF-spec Cobra of its own in 2007 matching the 400 produced. In addition, 100 utes were produced all featuring the 302kw 5.4-litre Boss 302 unit.