1968 Ford Torino Cobra Jet Is a One-of-One Gem With an Emotional Story

The Cobra Jet V8 is one of the greatest high-performance engines Ford created in the golden muscle car era. And the Ford Mustang and Shelby GT500KR are its most iconic recipients. But the mighty 428-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) mill wasn’t restricted to these pony cars.

Ford also dropped it in a host of other vehicles when it first introduced it in 1968. The Cobra Jet also found its way in the Fairlane and Torino, while Mercury used it in the Cougar, Comet, and Cyclone. In 1969, Ford added it to the Cobra, while Mercury released a high-performance Montego with the same mill. And many of these cars aren’t getting the love they deserve nowadays.

With the Ford crowd mainly focused on the significantly more sought-after Mustang, many Cobra Jet-equipped Fairlanes, and Torinos were ignored and ended up spending their retirement years in junkyards or barns. Fortunately, some were eventually restored and surfaced into the spotlight with fantastic stories to tell. This 1968 Torino GT is one of those rare rigs that went from rust bucket to museum-grade quality in less than a year.

Showcased at the 2023 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals (MCACN), this Torino has been in the same family since it was new. The original owner bought in 1968, removed the badges, and took it racing as an unassuming sleeper. He loved the car to bits, but then he started a family and had a few kids, and the Torino was parked.

Neglected on a field for more than 30 years, the muscle car decayed due to exposure to the elements. That’s a familiar story for many 1960s classics, but this one has a happy ending because the son stepped in to restore the vehicle for his father, who wanted to see it returned to its former glory.

Unfortunately, David didn’t manage to finish it in time for his dad to see it, but the Torino got the grandiose and emotional unveiling it deserved at the 2023 MCACN Show. And boy, this hardtop looks incredible!

On top of that, it’s also a super-rare gem. Sure, Ford sold more than 150,000 Torinos during the 1968 model year, but only 23,940 units left the assembly line as GT-badged hardtops. And just a few hundred units were equipped with the 428 Cobra Jet engine and an automatic transmission, like this car here.

In fact, this Torino is a one-of-one classic due to its hardtop roof and black-over-red color combination. And this detail makes David’s decision to fully restore the car that much more outstanding. I’m sure his dad would have been proud of him and thrilled to see the Torino like this. Check it out in the video below because this rig is proof that any rust bucket can be saved if it means something to the right people.

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