The two cars, of course, proved to be a pair of Torino King Cobras, aero cars intended to take on Dodge’s Charger Daytona and Plymouth’s Superbird in NASCAR’s Grand National division. The unique front sheetmetal applied to the King Cobras showed some promise, but the King Cobra’s overall aerodynamics still required development at a time of internal turmoil at Ford – King Cobra backer and Ford president Bunkie Knudsen and King Cobra designer Larry Shinoda both got the axe in 1970 – and at a time of changing NASCAR homologation rules. With Knudsen and Shinoda out and with the prospect of suddenly having to build 2,000 unproven King Cobras rather than 500, Ford brass canceled the project.
The blue one he repaired, repainted, and sold off to a local in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It later ended up in a junkyard, where a couple Ford enthusiasts found it and bought it before they documented it and restored it. The yellow one, however (VIN 0H38C108527), Moore held on to. Originally built in August 1969 as a regular Lorain assembly line Torino Cobra equipped with the C-code 370hp Cobra Jet 429 and Cruise-O-Matic C6 automatic transmission, it oddly didn’t feature Shinoda’s signature stripes or the blackout hood that decorated other King Cobras. Nor did it wear the typical King Cobra Magnum 500 wheels, instead making do with Cyclone GT wheels with double white stripe G78 tires.
Only two other King Cobras are known to exist today: Steve Honnell’s yellow example, which he bought in 1970 off Holman Moody; and the other Bud Moore King Cobra, which bid up to $350,000 but didn’t sell at Mecum’s 2013 Indianapolis auction, and which is currently for sale with an asking price of $459,900. No pre-auction estimate has been released for the stripeless yellow King Cobra.
Article courtesy of Hemmings Daily, written by Daniel Strohl.