This good-looking but seldom seen 1969 show car, the Super Cobra, was the work of the ultra-talented GM and Ford designer Larry Shinoda.
Larry Shinoda wasn’t at the Ford Motor Company very long, barely more than a year, but he made quite a splash while he was there. In May of 1968 the gifted General Motors stylist followed his friend and boss Bunkie Knudsen to Ford, where Knudsen was appointed president, only to be fired in September of 1969 shortly after Knudsen was forced out. But while he was there, Shinoda designed the Boss 302 and Boss 429 Mustangs and the Torino Talladega, to name a few, and a whole fleet of concepts and show cars including this one: the Ford Super Cobra.
Construction of the Super Cobra has been credited here and there to the Italian coachbuilder Vignale of Turin, but we’re not certain about that. Based on a production Fairlane fastback, the coupe bore a strong familial resemblance to another Shinoda showpiece from ’69, the Ranchero Scrambler. (See our feature on the Scrambler here.) According to the press materials, the production Fairlane SportsRoof top was chopped two inches and the nose was stretched eight inches, giving the Super Cobra a dramatic, almost missile-like profile. A familiar Ford marketing tagline in those days was “The Going Thing,” and Shinoda clearly had a talent for producing vehicles that looked the part.
The Super Cobra was powered by Ford’s hot 428 cubic-inch Cobra Jet V8, sporting a taller version of the production Shaker through-the-hood air-scoop assembly. The two-tone cabin upholstery was described as “Candy Murano and Hot Red,” the better to complement the eyeball-searing Candy Apple Red exterior paint. The equally exuberant rear end treatment (below) featured a louvered backlite, a Shinoda trademark, and a wraparound spoiler with full-width tail lamp assembly. The machine made its debut at the Chicago Auto Show in February of 1969 and was also displayed at the Detroit Auto Show, but disappeared from public view not long after that. What became of the car? We don’t know this, but it’s reasonable to suspect that when Shinoda was terminated at the Ford Motor Company, the Super Cobra was dismissed as well.
Article courtesy of Mac's Motor City Garage.