Let’s take a trip down NASCAR memory lane, shall we? In the 1960s, manufacturers began catching onto the fact that aerodynamics played an important role in how fast their cars went. Desperate to beat each other, automakers were going to great lengths to ensure they would “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” as the old adage goes, sparking what are now known as the ‘Aero Wars.’
The Aero Wars quickly became an affair solely between Ford and Chrysler. Due to NASCAR’s homologation rules, automakers were forced to build at least 500 examples of whichever car they raced, resulting in some truly whacky-looking road cars such as the Plymouth Superbird and Ford Torino Talladega, for example.
Ford was in the midst of bringing another one of its ‘Aero Cars’ to market, the 1970 Ford Torino King Cobra, when NASCAR head honcho Bill France put an end to the Aero Wars. Concerned about driver safety due to the increasingly high speeds being reached and tired of seeing the same two manufacturers win, NASCAR implemented rules which said all Aero Cars would have engines under 5.0-liters and 3,000 production examples would have to be built instead of 500.
Shortly thereafter Ford pulled out of all forms of racing, presumably with a sour taste in its mouth about how the whole Aero Wars thing played out, killing development of the Torino King Cobra. Just 3 prototype versions of the long-nose aero-intensive muscle car were built, and one is currently up for sale on eBay by RK Motors Charlotte.
According to a Hot Rod Magazine article on the Torino King Cobra, all three prototypes were equipped with a different engine. RK Motors says this car started out life with a 460 V8 under its hood, however the current owners found it with no engine and dropped a 429 Shotgun V8 in it. The motor is linked up to a 4-speed manual transmission, which sends power to the rear wheels through a Ford 9-inch rear end with 3.50 gears.
Being only 1 of 3 cars ever built the Torino King Cobra isn’t cheap. RK Motors wants a frankly shocking $459,900 for it, but considering some of the classic car values we’ve seen around as of late, we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if a collector takes the bait.