fiberglass are provided for both front and rear discs.The cornering power of the competition car is excellent. Our test unit was provided with 15 x 8 Halibrand mag wheels up front and 15 x 9 rears. To these were mounted Goodyear Stock Car treads in the R2 compound: 6.70 x 15 front,  9.00 x 15 rear.  We understand that rim width and tire cross-section are soon to be increased further.  There was only one problem with our test car; the optional bronze bushings were not installed at suspension pivot points and the normal rubber bushings allow considerable fore and aft movement of the suspension.  Accelerating out of a corner, we found that the line would change two or three times as these rubbers loaded and unloaded.  In a car of the Cobra's potential,  this can be... ah, quite disconcerting.  The word is that, selling for $9500 per copy, the full-race version actually represents a one-grand loss to the factory.  Hence the attempt to recoup some of it by offering options like the bushings, a few more minor goodies,  none of which were on the one we tested.

The cornering attitude of the car can be altered by suspension adjustment.  As set, this one had strong understeer.  It had terrible understeer until we discovered the front tires had only 26 pounds of air.  These were pumped up to 36 pounds (the rears were left at 22 lbs.) and by golly, it would turn and corner after all.  We would have liked still less of it as even with relatively light steering pressure, it took a lot of horsing and a very hot approach to get hung into a drift that would allow the power to be turned back on.  Otherwise,  throttle-application only produces more of the "let's-go-straight" attitude.

Straight-line performance is something out of this world.  Playing around with a couple of quarter-mile runs, we hand-timed it at 12.3 seconds.  Set up for dragging, it could probably better that considerably.  Above 130 mph, the wind buffeting lets you know it's aerodynamically a big brick, but the only instability is when slight bumps produce wheelspin.  Top speed is reportedly in the 180-mph category.  The equal of any big production sports car in a corner, it will get around even the tight circuits in impressive lap times.  Miles has logged laps in the 1:35 category while testing at Riverside; a very solid Production car record and a little over six seconds below the absolute track record.  We would have liked to have tried for lap times with this unoptioned version, but four places on the track were dug up to put waterlines.  (Yessir, we said "water."  There's even a square acre of green grass in the infield now).  Even the unoptioned car has to be as quick as the best 289 Cobra, and, since both are classed by SCCA in A-Production, it will soon make the latter somewhat obsolete.  It's pretty hard to argue with 480 horses, which is roughly what the tuned 427 puts out with complete reliability, and with torque like a dump truck.

Cobra 427 Street and Competition Models

Street: $7495 FOB LA

  • Iron engine with two Ford, four-barrel carbs.

  • HP - 425 @ 6000 rpm

  • Torque - 480 @3700 rpm

  • Curb weight: 2450 lbs.

  • Fuel Tank: 18 gal.

  • Wheel Size:
    7.5 x 15 in. (front & rear)

  • Gearbox ratios:
    1st - 2.23 to 1
    2nd - 1.69 to 1
    3rd - 1.29 to 1
    4th - 10 to 1

  • Limited Slip Diff. - optional

  • Suspension: Large coil springs, tubular shock absorbers, front sway bar.

  • Brake Discs:
    10.5-in, front
    10.5-in, rear

  • Standing quarter mile with equipment as tested: 13.2 sec. @ 110 mph

Competition: $9500 dry sump $9750 wet sump

  • Lightweight 427 with single 4bbl Holley carb.

  • HP - 485 hp @ 6500 rpm

  • Torque - .180 lb ft  @3500

  • Curb weight: 2350 lbs.

  • Fuel Tank: 42 gal.

  • Wheel Size:
    9.5 x 15 in. (rear)
    7.5 x 15 in. (front)

  • Gearbox ratios:
    1st - 2.23 to 1
    2nd - 1.54 to 1
    3rd - 1.19 to 1
    4th - 1.0 to 1

  • Limited Slip Diff. - standard

  • Suspension: Adjustable-height Armstrong coil/shock units, front & rear sway bars.

  • Brake Discs:
    11.63-in, front
    10.75-in, rear

  • Standing quarter mile with equipment as tested: 12.3 sec. @ 121 mph

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