For much of the modern pony car era, Shelby-branded Mustangs have represented the pinnacle of Detroit speed. And while that recoiling snake badge is synonymous with those products, they weren't the first Mustangs in the modern era to wear them. That honor belongs to the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R, one of the most hardcore takes on the pony car ever produced.

The first Mustang SVT Cobra R model was introduced for the 1993 model year, during the tail end of the Fox Body era. Whereas the Cobra models served as a step on from the GT, the Cobra R was a dedicated machine with a focus on track work. Only 107 of the Fox Body Cobra Rs were built, solidifying their unending collector status. Ford would bring the Cobra R treatment to the updated SN95 model as a 1995 exclusive, producing just 250 examples. While both of those variants remain sought after today, neither is quite as cool as the“New Edge” Cobra R that arrived for 2000. Gone was the live axle of the SN95, replaced with a bespoke independent rear suspension complete with Bilstein twin-tube shocks and Eibach springs. Gone is the TR3650 transmission. In its place is a beefy T56. Under the hood you’ll find a 5.4-liter DOHC naturally-aspirated V-8, with an iron block borrowed from the F-Series trucks. Billet connecting rods, forged flat-top pistons, and a more aggressive cam profile help the V-8 produce 385 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque. Those were impressive figures at the time, helping the Cobra R hit 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. The car isn’t catered towards straight line speed however, with a spartan interior devoid of anything deemed unnecessary for track work. Upgraded brakes and revised aero help keep things tidy at speed, while side pipes ensure you never miss a beat of that glorious soundtrack.

Ford only built 300 Mustang Cobra Rs for 2000, with each carrying a base price of $55,845. For reference, that’s over $99,800 in today’s money. In proper Ford style, customers could have any color Cobra R they wanted, so long as that color was Performance Red. While many owners stuffed these cars away to accrue value, a large chunk of the cars actually saw some miles over the years. This particular example offered for sale at eBay Motors is a prime example of the latter, having turned 32,100 miles over the past two decades. That mileage and condition of the paint as a result is reflected in the owner’s asking price of $75,000, which sits far below some of the six-figure gems that have passed through the auctions in recent times. Considering only 300 were ever built, this example could be a collectible you don’t have to feel bad pouring some miles on. It’ll certainly catch more glances than a new loaded-up Mach 1.

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2023-04-19T19:31:07Z dg43tfdfdgfd