Surprise About Rare’s Story 1968 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet Was Abandoned in the Forest

Barns are where people usually find valuable classic cars. Left to rot away or simply forgotten, they eventually see the light of day and get a second chance. This 1968 Ford Mustang did not spend decades in a barn, it was abandoned in a forest instead. But it’s not just a regular Mustang. A rare, R-Code 428 Cobra Jet version, this fastback is is bad shape but it might be worth saving.

Some barn finds come with touching stories about owners who could no longer take care of them. We don’t know the story of this Mustang, but it looks like it’s been sitting for a few good years parked near the edge of a forest. Whether it’s an authentic forest find we don’t know either, but the current owner of the car put it on a trailer, cleaned it, and decided to find it a new home.

Based on the photos, and there aren’t too many of them, this Cobra Jet needs a serious restoration to return to its former glory. Some people might even consider it a worthless wreck, but the VIN and the letter “C” scratched on the block confirm it’s a 428-powered Cobra Jet. And this makes it worth saving since Ford didn’t build many of them back in 1968.

Only 1,299 examples left the factory and needless to say, some of them didn’t make it to 2021, while other cars may be in a similar state.

The body is actually in decent condition. Sure, the blue paint is amost gone and there’s rust on every body panel, but it looks like a surface thing. It’s the floor that has much bigger rust issues, needing new panels and a bit of work on the areas where the metal got in contact with the ground.

Most of the interior was taken apart and the door panels and center console look salvageable. The trim also appears to be in good condition. The seats, the hood scoop and the grille do not appear in the photos, but the seller says they’re included in the sale.

The engine, on the other hand, has been dismantled and it needs a full rebuilt. But that’s not necessarily an issue since it’s a common practice during restoration. The Cobra Jet still has the original automatic transmission and rear end. When this car was new, the 7.0-liter V8 was rated at 335 horsepower. But like most muscle cars from the era, the Cobra Jet’s true output was higher, with most dyno tests reporting at least 400 horses.

Auctioned off with no reserve by eBay seller “marsh-marc,” the Cobra Jet has already gotten a lot of attention. With 22 bids in place, price has gone up to $25,532 with one day to go. It seems like a lot for a car in this state, but we need to keep in mind that mint-condition Cobra Jets tend to fetch more than $100,000.

Hopefully this car will go to a good home and will get a second chance at life through a frame-off restoration. I’d love to see it at a classic car event flexing a rebuilt engine and a shiny blue paint. 

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