Jim Smart
April 1, 2010

"How often do you get to own a factory race car with nine original miles?" Ron asks. "The eBay seller had a 'Buy It Now' price and there were two bidders bumping the bids in $100 increments," Ron comments. "Every day I checked on it, wondering if it would still be there or if one of the bidders would finally hit the 'Buy It Now' button. With less than an hour to go on the auction, the bids were within a thousand dollars of the 'Buy It Now' price and the reserve price still had not been met. I finally thought, How stupid is it to worry about a few hundred dollars on a car like this? I called Cindy and asked her if she thought we should buy the car. She agreed, so I hit the 'Buy It Now' button."

You can bet there were a couple of unhappy bidders out there, but all's fair in love, war, and eBay.

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Ron and Cindy's '95 Cobra R won an MCA Gold in 2006-which is the only show it has ever attended. "The club hosting the show thought I was crazy for wanting to drive into the show field with my trailer and unload the car where I could just push it into its spot without driving," Ron told us. "After all, it wouldn't be the same with 10 miles on it, now would it?"

Snapshot

  • 250 produced out of a total of 5,258 units
  • 5.8L Cobra V-8 (351W) with GT-40 heads/induction
  • 300 horsepower
  • 385 ft. lb. of torque
  • Kevlar high-capacity fuel tank
  • Tremec 3550 five-speed manual transmission
  • 3.27:1 Traction-Lok
  • Eibach coil springs
  • Koni adjustable struts and shocks
  • Sound system delete
  • Climate control system delete
  • Rear seat delete
  • Manual windows
  • Brake cooling ducts
  • 13-inch front disc brakes
  • 11.65-inch rear disc brakes
  • 30mm sway front bar, 27mm rear bar
  • 17 x 9-inch five-spoke wheels
  • BFGoodrich Comp T/A Radials - 255/45ZR17
  • Strut tower brace
  • Cowl induction hood
  • Weight: 3,326 lbs
  • Quarter-mile: 13.80 seconds

'00 Cobra R
This Performance Red 2000 was the first Cobra R for Ron and Cindy. A friend on the East Coast called to tell Ron there was an '00 Cobra R on eBay and wanted to know how far they lived from San Jose. Ron was happy to check out this car for his friend. When they arrived 90 minutes later, they learned that the car was on consignment at a dealer. Upon the auction's completion, Ron's friend was the highest bidder. And when his friend told him the bid, Ron was skeptical. "You'll never buy that car for that kind of money." Ron wasn't stunned at a high bid; instead, he was shocked by his friend's low bid. When Ron congratulated him, that's when Ron heard the question, "Would you be interested in buying the car from me for what I have in it?" Turns out, shipping the car was going to cost more than expected. Ron and Cindy jumped at the opportunity and took this collector car off his hands.

The Cobra Rs got better with each subsequent effort between 1993 and 2000. The '00 version was the fastest, most powerful Cobra R ever, packed with a 5.4L DOHC V-8? Ron admits that there are two challenges of owning a car like this- not driving it and avoiding speeding tickets when you do. The long arm of the 5.4L engine's stroke yields a snappy 385 ft. lbs. of torque at wide-open throttle, which means instant acceleration.

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Ford rated the horsepower and torque numbers around 385 each. However, it is believed these engines made even more thanks to independent dyno tests. Although the '00 Cobra R is labeled as a factory race car, it is also street legal, making it one of the fastest ever right off the assembly line. You've got to love the GT350-ish side exit exhausts. The Cobra R's rear deck spoiler makes these pocket rockets easy to distinguish from any angle. From behind, you can see the racing fuel cell as Ron roars off.

Snapshot

  • The only Cobra-type produced in 2000 at 300 total units
  • 5.4L DOHC V-8
  • 385 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
  • 385 ft. lb. of torque @ 4,500 rpm
  • Tremec T-56 six-speed transmission
  • 8.8-inch Traction-Lok differential with 3.55:1 gears
  • BFGoodrich g-Force 265/45ZR18 tires
  • 18 x 9-inch five-spoke wheels
  • Brembo four-wheel 13-inch disc brakes
  • Eibach springs with stiffer rates
  • Independent rear suspension with Bilstein shocks
  • Ride height lowered 1.5 to -inches
  • Tall rear spoiler and ground effects
  • Sticker priced at $54,995 though most sold for considerably more
  • Recaro bucket seats
  • Weight: 3,589 lbs