Full disclosure here, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Ford Torino. I think they are cool cars and they certainly fly under the radar as compared to other nameplates of the same vintage. In this week’s American Powertrain Parting Shift we’re riding on the floor of a 1970 Cobra Torino, one with a 429 Super Cobra Jet engine, and a four speed transmission. Basically this was the baddest ass version of this car one could get from the factory in 1970…or basically ever. The Cobra is one thing, the 4-speed is another, but it’s that gnarly 429ci Super Cobra Jet engine that sets this one aside from all the rest.
What was the 429 SCJ? Simply stated it was the “full house” version of Ford’s first iteration of the 385-series big block. You got four bolt mains (all other 429 engines were 2-bolt). You got a crank that had gone through extra balancing procedures at the factory, forged 11.3:1 compression pistons, a high-lift solid lifter camshaft, upgraded connecting rods, high rise aluminum intake, 780 CFM carb (up from 700 on less hairy 429 engines), and header style exhaust manifolds. Combine this with your locker rear axle and steep gear ratio that you undoubtedly spec’d out and you have a machine that was capable of standing in the ring with Chevelles and dare we say even the Hemi Mopars of the day. Ford only rated the engine at like 370hp for insurance reasons but that thing was making 400+ right out of the box.
This is a fun video, not because the guy can shift like Ronnie Sox but because you really get to hear that 429 dig in and work when he mats the pedal and because you do get a sensation for how fast these cars are, even though the shifter handle is the only thing we get a full-size impression of.
Blue oval fans? This one is for you!