Did Anyone Forget These Existed? Foxbody Dark Era

Jun 12, 2011
The other day at the parts store a guy rolled up in this thing. I think it was a ~1980 Mustang Cobra carbureted 2.3L turbo non-intercooled. I didn't believe it was a cobra because it looked like someone just painted a snake on the hood of a 4cyl base model. But he was original owner and he had the window sticker in the car and sure enough it was a cobra but apparently that didn't mean much then. He was daily driving it and it was pretty beat, good for him though. What an odd ball fox!


10 Year Member
Oct 31, 2006
Chengdu Province
I don't think I've ever seen one in the wild, but they were kind of the predecessor to the SVO. They came from that era when turbos were new and exciting, but OEMs didn't know how to build them yet and owners didn't know how to care for them, so most ended up with grizzly engine failures and scrapped.

Fun fact, Hot Wheels had a 1980 Turbo Mustang Cobra.



5 Year Member
Dec 23, 2003
  • made 1979-81
  • turbo was draw-through carb
  • 1979 did not have foglamps or rear spoiler (only Pace Car did)
  • 1980-81 did have foglamps and rear spoiler and same hood scoop as Pace Car
  • most made in 1979 -- over 17,000
  • least made in 1981 -- less than 2000
  • in 1979 engine choice was:
    • 2.3L turbo
    • 5.0L
  • in 1980 engine choice was:
    • 2.3L non-turbo (U.S. only after turbo was dropped in U.S.)
    • 2.3L turbo (Canada only after turbo was dropped in U.S.)
    • 4.2L
  • in 1981 engine choice was:
    • 2.3L non-turbo
    • 2.3L turbo (Canada only)
    • 3.3L I6
    • 4.2L
That's just quick run down of things off the top of my head.
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