Written by Eric Becker
For as long as there have been cars, there has been racing. Ever since the invention of the automobile, motorists and engineers have used competition as a means to gauge their craft, validate their innovation and drive through a contest of speed. From the hairpins of Monaco to the banks of Daytona, cars and their drivers have long lined up, side by side, in a bid to see just who really is the fastest.
No form of racing has become more of an American institution than drag racing, whether the stoplight dares down Main Street or jetting down the quarter-mile. Makeshift or not, success on the drag strip rendered its way onto the showroom floor and created healthy competition among manufacturers. Offered with No Reserve at the 2021 Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction are three prime examples of American muscle: two Cobra Jet-carrying contenders from Ford and a big-block-motivated Chevrolet.
Up first is an unrestored survivor, a 1970 Ford Falcon powered by a 429ci Cobra Jet V8 (Lot #667). At a time when Ford was replacing the small-body Falcon with the Maverick, the Falcon name was used on two different cars in 1970: the compact 1970 Falcon and the full-size 1970-1/2 Falcon. To distinguish between the body styles, Ford elected to make its two-door sedan model the “Falcon” and allowed all the options available from the Torino/Fairlane packages to be ordered. This model was produced for less than six months and only available as a two-door “post” sedan, meaning it has a B-pillar behind the driver’s door glass, while the Torino and Fairlane have a more extensive cache of body offerings.
Built in Ford’s Atlanta, Georgia, plant in May 1970, this half-year wonder was originally sold at Gallo Ford in Chicago for $3,840 to its original owner. Like many other bare-bones intermediates over the years, the 1970-1/2 Falcons were obvious candidates for drag racing. This car has the legendary 429 Cobra Jet under the hood and is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission, with the optional Drag Pack and a Detroit Locker rear differential with 4.30 gears. This bulletproof setup made the 1970-1/2 Ford Falcon extremely popular among drag racers, and this example was drag-raced for the first few years of its life, then sat in climate-controlled storage for nearly 40 years. The Deluxe Marti Report shows that this 1970-1/2 Falcon is one of 42 to equipped with the Super Cobra Jet engine package. This 1970-1/2 Ford Falcon comes with options such as power front disc brakes, vinyl seats, AM radio, seat belts and Magnum 500 wheels wrapped in the original bias-ply tires. The Falcon has just over 6,018 actual miles and is ready to fly down the dragstrip once again.
Horsepower sells cars; torque wins races. The 2014 Mustang Cobra Jet (Lot #668) headed to Las Vegas has both – and then some. Built for the track as the ultimate turnkey drag-racing vehicle, this Mustang is #47 of 50 produced for the 2014 model year. Capable of running an 8-second quarter-mile right from the factory, the Cobra Jet was powered by a 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 engine topped with a Ford Racing/Whipple supercharger. The 2.9-liter supercharger features a 3.25-inch pulley as well as CNC-ported cylinder heads, and routes power through a 3-speed automatic transmission.
Every detail was engineered for speed; the lightened body was optimized for ideal weight distribution and Ford Racing went so far as to use computer modeling and hundreds of simulations to optimize the suspension geometry to deliver peak 60-foot times. The roll cage was designed with rigidity and safety in mind and tested extensively via a process known as Finite Element Analysis (FEA). This Cobra Jet features the matte black paint option, an upgraded wheelie bar, FIA-certified RECARO race seats and electric power steering. It is race-prepped and turnkey-ready for NHRA Stock or Super Stock classes, as well as other racing series, and is sure to excite the winning bidder when they slide behind the wheel.
For Bowtie fans, this matching-numbers 1969 Chevrolet Nova SS (Lot #669) is ready to show off its muscle. Garage-kept since new, this rust-free Nova is powered by its original balanced, blueprinted and reassembled 396ci big-block V8 engine and routes 350hp through a 4-speed manual transmission. The stellar Nova recently underwent a nut-and-bolt rotisserie restoration and is more than ready to line up for the local Wednesday drag races – and take the competition to school.
These are cars all about putting smiles on faces, and all three will be crossing the block in succession at the 2021 Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction.
For up-to-date information about these and other vehicles headed to the 2021 Las Vegas Auction with No Reserve, click HERE.