For $46,000, This Cobra is a PirateS

Grammatically, pirates use ‘Arr' as an indefinite article, as in Arr, ‘tis a fast car, I seek*. Ford's SVT team used ‘R' to denote their most venomous of Cobras, and today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe snake is definitely a desirable article, but is its price too much of a pirate's booty call?

If you've watched much Top Gear at all, you'll know that the show's three hosts hate Caravaners almost as much as they loathe each other. They consider those road-clogging vacationers highway pirates, stealing precious time and speed with their languid progress and roadway pasties. Sadly for yesterday's natty Rootes Commer Caravan, many of you feel the same way, those you more familiar with the model even going so far as to warn of its iffy nature, and its 68% Crack Pipe loss was reflected in that admonition. Still, so cool.

Cooler still, and likey without detractors over its capabilities, is today's Mustang SVT Cobra R. The original recipe Mustang was that of a personal coupe with sporting pretensions, however by the mid-eighties those pretensions were cast aside with cars like the turbocharged SVO, and later Cobra models, as Ford sighted BMW's 3-series, and specifically the M3, in their crosshairs.

The Special Vehicles Team, reconstituted from the defunct SVO division like a bowl of octane-infused sea monkeys, were given free rein in making the Cobra the most capable and and yet brutal Mustang in the lineup and they did not shirk the responsibility. With the limited production R, they gave the Cobra's bite laser-guided tracking and full alloy teeth.

For $46,000, This Cobra is a PirateS

This car is claimed to be number 184 out of the 300 SVT Rs built in 2000, and like the rest it packs a 5.4-litre quad-cam V8 under its massively power-domed hood. That engine is conservatively rated at 385-bhp, although rumours have it the actual output is significantly higher. A Tremec T-56 6-speed gearbox - the tranny of choice for channeling a stampede of ponies - sends power back the Visteon-supplied, LSD-equipped IRS. Your most precious cargo - that being the car's max capacity 20 gallons of premium - are carried in a Fuel Safe racing tank visible tramp stamp-style below the rear splitter. What you won't find back there is any sort of exhaust pipe, as those part company with the engine's raucous output ahead of the rear wheels.

While still SN-95 based, the R features additional parts that separate it from both the standard ‘Stang and the lessor Cobras. That includes four-pot Brembo brakes, Bilstein struts/shocks and Eibach springs which lower the car over an inch compared to stock. Wheels are bespoke 5-spoke alloys in 18 by 9.5 inch size, wrapped in take-your-lunch-money BF Goodrich G-Force KD tires.

For $46,000, This Cobra is a PirateS

The seller says he still has those BFGs, but as they're now hard as rocks he's fitted the car with newer and less likely to kill you meats. Other than its footwear, the car is claimed to be all original, right down to the paint scraper front splitter and high-rise rear wing. He even has a spare hood and splitter that he says are still boxed up. Inside, you may find the R a little spartan as its track intentions are made evident in a lack of back seat, audio accompaniment or even A/C, making the car not just a hot performer, but brutally so on Summer days. On the plus side, there are 5-point ready Recaros to make your butt happy, a B&M Ripper, and the speedo goes all the way up to 180, which coincidentally, so should the car.

This specific Cobra R is totally anal in being retentive of its originality, coming with all original documentation and SVT binder. It has but 4,500 miles on the clock, and the seller says, like Helen Keller, it has never seen snow or rain. He also claims it's been a California car most of its life, which of course means it's vegan and into soy lattes and tantric pole dancing it's not likely to be a rust bucket.

The SVT R was and possibly remains, the most extreme expression of the Mustang meme short of something with Carrol Shelby's name plastered all over it. As such, and in consideration of its Sparta-defending 300 numbers, it's not unreasonable to imagine it commanding a not insignificant price tag. The question for you however, is whether number one eighty four is worth forty six large?

What's your take, does that price put this Cobra within striking distance? Or, does $46,000 just make you say arrrr. . .gh?

You decide!

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* Not really.