At $19,900, Would You Let This 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra Sink Its Fangs Into Your Wallet?

Illustration for article titled At $19,900, Would You Let This 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra Sink Its Fangs Into Your Wallet?
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

With a claimed 598 horsepower, today’s Nice Price or No Dice Mustang Cobra certainly packs all the ponies you could want. Will that make its price palatable, or will it make you think its seller is lower than a snake’s belly?

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When you think about it, buying a car or truck that will let you get away from it all during a raging pandemic is either the dumbest thing you could do or the smartest. It would be dumb because nobody is really going anywhere these days. Alternatively, it would be super smart for when the dookie really hits the fan. When that happens, you’ll likely want to be able to head for the hills and put even more distance between yourself and the pervading pestilence.

That all makes the potential purchase of yesterday’s off-road-equipped 1988 Nissan Pathfinder a bit of a conundrum. Do you buy it and wait out the COVID vaccine? Or, do you buy it and stock it full of MREs and Bear-B-Gone before society collapses? Helping a bit with that decision was the truck’s $6,000 asking price. That earned a laudable 54 percent Nice Price win, and that was despite the truck’s age and the admission in the ad of an ominous lifter tick on startup.

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You don’t want to have to worry about a lifter tick when you’re out in the bush. That’s because you’ll be too busy worrying about real ticks, along with poison oak and even mountain lion mamas protecting their babies from errant trail trotters. Yes, the world can be a scary place filled with things that may want to hurt you, or worse, make you itch bad. One of the things that really skeeves me out about the great outdoors is snakes. Alternatively, when I’m indoors, it’s clowns that set me on edge. That’s right, you can’t take me (or leave me) anywhere.

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Photo: Craigslist

Now, that whole snake thing is not just me. Horses and snakes don’t typically get along, either. At least you never see cute videos of them palling around together on r/aww over at Reddit. That’s what makes today’s 2003 Ford Mustang Cobra so diabolical — it’s a car named after both a horse and a snake.

We can all thank two men for that: Lee Iacocca and Carroll Shelby. It was the former who brought the Mustang to life and created a new niche in the auto industry. It was then Shelby who partnered with Ford to make those Mustangs go faster; eventually, he was the guy who turned the trademark for his Cobra cars over to Ford for a nominal sum. Trademarks are a use-it-or-lose-it proposition and hence Ford has given us a number of Mustang Cobra iterations over the years.

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Photo: Craigslist

This ’03 Cobra ups the ante with a performance-built 4.6-liter Modular V8. According to the ad, that work included a .020-inch overbore, high-flow injectors and a larger capacity supercharger along with other intake enhancements. On the flip side of the equation, there’s three-inch diameter exhaust plumbing aft of the cats. A significantly upgraded cooling system helps keep it all from getting hot and bothered. That work results in a claimed output of 598 horsepower and 517 lb-ft of torque on 17.5 psi of boost.

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That power gets routed through an aftermarket performance clutch and a refreshed T-56 transmission. There’s been a ton of suspension work as well, and remember, this being a Cobra, it has the factory bolt-in IRS in back. All the upgrade work was accomplished in 2017.

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Photo: Craigslist
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The Mustang that sits on top of that work looks to be in excellent shape. Well, that is if you just so happen to like the SN-95 Mustang’s shape. The convertible bodywork wears Zinc Yellow paint and chrome-plated aftermarket wheels on spacers. The top gets a soft tonneau for when it’s down, although the ad denies us the opportunity to see its condition when up.

Inside, there’s custom upholstery on the seats with even more yellow and black. A column-mounted multi-gauge brings an additional bit of customization, as does a short-shifter with a double striped cue ball knob on top. There’s nothing to complain about here unless you really hate the color scheme. And let’s admit it, some of you really hate the color scheme.

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Photo: Craigslist

That’s not a problem if you only drive the car at night. With only 92k miles on the clock, this enhanced Cobra hasn’t really been driven all that much at any time of day. That’s resulted in a car that’s whistle-clean both inside and out. The title is also clean, and we now need to decide what’s to become of this cleanly modded Mustang.

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With a $19,900 asking price, this Cobra certainly makes the case for offering a sizable bang for your bucks, but its somewhat flexi-flyer convertible body and pristine show car presentation may make collecting on that promise less than fulfilling.

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Photo: Craigslist
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What do you think, is this Cobra worth that $19,900 asking as presented in its ad? Or, does that price make you want to stop horsing around?

You decide!

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Austin, Texas, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to SpeedUnlimiter for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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DISCUSSION

jalonpniklaus
Jalon P Niklaus

This Mustang has plenty of power to get you onto the sidewalk, chasing pedestrians, but it's also the perfect color to give everyone fair warning.  With no top, it also ensures you have some skin in the game.  NP