1978 Ford XC Falcon Cobra: Reader ride

By: Travis Allan, Photography by: Travis Allan

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Travis Allan's 1978 Ford XC Falcon Cobra Travis Allan's 1978 Ford XC Falcon Cobra Travis Allan's 1978 Ford XC Falcon Cobra
Travis Allan's 1978 Ford XC Falcon Cobra Travis Allan's 1978 Ford XC Falcon Cobra Travis Allan's 1978 Ford XC Falcon Cobra

Travis Allan's 1978 Ford XC Falcon Cobra...

1978 Ford XC Falcon Cobra: Reader ride
Travis Allan's 1978 Ford XC Falcon Cobra

 

1978 Ford XC Falcon Cobra

The Cobra was my third car and I bought it from a car yard in ’97 when I was 19. I traded my first car, a ’75 Corolla, to buy it.

I wasn’t even looking for a Cobra. I had my second car, a ZC Fairlane ambulance – which I still a have – but I wanted an everyday car and I used to see this Cobra in the yard on the way to work. I hadn’t seen one before, so I took it for a drive, plonked down eight grand and brought it home. What attracted me first was the paint scheme. It’s in your face, and you can see it coming from a mile away.

It’s a huge car; the rear quarters are about as wide as a the mirrors, and the first couple of months were nerve-wracking due to its width. Because you sit so low, you can’t see the passenger side of the front end over the scoop, and parking was a nightmare; you have to ‘guesstimate’. I smashed the front once when I was younger parking it, but, touch wood, I haven’t dinged it since.

My car is build number 229 and it’s got the 302 V8 with the four-speed manual. It’s a ‘poverty pack’ model, which means no air-conditioning, power steering or electric windows; it’s the poor man’s Cobra.

It was in good nick when I bought it, but it’s starting to get a little rust in the usual places because it sat outside when I was still living with my parents.

I pulled the engine out in 2010 to fix a leaking welsh plug and decided to give it a freshen-up and changed the cam, which was knackered, painted it and slapped it back in. The seats were in different trim when I bought it because you couldn’t get the original stuff then, so I put covers on them. Now Global Trim re-trims and foams them in the original trim, so I’m saving up for that.

It had 151,000 clicks on it when I bought it and I’ve done around 120,000 since. It’s not my everyday car any more; I’ve got a one-owner XD Falcon and an ED Futura that my dad bought brand new, so now I only cruise the Cobra once every couple of months. 

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