In the 1990s, Ford’s Special Vehicle Team had a flair for creating innovative performance vehicles. One of their intriguing ideas was an SVT Crown Victoria, combining a full-size body-on-frame sedan with a five-speed manual transmission and an engine from the Mustang Cobra. While this car never materialized, Roush adopted the concept and developed its own version called the “Cobra Vic.” These unique vehicles were specifically built for the Bob Bondurant driving school in Arizona, with only 18 units produced. Astonishingly, one of these rare cars is now up for sale.
Currently listed on Bring A Trailer, this particular Ford SVT Cobra Vic has garnered quite a bit of attention in the bidding community. As of September 21, the highest bid stands at $23,000, with less than a day remaining in the auction. The car was reportedly acquired from the Bondurant estate in 2022 and still retains some faded Bondurant markings. Although certain sections of the vehicle have been repainted, the auction description highlights the presence of cracked clearcoat and faded areas.
Remarkably, the odometer displays a mere 600 miles. This figure is impressive, especially for a 23-year-old full-sized Ford sedan. However, considering the car’s purpose, it is safe to assume that most of these miles were accrued during rigorous laps on the school’s race track. Despite its limited usage, the car remains in running condition. A walkaround video accompanying the listing showcases the Cobra Vic in action, proving that it still drives like a brand-new car.
It’s important to note that Ford never officially sold a Crown Victoria with the features found in the Cobra Vic. Roush was responsible for equipping these vehicles with a full roll cage, fuel cell, battery cut-off switch, and the aforementioned five-speed manual transmission. Additionally, they enhanced the suspension, incorporating larger roll bars, Eibach lowering springs, 3.73 gears, and a Ford Traction-Lok limited-slip differential. The car also boasts 17-inch Cobra R wheels, while the five-speed shifter protrudes from a center console sourced from the Ford Contour. This center console is referred to as the first-generation Mondeo for Motor1 readers across the pond.
Under the hood, the Cobra Vic houses the same engine found in the 1999 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra, generating an impressive 320 horsepower. Although Ford never graced its flagship sedan with a performance trim, the concept behind the stillborn SVT Crown Victoria did eventually come to life in the form of the 2003 Mercury Marauder. This model featured a slightly less powerful version of the Cobra V8 used in the Mustang between 1996 and 1998, as well as in the 2003-2004 Mach 1. The Marauder produced 302 horsepower and sported an aggressive front fascia with round fog lamps, 17-inch five-spoke wheels, white gauges, and a striking black paint job. It also offered a floor-shifted transmission, although it was unfortunately limited to a four-speed automatic as opposed to a clutched five-speed.
Given that only 18 of these Bondurant Crown Vic vehicles were ever built, it comes as no surprise that they are incredibly rare. In fact, the walkaround video specifically notes that this particular car belonged to Bob Bondurant himself. With such scarcity and historical significance, it remains to be seen what the final bid price will be for this extraordinary piece of Ford history.