Cobra intake manifolds - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Cobra intake manifolds

Did Ford actually produce a Cobra intake manifold in '65 or were they all aftermarket productions by Offenhauser and others?
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:36 PM
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The COBRA intake manifold was developed by Shelby American. The earliest versions were virtually the cast iron four barrel part made in aluminum. The '64 version was a "new" hi rise design that proved to be more powerful. These are known as the "small letter" version and have never been reproduced. They were standard on '65 GT350s and optional on the Cobra. They were also sold out of the Shelby American catalog and magazine ads. In '66 the manifold was redesigned to have larger runners and the COBRA letters were made bigger and not "slanted" like the small letter version. All of these were cast at Buddy Barr and machined by Offenhauser. They were not "made" by Offenhauser. There was another revision for '67 and again in '68. The Shelby American "closing" in late '67 had the manufacturing rights change to Spearco Mfg. and there were numerous revisions and offshoots including Shelby, Ford, Cougar, Holman Moody, and others. They continue to be reproduced in a further updated form by Blue Thunder.

Offenhauser never sold it nor had the rights to make it.

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 09:57 PM
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I have the FMS version produced back in the early 90's on my '66 GT bone stock A-Code 289. Very nice intake. Another similar copy you can still find is the Edelbrock F4B. Several on eBay currently.

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickstapler View Post
I have the FMS version produced back in the early 90's on my '66 GT bone stock A-Code 289. Very nice intake. Another similar copy you can still find is the Edelbrock F4B. Several on eBay currently.
I have an F4B on 2nd 66 ,It's a left over part from 1st 66
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 09:28 AM
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I have the Ford script version on the 289 I pulled from my Mustang. I think I got it from Tony Branda back in the 70s.
Ended up sitting on shelf for years until I got it installed on this engine
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 09:53 AM
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In the mid-60s, I purchased the "Cobra HP Kit" for my 3 speed 289 2+2. Paid $125 for the intake, 4B carb, and air cleaner, if I recall correctly. There are vintage Ads out there covering all of the HP stuff available back in the day.

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:32 PM
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And for those folks who insist newer is always better, the original Cobra intakes are within about 3% of the best 4V manifolds available today. Those guys were pretty smart. Assuming Blue Thunder is correct, and they have made improvements, it's hard to see why anyone would use anything else. Good performance and period-correct appearance is a winner for me every time.
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT350HR View Post
The COBRA intake manifold was developed by Shelby American. The earliest versions were virtually the cast iron four barrel part made in aluminum. The '64 version was a "new" hi rise design that proved to be more powerful. These are known as the "small letter" version and have never been reproduced. They were standard on '65 GT350s and optional on the Cobra. They were also sold out of the Shelby American catalog and magazine ads. In '66 the manifold was redesigned to have larger runners and the COBRA letters were made bigger and not "slanted" like the small letter version. All of these were cast at Buddy Barr and machined by Offenhauser. They were not "made" by Offenhauser. There was another revision for '67 and again in '68. The Shelby American "closing" in late '67 had the manufacturing rights change to Spearco Mfg. and there were numerous revisions and offshoots including Shelby, Ford, Cougar, Holman Moody, and others. They continue to be reproduced in a further updated form by Blue Thunder.

Offenhauser never sold it nor had the rights to make it.


The intake I have is the aluminum '66 version with the large COBRA lettering and has a Offenhauser stamped into the circular casting on the bottom of the manifold. Was there any markings on the intake to show it was cast at Buddy Barr?
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 11:37 PM
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I have done a little research looking for a low profile manifold for the wife's car and found there is/was an aluminum manifold, Holman-Moody 221/260 intake from circa 1961 and some early Cobras with HP260s used the manifold with Holman-Moody logo.


Original Cobra and Tiger intakes show traces of the Holman-Moody thunderbird logo early ones used on 221 & Optional 4V intake for Cobras with both HP260 and HP289 engines prior to circa December 1964. Some cars had them factory installed260 cubic inch engines and 260 Cobras.


Looks like they have been recast at some point in history, some had Cobra, Tiger or Holman Moody logo.


Here is where I found some info. http://www.mustangtek.com/Intake/C4SA-9421.html


If anyone knows of one that says either Holman & Moody or Cobra, I'd like to buy one for the wife's car.

Last edited by Crallscars; 04-21-2017 at 11:40 PM.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 11:57 PM
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The low rise manifolds made for the 260 sucked big time. Most any 289 manifold worked better.
For some unknown reason, they are being rero'd by blue Thunder and selling on eBay for over $500. For the same money you can get a blue Thunder repro of the Hi Rise Cobra manifold, and really feel like you made an improvement .


Z


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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 01:11 AM
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I am guessing they have been reproduced and selling for one of two reasons,
1. Novelty of a retro intake manifold.
2. They have a clearance problem and a medium or high rise wont fit under the hood.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 01:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 22GT View Post
And for those folks who insist newer is always better, the original Cobra intakes are within about 3% of the best 4V manifolds available today. Those guys were pretty smart. Assuming Blue Thunder is correct, and they have made improvements, it's hard to see why anyone would use anything else. Good performance and period-correct appearance is a winner for me every time.
And which 4v manifold available today would be considered "the best"? Lol

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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 02:24 AM
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And which 4v manifold available today would be considered "the best"? Lol
I believe the 22GT quote referred to comparing the Cobra Hi Rise manifold to being within 3% of the GROUP of the best manifolds available today, not any SINGLE manifold.

A comparison that is quite justified in my view. Both the original Cobra Hi Rise and the Blue Thunder reproduction are well known for having one of the widest power band of any dual plane manifold sold today. Others may be marginally better performers at the extreme rpm ranges, but are lacking low and midrange oomph. Without good midrange flow characteristics, most engines are seriously handicapped.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crallscars View Post
I am guessing they have been reproduced and selling for one of two reasons,
1. Novelty of a retro intake manifold.
2. They have a clearance problem and a medium or high rise wont fit under the hood.
what surprises me is that for the same money a person can buy the reproduction Cobra Hi Rise. And it fits comfortably under the hood of any 65-73 Mustang, & makes much more power. Even the stock cast iron 289 intake manifold outperformed the Cobra low rise 260 manifold.

But if someone wants it just for the novelty, then they certainly are getting that, in spades.

Z


Last edited by zray; 04-22-2017 at 02:33 AM.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 07:53 AM
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Just out of curiosity what is the value of an original small letter cobra manifold worth that hasn't media blasted and has no cracks etc. on it ? thanks,Pete

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 08:26 AM
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Quite right. Advertisers (and magazine writers) are very fond of publishing maximum power figures. Trouble is, that is usually at extreme rpm ranges, very rarely used in actual street driving.

Shelby understood this, the 65 GT350 was no-holds-barred for street use, yet instead of using full-length headers, he used Tri-Ys. Much better low-mid range power, which is where drivers would actually spend 99% of their driving time.

As for the value of an undamaged original small-letter manifold, I could only guess. But my guess would be a minimum of $500. Could easily go much more for someone restoring a 65 GT350 in need of one.

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