Mustang-Cobra–Powered Ford Crown Victoria Is Today's Bring a Trailer Find

1999 ford crown victoria cobra vic 5 speed
Mustang-Cobra–Powered Ford Crown Vic Found on BaTBring a Trailer
  • Here's the meanest Ford Crown Victoria you ever saw, complete with a 320-hp V-8 out of a Mustang Cobra.

  • Chassis number three of 18 built as instructor cars for Bob Bondurant's racing school, this one has been tweaked for street-legal use.

  • Build by Roush Performance and dubbed the Cobra Vic, this big Ford sedan is cool enough to merit its own TV detective show.

Anyone who had the chance to attend the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving in the early 2000s will no doubt remember piling into the instructor cars for an orientation lap. But even the most hair-raising taxi ride you've ever taken never had you sliding around in the back of a Crown Victoria like this, with the instructor at the wheel power-sliding through the corners and whipping the big sedan around the 1.6-mile track. Bondurant had 18 of these body-on-frame Fords in its fleet, and every one of them was a fire-breathing monster with the heart of a 1960s moonshine-runner. Now, with this auction on Bring A Trailer (which, like Car and Driver, is part of the Hearst Autos Group) is your chance to own one.

1999 ford crown victoria cobra vic 5 speed side
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The Ford Crown Victoria can trace its name back to a Fairlane model from the 1950s, one intended to evoke a genteel open carriage from the Victorian area. This example is better known as the Cobra Vic, and the details on it are a bit like finding out that Queen Victoria had a full sleeve tattoo hidden under all that black crepe. Under the hood is a 4.6-liter V-8 out of a fourth-generation Mustang Cobra, coupled to a five-speed manual transmission.

1999 ford crown victoria cobra vic 5 speed rear
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Years in service as a fleet vehicle for both police services and taxicabs have made the Crown Victoria a familiar silhouette on the road. However, most of these working vehicles have been retired, and if you see a Crown Vic on the streets these days, it's probably privately owned. The cars have a large fan base, as they're comfortable, spacious, tough-as-nails, and relatively easy to work on. Add in a roughly 200-hp V-8 on ex-police interceptor models, and a Crown Victoria is one of the last of the old-school sedans.

1999 ford crown victoria cobra vic 5 speed engine
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This Cobra Vic dials up the potency. Built by noted Ford tuner Roush Performance at the request from Bob Bondurant, each one got the aforementioned 4.6-liter V-8 good for 320 horsepower, upgraded cooling, a 22-gallon fuel cell, Eibach lowering springs and Monroe shocks, slotted brake rotors, and a modified limited-slip differential with 3.73 gears. There's also track-specific items like a roll cage and halon fire suppression system and a switch to disable the anti-lock brakes.

In period, most of these cars ran with window nets and full racing harnesses. Here, a 2023 refurbishment took this Cobra Vic back to full black trim, including replacing the headlights and taillights and weather stripping. The racing harnesses are still there.

1999 ford crown victoria cobra vic 5 speed interior
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From the outside, the 17-inch Cobra wheels are the chief hint that this is a very special Crown Vic. Making it road-legal including fitting catalytic converters so that it's California smog legal, but little else has been tamed. Ford's own production take on a performance-oriented Panther-platform car, the Mercury Marauder, didn't arrive until 2003, and had to make do with a four-speed automatic transmission.

Shift the gears yourself with this Cobra Vic's five-speed Tremec manual, and you'll feel like ol' Bob himself is smiling down at you. He'd want you to take it to your local track, load up a bunch of novice drivers, then terrify your passengers with a smoky drifts all around the circuit. It's what the Cobra Vic was built to do.

The no-reserve auction ends on May 28.

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