DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. will
likely not start building any 2000-model SVT
Mustang Cobras until the middle of this summer, or almost the end of the
2000 model year.
The last SVT Cobra rolled off Ford's Dearborn, Mich., assembly line last
June, and production was suspended until the company's Special Vehicle Team
finished dealing with a horsepower-related recall on 1999-model Cobras,
said SVT marketing manager Tom Scarpello.
"The key issue for us has been to make sure the 1999 cars are correct,"
said Scarpello. "Our intent is to build some 2000 (model-year) cars
beginning on a date to be determined."
HARD TO FIND
Ford built 8,095 Cobras in 1999, Scarpello said. For 2000 the number will
be less than half that, and Cobras "will continue to be scarce for some
time," he said.
"It's somewhat of a disappointment," said Marshall Caddell, SVT manager for
Bill Smith Ford Inc. in Southern Pines, N.C. The company sold seven Cobras
"We understand that if they are not built for 2000, the 2001s will be
price-protected," Caddell said.
SVT spokesman Alan Hall said Ford has not considered the issue of price
protection, since the company plans to build at least some 2000-model cars.
Prices for the 2000 Cobra are $28,155 (including a $550 delivery charge)
for the coupe and $32,155 for the convertible. Hall said Ford has received
about 1,000 orders for Cobras.
Ford did build 300 Cobra Rs for the 2000 model year, a limited-edition
Cobra with 385 hp that will reach dealers this month. Don Hadley, general
sales manager at Lake Shore Ford in Chesterton, Ind., will receive one
Cobra R for the year and has to change his advertising to exclude the
"I only found out about (the Cobra delay) four days ago," he said last
week. "Generally, the Cobra people are very knowledgeable. If there's a
problem, they know about it before us."
NOT ENOUGH HORSES
Ford contacted Cobra owners last year after receiving complaints that the
car was not producing the advertised 320 hp from its 4.6-liter
double-overhead-cam V-8. Ford offered to replace the engine's intake
manifold and part of the exhaust system and recalibrate the engine
computer. As a goodwill gesture, Ford also offered to upgrade for free the
engine's accessory belt tensioner pulley to a new design with more durability.
So far, about 70 percent of the 1999 Cobras have been returned to Ford
dealers for service, Scarpello said. When it does arrive, the 2000 Cobra
will be offered with a new polished wheel option and two new colors,
including silver clearcoat metallic and Atlantic blue clearcoat metallic.
So far, the production delay has barely registered with Mustang
enthusiasts. "Nobody seems to be making a big deal about it," said Peter
Sessler, co-author of SVT Mustang Cobra Recognition Guide, 1993-2000.
"The people who own these things sort of expect it. They know it's not a
regular car that fits a regular production schedule."
2000 Ford SVT Mustang Cobra
Delayed until this summer
Fewer than 4,000 likely to be built
Ford has 1,000 orders
Source - automotive news group. AARON ROBINSON staff writer.
T- Samajm. Also to note that the 2000 Cobra R's have been built as mentioned, this is in regard to the 2000 production Cobra - MW