Here's What The Legendary Ford Mustang Cobra R Is Actually Worth Today

There have been a host of special edition Mustangs over the pony car's almost 60-year history. Some, like the Shelby Mustangs, have become mainstays in Ford's product lineup for decades. Others, like the Mustang Boss editions, have become legends in their own right. There have been some definite misses over the years as well. The Mustang II Cobra and King Cobra were less than valiant attempts to resuscitate the automotive corpse that was the Mustang II.

After the Mustang II came the compact Fox-body 'Stang which brought the nameplate back from the dead in the 1980s and 1990s. After the Fox body came the SN95 Mustang in 1994. Ford smoothed out the body lines and presented a sleek new Mustang for the late '90s and the new millennium. Like the Mustangs before it, this generation had an entire lineup of special editions and models. One such Mustang was the SVT Cobra R for the 2000 model year. In addition to having a hyper-limited production run, the snake-bitten Mustang commands an insane premium on the auction block.

Tearing up the drag strip and auction block

The Mustang Cobra R was a conjuration by Ford's SVT (Special Vehicle Team), the same team that would later change the world of sport trucks with the F-150 SVT Raptor. Only 300 Cobra R Mustangs were made in the year 2000, and all of them are finished in perhaps the least subtle shade of bright red that Ford called "Performance Red." All Cobra Rs also featured a huge rear wing, side exit exhaust, Recaro racing seats, and a list of other performance tweaks and upgrades that could fill a book (via Bring a Trailer). Looks aside, the real reason for the Cobra R's legendary status was its powerplant, a 5.4-liter V8 that put out 385 horsepower to the rear wheels.

That exclusivity carries a healthy premium. As of writing, Bring a Trailer has a Cobra R crossing the auction block. It has been bid up to an eye-watering $96,000 with two days left to go. Last year, another Cobra R got to $85,000 and didn't even meet the reserve. Earlier this month, a slightly modified Cobra R that briefly belonged to the late "Fast and Furious" star Paul Walker netted $101,000 at auction. In August, a Cobra that was outfitted for racing auctioned for $117,000. 

Performance isn't cheap

When it was new, the Cobra R retailed for $55,845, according to Car and Driver. That's over $92,000 in today's money. A quarter-mile clock time of just over 13 seconds and a top speed of 175 miles per hour didn't help in bringing the price down. If it was offered today, the Cobra R would be the most expensive Mustang variant and it wouldn't even be particularly close, as the Shelby Mustang GT500, 2022's hottest factory Mustang, starts at just under $80,000. No one ever said that hyper-exclusive and hyper-fast Mustang ownership was going to be cheap.

Other companies like Hennessey have been tweaking Mustangs and morphing them into performance monstrosities for years. Naturally, those cars retail for well over six figures. But the Cobra R shows that not only does Ford know how to let the Mustang play with supercars, but it can also attain the price to prove it.