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Ford Muscle Cars of 1970
429 Cobra Jet and Super Cobra Jet
Most enthusiasts acknowledge 1970 as a very exciting year for Ford, with a completely restyled
Torino and a slightly restyled Mustang, both of which were still available with the awesome 428
Cobra Jet engine options. As a matter of fact, the 1970 models from all the automobile
manufacturers were near the pinnacle of performance, and the Ford offerings were right there in
the thick of things.
1970 Ford 429 Cobra Jet
Using the same hot-rodding
tricks used to create the 428CJ,
engineers warmed over the new
429 Thunderjet, to produce the
429CJ and SCJ. Rated at 375
hp, these engines were also
severely under-rated.
The best news for the potential 1970 Ford buyer was the availability of the 429 Cobra Jet engine,
which was available in the midsize Torino models. By utilizing the standard Thunderjet 429, Ford
remachined the engine block to accept four-bolt main bearing caps on the second, third and
fourth journals, with the cylinder heads being modified slightly to accept larger valves and ports,
heavier valve springs, and 14mm spark plugs instead of the 18mm plugs used in standard 429
heads. All Cobra Jets used hydraulic camshafts, and all Super Cobra Jets used mechanical
camshafts, and both used stamped 1.73 ratio rocker arms with guide plates and hardened push
rods. Ford’s Muscle Parts Catalog states, “Early 1970 CJs and all SCJs use threaded,
nonpositive stop studs that can be adjusted for a mechanical cam. 429CJ engines built after 11-1-
69 use threaded, positive stop studs that are nonadjustable and can only be used with hydraulic
cams.” The connecting rods were identical to standard 429 except for spot facing under the bolt
head to resist bolt and rod fatigue, and the CJ pistons were cast-aluminum with a single intake
valve relief, with SCJ pistons being forged aluminum.

The new 351 Cleveland V-8 was another equally famous engine making its first appearance in
the Ford line-up in 1970. Again utilizing the technology used in the 429 and Boss 302, the 351
Cleveland, or “351C” as it is commonly known, incorporated the large, polyangle valves and
combustion chambers, rounded ports, thinwall casting techniques in the engine block, a nodular
iron crankshaft with six counterweights, external balancing, two-bolt main bearing caps, and
hydraulic camshafts. A very common question regards identifying the visual differences in a 351
Windsor and 351 Cleveland, since they share virtually no parts. The easiest way to identify a 351
is by counting the valve cover bolts: if there are six, it is a Windsor, and if there are eight, it is a
Cleveland. This rule only applies to 1974 and earlier engines. After that time, all 351s with eight
valve cover bolts were “351M,” or Modifieds. Check the date on the engine very carefully. More
than one 351M has been passed off to an uninformed buyer as a 351C! Also, the front of the
351C engine was extended two inches to cover the timing gears and chain, which is covered by a
simple steel plate, instead of the die cast front cover used on the Windsor motors. The
thermostat was housed within the 351C front extension, which directed water into the engine
block instead of the intake manifold.
Even though the full-size XL model was still available with the 360-horsepower 429 V-8, Cruise-O-
Matic automatic transmission was a mandatory option, and rear end ratios were either 2.80:1 or
3.25:1. This formula did not equal a high-performance combination in a car weighing 4300-plus
pounds. As a result of the emphasis on luxury and the total de-emphasis of performance in the
full-size 1970 Ford line-up; these models will be omitted from any further detailing in Super ‘60s
Fords, although photos have been included here for reference and identification.
1970 Ford XL convertible 1970 Ford XL convertible
Even though not described in detail, the 1970
XL convertible was a very sporting mode of
transportation. Minor restyling set it apart from
the 1969 counterpart. The owner of this white
XL ragtop has added Keystone Classic wheels
and white letter tires, to further personalize his
Taillights were lower than on the 1969
models. A few Xls were equipped with the
360-horsepower Thunderjet 429 engine and
four-speed manual transmission, making
spirited performers out of the big, luxurious
1970 Ford Interior
The 1970 full-size Fords continued to
use the unusual instrument panel,
which positioned the radio to the left of
the driver. Some XL buyers opted for
the bucket seat interior, which also
featured a center console. Notice the
U-shaped handle on the automatic
shifter. By federal mandate, 1970
models were no longer allowed to use
horn rings.
Fairlanes, Torinos and Falcons
By the end of 1969, nearly a fourth of all new car sales were in the intermediate size field. The
1970 intermediates were nearly the size of full-size models from the early 1960s, and were very
popular with all but the largest families, and with the younger buyers who really appreciated the
performance potential and performance options offered by the manufacturers. By far, the widest
range of engine options was in the intermediates and “pony cars,” which also accounted for the
high sales figures.
1970 Torino GT convertible with 429 SCJ engine
This magnificent 1970 Torino
GT convertible is one of only
three documented examples
equipped with the 429 SCJ
and DragPak option.
The 1970 Torinos (only the very base model was referred to as a “Fairlane 500” in 1970) were
totally restyled in 1970, and are among the best looking of all Fords from the decade. Even
though Ford would probably have denied it at the time, the two-door Sportsroof models were
designed with aerodynamics on the NASCAR high-speed racetracks as the overwhelming priority.
This fact was reinforced when the advertisements stated that the new Torinos had been “shaped
by the wind.” After the swoopy fastbacks were designed, the rest of the models were similarly
styled to complete the series. Unfortunately, even though the new Sportsroof model appeared to
be much more aerodynamic than its predecessor, it really was not as smooth, and the Ford
racing drivers preferred the earlier fastback models to the new ones. In spite of their
aerodynamic deficiency on the NASCAR tracks, the new Torinos were beautifully styled cars, with
a V-shaped injection molded plastic egg-crate style grille with four headlights mounted at the
outside edges of the grille. The body profile presented very rounded contours, following the
“Coke bottle” school of styling, with peaked front fenders, and a top that flowed gently into the
rear quarter-panels and rear deck lid. A single, full-length feature line was used along the body
side on all models. At the rear, rectangular taillights with rounded outer edges were used
throughout the series. Concealed windshield wipers were the styling rage in 1970, and the Torino
series jumped on that bandwagon, with the wipers hidden behind a raised lip on the trailing edge
of the hood. Also, all 1970 Torino models featured a “semi oval” steering wheel, with the lower
half-circle flattened to provide more legroom for the driver.

Wheelbase grew to 117 inches for 1970, overall length grew to 206.2 inches, and weights ranged
from 3,258 pounds for the six-cylinder equipped Fairlane 500 two-door sedan, up to 3,900
pounds for an FE V-8-equipped Torino Squire station wagon.
1970-1/2 Falcon with 429 SCJ engine
The 1970-1/2 Falcon represents
the austere approach to getting
around as rapidly as humanly
possible. This ultra rare orange
rocket (fewer than 100 were built)
is equipped with the 429SCJ
engine, four-speed transmission,
and 4.33:1 Detroit Locker rear
end. Except for the gigantic rear
meats and skinny front rollers, the
6,900-mile car is totally original,
and performs the owner’s grocery-
getting chores with great dispatch.
The Falcon was reintroduced as a 1970 1/2 Torino subseries, and was designed for the same
market as the previous Falcon buyer, the basic transportation market. It was available only in
two- and four-door sedans and a four-door station wagon. The 1970 1/2 Falcons featured bright
windshield and rear window moldings; a bright roof drip rail molding; the FORD name, in block
letters, across the rear body panel and on the driver’s side of the hood; and the FALCON script
above the rear side marker lights on the rear quarter-panels. Inside, the Falcons offered all-vinyl
interiors and color-keyed rubber floor mats. In keeping with the economy image, Falcon options
were limited to power steering, power front disc brakes, two-tone paint, and white sidewall tires.
The powertrain options were a different story, however, with the same engine/transmission
options as in the rest of the Torino line-up, including the awesome 429 SCJ and four-speed
manual transmission! Obviously, very, very few Falcons were so equipped, but those few were
normally used for very short jaunts of approximately a quarter-mile in duration. A box stock 429
SCJ/Falcon combination was good for low 13-second time slips, which was equal to anything
being produced in Detroit.
1970 Ford Fairlane 500 Interior 1970 Ford Fairlane
Fairlane 500 models used a conservative,
all-vinyl interior upholstery. Notice the
Hurst-shifted four-speed transmission and the
disk brake emblem on the brake pedal. With
the Ram Air 351 engine, it is one of the most
unusually equipped Fairlane 500s built in 1970.
Completely restyled again for 1970, the
intermediate Fairlane grew in proportions.
1970 Ford Fairlane 500
While the majority of buyers chose the more
plush Torino series, this standard Fairlane 500
model features several unique options,
including AM/FM stereo radio, disc brakes, and
Magnum 500 wheels. The car is so unusually
equipped that Ford originally refused to build
it. Though it could be considered a semi
fastback, this example is actually considered a
coupe. Instead of the honeycomb plastic insert
between the taillights, Fairlanes had the simple
“Ford” name spelled out in block letters.
The Fairlane 500 was the base trim level of the series and included a single horizontal bright
dividing bar in the grille, with a Ford crest in the center of the bar; bright windshield and rear
window moldings; bright roof drip rail moldings; two simulated exhaust ports on the front fenders
behind the front wheels; ventless side windows on two-door models; the FORD name, in block
letters, on the driver’s side of the hood, and spaced across the rear body panel; Ford “corporate
design” stainless steel hub caps; and the FAIRLANE 500 scripts along the rear quarter-panels,
just above the rear side marker lights.

Inside, the new Fairlane 500 models featured a restyled instrument cluster, column-mounted
ignition switch and lock; the three-point “Uni Lock” safety harness; cloth and vinyl seating
surfaces with color-keyed all-vinyl interior trim panels, and color-keyed nylon and rayon
The Torino became the intermediate trim level for the new year, and included all the standard
features of the Fairlane 500 series, in addition to a special V-shaped plastic grille with the
“Torino” crest in the center; bright wheel well moldings; a single bright strip/body side guard
along the side feature line; a bright metal molding along the rear edge of the hood; a spoiler type
raised lip on the rear deck of the Sportsroof models; a matte black finished plastic insert in the
rear face of the trunk spoiler with the FORD name, in block letters on the right side on the insert;
an egg-crate style appliqué in the rear body panel; the TORINO name, in block letters, above the
feature line on the front fenders and, in script, on the driver’s side of the hood. Inside, the
Torinos included all the standard features of the Fairlane 500 series, in addition to upgraded
cloth and vinyl upholstery with all-vinyl interior trim panels, with the TORINO name appearing on
the right side of the instrument panel.

The Torino Brougham was the new top trim level of the series, and was available only in formal
two-door hardtop and four-door hardtop configurations. It included all the standard features of
the Torino series, in addition to hidden headlights, a bright rocker panel molding, and the
Brougham crest in the center of the rear deck lid and on the sides of the rear roof pillars. Inside,
the Torinos Broughams possessed luxurious upholstery, with cloth and vinyl seating surfaces
featuring pleated and square-tucked materials, with matching square-tucked materials and
carpeting on the interior side panels. The TORINO script appeared on the top of the interior door
panels and on the right side of the instrument panel. Simulated woodgrain appliqués appeared
on the lower portion of the instrument panels and on the door side panels. With the emphasis on
luxury, the Torino Broughams featured interiors equal to those in the full-size LTD Broughams for
comfort and luxurious appointments.
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This has been a sample page from

Super 60s Fords Super '60s Fords - The Inside Story of the
Most Powerful Fords Ever Built
by John Smith
In the ‘50s, Detroit built cars with style in mind . . . but as the
‘60s arrived, a younger group of car buyers had another
thing in mind: Performance! Ford Motor Company met that
demand with some of the fastest and most powerful cars on
the street. In this book, John Smith covers the entire Ford
performance story in the ‘60s, -- and not just Mustangs and
Cobras, but Galaxies, Torinos, Falcons, Fairlanes, Shelbys,
Mavericks, and every other Ford that got extra horsepower
stuffed under its hood in this fast-moving decade. Models are
covered year by year, from the Supercharged T-birds of
1957 to the last gasp of the muscle car era in 1973, and
everything in between. Performance engines and stats are
listed for each year, and an informative appendix includes
information on deciphering VIN tags and parts codes.
With 200 black and white and more than 100 outstanding
color photos, this book has the images and information that
Ford fans want on their favorite performance models, from
supercharged Y-blocks to Boss 429s.
Click below to view sample
pages from each chapter.
Chap. 1 -1957 The Foundation
Chap. 2 -1958 352 Big Block
Chap. 3 -1959 High Style
Chap. 4 -1960 New Ideas
Chap. 5 -1961 Back to Tradition
Chap. 6 -1962 Legends
Chap. 7 -1963 Fast Backs
Chap. 8 -1964 The First Mustang
Chap. 9 -1965 Big Changes
Chap. 10 -1966 Beat Goes On
Chap. 11 -1967 Changing Guard
Chap. 12 -1968 428 Cobra Jet
Chap. 13 -1969 Boss 302 & 429
Chap. 14 -1970 429CJ & SCJ
Chap. 15 -1971 Last of Breed
Chap. 16 -1972 - 73 End of Era
This is without a doubt one of the best books about
Ford muscle cars ever written!
Soft bound
8-1/2 x 11
160+ pages
200 b/w photos
100+ color photos
Item #SA25
Price: $Discontinued
Click here to buy now!
This is a book any Ford enthusiast will enjoy to read over and over.
Read the sample pages to learn more.

Other items you might be interested in

Ford Torino Performance Portfolio 1968-1974
This book is a collection of road and comparison tests,
performance data, full specifications, model introductions
articles, historical information and restoration advice. The 34
articles in this book are sourced from Car and Driver, Car Craft,
Car Life, Cars, Circle Track, Classic American, Ford Motor
Company, Motor Trend, and others. Articles include: 'Ram Air
Cobra restoration', 'A tale of two Torinos, NASCAR Torino
verses Torino Cobra Jet 428, The Brute from Ford's Snake Pit
- Cobra Jet 429, Ford's Torino GT - 351, and many more.
Ford Torino Performance Portfolio 1968-1974
$ 27.95

Mustang Muscle Portfolio 1967-1973
This book is a collection of road and comparison
tests, specifications, and model introduction articles on the
Shelby GT350, GT500; 390 GT, 428 Cobra Jet models, a
Mustang equipped with a tunnel port engine; Mach 1 models,
351, 428, 429, Boss 302, 351, 351HO and 429 engine
equipped Mustangs and Mustang Grande. 140 pages and
over 250 black and white photos. Softbound.
Mustang Muscle Portfolio 1967-1973
$ 27.95

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