Cobra Chameleon: 30k-Mile 1996 Ford Mustang Mystic Cobra SVT Coupe 5-Speed

  • March 15, 2021
The Rundown
  • #141 of 2000 Cobras Built in 1996 Painted Mystic
  • 30k Original Miles
  • Certificate of Authenticity and Letter from Ford SVT
  • 305hp 32-Valve 4.6L DOHC V8
  • 5-Speed Manual Transmission
  • Mystic over Black Leather
Why We Like It

The SN95 Mustangs, those built from 1994 to 2004, brought a new level of fit and finish to the brand. Ford reintroduced the Cobra in 1993, sustaining it through the SN95, but in ‘96 they introduced a unique color with the help of BASF called ‘Mystic’. It was only available on the Cobra and only 2,000 units were built. A very technical paint that literally changes colors at different angles in different lights, the paint started life at BASF as a special ink for the United States Mint, which was considering a new design for paper money that would include holograms to reduce counterfeiting. The paint was very expensive and time consuming to shoot, so Ford actually stopped the assembly line to paint the special Cobras, each one beginning life with a black body. Oddly, even though the cars were painted in sequential order, the VINs are not – but it’s interesting to think that in order to paint these special Cobras, they actually had to suspend production of the cars because it was less costly to shoot them all at once.

cobra-chameleon-30k-mile-1996-ford-mustang-mystic-cobra-svt-coupe-5-speed00909 dhiZ7hluQXpz 0t20CI 1200x900Difficult to find, many have been locked away and have just a few miles on them, while others are more like this one, sporting a few miles, but still low given the age, which we like. It can be used and enjoyed without too much guilt and still presents very nicely. A Cobra, the car will move respectfully down the line, the 32v, DOHC 4.6L V8 drumming up a healthy 305hp, the 5-speed manual transmission adding to the sporting feel. This Mystic Cobra presents very nicely by the pictures and the post, the body looking straight and unblemished along with the paint, which does its thing nicely – green in one light, purple in another, and kind of a burgundy in between. The inside is well kept, the leather showing some age and use, but nothing out of line, the white-face gauges looking signature Cobra, and the Ford sound system nestled into a dashboard that still looks like it’s awaiting a dealer prep. It’s even got the optional CD player. All things told this may well be one of the great ones to snap up.

cobra-chameleon-30k-mile-1996-ford-mustang-mystic-cobra-svt-coupe-5-speed00303 3vjbdsm7k7Mz 0CI0t2 1200x900

Valuation Verdict

The SN95 Mustangs are creeping up in value relatively swiftly. They brought a lot to the game and are well respected by Mustang enthusiasts, performance junkies, collectors, and just people in general – drive one and it’s clear why. Obviously in the world of collector cars, rarity, condition, performance, and provenance all play into the value – this one is rare, thanks to the paint, it’s got the performance down, it appears to be in very nice condition, and while it might not have much going in the provenance department, three out of four ain’t bad. We’re certain the SN95s are going to begin climbing with more aggression soon, especially the rarer Cobras and the even-rarer Mystics, and we’ve seen a handful of similar mileage examples sell recently at auction in the $20k+ range. All up, this one seems to be priced fair market.

People reacted to this car
I remember seeing one of these at the LA Auto Show in November of 1995 and the paint absolutely blew my mind. Granted I was only 11 years old at the time, but it was like nothing I had ever seen. I circled around it taking pictures from every angle and gawking at how the paint seemed to magically change colors. Later that month my mom would buy a brand new '95 V6 Mustang in white and I couldn't understand why she didn't get the Cobra...
1 year
What a Snake charmer! Everything about a 1996 SVT Mustang Cobra blows my mind to this day, darkleaf99. The Mystic paint, to the 4.6-liter V-8 that debuted in 1996 SVT Mustang Cobra was a big step up from the 5.0-liter V-8 it replaced, swapping the Windsor's pushrods for overhead camshafts! To dress the exterior of the Cobra's DOHC V-8, Ford's Special Vehicles Team (SVT) polled its constituency for suggestions. The fan club liked neatly routed blue spark-plug wires, but rather than hide this fetching chunk of aluminum sculpture under a boring black plastic cover, the brawny cam and intake manifold covers are painted a silver hue reminiscent of Ford's big-block glory days. (Visions of the '69-70 Boss 429 leap quickly to mind.) As a finishing touch, a Cobra snake emblem stands guard atop the intake plenum. To this day, my dream car is a 1996 Mustang Cobra SVT. I'll take mine in any color as long as it's black. 😜 Mystic would be my second choice! ✌👍
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