top of page

1965 Ford XP Bordinat Cobra Concept

As a side note to the successful X-Car program, and in the context of the enthusiasm present throughout the Ford Styling Department, Gene Bordinat directed the styling studio to create a second version of the Cougar II for him. Bordinat wanted a dream car of his own, much as Bill Mitchell was then enjoying at General Motors and what Harley Earl had done earlier. Always interested in innovation and good styling, Bordinat's customized X Car was a stunning statement of the kind of nimble, droptop Ford sports car that could be created. Called the XP Cobra alternatively or, more authentically, the Bordinat Cobra, this iridescent honey gold iteration of the Cougar II was a beautiful roadster with a body fashioned from Royalex – a miracle "memory" material that recovered from minor dents.

The Bordinat Cobra was the first coil-spring chassis Cobra, has a unique plastic body painted metallic silver, and features a 289 High-Performance engine with a C4 automatic transmission.

The Bordinat Cobra was also built on a 427 Cobra (coil spring) chassis, # CSX3001, and, like the coupe, required the Ford small block motor to be set back in the frame to clear the low hood line. The Bordinat Cobra was an important part of the Ford Division's wonderfully creative explosion of practical – but still dramatically styled – concept cars that directly precipitated the production Ford Mustang and additional corporate show cars in the rest of the Sixties. Although it was in many ways a "dream car," the Bordinat/XP Cobra was never a part Ford's second-generation X Car program. Apocryphal evidence and urban legends suggest that Bordinat used the car regularly for at least a year. As Ford expert Jim Burgy notes, "...the Bordinat Cobra has not been restored -- it is in it's original condition, complete with original paint and drivetrain. It has been washed and waxed, but NOT repainted or restored."


Images:; Ford; Jim Burgy

Explore by Year, Make or Designer
bottom of page