The original Cobra CB radios were manufactured by Dynascan Corporation. In fact, Dynascan was responsible for developing the world’s first CB radio. The year was 1963. The new radio was called the Sidewinder. In 1993, the company name was officially changed from Dynascan to Cobra Electronics Corporation. Today, Cobra CB radios continue to be produced. It is probably the most well-known line of citizens band transceivers in the world.
Here are many of the Cobra model numbers. I have included a brief description of each radio. Many are featured here on Drew’s Radio Site. If you notice a particular model is missing from the list, please let us know!
COBRA 19 – Cobra’s bare bones budget 23 channel AM mobile. Features volume, squelch, modulation light, channel selector, and 4 pin mic jack. That’s all!
COBRA 19M – 23 channel AM mobile variation of the Cobra 19. The 19M adds a small vertical S/RF meter.
COBRA 19XS – Inexpensive 1980s 40 channel AM mobile. Made in Korea. Similar to Cobra 19 PLUS but with a large analog meter instead of the newer LED bar graph meter.
COBRA 21 – This 23 channel AM mobile is one tick up from the 19. The Cobra 21X adds mic gain control, ANL, CB/PA switch, and a large lighted S/RF meter.
COBRA 21X – Updated version of the Cobra 21. The mic gain control becomes DynaMike on this 23 channel AM mobile.
COBRA 21 XLR – 40 channel AM mobile version of the Cobra 21/21X. An LED channel display with dimmer control replaces the previous model’s channel indicator dial.
COBRA 25LTD CLASSIC – Mid-level 40 channel AM mobile. Features DynaMike, RF gain control, channel display bright/dim switch, receive/transmit light, and instant channel 9 switch.
COBRA 25LTD WX CLASSIC – 40 channel AM mobile. The WX CLASSIC adds reception of all 7 National Weather Service VHF channels to the 25LTD. Frequencies received are 162.400 Mhz, 162.425 Mhz, 162.450 Mhz, 162.475 Mhz, 162.500 Mhz, 162.525 Mhz, and 162.550 Mhz.
COBRA 29 – This deluxe 23 channel AM mobile was a favorite with truck drivers. Features RF gain and Delta Tune controls. Plus ANL and NB, modulation and transmit lights, plus that traditional Cobra large lighted S/RF meter.
COBRA 85 – Budget 23 channel AM base station. Features are minimal, but the Cobra 85 does have a large lighted S/RF meter.
COBRA CAM 89 – 23 channel AM base station. Resembles a Cobra 139 XLR but without SSB mode.
COBRA 89XLR – 40 channel AM base station. As with it’s 135XLR and 139XLR sideband cousins, the 89XLR replaces the CAM 89’s channel indicator dial with an LED digital channel readout. A combination SWR/modulation meter is substituted for the CAM 89’s modulation-only meter.
COBRA 98 – Early tube type 23 channel AM base station. Easily identified by the “BK 23 Channel Citizens Band Transceiver” lettering on top of the front panel.
COBRA 134 – Rare black-faced 23 channel AM/SSB mobile. Not as many bells and whistles as the more expensive Cobra 138. Features include ANL, RF gain control, and transmit indicator light.
COBRA 135 – The “cadillac” of Cobra 23 channel AM/SSB base stations! In addition to all the knobs and lights, the 135 features a 1970s “flip petal” digital clock with alarm.
COBRA 135XLR – 40 channel AM/SSB base station. This is the 40 channel upgrade of the Cobra 135. As with the 139XLR, the previous channel indicator dial has been replaced with an LED digital readout. Otherwise, appearance is the same as the 135 it replaces.
COBRA 138 – 23 channel AM/SSB mobile. Very popular up until the introduction of 40 channel models in January, 1977. Includes DynaMike, Voice Lock, ANL/NB, RF gain, and the vintage large Cobra S/RF meter.
COBRA 138XLR – 40 channel AM/SSB mobile. Updated version of the Cobra 138, adding tone control, channel display dimmer, and full 40 channel operation.
COBRA 139 – 23 channel AM/SSB base station. Not as fancy as the Cobra 135, but a solid performer and a very popular radio during the mid-1970s.
COBRA 139 XLR – 40 channel AM/SSB base station. Very similar in appearance to the 139. Substitutes an LED digital channel readout in place of the 139’s channel indicator dial.
COBRA 142 GTL – 40 channel AM/SSB base station. Updated version of the Cobra 139XLR, adding RX and TX lights. Also, the lower front panel is silver on the 142GTL vs black on the 139XLR.
COBRA 146GTL – Entry level 40 channel AM/SSB mobile. Little brother to the Cobra 148 GTL. Basic features include ANL/NB, Voice Lock, RF gain, and transmit light.
COBRA 148GTL – Cobra’s classic 40 channel AM/SSB mobile. Always a top performer. Features large lighted S/RF/SWR meter, Voice Lock, DynaMike, receive/transmit indicator light, high/low tone switch, and bright/dim channel display switch.
COBRA 1000GTL – Basically, a Cobra 2000GTL without SSB capability. Appearance is nearly identical. As with the 2000, the Cobra 1000GTL features a built-in frequency counter and requires an external speaker. Since the 1000 does not have sideband, the fine tuning knob is labeled “Delta Tune” instead of Voice Lock. Instead of an ‘AUX’ jack, you get a ‘RECORD’ jack. Also note the dimensions of the meters is slightly different. Meters are NOT interchangeable between the Cobra 1000GTL and 2000GTL.
COBRA 2000GTL – The one everybody wants! Considered by many to be the ultimate 40 channel AM/SSB base station. Built-in frequency counter. Numerous other features including DynaMike Plus (power mic), large rectangular S/RF and SWR/modulation meters, clock with alarm, headphone jack, aux (tape) jack, and external speaker. The 2000GTL does not have an internal speaker. Keep this in mind if you purchase a used one since many used 2000s do not include the speaker.
THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS TO BE CONTINUED. I LOVE THESE OLD COBRAS AS MUCH AS YOU DO!