The 1978 Ford Mustang King Cobra here on eBay had me fooled: I thought it was just a decent project-quality example. But then I spotted the claim about having only 21,000 original miles, which seemed like a stretch given the condition of the exterior. After taking one look at the insides, though, I saw one of the best-preserved Mustang II cockpits I’ve seen in quite a while, lending some immediate credibility to the seller’s promise of unadulterated condition throughout. The King Cobra is in West Virginia with one bid to $2,000 and the reserve unmet.
I won’t waste any time: here’s that minty-fresh Mustang interior. While it could have been re-done, I feel that becomes fairly obvious, with one area (like the seating surfaces) standing out as impossibly clean compared to the carpet or the dash plastics. But this Mustang King Cobra’s passenger compartment appears to be evenly worn throughout, and does resemble that of a car with a history of limited use. There’s some light surface rust on the steering wheel, but everything else looks nicely preserved.
The original paint shows signs of consistent, prolonged exposure to the outsides, with fading throughout the finish. The iconic hood graphics are just barely visible, but I like the rough-around-the-edges look. Of course, the other bits and pieces are there, including the wide front air dam, mesh wheels and side skirts. What’s a little confusing is the hood scoop color that clearly doesn’t match the rest of the car – and could have been swapped in from another King Cobra at some point.
According to the listing, the Mustang has benefited from numerous recent repairs including a refreshed fuel system, new brakes and tires, replacement rear shocks and a full tune-up. It has been in storage for the last 30 years and if all the claims of condition check out, it could be one of the more original examples left. The picture of spare parts above may indicate long-time ownership in the hands of an enthusiast, but I’ll leave that level of due diligence up to any prospective owners. What about you – does the low mileage claim pass the smell test?