1 Of 547: 1978 Ford Mustang King Cobra

We have reviewed quite a few Mustang IIs here at Barn Finds but this one has to be the best one that we have come across. It is the top of the line King Cobra Mustang II built in 1978. The car is listed for sale here on eBay with two days remaining in the auction. The car is bid to $13,200 and it is located in sunny Holiday, Florida.

Early Mustang II’s were equipped with four cylinder and six cylinder engines. This 1978 King Cobra as the Ford 302 cubic inch V8 engine with two barrel carburetor. While not even close to other performance cars in terms of power, the small block Ford was rated a 139 horsepower (net). The seller has added a 4 barrel intake and carburetor to juice up the power a little.

This red on red Mustang has traveled a total of 67,000 miles according to the odometer. While the top of the dash is a little sun faded the car is in remarkable condition. It has a number of desirable features including the T Roof and a 4 speed transmission. Of the 4,313 King Cobras produced in 2018, it is estimated that 547 came with the T Roof option.

The King Cobra option was a limited edition exclusive to 1978 and featured a new front air dam, stripe package and cobra snake hood decal. It was only available with the 302 cubic inch V8 engine. I am unsure if the wheels on this Mustang II are aftermarket but they sure look small compared to 15 inch and 16 inch wheels that came on later Mustangs.


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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Very nice. A King Cobra, arguably the highlight of the production run. The Mustang II fans would be proud to have this one.

    The horsepower rating is laughably low compared to muscle cars or what we expect today (even from basic economy cars), but it wasn’t that far off from its contemporaries. Before the inevitable bashing begins (ha), remember this car was a product of its era.

    Like 11
    • JP

      I had 1. Black w/the mach 1 Camel Leather interior. That 302 can be punched up quite a bit. I added headman headers & a holly 4 barrel. Couple of other mods & this vehicle was a nice Street Rod. I miss it.

      Like 3
  2. alphasud Member

    I agree with Bob. I only wish they would have called it anything other than the King Cobra. Maybe the “Rattler”

    Like 8
    • Steve R

      Pacifier might have been a better choice.

      At least it’s a manual transmission, and someone wisely choose to install a 4bbl.

      Steve R

      Like 10
  3. Stangalang

    Needs an aftermarket cam and headers..take it from me a header install on these is not easy but well worth it. Imagine running through the gears at WOT in this mini stang..I’ve done it and its fuuunnn! Those wheels IIRC are 14s I had a set on a pinto. Beautiful car btw

    Like 2
    • Mike

      Those are the factory wheels and are actually 13″. I had one of these back in 1980, the only difference was mine had a black interior.

      Like 3
    • Mike

      Those are factory 13″ wheels. Yes.. 13″! I ordered my King with those wheels and the day after I got it.. I installed 14″ Western Bullets and Cooper Cobra tires. A big change in handling and looks and ride.

      Like 2
  4. Superdessucke

    I commented on this car not long ago in a Cobra II thread. These King Cobras were 1978-only and they all had the 302 2V. Cobra IIs could have 4 cylinder, 6 cylinder or V8.

    Like 1
  5. Dave

    You can do a lot with these cars, power wise. A 351 Windsor will bolt right in.

    Like 5
  6. King Cuomo

    V8 on a go-cart.

    Like 2
  7. David Skinner

    “I am unsure if the wheels on this Mustang II are aftermarket but they sure look small compared to 15 inch and 16 inch wheels that came on later Mustangs.”

    Those are 13″ factory wheels, so much smaller than the 16s…

    Like 2
  8. bobk

    Aarrgh, another RED Mustang II….

    Like 1
  9. Dryheat

    A Pinto with graphics. I hated what Ford did to the Mustang in the mid- late ’70’s. Wasn’t a big fan of the Fox body in the ’80’s either, although they at least could run with other pony cars.

    Like 5
    • Mike

      Just another poser that knows nothing about the II.

      Like 13
      • Dan

        Nothing needs to be known except it’s a Pinto with graphics.

  10. Stephen Miklos

    I remember in the early 80’s in Yonkers on central ave. 78′ Black and Gold King Cobra 🐍 with a 302 and a blower sticking out of the hood. The rear was changed with bigger tires. Talk about fast Stang. Yeah we did crazy stuff back in the late 70’s early 80’s. It was fun. Difference time. 🐻🇺🇸

    Like 8
  11. K. R. V. Member

    Like a few others of us posted, these are the original 13” 4 lug wheels, that came on the KK, and were optional on the Ghia. As I remember when I was seriously considering ordering one. I ended up ordering and buy a new 78 Scout II TERRA Truck instead. I was very glad I did, seeing what the next Mustang looked like in a few months!

  12. david R

    Mustang 2″s are a joke’ Looks like a glorified Pinto inside and out.

    Like 2
  13. Stilbo

    Helped pull the 302 on an identical one.
    Maybe cleaner.
    Owner dropped the engine off at the machine shop and had 10:1 compression pistons, Crane roller cam and kit installed. Installed an Edlebrock Performer 4bbl intake and Edelbrock carb, set of headers, Pertronix ignition and a five speed behind it all..
    Bilstein all around and 15×7 honey comb rims with low profile radials..
    It’s still a monster little sleeper.
    Runs mid 12’s.

    Like 3
  14. Karl


    Like 1
  15. DN

    Maybe you can do a lot with these cars, power wise but the only thing you can do for them in the looks department is to buy a car cover 😂

    Like 3

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