1978 Ford Mustang Cobra II: Unfinished Business

1978 Mustang Cobra II

Every once in a great while, I think about how simple my life would be without car projects. More money, more space, less stress – all of that sounds pretty good sometimes! It’s possible this is the sentiment that put this ’78 Mustang Cobra II here on Seattle’s craigslist on the market, as the seller seems to have brought it home and never started the restoration. Although the price is cheap, many enthusiasts shy away from the most unloved of Mustangs, but I like the over-the-top graphics and V6/manual transmission combo. Some wider wheels would help the proportions a bit, and rear window louvers are a must for a ’70s Mustang! While the seller says he’s got a bunch of money into the car, I can’t see any real evidence of it, so finding out why it’s still not running despite the work he’s tackled in the meantime is a must. Is $1,200 cheap enough to take on this unfinished Cobra project?


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  1. MH

    While $1200 is cheap. But this car is not desirable and has no value. You would be ass backwards after you restore it.

  2. jim s

    i would hope at the price it could be parted out at a profit. nice find.

  3. Bill Smith

    If the chassis is solid, I’d buy it. I’m a sucker for underdogs …. who knows as much as people don’t like these having a good one could be worth something in the furure. I’d go with either new 300hp v6 or an old turbo 4 with a 6 speed tranny. Could be fun!!

    • Kristi Evans

      Me, too, Bill Smith. If I had the money, I’d be the Jay Leno of sub-$10k “undesirable” cars. I love them. My favorites are the ’78/’79/’80 Ford Fiestas that made it over to the states. I have had three of them. There is no car one can put through the paces that that one can undertake, for the money. I sold my last one at $4,500 and I regret it every day.

  4. charles hefner

    I’m not a huge fan of this generation mustang,but it would interesting to see upgraded and converted to the new generation 5.0 coyote engine with suspension upgrades etc.

  5. J.W.

    I definitely would buy this if it were closer to me. My wife had a new one in 78 white with blue stripes, it was a fun car as is but I wanted to get rid of those gawdy side stripes and hotrod the car but she said no. If I bought it a Coyote v8 would have to find it’s way in to the engine bay.

  6. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Count me in as one who’d consider buying it if it were closer. But I’d ditch the “factory mags” that they installed and keep the rallye wheels that are on it in most of the pictures. That’s what my Dad’s ’78 Mustang II had and I liked them then, too.

  7. Jeff Lavery Staff

    I’d do that as well, Jamie, or go for some sort of a period-correct mesh-look. Gold mesh!

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      I second the good mesh idea!

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      There was a factory mesh wheel that was an option and came color-keyed to the car :-)

  8. dj

    Jamie, The King Cobra had the mesh looking wheels along with different spoilers and I think graphics. Those had the 302 engines.

  9. Dustin Clousher

    I think the boring lines of the 94-04 mustang are the ugliest mustangs. I don’t know why but I love the Mustang II, I almost had a 76 mustang cobra II for my first car but Dad said you would kill your self. Funny thing is the prelude I got had more horse power lol.

  10. james g

    “unfinished business” I think this car was finished when they were new.

  11. krash

    I’ll buy it for my older sister…throw in an “ANGELS” vanity plate, a blond replica F. Fawcett wig (may she rest in peace), a running motor, and she’s off to her late 70’s reunion….

    I’ll even replace the graphics “C” to an “N” and she can drive it around completely topless!!

  12. pontiactivist

    I know of a white w/green striped one sitting in a wrecking yard. Real shame. I always liked these. Had a white and red 302 4speed t-top one years ago. Ended up parting it out. Motor and tranny went into a ranger short bed. And the rest is history. If I had mine now I would fix it instead of parting it out. Bit hindsight is 20/20.

  13. tom

    Had a 76 v8,76 4cyl and a 76 rusty v6. all Cobra2s friend had a 76 v8 also,and a 78 v8. back in the 80`s. good times with those. I sold mine to a collector,he has a few.others went to few other people,not see them anymore. Noticed he has a white 1 next to this car. Mine were black/gold,white/blue and friends was Blue/white. Ahhhhh, the good old days.

  14. Janet Rose

    I had a 1978 ford Mustang Cobra just like this one – exact same colors, though it did have V8 with 4 speed – bought it new, took out all pollution control, after that, ran GREAT….would buy this one if it had that engine in it-guess I’ll keep lookin’-I love Mustangs-regret ever selling it! my friends still talk about the cool times in that ‘stang-signed, Janet Rose from TN

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