1978 Ford Mustang II King Cobra Barn Find!

While some enthusiasts decry the Mustang II and all of its various forms, the bidding on this super clean King Cobra suggests not everyone is offended by it. The King Cobra shown here is basically as good as it gets for a Mustang II, with the preferred four-speed manual and 302 V8 combo along with power front disc brakes and power steering. It doesn’t hurt that the body remains in very nice shape with decent paint and no apparent rust issues. The seller claims it was a garage find made by the gentleman he bought it from, who picked it up somewhere “down south.” The Cobra is said to be a strong running, driving car and is listed here on eBay with bids approaching $12K and no reserve.

The King Cobra got the full assortment of dress-up details, starting with the impossible-to-miss hood decor along with the stripes and decals integrated into the rear spoiler. Rear window louvers are a must-have for any 70s “performance” car, and the King Cobra also got a generous front chin spoiler, fender extensions/spats in front of the rear wheels, multi-spoke mesh wheels, and King Cobra decals on the sides. This Mustang does look like a garaged southern survivor, with no evidence of rust and only mild sun fading in places. Overall, the King Cobra presents like an unrestored example that was looked after slightly better than your average driver-quality car.

The interior is in excellent shape, and further bolsters the King Cobra’s image as a half-decent performance car. The black vinyl bucket seats appear to be in excellent shape with no tears or other major damage, and the standard three-spoke steering wheel remains in place. The door panels look find, and appear to have some later aftermarket speakers mounted on top. The stock shifter is more sporty than I remembered, with only a modest throw required to get into the next gear. The seller claims that once he had this King Cobra home, he began driving it without issue, other than passers-by wanting to see the artwork on the hood up-close.

The engine bay is quite clean with no signs of modifications. Over the years, we’ve talked about how the V8-equipped cars were often pillaged for parts given how undesirable they were for so long; now, you see well-preserved Mustang IIs like these attracting multiple bidders, and apparently plenty of onlookers. Cars like these are often stuck in cycles, wherein they’re hated for years; used up and trashed when we decide we’re done with them; and then suddenly sought after when enthusiasts collectively realize there are no good specimens left. The seller has put some work into this one, replacing the fuel tank, plugs, wires, oil, fuel filter, air filter, distributor cap, gas cap, and hatch lift arms, making it into the turnkey driver it is today. Would you consider a King Cobra a collectible?


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  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I’m sure we will have the regular Mustang II vitriol, which is fine I guess, not everyone has to like them. But Jeff has pegged the current state of the Mustang II: there aren’t many left in good shape, and seeing a nice one is a treat. There is an active community of Mustang II collectors who host an annual show each year. So obviously these are collectible; looks like this King Cobra will go for a solid price. And it’s hard to argue against their importance, without them we wouldn’t have the awesome Gen 6 Mustangs we are privileged to have today.

    Good ebay write-up, too.

    Like 25
  2. mainlymuscle

    I’m far from an expert on Mustangs and know nothing about 2’s ,but I think this is a Cobra with “King ” decals ??
    Pretty sure King Cobras are worth more .

    Like 4
  3. Timothy r Pearn

    I was not a fan of the looks of these until I saw one of Charlies angels driving one on the tv show. It suddenly looked a lot better

    Like 10
  4. Diane E Cota

    I had a 77 Mustang II it was my very first brand new car, I wish I could afford the one advertised, loved that car.

    Like 5
  5. Morris Bacon

    Detuned engines that barely ran, no thanks

    Like 3
  6. Purple sky

    Besides poor looks and copying Trans Am’s why have wheel flairs when tires look like they’re off a tricycle? LOL

    Like 5
  7. Al

    That ‘Cobra’ on the hood looks more like a phallus symbol.

    Like 1
  8. david R

    12k for this? pass

    Like 2
  9. Mark

    Cobra Mustangs were performance cars, this is nothing but a standard Mustang with some “Lipstick” on it! Certainly not worth what the price is bid up to.

    Like 2
  10. MarveH

    I like the Mustang II but I’d take a plain notchback with either a Duratec 3.5 V6 or built 302 and of course a manual transmission. Not much for stickers, spoilers, and flairs. I do like the small size and relatively light weight of the Mustang II. My wife learned to drive stick on a 302 Ghia, so I’d like to get her one some day.

    Like 1
  11. jwaltb

    Nicest one left?
    Crap then, crap now. Ugly too.

    Like 2
  12. Pops55

    I don’t think I will ever want to own a Mustang II. Not even the top performance Cobra model. I was there for the newsstand IIs, having bought a new 1972 Mach 1 knowing of the then-current rumors of a Pinto with Mustang badges. It wasn’t that the Mustang II was a bad car. I actually like them once they were introduced. AND, whether you like them or not, these are a part of Mustang history. And, importantly. The Kept the Marque alive until Mustang moved to the Fox platform for ’79. So, yea. I think it’s a collectable. Just not for me.

    Like 1

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