Cobra Comparision: 1977 Ford Mustang Cobra II

A lot of us sit a lot, too much in fact. Most of us know that sitting too much is bad for our health, the same way that it’s bad for a car to sit for a long time without any activity. This 1977 Ford Mustang Cobra II has been sitting for a very long time. It’s now listed on eBay with bids up to $3,000 and it’s located in York, Pennsylvania.

The similarities between this car and most of us are pretty striking. Like most of us, this car has had one owner. Also, this car looks good from a distance, like most of us do – and once you get in closer you see the bad spots. But, from some angles, we both look pretty good. Most of us could have been better than we turned out if we would have worked at it a little harder and a little smarter. It’s the same way with the Cobra II.

Some of us also have rear ends that aren’t super attractive.. hey, wait a minute. The Cobra II package was more show than go, with a faux hood scoop, spoilers, and graphics-a-plenty. How many of us are poseurs? The seller says that this car has 85,000 miles on it and that it will need restoration from sitting for many years. See, your doctor was right after all.

It’s hard to beat a red interior for me, but there’s the automatic that a lot of us feared would be in this car. All of us have red interiors, by the way. The back seat looks like it’s in nice shape. There is no mention of rust in the floors so maybe a person could get away with just installing new carpet and deep-cleaning everything else inside. The area under the hatchback looks decent, too. No comment..  The exterior needs some work, like with most of us do. The seller has included several underside photos which is always nice to see.

This isn’t the 140 hp 302 V8, it’s Ford’s 171 cubic-inch V6 that would have had a pavement-pounding 95 hp, give or take. The vast majority of us could use more power, too. This is getting scary how most of us are exactly like this Cobra II. Scary. The seller says that this car runs and drives but that it has a power steering leak that will need to be fixed. Need I say more about “leak” in comparing this car to most of us? I didn’t think so. What are your thoughts on this Cobra II? We know that it isn’t a real Cobra or a monster V8 Mustang of yore, but these are really unique cars. Most of us are also unique and are not the best that we can be or in the best condition. Lets allow that to sink in for a minute. I hope this comparison wasn’t too depressing but it’s amazing just how similar some of us are to a car like this ’77 Cobra II.


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  1. Henry Drake

    2700 lbs. — just needs a powerful small block, maybe strip the back seats.
    Primer it…. sleeper….

  2. Michael

    Even though the hp power had been zapped, still a nice looking car. Yes, a small block would be fun!

  3. Mark

    I enjoyed a 76 Cobra. The 302 had 300 horse and a functional hood scoop after I was thru. The car was so light it smoked tires in all four gears. I didnt do too bad for my very first hands on engine build. Some might say I didnt know how to drive it, but I think they were jealous of the fun I had in it. Now, after I have been sitting around too much I doubt I would fit in it.

    Like 1
  4. MJames

    V6 in a cobra??

    Like 1
    • Ke

      Well let’s not forget this is exactly the year of the gas crunch. It’s also just about the year Mustang shrunk, and nearly put Ford out of business.

      • Tyler

        How did the Mustang II nearly put Ford out of business? 4 out of the 5 years it was produced were in the top 10 best selling Mustangs, even up till at least 2004, maybe even later.

      • Metoo

        Yep. The mid-70’s were sort of a sad, pathetic time for the Mustang. Between the gas crunch and emission controls I am amazed it stayed in the lineup. You could go into the dealership and buy a branch new Mustang with a whopping 4 cylinder, the same awesome power plant they were sticking in Pinto’s. At least the Pinto was light enough so it had some zip with that engine.

        This one, with ugly graphics, fake hood scoop, a measly V-6 and tacky louvers? I would pass on it.

  5. Beatnik Bedouin

    When these were new, my buddies (including a lot of Mustang ones) and me used to quip, “Mustang II, Boredom III…” (to parody the contemporary ad for the model)

    The V6 gives sprightly performance, even with the automati,c and can return reasonable MPG.

    While not my cup of tea (or anything else for that matter), it looks like a basis for a nice resto or build.

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      That should read ‘Mustang owners’ – yup, I need new reading glasses…

      As far as Scotty’s comments, I’d like to quote that great American philosopher, Terrance Aloysius Mahoney: “Hey, I resemble that remark..!”

    • Rodent

      With my group of friends it was, “Mustang II, Wallet Zero”

  6. JW

    My wife had a 78 Cobra brand new with the 302 / auto trans. Blue stripes and it was quick for the times but no tire shredder, it did donuts in the snow real well until I put it in a ditch and bent the trans lines so it burnt the trans up. If it wasn’t so far away I would bid on it because I know she would like another one for a daily driver.

    • Scott C

      That’s what shippers are for!!!

  7. Coventrycat

    Yeah, V8’s are nice but 98% of the Mustangs on the road have a V6, just like this one. But instead of stripe packages, today we have oversized wheels and exhaust pipes that look like they stole their wife’s dryer vent. And lots of automatics.

  8. Byte-A-Trailer

    My Fake Cobra roadster, built 1977 in England has a hot-rodded 2.8 V6. It’s more than fast enough for a street driven car.

  9. John Leyshon Member

    Scotty, thanks for reminding and inspiring a dude 6 years older than that car to get in better shape ! Great analogy, well written …

    The German built Cologne 2.8 V6 was a pretty solid motor. Ran helical timing gears instead of a belt or chain. The 5.0 was choked to 132 HP (ugh). The original engine may be worth a refresh and tune to get going. It was a popular option in the ’79 Fox mustang. They ran out by mid year and offered the ancient 200 I-6 in its place. I had the ’79 Capri powerhouse 5.0 (140 hp with a C-4 lol)

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha! Thanks, John, that’s darn nice of you to say.

  10. Angrymike

    I think those are 78 stripes, my sister had a 77 and the stripes were on the bottom, not across the door. Am I wrong ?


    Scotty, that is the funniest( and unfortunitly hits a little close to home) post I have ever read on Can’t belive no one mentioned it in their post.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Thanks, SC/Rambler! John just mentioned it a few minutes ago a couple of comments up. Thanks again!

  12. glen

    Your write-up is better than the car, good job! I’ll add, everyone would be better off realizing we are all the same inside.

  13. Miguel

    You called this car unique.

    Would you care to explain why?

    There are a ton of these left in one condition or another.


  14. Tyler

    I know there are a lot of haters of these cars, but a King Cobra is on my bucket list. But at my age, & with a number of projects left to finish, I doubt I’ll get around to building one.

    Back when I was in high school, a friend took a black 78 model that originally came with a 302 & 4 speed, & dropped in a Boss 302 & top loader, & promptly blew out the rear end. After swapping in a 3.73 9″ rearend, it was one fast car, & won the majority Saturday night street races he ran. I’ve always wanted to reproduce that.

    This one looks to be in fairy decent condition. At lead better than most I’ve encountered. Although I don’t believe they will ever bring the money the 65-73’s bring, these cars can be really fun toys for a lot less.

  15. ccrvtt

    I like Mustang IIs. Anyone who doubts how badass they can be needs to research the Ruggirello-Roush Mustang II.

    ’nuff said.

    • Ponyman1

      That would be called sudden death…..

    • Metoo

      I think most people are referring to a run of the mill Mustang II, not a special.

  16. davew833

    Always thought the 4-spoke Cragar SS rims were a bit odd looking…

  17. Mike

    Is this a cobra? Hard to tell just looking at the pictures.

    • glen

      Just subtle clues!

  18. Gone baby gone

    I have said it many times being thanks Ford for this car which was a lil compact but it kept the mustang in production during the lean gas crunch embargo years!
    Other cars later faded and resurfaced like the Camaro , Challenger etc. etc. but mustang held strong 💪✅

    This is an odd ball worthy of restoration but not in my bucket list while it’s not a Shelby,HCS ,
    Convert , fastback etc!

  19. Classic Steel

    I am for saving and restoring too!

    It’s not a 67 Mustang convertibles like mine but nice potential!

  20. Rube Goldberg Member

    A friend’s gf had a car like this only a V8, 2 barrel when my ex-wife had her V8 Monza. In a drag race, it was amazing how closely matched they were. Some consider this “The Forgotten Mustang”, but as others here have said, if it wasn’t for the Mustang ll, we may have lost Mustang altogether, or became a badge engineered T-Bird. These weren’t that much smaller than the original Mustang. Aside from my ’95, I liked these the best.

  21. JoeBazots

    One of these days…I’d like a manual, though – I think I’d stuff a 3.5L Ecoboost in it. Crank that bad boy up to around 400HP but still have something a little more economical that the traditional V8 swap.

    • Tyler

      That would make for a very fun car! And one heck of a sleeper.

  22. Gay Car Nut

    Sweet looking car. I’ve always liked the Ford Mustang II. It may not be popular with collectors today, but so what? For me, it’s not about collectibility, or popular. I like something that’s unique and different. My favourite Ford cars of the 70s are the Mustang II and the Maverick.

  23. Dan in Texas

    Ford must have screwed those cars together pretty well. The interiors are always in great shape when they are pictured here

  24. Comet

    Glad to see they used a paper floor mat. It would be a shame to soil the carpet.

  25. Roger

    The stripes are ’78 like you said,my cousin had a ’78 in black with a 302/4 speed,the ’76/’77 models had the stripes along the bottom same as the one in Charlie’s Angels back then,also in ’78 there was a higher end Cobra called the King Cobra that had a different graphic and trim package.

    • JW

      You are correct on the stripes, also wasn’t all King Cobras Black with Gold graphics and they were all 4-speeds.

      • Ponyman1

        King cobra could be had with any ford color in the 1978 color choices. They were all v/8 however manual tranny or automatic was optional. They were built with both. The 78 pictured however only came in black or white with stripes red/orange. Blue,gold or green.

  26. David Ulrey

    I’ll take it. Please have it delivered by the weekend. Seriously though I would take this. I’ve actually always liked the overall look. I would prefer one with a respectable 302 but since I do love the Cologne 2.8 I would turbo it (a manual trans would really help though) and enjoy the heck out of it!

  27. Michael nagengast

    -77 Mustang II black on black with the gold Stripes 302 V8 it was a good little car. I paid $3,000 and drove it from Oregon to Connecticut and I sold it for $1,700. And thought a 63 vet for $6,500 best upgrade I could make then I traded the 63 convertible for a 63 split window that this guy had at a gas station Greenwich Connecticut had a big block 454 in it , tilt front end wasn’t stock but it was fast as hell the convertible was all matching numbers what a fool I was but I was only 23 then back in 1982 the Mustang was a great little car that great mileage pretty quick but no comparison

  28. PurpleMagicCandle007

    The only thing that would redeem any Mustang 11 would be having Farrah Fawcett sitting next to you in the passenger seat.

    • Bring-A-Tailor

      Well that might have been true forty years ago . . .

    • Ponyman1

      Purplemagiccandle007. How many II’s have you owned?

    • Metoo

      Sort of like a General Lee Charger……….with Daisy Duke. Accessories are everything

  29. Barn.G

    I’m a cranky old man, a 20-footer at best on a foggy day. That said, I’ve had some great vehicles, which I paid beans for, compared to now. 1948-68, plus a ’79 Caddy that ran great, $220. We used to tie an onion to our belts…

  30. Paul

    Mustang II sales were good in 74 then started to back slide…Camaro sales blew past them with an older body style by 77 The public realized by 76 what a poorly built car the mustangs ll was. No fun to drive with no reliability. Very few people out there like these cars today but there are some. I drove one back in the day “or pushed one most of the time”
    I would like to see it crushed just to save somebody from the aggravation that I endured when these cars were newer!

    • JW

      @Paul everyone has a right to their opinion and I respect yours. My wife bought a 78 Cobra new and it was a fun car for the times and never gave us a problem until “I” put it in a ditch showing off and bent the trans lines so it shifted slow. At least the Mustang II’s kept the Mustang name alive for 50 years uninterrupted second only to the Corvette.

      • Tyler

        You forgot about the Suburban, continuously built since 1935.

      • JW

        Yes I did but I’m talking cars, thanks for pointing that out.

    • Barn.G

      When I was a freshman at college- L.S.U.1976- my dorm roommate had a Mustang II as his H.S. graduation gift from his parents. My folks gave me a flip-number alarm clock like the one in “Groundhog Day”. Turned out, I won.

      • Barn.G

        My girlfriend got a brand-new late ’70s powder blue T-bird for her college graduation. That was the real booby prize.

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