Daughter’s Inheritance: 1976 Ford Mustang Cobra II

This 1976 Ford Mustang Cobra II just recently came out of long-term storage as a stalled project. It was inherited by the seller and intended to be his daughter’s ride when complete, but the restoration won’t happen and the seller plans to use the funds for a newer car. Several new parts are included, but it’s a bit of a jumble right now. Find it here on eBay with bidding over $1K and no reserve.

For a variety of reasons we need not go into here, the Cobra II is hardly a collectible version of Ford’s most powerful trim level offered for a Mustang. However, they can still be decent drivers with the easy-to-live-with 302 under the hood and a decent aftermarket for making improvements to the chassis. I’d assume the paint is original with gold stripes and rear spoiler as part of the Cobra-level trim.

Many of these Cobra II’s lost their 302 drivetrains over the years, so if this one is numbers matching, it could be considered a survivor. The seller notes he threw some new parts at it, including a starter and coil, before putting the brakes on further work once he realized the radiator needed replacing and that the new headers he bought wouldn’t fit without pulling the motor. The Cobra II is somewhat tatty overall and in need of a thorough cleaning both inside and out.

I can understand how a project you’ve barely got time for can suddenly hit the skids when a major hurdle pops up, like realizing the motor has to be pulled to install new headers. The interior is one of the better parts of the car, but those wires hanging beneath the dash are ominous. There’s some rust noted on the fenders, but otherwise, corrosion seems to be limited. It’s always risky taking on someone’s unfinished work, but the current bid price takes some of the risk out of the equation.


  1. Gaspumpchas

    hated to see the name Mustang used on a Mustang 2. T the ultimate POS, Fixed many. Had a customer who bought one of these “cobras” in 77, 302 4 speed I think. Stepping on the gas was like putting your foot in a bucket of oatmeal. pi$$ Poor performance to say the least. Anyhoo- look this over good, wonder why you couldn’t just use the orig exhaust manifolds? I hate headers. Might be a good project for someone as there are tons of parts and mods for these. Good luck to the new owner. Full inspection a must. Rustang.


    Like 10
    • Tinman-NSX

      A car for it’s time. Without the Mustang name might have died off before it reached 10 years old. 1975 Camaro 350ci 0-60 10.9s, 1976 Mustang 302ci 0-60 9.0s. Yes, slow by today’s standards but it was comparable to cars of the time which where stunted by the climate of the times. Without it, we wouldn’t have the Mustang of today. Here is my sons ’76 Cobra II that he and built together as his first car……

      Like 29
  2. grant

    I’ll get slayed here for this but I actually kind of like these, no it’s not really a Mustang but it came from the factory with a V8, and it isn’t worth much so you could build a sweet little sleeper without ruining a valuable car.

    Like 21
  3. wallyum

    I was on a double date with a friend who owned a ’69 GTO one night back in college. After we left the movie, we were challenged to a race at a stoplight on Mall Road by one of these. My buddy took the bait and when the light changed the little pony was gone before he was out of second gear. He requested that we never talk of it after that. A year or so later the Mustang driver came into the restaurant where I was working. We were dead, so I went out and told him that I was in a car on Mall Road that he’d blown away about a year earlier. He looked at me and said “69 GTO?” I was surprised that he remembered, but he asked me to come out to the parking lot with him. He popped the hood and explained that my buddy had never had a chance because his little pony had a Boss 302 from a ’69 of ’70. I told my bud, but it didn’t soften the pain much.

    Like 25
  4. Saylor

    My older brother had one of these and he would run off with the ladies and leave the keys hanging and I would “borrow it ”
    What a tire smoking machine. Glad he never found out!! Pretty sure he doesn’t read BFs at least I hope not..

    Like 10
    • Miguel

      I have never seen anybody use the phrase tire smoking machine when talking about a Mustang II.

      Like 4
      • Alan

        Light v8 car non posi track rear axle usually means smoke show

        Like 1
  5. Howard A Member

    What a POS. Looks like someone already stole the front suspension for a hot rod.

    Like 6
  6. ccrvtt

    I can’t let this go for the unloved Mustang II – Back in 1975 Jack Roush built a tubbed and highly modified car for a Detroit street racer named Ruggirello. The car had a Ford 460 bored .030 over shoehorned into the engine bay.

    Needless to say he surprised a lot of guys on Woodward Avenue.

    Additionally – Ford built a ton of these and sold every one. No, they weren’t great cars, but then neither was the Chevy Nova and look at how well-loved those POS’s are.

    The point of having this car would be the desire to rebuild it the way you want it to be – the very essence of hot rodding. I like the looks. Certainly better looking than the new Supra.

    Like 11
    • Ted

      Nicely done, I loved the aptly named Sudden Death Mousetang II, good you mentioned it. :)

      Like 1
  7. 8banger Dave Member

    Well, this little pony aside, a 1970 Nova 396/402 4 spd, is no slouch.

    Like 2
    • Don

      Yeah, but those were few and far between , most were 6 bangers with a powerglide. And the 1975 – 1979 Novas were real dogs , if you want to talk performance of the times !

      Like 5
  8. Karl

    Basically a parts car . The most value in this car is the oil pan and exhaust manifolds ; they are Mustang II exclusive , so if you have a better condition Mustang II and want to hop it up, this is the perfect donor car . And while its not a rocket ship, these cars can scoot with the 302 .

  9. Robbie R.

    Poor daughter… what a crappy inheritance!

    Like 6
  10. Bhowe Member

    My brother had one of these with a mildly build 302 and it was pretty fast. Real tire burner and fun to drive. My own mustang II was a 2.3l so not as much fun.

    Like 3
  11. Ted

    When we were in Richmond High 1979 we had a classmate named Dale who had one of these with a stick, I can’t remember exactly what he had done, possibly heads, but I think for certain he’d carbed/manifolded/headered the car and that little mother moved out, the one ride he gave me in that car left a pretty decent memory that the car had some oomph. Amazed that rubbish RAD BW SR4 trans didn’t wind up in his lap every time he shifted though, as he could row a gear. Make lemonade out of lemons guys………….

    Like 6
  12. Eric

    Restomod it with a modern driveline. These are nice little cars. Wish they still made cars like these.

    Like 3
  13. 8banger Dave Mika Member

    Don, yeah, my friend’s mom had a 1977 or so Nova hatchback, and yep, that thing was a dog for sure.

    Like 3
  14. Miguel

    I found this car in Mexico. The advantage of the Mexican car is that there was no smog equipment to bog down the engine.

    It has a red interior and an automatic that has been rebuilt.

    Like 5
  15. Miguel

    Here is the engine.

    Luckily these cars don’t sell for much here even with all the work this guy has put in.

    Like 3
  16. victor Sanchez

    Miguel you have a nice car and a good find /// I do understand that not everyones taste is the same but, the few that are around are usually not stock and make good sleepers. The white one that ran around Albuquerque a few years back sounded amazing and was pretty fast.

  17. Paul

    Looks like his daughter dodged a bullet……I wouldn’t want one of these mustang II’s even if it was in pristine condition for free! This car just needs to be crushed.

    Like 1
    • Arthur

      No … better to sell it to A-Team Restoration in Bend, Oregon, if possible. They specialize in turning Mustang IIs into Pro-Touring vehicles with high performance capabilities.

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