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Rust Free: 1978 Mustang II King Cobra

Rex M. found another gem and sent this tip to us to review. This is a 1978 Ford Mustang II King Cobra that is for sale here on Craigslist. The car is said to be originally from California and is rust free. Currently, the car resides in Las Vegas, Nevada and has been stored for many years. The seller is asking $8,900 which is a reduction from the original list price of $10,900. The Mustang II was a popular car despite its reputation.

The black interior looks to be in excellent condition. The seams in the front seats may be loosening up and the console lid has some damage. I would imagine that there is some sun fading on the black plastic parts. The odometer reading is said to be 100,000 miles so it has probably past its mechanical limits. The King Cobra was produced in white, yellow, red and black.

There are no pictures of the engine compartment but the ad says that the car is equipped with a Ford 302 cubic inch V8 engine backed by an automatic transmission. It is kind of hard to believe the low horsepower ratings and how bad things got in the 1970’s. The 302 cubic inch V8 engine was the top of the line motor for the Mustang II and was rated at 139 horsepower. The engine is said to turn over but will need some work to make it safe to drive on the street including rebuilding the brakes and going through the fuel and ignition system.

While the performance of this car pales in comparison to the Camaro Z28 of the same year that had 175 horsepower and the Pontiac Trans Am that produced 220 horsepower, these cars are gaining in popularity. This was the last year of the Mustang II and only 4,971 King Cobra’s were produced. There are no decals on the car which may indicate that it has been repainted. The wheels appear to be aftermarket steel wheels.


  1. Avatar photo Chris Webster

    KIng Cobra? More like the court jester.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo Motorcityman

      Maybe a Serf Cobra?

      Like 0
  2. Avatar photo Bick Banter

    What’s up, King?? Haha!

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Bruce

    In terms of exterior colors, the King Cobra came in Red, Silver, Black, Brown, “Blue, and White. Ford went to the extreme with the graphic package on the King Cobra and most people don’t know that there were in fact three colors of striping available: orange and gold, red and black, and blue and blue.
    If you think that King Cobras have a bad rep, you’d have hated my ‘76 Mustang II Stallion. All the cool stripes and half the cylinders. I called it a PInto cleverly disguised as a Mustang. Nice car, which actually produced 40+mpg on the highway.

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo CCFisher

    If you like King Cobras, this looks like a good candidate for restoration. The air dam, spats, and spoiler all appear to be serviceable, which is a major plus for a car like this.

    I never really had a problem with the concept of the Mustang II, I’ve just never cared for the styling. You have to work to locate a straight line. It’s just a sea of old Mustang cliches, curved, undulating lines, and wheel openings so small that it looks like the car rides on a go-kart chassis. It’s just a mess, as are most early-to-mid-70s Ford designs in my eyes.

    Like 2
  5. Avatar photo Philip Schmidt Must II Spec shop

    King cobras are like plymouth satellites and GTO is a package option if the factory build tag is not included with the vin match and KC factory stamping is just another clone.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Tom

      I had a blue one with T-tops, the double stamped door tag always made me grin.

      Like 0
  6. Avatar photo piston poney

    while rare, you could also get them in blue

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Robert R Hakenson

    Im a former owner of a ’75 Mustang II fastback. Although it wasnt a beast it was a lot of fun to drive. Some upgrades like traction bars and larger wheels and tires, and loose the boat anchor under the hood. Then other mods really made a difference.

    Like 0

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