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Trade for a Focus? 1977 Ford Mustang Cobra II

The Ford Mustang Cobra II is one of those cars you either love or hate, and I already know which category most of our readers find themselves in. That said, the Cobra II at least gave the otherwise bland coupe some much-needed personality, and some collectors are warming up to the unloved muscle car. While the sins of the Mustang II are well documented, this Cobra II manages to avoid most of those by being equipped with the 302 V8 and factory air conditioning. The seller notes some very minor rust issues and that he’s open to trades – including for a sensible Ford Focus. Find it here on Facebook Marketplace for $3,500.

A 302 by itself isn’t anything to write home about, but given you could have ordered your Cobra II with the four and six-cylinder engines, the V8 is the one you want. The Mustang II has long been cast aside because it represented a seismic shift from the previous generation, going on a significant weight loss program and incorporating far more petite proportions. Truth be told, it was a bit of a home run because the oil crises hit and suddenly, American consumers were hot for cars that could skip the gas pump every now and again. Still, the success was short lived, as the crises ended and car shoppers were once again uninterested in homely economy cars.

Pictures aren’t great, and while some of these Cobra IIs were put away as potential collector’s items (yes, really – the Cobra brand is quite strong), this one clearly wasn’t. It’s a driver, with some recent maintenance completed by the seller that includes a new radiator, water pump, and rebuilt carburetor. The floors and the frame are solid, and the only rust issues noted are located in the left rear inner fender well and one spot on the passenger-side door. This is the solitary interior photo we have to work with, and it’s not much to go on. The seller is open to trades, including a 79-93 Mustang, and yes, an 08-11 Ford Focus. Which would you rather drive?


  1. Joe

    A pinto by any other name is still a pinto.

    Like 7
    • William

      Yes, but were you alive in those days? The gas shock was very real, these sold like hotcakes. Easy to put them down now, but back then, Ford hit a home run out of the park. Oh yeah, have you ever driven a Pinto? Not so bad in the day either. Plus very handy with that hatchback.

      Like 37
      • Joe

        Yes..My family had a couple pintos and friends had a 4 cyl mustang 2…calm down peeps, ain’t talking about your mommas

        Like 6
      • Joe

        Pintos were tough little cars

        Like 8
      • John Spottswood

        I had 3 Pinto’s, 2 wagons 1 was a dolled up cruising wagon, 1 was yuck green and a 2dr hatchback. I had a 1978 Mustang 2, 4cyl. 4spd. Could not get out of its way but it was a great car to drive to college. Believe it or not these eer 4 fantastic cars to own. I am presently looking for either a Cobra 2 or ( and I prefer) the King Cobra 2. I do not want a clone I want the real deal. So in essence, yes these were great cars to own during the gas embargo days, and let it be known my little Pinto hatch back would run 75mph in 3rd gear and still get 24 mpg, 4thgear would take me to 83-85 mph but get me about 28mpg.

        Like 5
      • James Bryant

        I had an 80 pinto 31mpg 4 speed it was a lot of fun to drive

        Like 3
      • ed weld

        Traded my 67 fairlane 2 door HT with a 390 that got 12 mile to gallon on a 79 pinto 4cy 4 speed Still kick my ass every day for doing that Yea i could burn a little rubber and added a 2 barrel carb to it after the warranty ran out made a big difference

        Like 0
    • Patrick Farmer

      Pinto’s cannot except a V8 and do not have another brilliant design by Ford, The Mustang II front suspension. Which is almost every street rod in America along with the super strong Ford nine-Inch rear axle. Yeah, a Pinto is a Pinto is a Pinto, but a Mustang II is a Mustang II. A 1970 Mustang is not a Falcon, but it became, unfortunately a Granada.

      Like 5
      • Darrun

        Actually a V8 will swap into a later Pinto quite easy, using Mustang ii parts. I did exactly that in 1991.They are basically the same car under the skin. and both are very good cars. They both have the same front suspension, the Mustang got an upgrade to the 8″ Ford rear end. Not a 9″, but a very good rear end, used in many of Ford’s Pony Cars. The engine and trans, along with the front end is in Use of many Street Rods today

        Like 5
      • grant

        A pinto will ACCEPT a V8 just fine, thank you. Went to school with a kid who wedged a 460 in one. It was scary.

        Like 2
      • Ray

        The engineer who came up with the front suspension design was Macpherson. Guess what he designed next?

        Like 1
      • Patrick Farmer

        Without black metal surgery. I knew a guy that put a 454 in an Opel GT. It required engineering to get it to work. A V8 in a Pinto is not a shade tree yank and replace. This what I meant. Also, just because a design is finalized does not mean it cannot continue into something elsse.

        Like 0
    • Patrick Farmer

      So, Joe a 1970-71 Torino became a Australian XA, XB and XC Ford Falcon. By your thinking no one can improve on an existing design? Bull feathers.

      Like 2
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    It’s refreshing to realize that the Mustang II has finally begun to have a degree of respect by those who have a fair and knowledgeable perspective on the Mustang. No, they weren’t powerful or exciting or whatever. Rather, they were a product of their times, and a rather successful one at that, given their impressive sales figures. Today, it’s great to see one; it’s uncommon to see an original or restored one, more often seen modified. And of course, without them having carried the lineage, I doubt we would be lusting after the incredible new Shelbys…..

    Like 8
  3. Nick

    I took my drivers test in one of these. It belonged to my aunt and uncle – it was a great car back in the day!

    Like 6
  4. Jcs

    Google Farah Fawcett Mustang Cobra.

    If this is the one that she is sitting on, I’m in.

    Like 12
  5. Patrick Farmer

    This car looks great with a set on Magnum 500 wheels. Maybe a set of 17-inch Magnums. I have seen one with a true 1970 BOSS 302 in it. I say to heck with the BOSS 302, put a BOSS 351 in it along with a six speed manual transmission, a 9-inch, subframe connectors and a torque arm and hang the figs on.

    Like 7
  6. Rob Payton

    I had a 1978 mustang 4 cylinder for my 1st car. I just bought a 1976 mustang cobra and have been fixing it up. It has a 302 out of a 75 maverick, folding front end, with 15″ rims. Needless to say, its smaller than I remember when I was a 16 year old.

    Like 1
  7. Troy s

    Imagine if GM, due to poor sales and low demand, had decided to drop the then current Camaro/Firebird and all new for ’74, with much praise, was the Z/28 Camaro III and Trans Am Firebird based on the …..Chevy Vega. Complete with all the stripes, fancy little wheels and mini motor.
    I only bring this up for the Camaro gang to try and understand where the dislike for these comes from in the Ford camp. You guys never lost your ride so to speak, not the way mr. Mach 1 did. Abruptly, instantly.

    Like 0
  8. John B

    Troy s, sounds like you’re describing the Chevy Monza and its assorted clones, that was always more of a direct competitor to the Mustang II than the Camaro was.

    The Mustang II has always been the Rodney Dangerfield generation of Mustangs, i.e. no respect lol.

    Like 2
  9. Brian

    First brand new car I ever bought,1977 Red Stripes 302 ,Four Speed no air ,I was 18 and employed,Had a 16 year old girlfriend( current wife) ,and was still going out with the guys as well,If I’d had anymore fun in it back in them days I’d probably had killed myself,Drive in gear jammer LittleKings indulger that I was.

    Like 4
  10. Roy L

    I wonder if it runs? The engine is a mess. I wish there were more pictures.

    Like 0
  11. fran

    I like it, not a facebook (BRAGbook) person. Too bad, I am interested in it. Only for my collection of cars that mean something to me. My father went to buy a Pinto as a second car for our family and came home with a Cobra II, it was the first time my father displayed that he had a personality as for over 42 years at IBM he wore a white shirt/black tie everyday and only bought white cars. Well he stayed with white with the Cobra II also! Other cars were all white, 62 Cadillac 2 door, 64 Electra 225 2 door, 61 Falcon 2 door, 68 Torino 2 door.

    Like 4
  12. James Miller

    Love/hate, If stripped of some of the rick-rack, it could be OK. It was a welcome relief after, IMHO, Mustangs had become grotesque monsters. I remember thinking at the time how the wheels/tires were so puny, given the size of those cars. The Mustang II reset was, in my view, very welcome, only slightly out of character from the original theme. Trying to remember if there was ever a convertible option for the II, don’t think so.

    Like 2
  13. PRA4SNW

    I would gladly give a Focus for this.

    Like 1
  14. Patrick Anderson

    The Mustang II was far better engineered car than the earliest versions. A much safer vehicle. Face it, the ’65 was a death trap if you got in a serious accident. No seat belts, drum brakes, a steering shaft that might spear you like a frog on a stick, a fuel tank that could easily rupture and splash fuel all over your body, a dashboard that could rip the top of your skull off. But were cute as the dickens. I own 2 ’65’s by the way.

    Like 5
    • fran

      As far as the 70’s go yes it probably was safer, with the exception of the gas tank, although the early cars were bad that way also.
      You forgot the older Mustang’s master cylinder. LOL

      Like 0
  15. SoIL

    Is that screwdriver in the engine bay used to start the car?
    I was a kid at the time and still love these Cobra cars. Someday I would love to own one of my own.

    Like 1
  16. Philip Lepel

    The first mustang came from the Falcon. The 72-73 Mustang used the bigger Torino platform,the Mustang 2 shared the pinto platform and the Fox body shared a platform with many different ford cars. That’s been the Ford way. I love the Mustang two and have seen some great resto mods with better heads, bigger wheels and better suspension s to make them they way Ford should have. But let’s not forget the mustang was meant to be a sporty car you could make better and in that vain the mustang 2 was close to its roots.

    Like 0
  17. Jorge Gutiérrez

    Its this car available to buy ??

    Like 0
  18. AMCFAN

    Sounds like a hardcore Ford enthusiast. So he would trade for a newer Mustang or a Focus. Hmmm.

    Well a newer Mustang with an auto and V6 is out. I don’t see anyone with a GT V8 trading even.

    Maybe he has a shot at a Focus. I would hope for the moon with a SVT with the Ztec and 5 speed. A daily driver with air that would get great fuel mileage and smoke the Cobra II in a full on race. Sounds good.

    Like 0
  19. robert lewis

    139 hp

    Like 0
  20. chrlsful

    yup falcon/stang nxt spin off pinto/stang II. But the fox bodied (wagon) is my fav. In grad school my girlfriend’s girl friend man had a new 1 of these. Very nice. We loved it. He was a wrencher and kept the 5oh well tuned. It was a tight car, fast.

    Like 0
  21. Jim Rozum

    I’m interested, where are you located? Cash buyer ready to make a deal! 2398348282

    Like 0

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