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V6 Survivor: 1976 Ford Mustang Cobra II

Ford reinvented its once successful “pony car,” the Mustang, in 1974. The result was a smaller, more fuel-efficient automobile that came about at a most opportune time. But the car no longer was built for speed as many Mustangs had been in the late 1960s. So, Ford resurrected the Cobra name and applied it to a Mustang II fastback in hopes of inspiring buyers. Strictly an appearance package, though, the Cobra II debuted in 1976, the same model year as this one which looks to be a nice survivor in Madill, Oklahoma. Available here on craigslist, the asking price is $10,500 OBO. Thanks, Pat L., for the heads-up on this car.

After a landslide sales success in 1965-66, the Ford Mustang got bigger and heavier every couple of years. And demand would decline as well, although an onslaught of competition was partly to blame. Ford decided to try to recapture the magic of the car in the mid-‘60s by downsizing the Mustang in 1974, basing it on the subcompact Pinto platform instead of its original Falcon underpinnings. Coincidentally arriving at the same time as higher gas prices and routine fuel shortages became a part of our culture, sales of the Mustang II took off.

But these cars were mostly stylish econoboxes that Mustang purists weren’t fond of. So, to inject some excitement into the little cars, the Cobra II came about for 1976-78.  Available with 4-cylinder, V6 models, and even a 302 V8, the Cobra II offered front and rear spoilers, a blackout grille, a non-functional hood scoop, and racing stripes. Available colors included white with blue stripes, blue with white stripes (like the seller’s car), and black with gold stripes. The job of transforming a regular Mustang II fastback into a Cobra II was outsourced to Motortown, a company that specialized in muscle cars.

In its first year, 1976, the Cobra II would account for 25,259 units out of 188,567 total Mustang II production. But remember the car was about looking fast because the powerplants were the same ones offered in other Mustang II’s. The seller’s car is one of them, a V6 model with about 54,600 miles on the odometer. It looks good (though some of the paint may be fading), but the seller doesn’t provide a lot of details on the car or its history. It does have a manual transmission, so given the light weight of the car, it should move along well, but won’t spin the rear tires as its predecessors did. Chances are you would get some attention at Cars & Coffee since most of the Mustangs there are likely to either be first-generation editions or ones built in the 21st Century.


  1. Avatar photo Bakyrdhero Member

    It’s never occurred to me how tiny the rims and tires are on these..
    These cars are important in automotive history, someone will appreciate this.

    Like 19
    • Avatar photo CCFisher

      Not only are the wheels tiny, but so are the wheel openings. I think that’s the most off-putting aspect of Mustang II design, at least in my eyes

      Like 4
  2. Avatar photo Moparman Member

    Posting already deleted.

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo George

    My first new car. 6 months and 9000 miles later it was traded for a 76 Caprice.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo bone

      That’s a huge difference in cars, going from a v6 compact to a full size v8 car. In those days it was the complete opposite ; get rid of the gas hogs for a more economical car !

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo George A Kelley

        Just wasn’t comfortable in the mustang and wasn’t holding up very well.

        Like 1
  4. Avatar photo Bob_in_TN Member

    Looks like a pretty good example of a well-kept Cobra II.

    Like 8
  5. Avatar photo Bakes

    Absolutely one of the best colors Ford ever came out with, And it looks great in this combination.

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Ernest

      Looks good I had a 1977 Cobra || Limited Edition with just a few gran I turned my horse power over 1400 hp with out any Nos Now that I made the mistake of selling it about 20 yes ago I’m now looking for one that’s at a reasonable price.Ernie. email & n phone if u or anyone knows where I can find the real cobra or king cobra which the back windows pop out email , text , or call me at ernieminton@yahoo.com or (386) 301-6470. Thanks

      Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Motorcityman

    Can’t go wrong with Blue with white stripes or Red with white stripes…….

    Like 2
  7. Avatar photo David Moore

    I don’t know why people think the Mustang was anything but an economy car, some with go-fast parts, but the basic car was still just an economy car. I own a 2000 V-6 convertible and I can tell you, even with the “luxury” items of cruise, air, tilt, power windows and locks and power driver seat, this thing still shows that it was designed as an economy car. My only love for my candy apple red ragtop is the fact that the top goes down. I would NEVER own a Mustang if it weren’t a drop top.

    /flame suit on, haters expected.

    Like 1
  8. Avatar photo joenywf64

    Can one swap on 195-70r14 tires, or will they hit/rub the bodywork?
    They would, tho, actually slow the car down!

    Like 0
  9. Avatar photo Frank Member

    Ford Design team should have been fired for even thinking of making this model Mustang a Mustang.

    Like 1
  10. Avatar photo Philip Lepel

    Ive seen these cars with large wheels and low profile tires and they look pretty good. And theres plenty of ways to put more power into these cars from head swaps, multi carbs, crate engnies and even used late model v6’s and turbo fours. And wasnt that what the original mustang was really all about.

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Paul MacD

    I ran 225/50 x 16 on rear and 205/55 x 16 on front of my 77 M2 Mach 1 302 t-top 302 five speed. The car ran very well. The larger wheels/tires really improved the stance of the car.
    My first new car was 78 Mustang II Ghia with Sport group was a great car.
    Having said that, my favourite car still was the 74 Capri with 2.8 v6. It was faster and much tighter than the II.
    Just my thoughts.

    Like 2
  12. Avatar photo walter l legates

    had a 74 someone put in a 289 hp and it would run until it overheated the transmission would burn up still had 4 cylinder rear axleput new rgears and transmission in it was alot better no more overheating

    Like 1
  13. Avatar photo Gordon

    Best thing I can say about the M II is the front suspension . . I replaced the Corvair suspension on my 34 Chevrolet Master with one of these in 1995 . . The Corvair actually drove pretty good but , I was thinking the M II would be an upgrade . . Disc brakes , power rack & pinion and availability of replacement parts . .

    Like 1
  14. Avatar photo George

    Is it still for sale and if it is how much and where are you located I live in Delaware

    Like 0

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