The King Cobra version of the Mustang II had more performance cred than the standard sticker-package Cobra II. And there is certainly no denying the stylized cobra decal on the hood, backed up by the “5.0” script on the non-functional hood scoop, must have drawn some attention in 1978 when the car was new.
This is the most collectible of the often-forgettable Mustang II generation (1974–78). The KC is fairly rare, with fewer than 5000 built out of a total of 1.1 million Mustang IIs. So while this generation isn’t fondly remembered today compared to other Mustang generations, it was a solid sales success for Ford in the day.
Of course, styling fashions also change, and the vinyl seats and shag carpet (mixed with brown and orange highlights) may not wow today compared to the ’70s. The Mustang II horse-head logo on the steering wheel just looks laughably like a seahorse trying to beat Farrah Fawcett at her own blow-dried-hair game.
The car in this week’s listing indeed looks like a great example. While details are few, the seller does claim the car has only about 17,000 miles.
The 133 horsepower from that V-8 doesn’t overwhelm, either, but teamed to the four-speed manual it probably makes the right noises and is engaging to drive. Prices for King Cobras in nice condition have been rising as the outright performance of many collector cars simply don’t matter as much compared to modern iron.