Cheap Snake: 1976 Ford Mustang Cobra II

Ford introduced the Dick Nesbitt designed Mustang II on the subcompact Pinto platform for the 1974 model year and it was a smash hit.  The little rack-and-pinion (a first on a Stang) steered machine sold 385,000 units in its first year of production, which was almost as much as the original ’65 Mustang and approx 3 times as many as the outgoing ’73 Mustang.  Oddly enough, the Mustang II has almost disappeared from the road and is the butt of jokes/ridicule today…which means that the hot Cobra version costs about as much as a crusher-ready coupe from the previous decade.  Save your money for the honeys…or something.  Find this 1976 Ford Mustang Cobra offered for $4,988 near Spokane, WA via craigslist.  Tip from Gianni.

The name Cobra has been applied to many Mustangs over the years, starting with the ’65 Shelby Mustang Cobra GT-350, but by the release of the Mustang II the relationship with Shelby American had long soured and Ford used the name for this non-Shelby related thing.  It was just an appearance package made up of a faux hood scoop, front spoiler, rear spoiler, 1/4 window louvers, accent stripes, a blacked out grill and a cobra emblem on the fenders.  You could even get the Cobra II package with the anemic Lima 4-banger, the near mention of which would cause the man in the ten gallon hat to have a fit.

No Lima-bean in this wild steed — here you’ve got nothing but the best pushrod Detroit muscle, a 302 cubic inch V8 rated at 139 horsepower…try to contain your excitement please.  Luckily if you live in a district where an emissions inspection is not required, you can boost this thing up to healthy tire-roasting temperatures for a few bucks.

The interior is pretty nasty, but I dig those crazy pillow-styled seats.  And the blue/white color combo always looks good on a Mustang.  Despite a reputation for being terribly built (and who is kidding, the earlier Mustangs weren’t exactly some paradigm for robustness, that is why everybody who has one has it rebuilt with new parts) the Mustang II has a decent fanbase and could be a future classic given the haze of time.

See a cheaper Cobra Mustang?  Send it here: