Diecast Delights: A '78 Mustang II Cobra in 1:18 Scale

What on Earth was I thinking, posting an Aston Martin Vanquish last week? This isn’t Billionaires Gazette, this isn’t the kind of on-line motoring organ whose participants spend their days on chaise longues, being handed trays of crackers and Grey Poupon, heck, some of us don’t even have butlers.
Lets get back to a model of something closer to the Hooniverse Heartland. A 1970’s ponycar which was, let’s be frank, a shadow of its former self and not really all that good. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t interesting. I mean, I find it interesting and I wasn’t even alive when it was launched, and even if I had been conceived five years earlier I was stuck on a continent which was largely Mustang free.
Find out if it deserves a place in your 1:18 garage after the jump.

This is my first, and only purchase from the Greenlight brand, and I actually recently purchased it via eBay BY MISTAKE. Basically, I saw it advertised for what seemed like a really low price, so I thought “I’ll have some of that”, I bid, and was immediately outbid. So I bid again, and the same thing happened. Reckoning that somebody out there seriously wanted this model and had put a £squillion maximum bid on it, I set about increasing the price in an extremely petty manner, just to spoil this theoretical bloke(who may or may not have existed)’s day. A few bids on, and into no-longer-a-bargain, clear through reasonably-priced and knocking on more-than-I-had-any-intention-of-spending territory, I found myself having the highest bid. Excluding £8 postage and packing. Internationally!
Bugger. Idiotic, irrational expenditure when I have an immobile Audi minus its front end, waiting for a cash injection before work can restart. Silly boy.
I seriously hoped that this model would be seriously good when it got here. And, well, it’s alright. I like it, but that’s probably more to do with the subject matter than the model itself.
It looks brilliant. If you glance at it from a reasonable distance away it does that thing that good models do, looking like some kind of reverse tilt-shift reality wormhole. It looks like somebody has airlifted a 1978 Mustang into my spare bedroom. That’s great news. The ’78 Mustang Cobra was a pretty outlandish looking machine; Michigan plastic producers certainly had to step their output up a gear or two to meet the demand of all the bizarre body adornments the car was sprouting.
The graphics, too, have been well captured even if, in a few places, they either haven’t quite transferred properly or have already rubbed off. If the latter is the case, then that’s pretty realistic. The grille looks good and the headlamps pass muster. I particularly like the little Cobra radiator emblem.
Inside things aren’t bad either. The drivers environment looks convincing enough, my Mustang II brochure confirms what an atrocious dashboard that car really had. Everything is in its right place, including the HVAC controls which are down by the driver’s left knee, but they’re just moulded into the red plastic rather than separately detailed. The labelling is good, though, and can just about be read by the human eye, and the “digital” clock is evident in front of the passenger seat, permanently reading “12:00”. Just like the real thing. The seats are way, way too shiny.
One of the things that really bugs me about this model is the crude finish inside the roof, which is just bare metal and a pharkoff great beam running across to which the doglegs for the tailgate are attached. It looks terrible and is clearly visible through the front windscreen.
The boot area itself is nice, though, with the floor area correctly depicting the outline of the spare wheel. Also, check out the boot carpeting! If the pile got any deeper it would need mowing.
Engine detailing doesn’t look at all bad, and I do like the “302 2V” and “CAUTION FAN” stickers, which are well observed. The auxiliary belt is present and correct, as are various important bits of pipework. The air cleaner appears almost spot on if internet images are anything to go by. Only thing I don’t like is the distributor cap which stands out like a big black and blue wart. Separately detailed plug leads would go a long way and are probably all this model needs under here.
I applaud Greenlight for doing a Cobra, they also offer a King Cobra. Both are based on their regular Mustang II, and that probably explains why there are a few limitations to the model. The trunklid spoiler has a massive gap between the fixed bit and the section that raises with the tailgate, presumably because this model was never specifically intended to have these parts fitted. So I figure I’ll give it a break on that.
But, I do dislike the complete lack of side glazing; there’s not even a suggestion of it. There isn’t even any behind the side window louvres, but thankfully there is on the tailgate itself.
CIMG3588Oh, I don’t know. There are a lot of things that really should be better about this model, and it isn’t cheap, either, hovering around the $50 mark on US eBay. I’m going to give it a 75% rating.
But I really like it more than that. I don’t care about its flaws; I love that somebody is even making a model of the Mustang II in the first place.
(All images copyright Chris Haining / Hooniverse 2015)

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  1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Do they, like, put the name of every car in a fishbowl, then pull one out whenever they need to know which car they're going to make a scale model of next?

  2. stigshift Avatar

    A miserable little car done absolutely beautifully. And I admit, I would own one in 1/18th or 1/1 scale. Because all cars deserve love. Except the Pontiac Aztek.

  3. JayP2112 Avatar


  4. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    I don't know if I need to credit your photography or the model, but it looks damn good here. Fortunately prices on full scale Cobra IIs have risen beyond the "why the hell not?" range, so I may never know the ignominy of owning the most sought after of the most maligned Mustangs.
    I also have a rule that I only collect diecasts of vehicles that I own or have owned.
    Unfortunately, I know someone that would really like the Farrah version.
    Dammit. I just clicked buy-it-now.

    1. stigshift Avatar

      You are my new hero, in a strange way…

  5. salguod Avatar

    I had a LaTrax RC King Cobra as a kid and loved that thing. It was just like this one below, but black with gold pin stripped "Cobra" and graphics.
    <img src="http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a174/P51C/truck6-22-09002.jpg&quot; width=600>
    $50 is a bit rich for this, but I'd love to have a mustang II in my collection again.