Hooniverse Weekend Edition – Is a Mustang II Hooniversalustworthy?

Welcome to the Hooniverse Weekend Edition. I have opened up some time to resume my weekend duties here, and I thought I would start out with this gem. This is a Mustang II Cobra II, and it’s time to see if is lustworthy or not.

According to the listing:

’76 Ford Mustang Cobra, 1500 miles since redone.
302CI 600 Holley, Aluminum intake
high performance cam/pistons, Headman Headers, Aluminum Exhaust
Cragar SS Dunlap GT White Letter Tires, transmission rebuilt
TCI High Performance Torque Converter, new brakes, radiator, alternator, Clutch Fan
Front End completely redone.

Asking price for this Cobra II is a cool $19,000, and the seller states that he (or she) will accept nothing less. OK, it’s time to ask the question. Regardless of price, is this Mustang II, with all of the work done to it, Hooniversalustworthy? See the listing here.
Lead Image Source: Serious Wheels

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  1. From_a_Buick_6 Avatar

    No way. 19k would buy a lot of Mustang, without the stigma and shame of the "II" suffix.

  2. muthalovin Avatar

    Most vehicles are more than the sum of their parts. Sadly, the Mustang II is not. Not even the Cobra.
    There are a few 2003-2004 Cobras for sale in my area for this price, give or take a grand. This price is ridiculous.

  3. $kaycog Avatar

    Although I don't lust after one, it seems that Farrah Fawcett may have. May she RIP.
    <img src="http://www.freewebs.com/mustang-cobra-ii/Farrah%20og%20cobra%20II.jpg"width="500"/&gt;

    1. muthalovin Avatar

      "How do you think we should hawt up the Mustang II?"
      Cobra package?
      Farah Fawcett?
      "Excellent ideas, guys!

  4. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    It's missing a pedal, but ignoring the price, I could get on board. For $19k, there is no way. For half that price, I'd consider it overpriced, and for about $7k, I'd consider it mine. I wouldn't doubt that the seller has $19k into it, but that's not the way it works.

  5. RichardKopf Avatar

    V8, RWD, and it can handle? Of course the Mustang II is Hooniversalustworthy. For 19k? Christ no. Malaisean cars like this are never the prom queen; they're like the ugly girl that beats the shit out of the prom queen. You wouldn't spend a lot of money on her, and nor should anyone on this.

  6. Van Sarockin Avatar
    Van Sarockin

    Good God NO! Do what it takes, but that old Maverick of yours is a far better vehicle in every way.

  7. scoutdude Avatar

    That or a King Cobra would be the II to have but not at anywhere near that price.

  8. James Avatar

    THAT Mustang II at that price. No way.
    I'll take mine in red, with Indiana Jones' girlfriend (circa 1984 preferably) in the passenger seat, and The Dude's stash in the glovebox.
    <img src="http://i450.photobucket.com/albums/qq228/JamesISpalding/1714_3.jpg&quot; border="0" alt="Photobucket">
    Red light – stop, green light – go, yellow light – go really fast.

  9. TX_Stig Avatar

    Of course it's lustworthy. Minus the fact that this example is missing a pedal, there was nothing wrong with a V8 Mustang II. Are they as pretty as some of the earlier or later Mustangs? Not really. This one is way overpriced, but they weren't bad cars once they had a proper drivetrain in them. The 4 cylinder ones were terrible, and I guess that's what helped to really put the stink on the car.

    1. TX_Stig Avatar

      Furthermore, just for the sake of being different, I would rather have one of these to tinker with than most other Mustangs. If no other reason than that most people write these off as a matter of policy.

      1. ZomBee Racer Avatar

        I like yous. I like yous a lot.

        1. TX_Stig Avatar

          Thanks. I have a lot of those sort of ideas. I remember my favorite issues of Hot Rod when I was a kid were the annual "Dare to be Different" issues. A mag full of oddball cars with interesting things done to them.

          1. ZomBee Racer Avatar

            Same here! When I saw their rendition of a V8 Gremlin I just about hit the floor. Right up till that moment I never considered anyone else might think a Gremlin was cool just because it wasn't a Camaro, and realized I wasn't alone my lust for the unusual.
            Too bad my Gremlin fell victim to non-visionaries while I was serving overseas. Bastards.

  10. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    His finger seems to have stuttered on that "0." They're not horrible cars really, and I like the styling quite a bit, but you should be able to buy this along with most of the other malaise tape-n-spoiler mobiles as a package for that kind of money.

  11. Joe Dunlap Avatar
    Joe Dunlap

    19K for a Pinto on cortisteroids? Really? And no, stuffing a V8 into it so you can steer with the throttle does not, in my estimation, equate with "handling." Lets see here, Short WB, check. Heavy live rear axle, check, REALLY bad front suspension geometry, check. V8 with 6 of the 8 cylinders ahead of the front axle centerline, check. On paper, should handle like an F1 car. No? Lotus Elan? No. Turd that it is? Check! Crack Pipe.
    Pass the good idea bleach, please.

    1. RichardKopf Avatar

      If the world was left to people like you, we'd all be driving Miatas or E30 BMWs. No thanks.

      1. Joe Dunlap Avatar
        Joe Dunlap

        Richard, please dont misunderstand. I wouldnt want to limit your or anyone elses choices of vehicles. The point Im trying to make is that the Mustang II had a good many faults, and the reasons were many and manifold. Not the least of which is that it was based on the Pinto. Not a terrible car, but it could have easily been done so much better. It was a product of its era, and fell victim to platform engineering, bean counters, and probably a bit of focus goup silliness. For the same amount of expenditure, it could have been so much more. They just left the good stuff in the pantry. Keep hoonin!

      2. Jim Brennan Avatar
        Jim Brennan


    2. scoutdude Avatar

      Nothing wrong with the front suspension geometry, there is a reason the Mustang II front suspension is the most cloned in the world. There are not 6 of the cylinders in front of the FA center line, those motors are stuffed right up against the firewall. Four wheel steering always makes a car more fun to drive!

      1. Joe Dunlap Avatar
        Joe Dunlap

        Beg to differ. Get out your tape measure and check. 4 and at least part of the next pair are ahead of the axle. The engine may be up against the firewall, but the axle is way back there too. I owned one. The reason the suspension, is the most cloned is because it is a basic double wishbone, cheap, available, and has a rack and pinion. However, even a double wishbone can be done wrong and the basic geometry in this car stinks. The roll center is well below ground, and there is no negative camber gain in roll because the instant centers are incredibly long.. Sure , it can be fixed, but the stock setup is that way for a reason, to generate lots of understeer, which is what most manufactures want. I will agree that steering with the throttle makes a car more fun to drive, but a car that simutaneously oversteers and understeers is not fun. Been there, done that. No thanks.

  12. tonyola Avatar

    I love how old crap that deservedly got no respect when new become objects of misguided lust and desire all these years later. I completely embarrassed a few Mustang II Cobras in my '75 Duster 360 in the late '70s. No, the Duster wasn't a wonderful car, but with 100 hp more in stock form than a Mustang II V8 and torsion bars up front, it at least had some serious performance credentials for Malaise era and it wasn't a travesty of two revered names. If you want a Malaise performance car, get a Duster or Dart Sport 360. Or maybe a colonnade GM with a 350, 400, or 455. How about a Celica or Scirocco? You'll at least be starting at a higher plateau than the sad little Pinto-tang.There are many other and better ways to go than a Mustang II.
    As for this car, $4,000 more will put you in a brand new V6 Mustang with around 2.5 times the power and in an entirely different universe in sophistication.

  13. KAH Avatar

    I remember back in the day my Kadett Rallye "1970 Kadett B 1.9L death trap" had no problem running with these things. We despised them for diluting the Mustang brand. I remember calling them the Pinto Mustangs and this pice of crap even has a auto. But now, hey they look pretty cool, so yes Hoonworthy but only for a myopic Grandma Hoon with deep pockets one wrorking leg.
    The old Ford I'd want my Grandma in would be a 1 gen Taurus SHO

    1. Van Sarockin Avatar
      Van Sarockin

      The Kadett was pretty much the German Chevette back when. Simple, basic but a real car. Decent enough, as long as you didn't ask too much of them. Then they would fail all day long.

  14. scroggzilla Avatar

    For $19k, you could find really nice 2002tii, 240z, or possibly a small block, pre-smog C3 Corvette coupe and a modicum of respect…..OR…..pop for this Pinto-tang and face ridicule.

  15. Tomsk Avatar

    Don't think I'd touch this one, especially not for $19k.
    However, I've recently developed a perverse desire to acquire a normal 1974 or '75 Mustang II hatchback, lower it, throw on a set of Minilites, fabricate smaller bumpers or modify the stock ones to make them less park bench-y, and power it with a Cosworth BDA/ZF or Hewland 5-speed combo. Yeah, I have issues.

  16. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    I've been staring at this Mustang on CL nearly every day since it popped up in my daily searches, along with the Pinto wagon in the next post. Feels like Jim has been hacking into my brain again.
    Get out of my head, Jim.
    It's priced way too high for my tastes, and needs moar T-Top and gold trim action, but my gawd… love me some Mustang II/Cobra II/King Cobra II… if for no other reason than to piss off the naysayers and show up with something different.
    Break away from the safety of the herd my friends, or you'll end up "mooing" like the rest of them.
    These Pintostangs remind me of the 70's, with spacey chicks in disco-pants and tube-tops. Easily and quickly removable tube-tops… boom-chicka-pow-pow…
    <img src="http://timsweet.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/1978_mustang_king_cobra1.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://www.peyeimages.com/cars/images/ford-mustang-cobra/ford-mustang-cobra-picture-41502.jpg&quot; width="500">

    1. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

      <img src="http://urlybits.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Cow-Jumping.jpg"&gt;
      (There's a lot of odd cars I want. This isn't one of them.)

    2. TurboBrick Avatar

      You just wrote my reply for me… what's wrong with a Mustang II that a newer 5.0 can't fix?

  17. buzzboy7 Avatar

    What name is synonymous with front end swaps?
    Just not this overprice, under-pedaled example….though the engine looks good.

  18. LTDScott Avatar

    Ditto everyone else. I'd take the car in a heartbeat, but not at that price. Hell, half that price would be pushing it.
    Every year (except this year) a guy brought a beautiful red Mustang II Cobra with a 351 in it to the Fabulous Fords show at Knott's Berry Farm. I really wanted that car.
    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3499/3464228089_0db9e9389f_z.jpg"&gt;

  19. CptSevere Avatar

    No. No way at all. A guy I know here recently sold a 1966 Mustang, with an I think 250 six and an automatic, for 2500 or 3000 dollars, and it was in decent shape. I'd much rather have that car, and massage it into Hoon Worthiness, than buy this "Mustang" for this exorbitant amount. Hell, I'd rather have an original than a II, who wouldn't?

  20. Alff Avatar


  21. travis Avatar

    I have a 1976 cobra II I have a 351 windsor backed by a T5 transmission and 300 rear end, It handles quite well in stock trim except for heavier front springs with the added weight of the 351, it also gets 23 mpg at 75 mph as well as flat haul butt. The mustang II was not built the way ford should have in the begining, but with a little effort and tweaking like I have done, the II can become the car it should have been in the first place.