Image of Ford Mustang II King Cobra

Ford Mustang II King Cobra specs

Car type Coupe
Curb weight 1359 kg (2996 lbs)
Dimensions 4.45 m (175 in) long, 1.78 m (70 in) wide, 1.27 m (50 in) high
Wheelbase 2.44 m (96 in)
Introduced 1978
Origin country United States
Views 30.2k
Submitted by Super8

Performance

0 - 100 kph10.3 s
0 - 60 mph9.8 s
Top speed213 kph (132 mph)

Powertrain specs

Engine type Ford Windsor V-8 302
Displacement 4.9 l (302 ci / 4949 cc)
Power 141 ps (139 bhp / 104 kw) @ 3600 rpm
Torque 339 Nm (250 lb-ft) @ 1600 rpm
Power / liter 28 ps (28 hp)
Power / weight 104 ps (102 bhp) / t
Torque / weight 249 Nm (184 lb-ft) / t
Transmission 4 Speed Manual
Layout front engine, rear wheel drive
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Randall  3y ago

Not to sound condescending, but there is much misinformation here. I was there and have wrenched on these cars a lot, I have also read probably everything written about them including their development.

Lee Iacocca who was the original mastermind behind the 64 Mustang knew the behemoth 73 was dead. He went to his design studio and asked that they develop 2 concepts for a Mustang replacement. A return to the original 1964 plan was the thought process. One of the design studies was based on the Maverick platform, and the other "based" upon a highly modified Pinto platform. Based upon size the Pinto based study won.

The Mustang II is not on a Pinto frame or chassis. The chassis is highly modified and larger than the Pinto. Fact is, the Mustang II shares only some bin parts with the Pinto and has much more Granada in it. The 1974 Mustang II was the most engineered car in Ford's history and is on the top 10 list of best selling Mustangs to this date.

The 1974 Mustang fastback takes its styling cue's more from the 73 Torino Sport Fastback than any Pinto. None of the body panels or glass from the Mustang II will fit on a Pinto.

Engines. The 302 released in the 1975 Mustang II had the same power as the 1965 Mustang 289 the only difference being that in 1972 most US cars manufacturers changed from "gross" horsepower/torque ratings to "net" ratings. It is fairly easy to reverse engineer a net horsepower rating of 139 to gross in order to find out it is actually a 200hp engine.

Road tests of the day show that the 1975 Mustang II with a 302 compared very favorably to its counterpart the 1865 Mustang with the 289 both in acceleration and road handling. As well, the 139hp rating does not align with the 250ft/lbs number.

139hp net = about 200 gross
250ft/lbs net = about 300 gross

All of this in a car that weighed under 3000lbs.

Tires: The standard tire for this Mustang was a bias ply BR78-13 or BR70-13 radials. It does not take rocket scientist to understand what 300ft/lbs of torque would do to these cartoonish tires when pressed, and to say the Mustang II was light in its rear would be an understatement.

Gearaing - All II's came with a modified C4 (size) and from what I have read could not house a rear end gear over 3.00:1

So what we had, was a perfect light weight car for which to turn into a hot rod, as we all did before the advent of the "factory" muscle car.

When looking at the de-tuning done by Ford, the undersized 2 barrel carb, the 13" tires, the limited gearing, it is a wonder they turned a 0-60 of 9 seconds. However, in the hands of those who knew how to hot rod, these things could be brought to life very easily with just a 4 barrel. They handled much better than the 71 thru 73 boats and were really the rage of the day.

I still like them but agree their lines have not aged as well as some of the others in their era like the Camaro and Firebird.

I hope I have cleared up some of the misconception about this little jewel that Mustang purists love to hate on.


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Dawg  3y ago

Mine must've been on roids then.76' cobra 2 ,302 4 speed... I hit 110 in third.


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Mark  3y ago

Ford really didn't bring a good performance mustang back until 1983 the first true HO mustang with a Holley 4 barrel carburetor
and a factory aluminum intake manifold,
a lot of torque in a very light car, and with just a few mod's like Headers, bump up from a 600 cfm to a 650 cfm Holly , maybe a small cam and these cars would move pretty good. Mustangs were finally back.


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Fastedee  4y ago

132 mph? Sure, if you drop it off the Trollveggen or the North face of Ben Nevis.


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Bler  4y ago

My king cobra has 49 horse power under its belt, whew its slow


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Shaggy  9y ago

@ Viking: I agree, 1985 was when American cars started getting their power back, example: 1985 Chevrolet Corvette, 230 horsepower VS 205 in the '84. I'm glad I was born in '85, that was the first year of the 80s that wasn't depressing when it came to American cars.


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Viking  9y ago

@Super8 yeah I can believe 110 mph, the two barrel carb 302 windsor engine has a very limited rev range. I find the Mustang II (1974-1978) to be a typically disappointing car from its low performance era. Performance started coming back into showrooms around 1985.


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Shaggy  9y ago

@ Super8: I wouldn't be surprised, this car disappoints me just looking at it.


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Super8  9y ago

BTW we should change that max speed since i'm not add that one. max speed is 110 mph from www.automobile-catalog.com


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Super8  9y ago

65-71 Mustang are the fastest first gen Mustang including Shelby Mustang. Luckily in second gen Mustang, some handful dealer offer a Racing BOSS 302 to this car (not under Ford optional). It rated at 345 Hp and 380 ft-lbs. Because the engine was not easy built, the price went up so highly. It fitted with wider tires and stiffer springs to keep the car in the right way. Here's the link: http://www.fastestlaps.com/models/ford-mustang-ii-king-cobra-special


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Viking  9y ago

Another bit of trivia: the Goldfinger Mustang convertible had the not yet available to the public 289 cu in V8. Ford also had plans to have a fastback model Mustang with gadgets used in the film, but this special gold painted Mustang was not finished until long after filming was completed.


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Viking  9y ago

@Mental what I meant was that the original model year Mustangs were not exceptionally powerful like some of the 1967-1973 models. From its introduction in April until August of 1964 Mustangs were available with either the 170 cu in inline six, or the optional 260 cu in V8 with 164 hp. In August 1964 the 260 cu in V8 was replaced with several versions of the 289 cu in V8. The two barrel carb version had 200 hp, the four barrel had 225 hp, and the Hi-Po version had 271 hp. Ford introduced a 302 cu in version of the small block V8 in 1968, it was available in four barrel carb with 230 hp, and two barrel carb with 220 hp. The two barrel carb 302 had its compression ratio slightly reduced in 1972 and was rated at 210 hp. This 210 hp (gross) engine is the exact same V8 used in the 1978 Mustang. The adoption of SAE net in 1972 also gave it a 140 hp (net) rating. Ford's two barrel 302 cu in V8 was rated 210 hp (gross) or 140 hp (net). There is no difference except the SAE standards used for rating.


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Mental  9y ago

@Viking
No, you didn't understand me correct. I meant that '64 Mustang (in basic I meant anyhow modified, or anyway the first) and its power output is greater than this "King's" '78.

Goldfinger.. mmmm.. yeah, a perfect movie! Great times were! Yeah, remember that pursuit scene between Bond's Aston and Mustang.. and a scene with Shirley Eaton.


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Bijan  9y ago

@ Viking : You are completely right , As you say the 302 2bbl Ford engine in 76-79 is not bad or so , the problem is it was a high performance engine available in 76-79 Mustang .
And again Completely agree with you , that the best choice for 1975-79 was the used Muscle car or a sexy Sports car , Some monster Performance muscle car and ponies from 64 , 65 to 71-72 , big blocks , Holley Carbs , Edelbrock intake manifolds , Hooker headers , Hot cams , Hurst shifted HD 4-speeds , such a days ...fantastic days 427,454,455,440,426 ...... or Sexy E-Type , little early 911's , etc.
And once again , exactly agree with you about the Goldfinger , very nice movie , and the great duel between DB-5 and Mustang in Swiss mountain roads , I loved that movie , too .
Thanks again and be good .


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Viking  9y ago

@Bijan actually I do agree with you the '64 1/2 Mustang with the 289 V8 is an icon. I loved the movie Goldfinger wherein an Aston Martin DB-5 and a new Mustang were dueling on a curvy Swiss road. Great film and two great cars. I also agree that the "Pinto Based" Mustang II (1974-1978) was a lesser car than the original generation (1964-1973). The two barrel carb 302 cu in would have been fine as an entry level engine in 1978, the problem is that it was the highest performance engine available. In 1978 if you wanted real performance you had to go with a used car, preferably from the selection of muscle car big blocks or the hotter versions of sport compacts circa 1964-1974.


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Bijan  9y ago

@ Viking : the 60' Mustang was a Legend , especially with Ho-Po 289/271 High-rev engine , Fantastic .
Same performance and size with much more expensive Aston Martin DB-5 .


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Bijan  9y ago

Mustang was killed by Ford in 1974 , and this model with some Graphic and Spoiler , as Shaggy said is more like a Halloween item .
139 hp from a 4940 cc V8 , shame that , "Car and Driver" tested this Mustang with 4-speed and reach from zero to 100 mph in 40.0 seconds !!! in 1978 a Alfetta GTV 2.0 with a Four in line and 1962 cc can do 0-100 mph in 27.9 seconds .


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Viking  9y ago

@Mental actually the '64 Mustang only had one engine with more power than this 302 V8, and that was the Hi-Po 289 with 271 (gross) hp. This 140 ish (net) hp 302 was also rated at 210 (gross) hp.


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Mental  9y ago

Mustang couldn't survive the Muscle Car crisis. In comparison to the I Mustang this Cobra "King" is.. nothing. The power output makes the basic '64 MY Mustang just laugh, and its exterior.. could be much better.


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Shaggy  9y ago

The Mustang II is actually based on the Ford Pinto, so it's basically a Pinto dressing up as a Mustang for Halloween. LOL :D


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Shaggy  9y ago

There's no way in the world this car could 132 MPH with its stock engine, 139 horsepower isn't enough, my Grandma's 1991 Toyota Previa minivan had 138 horsepower. My 2008 Dodge Dakota pick up has a V6 and would blow this car's doors off. The King Cobra does look awesome though, it looks fast, but this car reminds me of the jerk we all meet every now and then who talks tough and tries to make people think he's hell on earth, but it turns out he fights like a panzy, that's what this car is like, or a kind of snake that live around my neck of the woods, the Hognose Snake, when threatened, it puffs up, hisses, and does mock strikes pretending to be a copperhead or a rattler, and if that doesn't work, it plays dead. Ford should have called this Mustang the Hognose.


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Viking  10y ago

@Bijan I agree. The top speed on this is more likely in the 118 mph range.


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Bijan  10y ago

The 118-121 mph is more realistic. with 3.00 final ratio and 4800 rpm and poor cd.


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Super8  10y ago

In gunsmith cats manga, it say the BOSS 302 had 345 Hp and 380 ft-lbs for high performance version. But it also say that engine with that power was made for racing and has been shown to put out 460 Hp without changin' the compression ratio. Here some prove http://manga.animea.net/gunsmith-cats-chapter-85-page-10.html
Is that real?


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Viking  10y ago

I realize that some car enthusiasts on this site have never seen a carburetor, so I should give a little info: two barrel carbs usually gave a bit better fuel economy, but had less high end horsepower than four barrel carbs. Peak torque on these two barrel 302 engines was at roughly 2000 rpm, peak horsepower was at around 4000 rpm. I learned to drive in a 1972 Mercury Comet GT with this engine, it accelerated well off the line, but didn't have much at higher speeds. Real world fuel economy was good, as far as I remember it was usually a couple miles to the gallon better than what my 2011 Mustang GT gets now.


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Viking  10y ago

I am actually glad that this Mustang was added. This allows us to remember how far we have come since the dark days. The two barrel 302 was introduced in 1968 with a "gross" horsepower rating of 220. In 1972 the compression ratio was reduced a little and it was rated at 210 horsepower (gross), but also rated 141 horsepower by the new (net) rating system. It stayed at roughly the same rating (around 140 hp) for most of the years it was available until 1982. Unfortunately for performance fans this was the top engine available since all the four barrel carb, high compression, and/or bigger displacement engines had all gone away.


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Super8  10y ago

Inline 6 rules : It claimed from Ford but according to final drive and cd, it only can run up to 110-117 mph.


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Inline 6 rules  10y ago

Is the top speed right? Only 104 kW, bad aerodynamics and 4 speed gearbox enough to do 213 kph? I don't think so.


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Tension  10y ago

this one though looks like a dog poo


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Mach-1  10y ago

Dark days for muscle cars indeed. 140 HP from a 302? My god...

I do have to admit though, these years of Mustangs did look pretty cool. There's a white one with blue stripes around here that's really slick.