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This year, the Mustang Cobra II officially turns 25 years old. In many circles, 25 years promotes the car to "classic" status. If you look around today, you will find more than a few Cobra IIs still on the road and at the car shows in the summer months. The Cobra II was first available in 1976 in one color scheme, White with Blue racing stripes. Mid-year, a Black with Gold striped version of the Cobra II became available. The Cobra accents (stripes, spoilers and decals) were added by an outside company called "Motortown Corporation". Although the Cobra II resembled the Shelby Cobras of the '60s, Shelby did not have any part in their creation. Information discovered recently indicated that Ford Motor Company did pay Shelby $5 per Cobra II to help ease the disagreement behind the Cobra name. Although the Cobra II received bad reviews on performance, the car sold well and became popular with the younger driving crowd. Perhaps the best know Cobra II was the car seen on the television show "Charlie's Angels". A section of an article in Ford Times magazine entitled "The Score for '76" described the Cobra II in this manner:

     Available on 2+2 models, the exciting new Cobra II sports package resembles the legendary Shelby Cobra. Broad double accent stripes run from front to rear and along the lower bodysides. Cobra II also has front and rear-deck spoilers, European-type rear quarter window louvers, styled steel wheels with trim rings, raised white-letter radials and a simulated hood air scoop.
      Additional sporty touches include color-keyed remote-control mirrors and Cobra snake emblems on the grille, front fenders, wheels and window louvers. Three exterior color combinations are available: Polar White with Blue accents stripes, Bright Blue Metallic with White stripes and - new for '76 - Black with Gold stripes. Inside, Cobra II has all-vinyl bucket seats and brushed aluminum metal appliques on the instrument panel and door panels.


Like all Mustang IIs, the Cobra II has still not achieved true "collector" status among most Mustang enthusiasts. But the Mustang II owners and enthusiasts have come to love the Cobra II option package making it the current most popular model of Mustang II to date. The Mustang II Registry contains entries for over 220 Cobra IIs, 88 of which are 1976 models. It is the most commonly registered model followed closely by the King Cobra at over 160 entries. The engine of choice in the Cobra IIs on the road today is still the 302 V-8 although there are still some Cobra IIs with the 4 and 6 cylinder engines being driven.

The Cobra II may be ignored by the mainstream Mustang crowd but the die-hard Mustang II owners are proud of their cars. They have a right to be. The Cobra II is now the new "classic" in the Mustang family.

The Mustang Cobra II ... still the right car at the right time.

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