Friday, July 4, 2014

Seriously brash American cruiser for the 4th of July!

I was way out in the middle of Queens somewhere when this little Ford with a Napoleon complex started flexing at me:
A 1976-1979 Ford Mustang II; possibly the special Cobra edition! Don't let the title of my post fool you; I'm not calling this little punk out for not being a real Cobra. It's just that even if it is, the blasphemy of using such a storied vehicle name as Cobra on a Pinto-based Mustang compact needs to be mentioned. The original AC Cobra was an incredibly powerful sports car that held the world record for going from zero to 100mph-and back to zero for years. This thing would be destroyed at the track by any standard Honda of the past 20 years.
From the side we can see that the styling really isn't that bad, even if the hood looks a touch long for the rest of the car. The window trim looks to have been chrome painted black, which is chipping off to reveal chrome again. If this were a 1978 Cobra that trim would have been black from the factory. It would also have "dual color-keyed racing mirrors", of which this car seems to have one. It is the correct mirror though, so maybe somebody cannibalized a junkyard Cobra to approximate their own?
Other Cobra-specific identifiers include the rear window louvers and that rear wing. Missing are some of the most ridiculous decals ever put on a car; it should say COBRA in massive letters about 8 inches high across the full width of the door, with an equally tall stripe extending to the front and back.
Finally that chrome cobra coiled in the middle of the grill is doing it's best to scare off the competition which, to be honest, wasn't very tough either in the mid '70s. That goofy homemade 2-tier hood scoop is just that; homemade.
Lee Iacocca gave the go-ahead at Ford to downsize the Mustang so severely in the gas crisis days of the early-'70s, and to his credit these were some of the best selling Mustangs of all time. The standard engine was a 4-cylinder, with 6 and 8 cylinder version available in later years. All were choked with emissions equipment to the point of gasping, so acceleration was downright leisurely. What does all that matter if you just hang out by the warehouses looking real tough? I thought so!
Happy Birthday America!

No comments:

Post a Comment