Tuesday, February 21, 2017


The automotive world is full of curiosities. The following ride encapsulates several of them and may or may not be what it seems (which is already an approximation of something else). What? Look:
Ok, ha ha ha what we have here is obviously a ferocious muscle car ready to kick ass and take names! It might also be an aggressive Pinto tarted up in sports gear. What we know is that this is a 1976-1978 Ford Mustang II possibly outfitted in the optional Cobra trim package.
This car does share more than a little with the Pinto of the same era. The front fenders and overall look of the body are very similar.
How do you fake something that's already fake? This is one way: replace the non-functioning hood scoop with another, even faker, non-functioning hood scoop. Despite that HIGH PERFORMANCE decal on the side this is just a plastic shape glued to the hood. Look how the front edges are lifting up! Also, if you're going to go this route why continue the bright paint and pinstripe on what is attempting to look like an opening? Come ON people! This car looks 90% correct why drop this ball?
The faux-ness continues under the front. This front spoiler was never offered on a Mustang II. Most of the Cobras had a spoiler that followed that bumper indentation above it, retreating a bit on the sides. The last gasp top of the heap King Cobra package for 1978 had a solid spoiler spanning the width of the car but it was huge and went straight down from the edges almost like a plow.
*I also could find no evidence of the word COBRA written in this location.
When this car was introduced in 1974 it was marketed as "The right car for the right time", and boy were they right. The gas crisis had ravaged domestic car sales and left dealership lots full of the huge full size barges with their 8mpg gallon ratings. In addition the true muscle cars of the late '60s and dawn of the '70s were strangled by federal safety and emissions regulations at the same time insurance providers were tacking on huge premiums for horsepower. This diminutive Mustang is more closely related to the original 1964 version with its small car dimensions and lower horsepower engines.
Say what you want about this being a maligned non-Mustang; this was a massive success with hundreds of thousands sold each model year.
*Genuine Cobras had a decal on the lower part of the door.
Those louvered windows are '70s radical and correct for the Cobra. In this era you could order them for literally any car or van though from JC Whitney and the like.
Just to pile on the minutiae pointing towards this being a fake I'd like to point out that the original stripes on the Cobra should not be on the taillight panel. In addition the stripes never went over the tops of the bumpers, but would run from the bottom to that bumped-out edge.
The COBRA wording always had a II next to it in this location.
I didn't want to ruffle any feathers by approaching the window for an interior shot.
Being parked in front of an ice cream parlor in front of that green Dodge truck made me think that these two vehicles were on display on purpose.
The grill has a chrome cobra emblem just like this which is correct from the factory. In this Mustang II era though the side cobras would be tall decals. These are widely available as a 3 cobra set that are meant for the 1994-2004 Ford SVT Cobra.
Well that's where I'll leave this little wanna-be tough guy. I actually like some Mustang IIs as well as over the top graphics from the 1970s. However as a stickler for detail my thought is either you do it right or not at all. I would prefer this to be a normal II in regular trim, but who cares? Peace out Fauxbra!

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