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Quick Strike

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Quick Strike The '78 King Cobra Backed Up Its Venomous Styling With Solid V8 Performance by Derek Handova Pity the Rodney Dangerfields of the Mustang family - the Mustang II. And while many heap fiery coals on the disco-era pony car, fortunately, there is one respected member, the '78 King Cobra. The culmination of an undeservedly scorned line, the King Cobra provided the Mustang marque with a booster shot prior to Mustang reclaiming its lost glory This particular King Cobra, with a miserly 58,000 miles registered on its odometer, is owned by Danny Owen of Princeton, West Virginia. With a bright red topcoat and singular snake graphics to set the King Cobra apart from its princely subjects, this snake is more than your garden-varity speedster. A subliminal suggestion is connoted by the word king, for if the driver looks at the hood emblem the right way, the cobra design resembles a lion, the king of the jungle. Thus, the King Cobra imbues the deadly force of the viper and imperious regality of the car into the attitude of the driver. But alas, the King Cobra's days were numbered from the beginning. It's a veritable sin that only a handful of these mystique-filled cars were built in its only production year (by Danny's count a mere 4318, out of which this red racer is number 576). Whereas the Mustang II was regarded as a vanilla substitute for the power of the bygone musclecars, the King Cobra caught the eye and imagination of the motoring public during its brief reign on the throne the first half of 1978. Equipped with basically the same features as the Mach 1 and the Cobra II, the King Cobra boasted a 302 two-barrel V8 with either a four-speed manual or SelectShift automatic, and the Rallye Package featuring heavy-duty springs, adjustable shocks, front disc brakes, and an extra cooling package. What seperated the King Cobra from the Mach 1 and Cobra II were factory chassis mods and the addition of front disc cooling ducts. Presented as a purely stock vehicle, this King Cobra has been an Owen family-owned pet since the day it left the dealer showroom. Danny gave this snake to his son, Sonny, as a high school graduation gift. Fortunately, Sonny got his gift six months before graduation day to inspire the envy of his classmates. The younger Owen then proceeded to drive the car for the next seven years, bringing it to fretful condition. At that time, Danny took pity upon the serpent and brought it to the automotive Garden of Eden for another visit to paradise after purchasing it from his son in 1985. After lavishing close to $8000 on it, which included everything from the paint and decal set to stripping it down to the frame, Wayne Young, Willie Whitt, and Danny brought the King Cobra back to life. Sporting an Acme-Dutch Boy red enamal paint job, this serpent can be the apple of any Ford aficionado's eye. While some consider the Mustang II generation a crap shoot that came up snake eyes, you can be sure that Danny Owen's King Cobra gets the car that royalty demands.

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3/24/2014 11:42 AM


Derek handova and his first 1992 byline quick strike the 1978 mustang ii king cobra backed up its ve