Only the Deuce and Fox matter!
The fine folks at Hagerty who insure my 1978 and send me a glossy magazine every other month are running a Mustang valuation article. Around here only two generations matter, for the complete story click the link below.
The most valuable Mustangs from every generation - Hagerty Media
We like the Mustang II and we don't apologize for it. Now if you were asking me to guess I'd say the 1978 King Cobra. Offer me a 1978 King Cobra with T-tops, a four speed manual with 3.40 in the rear axle. Prove it's a #2 condition car, I'll write $20K check. According to Hagerty the most valuable Mustang II is the 76-78 Cobra II, #2 condition averaging $32K. I have to believe that is with the 302 under the bonnet.
"Mustang IIs are appreciating faster on a percentage basis than any other car on this list"
For the malaise era Fox body the most valuable is no surprise, the 1993 SVT Cobra R. This was Fox body going out swinging. The Cobra R was a track day car right off the show-room floor. With only 107 built it's no surprise prices have sky rocketed, #2 condition are averaging $94K.
Do you own one now? Have you ever owned one? Chime in on the comments section below.
Stepping out of my regular lane.
Part of the focus on malaise era muscle cars is their accessibility. We basically cover cars that can be bought for less than $20K, cars you can afford that are driven not trailer queens. So I don't spend a lot of time discussing the 10th Anniversary Trans Am, those are $30K all day long. The much maligned Mustang II is seeing a rise in values and the King Cobra is the most elite Mustang II. The one pictured above sold for $36K and no it doesn't have super-low mileage or a stick. It does have T-tops and A/C. It is a well cared for one owner survivor with 54,000 miles. Based on the few flaws seen in the pics and the Hagerty valuation tool this should have sold for $26K. I don't know the dynamics of the day in Chattanooga but someone really wanted this car. I won't pretend I don't understand it. The car has super cool character and with a little wrenching could be a decent street bruiser.
It looks like it was treated to rust proofing back in the day. It was obviously garaged kept. Still, the price is way too high, an outlier not the norm.
1978 Ford Mustang II King Cobra | F102 | Chattanooga 2021 (mecum.com)
Outrageous looking and a cog in the Grand National machine.
On paper the 1976 Buick Century Pace Car is not much to write home about. Still, I'd really like one with T-tops in the stable. It drips with early malaise era fake machismo. With just a little work this machine is a great cruiser with grunt. I'm talking a 4 barrel, a bump in compression and a good exhaust system.
There are always differences between race pace cars and the replicas sold at dealerships for street duty. This time the smaller engine was putting out the real power, so it went into the actual pace car. I'm talking about the Buick Turbo V6 of course. The street car replicas received the Buick 350 cu in. V8. Simply put, the now famous Buick Turbo V6 program was in it's infancy. A crude, simple single turbo/carburetor engine great for high speed track work but lacking any low end torque for street use. In 1976 it's not like the muscle car crowd was ready to accept a V6 anyway. So a tried and true 350 V8 that could be sold with a warranty and serviced at a dealership was chosen. This is a set up any gear head could modify with plenty of available go-go parts.
No doubt as cost saving measures the replica cars would not come with the front air-dam, necessary for stability on the track. Nor the bulged blistered hood necessary clear the turbo mounted atop the carburetor. Even the graphics package is scaled back.
If you want one there is a 1976 Buick Pace Car for sale on ebay Motors, unfortunately not equipped with the Hurst Hatch T-tops. The aggressive Buy It Now price is nearly $29K for what is described as at best a #2 survivor.
1976 Buick Century Indy Pace Car | eBay
For more in depth reading and cool pics click the links below.
1975 and 1976 Buick Indy Pace Cars - Dean’s Garage (deansgarage.com)
Performance Design | GM Design
V-6 on the Track: V-8 on the Street - 1976 Buick Century Pace Car... | Hemmings Motor News
John is a GenX car enthusiast who grew up driving classic muscle cars. He enjoys the new modern muscle cars that can out perform the classics in every way. In the sportscar world his banners are Viper and Corvette. John has a guilty pleasure. The disco era street machine. Those unloved, underpowered cars festooned with scoops, spoilers and stripes.