Wes Duenkel
May 1, 2009

Jeff had the perfect donor: a '70s-era road-racing Mustang II. Since retired from battle, the brave warrior's healthy solid-lifter 302 and Top-Loader transmission were transplanted into Jeff's "Red One." The operation wasn't a simple pluck-and-plug affair, however. The racing engine's four-piece fenderwell headers necessitated that Jeff transfer the race car's re-engineered front suspension, which relocated the strut rods for clearance. Meanwhile, Jeff "massaged" the transmission tunnel to accept the engine's oversized scattershield, transmission, and Hurst shifter linkage.

With just 2,735 pounds to motivate, the new drivetrain transformed this garter snake into a seriously venomous asp. Contributing to the powerplant's allure are many vintage speed parts: a first-generation MSD ignition amplifier, a now discontinued Edelbrock Tarantula intake manifold, and a Pro-Flo air filter. A Hays flywheel and Centerforce clutch transfer power to a narrowed 9-inch rearend with 3.73:1 gears. Not exactly highway-friendly, but it's a hoot around town.

With a lowered suspension featuring Afco coils and adjustable gas shocks, Jeff doesn't have to slow down when the road curves. That's a good thing, because Jeff's Mustang II currently features the stock brakes. But if there's one element that single-handedly transforms Jeff's car, it's the 17-inch American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels. They're a perfect fit for the body's curves and monochromatic paint scheme.

The interior has been tastefully updated with later-model seats and AutoMeter gauges. If Jeff needs to hear his music over the exhaust, a sizeable speaker enclosure fills the back seat area. One of the most unique additions is a roof-mounted console from a Ford Tempo.

Obviously, Jeff's tenacity and affection for this Mustang II has paid off. Thanks to its thumping Flowmasters, red-hot paint, and killer stance, Jeff's King Cobra turns heads wherever it rumbles. Even with 10 other Mustang IIs in his stable, the Red One is one of his favorites.

Fast Facts:
Jeff Sherger's '78 King Cobra

  • Solid-lifter 302 from a mid-'70s road-race Mustang II
  • Edelbrock aluminum cylinder heads
  • Crane roller rockers and stud girdle
  • Edelbrock Tarantula single-plane intake manifold
  • Holley 750 four-barrel double-pumper carb
  • Four-piece fenderwell headers
  • Flowmaster mufflers
  • MSD ignition
  • Holley electric fuel pump
  • Battery relocated to hatchback
  • Hays flywheel
  • Centerforce clutch
  • Ford Top-Loader four-speed transmission
  • Hurst shifter
  • Narrowed Ford 9-inch rear, 3.73:1 gears
  • Afco front springs, adjustable gas shocks
  • Lowered rear leaf springs, adjustable gas shocks
  • 17-inch American Racing Torq-Thrust wheels