1978 King Cobra, Angie Hall
Angie Hall’s 1978 King Cobra
Engine: 5L Roush Powered V8 400 hp
Transmission: “Built” Ford C-4
Rearend: 1965 Jag XKE fully independent
Tubular independent front suspension
Modifications: custom front bumper,
rear roll pan, Fuel cell
frame connectors, side exhaust and
custom interior with yellow accents…much much more
Graphics by Axe Graphics
The 1970’s was a wasteland for gearheads trying to buy cool new cars. A few things emerged to take the wind out of car lover’s sails. High insurance premiums for many muscle cars, a gas embargo and then spike in gas prices and then the introduction of smaller and less powerful cars in general. The introduction of the Mustang II in 1974 was a much smaller Mustang with an available V6 that was vastly under powered.
Weighing considerable less than the larger models it should of at least been somewhat peppy…but the V6 did nothing to warm any carguys heart. With just over 100 horsepower and the re-introduction of the v8 in 1975 with a measly 128 hp was nothing to brag about. Many carnut’s feel the only thing a Mustang II was good for was it’s amazing independent front end suspension and steering rack.
The styling was very good for a smaller car. Being based on a Pinto chassis for cost savings the design guys at Ford did an amazing job with the looks of the car. I am sure it helped to have the hottest blonde dream of the era driving a cool Mustang II on a hit TV show, Charlie’s Angels. The Mustang sold well, but did not have the staying power and by the late 80’s they were almost all gone from daily use.
So how does this lowly most Hated Mustang get to be resurrected? At one time the local Mustang Clubs did not even want to allow them in the club. Tony Hall was not in the market for a car let alone a project car for his wife but when their oldest son came home with a modified 1977 Mustang Ghia with HellBoy painted on the sides he ended up inheriting it.
nvincing the son it was a car to be sold…and sold quickly a new paintjob and interior were needed. One of the repairs needed was a motor mount and a parts car needed to be bought since no reproduction parts were available at that time. Unfortunately the parts car was in awesome shape…much too good to be parted out that another parts car was needed. Not knowing there is no 12 step program for this addiction Tony Hall started looking for another Mustang II.
Hall had always loved cars and fixed up a few 60’s Mustangs and even a couple of the Fox Bodied generation. For Hall much of the enjoyment is in putting together the car, and the puzzle of finding parts to restore the Mustang II was very appealing. Hall was introduced to the Internet and knowing the value of the parts started to acquire all sorts of parts including various colours of interior parts and making them available to other Mustang II guys. A new business opportunity opened up with Halls wealth of knowledge and parts. One wall of his hobby businesses wall is lined with different coloured consoles.
Once the collecting started more great Mustang II’s kept showing up. Hall’s wife Angie wisely decided enough was enough and told Hall so after 12 Mustang IIs. Knowing it is better to ask forgiveness than permission, Hall bought a yellow King Cobra and immediately phoned his wife to tell her he had bought her a car…and also another Black parts car.
This yellow car was originally bought by a couple in Vancouver until the late 90’s and then went to a new owner in Langley. The car was left alone and driven a little until Hall bought it in the Summer of 2007. After paying for Angie’s new car the fellow mentioned he also had a black t-roof King Cobra also for sale…and Hall bought it as well.
To further involve Angie, the car was named “Angie’s King” and a new interior was designed using black vinyl with yellow piping and King Cobra logos embroidered into the seatbacks. The rust free car had a small amount of dings that were repaired and a new coat of yellow paint was sprayed and is brighter than the Ford original. An aftermarket Ford licensed hood decal was applied and the car was ready for local Cars shows.
The general public was eating the car up and the local mustang clubs had warmed to Mustang II’s and more modifications for “Angies King” were planned. The engine compartment was detailed and Canadian Carburetors provided the Rousch 5 litre crate motor. 15″ “Blade Twist” wheels were installed and the car was shown this way during the Summer of 2008. It was also shown at a International Mustang meet in Oakville Ontario in 2008 winning second place in specialty modified.
Once the 2008 car show season was over a full dress up package was tackled. The outside received shaved door handles with remote entry as well as a new paint job. Full detailing of the underside with chrome frame rail connectors and engine cradle and the installation of “Heidts” stainless steel control arms and a new lower profile rad and dual fans. The engine compartment was painted body colour and fully detailed and signed by Chip Foose, Gene Winfield, Brett Wagner and George Barris here in the lower mainland while the air cleaner was shipped to be signed by Jack Rousch.
Brand new Coddington wheels finished the car and the 2009 season saw many awards for “Angie’s King”. Seeing as it was finished Hall heard at a Mustang show from a friend about a 1923 T bucket with a jag rearend located on Vancouver Island. The price was right and after seeing the T Bucket Hall laughed at the idea of stripping the jag rearend out of the hot rod and placing it in the Mustang just to get back at all the Mustang II’s that had their front ends ripped out and placed in Hot Rods. The more he thought about it he could not resist the temptation to install the Jag IRS rearend into Angies car. An 8″ rearend was put in the 23 T Hot Rod and sold for almost the same price that it was paid for.
After the 2010 car show season some more freshening up of “Angie’s King” was needed, so the hopped up 8″ rearend, the original heavy bumpers as well as the single Holley carb were history. Dual Edelbrock Enduroshine 4 bbl.s were installed with a matching polished Airgap Edelbrock Manifold. The bumpers were replaced by custom designed fibreglass tucked bumpers that Hall designed himself. The Bumpers were fabricated by Scott Rods in Ohio and are available to other Mustang II owners. Over 120 lbs was saved with the new bumpers.
The installation of the IRS was a little more complicated. The Jag rearend was modified by a company called Mr. Roadster with the axles, u-joints, and swingarms all beefed up to handle the extra horsepower. The unique design has the centre section permanently mounted so fabrication and installation of a special cross member between the frame rails. Special care was needed to make sure enough room was available for the inboard disc brakes.
The Mustang’s leaf springs were removed as were the shocks, exhaust pipes, gas tank and the rear leaf spring perch, while the front Spring perch was utilized for the forward connecting arms. A round fuel cell was installed in the spare tire well. The custom low profile aluminum roll pan finishes off the rearend while allowing for a great view of the polished spinning shafts and rear discs.
The exhaust had to be dumped before the rear wheels and a custom exhaust system was designed and built by Hall and his crew. After installing the new carbs, the bigger taller hood scoop was faced forward to feed the new carbs. A new decal needed to be designed as well to fit around the larger scoop.
After all this work the 3 year old paint showed well but Hall decided to address any slight imperfections and a new deeper Yellow was applied along with new decals. The original Ford Decals have a one piece clear carrying membrane that tends to yellow with age. The new multi-piece decals by Axe Graphics are a work of art on the new “Screamin’ Yellow” paint.
Plans are still in the works for a sweet Gear Vendor overdrive system that will compliment the 4.11 gears to make it a true cruising machine. The car has won over 60 awards and the likes of George Barris and Chip Foose are sure to stop by at car shows to see what else has been added to the King of King Cobras.
Although starting with a stock King Cobra, Angie’s King is so far elevated above what Ford had originally designed as to be a completely new car. The new tucked bumpers reduce the length by 12 inches and the larger hood scoop and custom graphics are one of a kind. But the true gem of the car is the polished Jag independent rearend with it’s flashing gleaming shafts and custom roll pan and Hall has been heard more than once telling guys to go check out his wife’s rear end.