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AUG 10, 2016 | BY JOHN M. CLOR / FORD PERFORMANCE STAFF

BILL MARTIN, WHO OWNS 50+ FORDS, PRIZES HIS ORIGINAL 1978 KING COBRA

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With enthusiast interest and values for second-generation Mustangs at an all-time high these days, it’s no wonder why Ford collector Bill Martin considers his 1978 King Cobra special. Bill owns more than 50 cool Fords, and as a former Cobra II owner, he knows what a rare find his low-mile original Mustang II King Cobra is. To see Bill’s other Fords, read his note below:

“After reading my issue of the MCA’s Mustang Times covering the Gateway Southern Stampede MCA National Show, I want to thank you for your mention and very kind words about my 1978 Mustang II King Cobra in your ‘Ford Performance Corner’ column. Your comments meant more to me than even the Gold award that the car received at the show. 

“I was great to see Ford Performance doing a Meet & Greet at the show and to know that you even toured the entire show field and saw my King Cobra in person. And thanks for helping with giving me information about the car. I really appreciated all of your efforts.

“My King is indeed a 42,000-mile original, right down to the spark plug wires and graphics. Before gaining a Gold Award at the MCA Nats, it had taken the People's Choice Award for 1974-1986 cars at the Ocala Mustang Stampede two years in a row.

“I actually own more than 50 Fords, including a couple of Mustang II’s, and we had been looking for a King Cobra for a few years when this one had popped up on eBay. It was at an import car dealership in New York, and they didn't seem to know what a Mustang II King Cobra was. I contacted them directly and sealed the deal before the car even had a chance to complete the eBay auction. I remember the guy at the dealership telling me, ‘It’s a V8, but it’s not that fast.’

“I bought it mostly because I had a Cobra II in college, which was later stolen in Boston. I had always wanted a King Cobra with T-Tops, and finding a low-mileage original one was a dream come true. My brother, Eric, actually bought the car for me, and we have both enjoyed it for several years now. I am planning on keeping this little II for a long time!

“Here is the complete list of all my cars:” 

List of Bill Martin’s Fords:  

1. 1959 Mercury Monterey Cruiser, Yellow, Gold, 383 V8, Auto, PS, PB

2. 1960 Ford Thunderbird Coupe, Light Blue/Blue, 352 V8, Auto, PS, PB

3. 1961 Ford Thunderbird Coupe, Light Blue/Black, 390 V8, Auto, PS, PB

4. 1970 Ford Mustang Convertible, Med Metallic Blue/Blue, 250 I6, Auto, PS

5. 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1, Bright Red/Ginger, 428SCJ V8, 4Spd, PB

6. 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1, White/White, 351C V8, 4Spd, PS, PB

7. 1972 Ford Gran Torino Sport, Brown/Brown/Gold Stripe 351 V8, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

8. 1973 Ford Torino, Bright Red/Black/White Stripe 250 I6, Auto

9. 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1, Bright Red/White, 351C V8, Auto, PS, PB

10. 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1, Grabber Blue/Black, 351 V8, Auto, A/C, Sport Interior

11. 1975 Ford LTD Country Squire, White/Red, 6.6L V8, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

12. 1976 Mustang II Cobra II, Polar White/Blue/Blue Stripes 302 V8, Auto, PS, PB

13. 1976 Ford Mustang II Ghia, Polar White/White, 302 V8, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

14. 1978 Ford Mustang II Cobra II, White/white, 5.0L V8, Auto

15. 1978 Ford Mustang King Cobra, Bright Red/Black, 5.0L V8 4Spd, T-Top, A/C

16. 1979 Ford Mustang Cobra, Silver/Black 2.3L Turbo I4, 4Spd, PS, PB

17. 1979 Mercury Bobcat, Orange/Orange Plaid, 2.3L I4, 4Spd

18. 1979 Lincoln Mark V, Red/Red, 460 V8, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

19. 1981 Mercury Capri Black Magic, Black/Black 200 I6, 4Spd, PS, PB, A/C

20. 1982 Ford Mustang GT, Black/Black, 5.0L V8, 4Spd, PS, PB, A/C, T-Top

21. 1984 Ford Mustang GT, White/Grey, 5.0L V8, 5Spd, PS, PB, A/C, T-Top

22. 1984 Ford Bronco II, Red/Red, V6, Auto, PS, PB

23. 1985 Ford Tempo GLX, Blue/Red, 2.3L I4, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

24. 1985 Ford EXP, Red/Grey, I4, 5Spd, PS, PB, A/C

25. 1985 Ford Thunderbird Turbo, Regatta Blue/Grey, Turbo I4, 5Spd, PS, PB, A/C

26. 1986 Ford Mustang SVO, Black/Grey, 2.3L Turbo I4, 5Spd, PS, PB, A/C

27. 1987 Ford Mustang GT, Med Metallic Grey/Grey, 5.0L V8, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

28. 1987 Ford Escort GT, Red/Grey, I4, 5Spd, PS, PB, A/C

29. 1989 Ford Mustang GT, Black/Grey, 5.0L V8, 5Spd, PS, PB, A/C

30. 1994 Ford Mustang, Teal/Grey, 3.8L V6, 5Spd, PS, PB, A/C

31. 1995 Ford Mustang GT, Laser Red, Grey, 5.0L V8, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

32. 1997 Ford Mustang GT Convertible, Black/Tan, 5.0L V8, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

33. 1998 Lincoln Continental, Pearl White/White, V8, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

34. 1999 Ford Mustang Cobra, Rio Red/Tan, 4.6L V8, 6Spd, PS, PB, A/C

35. 2002 Mercury Mountaineer, White/Tan, V6, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

36. 2003 Ford SVT Cobra, Black/Black, 4.6L Supercharged V8, 6Spd, PS, PB, A/C

37. 2004 Ford SVT Cobra, Mystichrome/Black 4.6L Supercharged V8, 6Spd, PS, PB, A/C

38. 2004 Lincoln Aviator, White/Tan, 4.6L V8, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

39. 2005 Ford Freestyle Limited AWD, Merlot/Camel, 3.0L V6, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

40.  2007 Ford Explorer Limited, White/Tan, V6, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

41.  2007 Lincoln MKX, Sage/Camel, V6, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

42.  2007 Ford Shelby GT500, Red/Red/White Stripes, 5.4L V8, 6Spd, PS, PB, A/C

43.  2007 Ford Mustang Premium ‘Knight Rider,’ Black/Chamois, 4.0L V6, Auto, PS, PB, A/C

44.  2011 Ford Mustang GT Premium, Black/Black, 5.0L V8, 6Spd, PS, PB, A/C, Brembo Pkg

45.  2012 Ford Focus SE, Race Red/Stone, 2.0L I4, Auto, Sunroof

46.  2013 Ford Focus Titanium, Ruby Red/Black, 2.0L I4, Auto, Sunroof, Nav

47.  2013 Ford Mustang GT Convertible Black/Saddle, 5.0L V8 Auto, Electronics Pkg

48. 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid, Tri-White/Dune, 2.0L I4, Leather, Nav, Sunroof

49. 2013 Lincoln MKZ, Ingot Silver/Light Dune, 2.0L EcoBoost, Nav

50. 2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, Race Red/Black, 5.8L V8 Supercharged, 6Spd

51. 2015 Ford Mustang GT, Magnetic/Black, 5.0L V8, 6Spd, Nav, 401a, Performance Pkg

52. 2015 Lincoln MKC, Ruby Red/Hazelnut, 2.0L I4, EcoBoost, Auto, Reserve Pkg, Nav

Editor’s Note: One of the most popular features on FordPerformance.com and in our Fast News e-newsletter continues to be "Ford Fan Spotlight," where readers can send in their own reasons why they're fans of Ford Motor Company. You know who they are: Ford "superfans;" grassroots Ford racers; unique Ford vehicle owners; loyal Ford enthusiasts; notable Ford club people; special Ford families; and/or any avid supporter of Ford, Ford vehicles, Ford mortorsports or Ford Performance who deserves a little bit of special recognition.

All you need to do to get you, your car or candidate considered is to send in a brief description (200-300 words or less) and a few photos (in .jpeg format, preferably 300 dpi) of a person (full name and hometown, please) and vehicle that you think Ford Performance should feature (and why) in the "Ford Fan Spotlight" for an upcoming installment of Fast News and posting on FordPerformance.com. Then email it to: AskTFR@Ford.com. Should you wish to send a video, you simply need to post it on www.YouTube.com (preferably 1-2 minutes long) and send in the link, along with a brief description, to that same AskTFR@Ford.com email address. We'll choose one submission each week.