Ford “Mustang” II

Ford Mustang II
They shoot horses, don’t they? They should

Where I saw one: North Phoenix. It’s for sale, if you’re a masochist.

Nostalgia factor: -26/10 – THE WORST CAR EVER

Baseline: 0, since I never personally owned one. +1 because Pod had one, -1 for orange, -1 because Yoko had one too, -+1 for Yoko’s being (appropriately) the color of shit, -1 because I never got laid in one, +1 because I never had to drive one, -1 because I did have to drive a couple of Pintos, which are the same thing, +1 because this one has a V-8, -1 because the starter motor in my Mustang puts out more net power, -1 for being unreliable pieces of shit,+1 for not usually being able to explode if they don’t run, +1 for its ability to navigate two track dirt roads, -14 because the sheriffs will laugh and point, +1 for its ability to get airborne, -1 for its inability to land gracefully, +413 for not killing Pod or Phid, -217 for soiling the name “Mustang”,-212 for “Mach One“, “Cobra II ” “King Cobra“, +1 for for being such a regrettable shitbox that the next iteration did not get called “Mustang III,” which would therefore legitimize the “II”s as “real” Mustangs, +2 because this complete disaster of a “car” at least this allowed Pod and Phid (by proxy) to join me, 8 Barrel and my gigolo Dad as Mustang owners – Pod and Phid’s membership just comes with an asterisk for the whole Pinto in drag thing: at least 8’s precursor and mine have respectable DNA. (Or at least less unrespectable DNA).

29 thoughts on “Ford “Mustang” II

  1. How about getting a clue?

    Of the top ten selling years of Mustang, 74-78 hold three of those positions, which hardly “soils the Mustang name”. If you did any research before your petty rant, you’d be well aware that there is less Pinto in a Mustang II than there is Falcon in the “classic” Mustangs or Fairmont in the 79-94 “fox” Mustangs. The whole “exploding gastank” issue was no more corrected in the fox Mustang than it was in the Mustang II.

    The Fox mustangs have NONE of the Mustang styling so traditional to the Mustang (including the Mustang II) , and yet they kept more of the design that the Mustang II revolutionized in handling (the rack and pinion setup in the Fox is almost IDENTICAL to the Mustang II unit, but lacks the rest of the front suspension to back it up, which is why the Mustang II front clip is so desirable to the hotrod crowd)

  2. Oh, where to begin…
    1 – the point of the post escaped you. It’s not really about the shit box of the week.

    2 – “Of the top ten selling years of Mustang, 74-78 hold three of those positions, which hardly ‘soils the Mustang name.'” Sales are irrelevant to the point. Dinos sold like hot cakes; Ferrari treats them like bastard stepchildren. Assuming your numbers are true, all that sales prove is that P.T. Barnum was right.

    3 – “If you did any research before your petty rant, you’d be well aware that there is less Pinto in a Mustang II than there is Falcon in the “classic” Mustangs or Fairmont in the 79-94 “fox” Mustangs.” So what? The bones of my Mustang are shared with the reanimated T-Bird, Lincoln LS and Jag S-Type. That is the essence of Mustang, turning a sedan, or in the case of the Pinto, a giant steaming pile of shit, into a decent sporty car. (Or, in the case of the Mustang II, a steaming pile of shit with a vinyl roof. Oooo, sporty)

    4 – “The whole “exploding gas tank” issue was no more corrected in the fox Mustang than it was in the Mustang II.” Bullshit. Also, way to miss the point, still. Objective facts or shut up. Also, irrelevant.

    5 – “The Fox mustangs have NONE of the Mustang styling so traditional to the Mustang (including the Mustang II)” Half right. Fox mustangs reflect some styling cures from Mustang iis. “Classic” Mustangs and iis share little except a general long hood short trunk proportion (as much as that can be transplanted onto a pinto).

    6 – You are blending suspension and steering. Fox suspensions and Mustang iis are way dissimilar. Rack and pinion steering? You really want to give all the credit to Mustang ii, not the Capri, Ford of Europe, or all the other competitors with sporting pretensions. I know about Mustang ii front suspensions and you are right. And pigs give us bacon, which everybody loves on salads.

    So here is the deal in a nutshell: you like them. I don’t know why, and I don’t care. Good luck to you.

  3. Oh you pitiful misinformed person…

    Its most obvious from the “points” made in the article that there is little or no actual knowledge about the II, but simply a regugitation of all the old (very old, and very tiring) BS rationalizations for those who dislike the Mustang II.

    1) I don’t give a rat’s anus about the “point” of the post. I commented on its lack of relavence to the subject matter…

    2)Did Dino’s sell just a hair shy of 1 million units in 5 model years? The II also made Car & Driver’s “Car of the year” in 74, even without the V8 option. You ARE correct that Barnum was right. Your ignorance is proof of it…

    3)With the re-introduction of the V8 in 75, the Mustang wasn’t much lower a performance car than pretty much anything else on the market at the time. Even the Trans Am had pitiful horsepower, and weighed considerably more. At the time, the fit and finish of the II was comparable or superior to pretty much ANY other offering from the big 3 auto makers. Vinyl roof or not, even a stock Mustang II is as sporty as it got in the mid 70’s (I was there in person) Steaming pile of shit? Take a good look at the 05+ Mustang sometime. The lines are remarkably similar to the Mustang II, with the front and rear 6″ of a 72 grafted onto it and smoothed up a bit….

    4) Objective? Way to miss the point yourself. Do some research. The exploding gastank issue was a major concern on ONE year of the PINTO, but the same “corrective measure” was applied to most Ford cars. The IDENTICAL measures were incorporated into most Ford passenger cars with rear-mounted fuel tanks, INCLUDING the Fairmont platform as well as the rest of the models with the same fuel tank location, such as the Mustang II. And if its irrelevent, why make such a huge deal about it in the original post?

    5) There are NO styling cues common between the Foxbody and ANY other era of Mustang, beyond the nameplate. At least the II kept the flowing lines and the trademark side scallops. And unlike the Mustang II/Pinto, just about all the parts from a Fairmont (other than the body shell itself and the doors) is a DIRECT bolt-on to a foxbody Mustang. The ENTIRE front clip is a direct swap (thus making a Mustang GT wagon a simple weekend creation with no tools beyond a basic socket set…) I’ve seen it done..hideous, but hilarious at the same time.

    6) Take a look sometime. While the strut configuration of the Fox is completely different from any previous Mustang, it wasn’t a huge improvement over the setup used in the II, whereas the II suspension WAS a huge improvement over the Falcon-based Mustang. That accounts for the II front suspension being swapped onto half the resto-rods out there (look on Ebay…they even have kits for swapping the Mustang II suspension into 40’s era TRUCKS! Not something the Fox can boast of) It was the combination of the rack and pinion with the front suspension that made the Mustang II setup work, and the rack and pinion setup on a Fox is almost IDENTICAL to the Mustang II (ONLY requiring offset bushings to allow the units to directly interchange). Ford of Germany supplied the 2.6/2.8 V6 used in the Pinto, Bobcat, Capri, Mustang II, Ranger, Bronco II, and the 79 Foxbody, and was the basis for the 2.9 and the 4.0 as used in the Explorer. Only frustrating part is that the Germans used Metric fasteners…
    Screw salads. Salads aren’t food. They are what food eats.

    So here’s the rebuttal in a nutshell. Yes, I like the Mustang II. I own four of them. I’ve owned several others over the years. You admit to never having owned, driven, or gotten lucky in a Mustang II. I have. All three, actually. So who is more qualified to discuss the merits of them? The guy who actually has a clue about them, or some guy “broadcasting from his mommy’s basement”? I got a life of my own back in about ’83….when will it be your turn?

    I normally don’t bother trying to clue in the ignorant, but I got bored and felt like poking fun at you. Congrats on helping me kill an hour of otherwise wasted time. 😀

  4. 1 – IIs suck. You won’t change my opinion by calling me names, or other disingenuous rhetorical devices.
    2 – Sales do not = legitimacy. As you claim elsewhere, what other options were there? Vega? Gremlin. Picking the least smelly toilet in a row of porta potties does not transmogrify your choice into something else. It is the best option, but it’s still full of shit. Also, Motor Trend, not C/D.
    3 – your styling attributions on the the S197s aside, it’s still the line of port a potties metaphor.
    4 -Cars that go boom was a minor comment until you got a hold of it. Never the less, pinto bones makes your car tainted. IN MY OPINION. Accept it. (OTOH, Consumer Reports from that era LOVED the bumpers on the iis. I personally would like bumpers that worked. )
    5 – And the Ghia BS, and the coupe/3 door body style. To me that is a good thing: distance the Mustang from the ii. Break out of the rut. I lke the fresh direction better than the 94-04 bastard fusion of new and old. I like the 05+ (big surprise). I would have loved to bolt a Mustang GT front onto my Futura.
    6- we are not disagreeing on the suspension steering thing, except for you giving credit to the ii for the grandiose idea of rack and pinion steering.

    So here is the surrebuttal – good for you, for liking the car. iis had their chance with me. preety paint and fancy appliques and tacked on plastic zoominess may have won the day in the malaise era, but it doesn’t make a crap car into the best car ever.

    I loved iis when they were new. I thought they looked cool, and I was depserate for Ford to do well and so I drank the corporate kool aid a bit about how great they were. then I did my research about what came before, and it was disgusting. Instead of Boss 302s, we get 302 2v with no cojones. Instead of 427/428/429s we get crappy four bangers that don’t run worth a shit. The whole flipping on a wet road thing was a spoiler too.

    I lived through what came later – the 1980 “Cobra”, which couldn’t outrun a Civic. The 1982 GT, which restarted the hp wars, or at least the return of performance to the line.

    Do I have the pedigree to talk nuts and bolts about “Mustang” iis? No. Same with Yugos or Merkur Scorpios. I just know that every example i ever encountered was a giant piece of shit, and it (the cause or fault or whatever) was split between design and manufacturing.

    Feel free to comment about Mustangs (or iis) here all you want. I will continue to bitch about iis as it comes up. (I am not alone on that sentiment).

    At least until Mom throws me out, which shouldn’t happen so long as TVLand keeps showing Star Trek reruns. 😉

  5. Since I still have some otherwise unused time to kill…

    You may figure the Mustang II sucks. You ARE entitled to your opinion, though it WOULD be nice if you actually knew much about the cars you talk about so disparagingly.

    Try going beyond the comparison of the II to previous models. I happen to like the original Firebirds and Camaro’s, while the “big block” 70’s version had difficulty getting out of its own way. I don’t like those ones, but I don’t sit here calling them pieces of shit, either. Some people like them. You seem far too content to spew the same tired arguments about the II, most of which have little or no basis whatsoever. No matter how you keep dissing the II, its a Ford manufactured with “Z” parts, and contributed enough to the Mustang name that the foxbody Mustangs made it past the chopping block.

    I don’t particularly like anything Ford produced from 79-04. Most of it lacked any sort of “styling” at all. I HAVE owned a few fox-stangs, and quite honestly? The II out-handles any of the Mustangs produced even 10 years later (I can’t speak for the 94+ though. Never wanted to drive something looking like a “euro-mobile”).

    I’m not an expert on Mustangs in general, but I have a fair bit of hands-on experience with some of them (mostly 75-88). The Mustang has ALWAYS been a compromize car. Yes, it lacked a bit of power during the mid-70’s (like just about everything else), but the 302 in the II was the same one used right back to the old 289-era smallblock, and anyone who knows one end of a wrench from the other is more than capable of releasing the potential.

    As for the offer to talk Mustangs (including the II:as I stated, it still had “Z”-code parts…get over it) is welcome. As to those who share your dilike for them, what was it you mentioned about the line of porta-potties? A lot of people thought the world was flat, but most know better these days…

    At least we seem to agree that the 05+ is an improvement, even if we disagree over why.

    And as an aside, you haven’t been the brunt of anywhere near the venom of most II owners when the cars we love get ripped on. Some of us get REALLY pissed-off when people (especially owners of other-era Mustangs) start up the same old crap.

  6. Fact is this: Even Car and Driver apologized for making the Mustang II the car of the year in 1974. I quote: “Today the Mustang II is the Mustang only the most socially inept enthusiast loves.” They were pieces of shit in the 1970’s and to say that they are better than most cars of the mid seventies is irrelevent- nobody wants cars from the mid 70’s because all cars from the mid 70’s today are pieces of shit. The only thing good about these bastard Mustangs was their front suspension, which could be used in a decent vehicle. They were PINTO’s.

    I’d like to know where in the fuck you got the idea that the modern Mustang was inspired by the mustang II. I see more cues from the 69 Mustang- known by Mustang enthusiasts as one of the real Mustangs. There were Mustangs- and there were Mustang II’s- the latter should never be grouped with the former.

  7. You’ve obviously never seen the hatchback II beside an ’05+ since everything but the front and rear 12″ is within a degree or two of identical profile, and very close in proportion as well, although the ’05+ also has several hundred more pounds to deal with (or compensate for with additional mods)

    And if you look at some of the recent articles in Mustang mags, the Mustang II is starting to regain the popularity of the past you seem to have forgotten in your “its a Pinto!” ramblings.

    All that aside, I would personally prefer the Mustang II remained unpopular. It keeps the perceived value of parts at a cost that remains reasonable for those with a budget.

    I own a 78 King Cobra, black on black T-top. Even with over a year’s worth of upgraded parts (including a Holley 600, Offy Dial-a-Flow intake, long-tube headers, dual glasspacks, MSD ignition, 4.10 Trak/Lok, 4-speed, aluminum driveshaft, 295/50R15’s across the back, 4 point rollbar, and 400 watts of “sound deadener”), I’ve kept the TOTAL cost of this car under $5k…Canadian.

    I also happen to like it 😀

  8. Not a feature, but as far as coverage of the II goes, Mustang Monthly doesn’t go out of their way to bash the II more than any other generation.

    Look at page 10 of the October 2009 issue for the most recent mention. Feel free to browse their back issues too…

  9. Like wine, some things get better with age. I’m not a fan of those 74-78 Mustangs (styling or power), but at least, for those who do like them, you can stuff some real power into them now and they do make good drag cars.

    Let me throw ya a new one. Canada only thank god, 1984 Hyundai Pony. Ugly,slower than an injured snail,duct tape held it together better than the original slag/steel parts and a motor that may or may not last a year.

    And if we’re all lucky, there are not any surviving examples anywhere (not even for target practice – something may come off and injure you).

    1. I agree that those initial Hyundais were crap, but that was because of a poor execution of a mediocre but serviceable Japanese design (IIRC).

      “Mustang” IIs were the opposite – a tarted up crapbox. (“Worst Car Ever” comes from a book, but 90% of the cars built in the 70s probably could compete for the title) In addition, I blame them for nearly killing a couple of friends and for the over the top cladding and non functional scoops and sticker overkill that the ricer generation took as some sort of object lesson in pretending to be able to go fast. I did like the IIs at the time, but I also liked disco and thought polyester leisure suits would get me laid. Some things don’t stand the test of time. 71-73 Mustangs, the IIs, 79-81s, ABBA, pet rocks, oxfords over polos and mullets to name a few. YMMV

  10. I agree with Coyote on all the people that are just ignorant to the II….. As far as it goes I have owned a 65 2+2 4 speed A-Code Fast back, and numorous fox bodies and the II is by far the funnest and best handling out of the bunch.. I think the only thing on the II I didnt like was the Taillights and seats. but thats easy to fix. I like the 05+ Mustangs also… but always hated the Tuner Stang 94-04… god they were F’n ugly. As for the II being a Crap Box…. you wanna Dis the Vega/ Monza of the 70’s? I had a 75 Monza and hate to tell ya its was just the Daddy of the F-body Craparo… same suspension design and some same stying cues… And there were NO exploding II’s out there unless some shit head blew em up. Find a II owner with a Built II and let him take ya for a ride…. Last yr I sold a 78 Mustang II hatchback with a 450+ horse 351 Cleveland in it with a 5 speed and 4.11 spool….. now thats a fun car. just not real practical…

  11. @74 – You can turn any sow’s ear into a silk purse and that goes for the II, too. Built out, you can make something cool. OEM, they were shitboxes in my opinion and experience. Maybe if I had been exposed to ones with a different engine (than the 2.3L or neutered 302) or at least one you could count on to start and run, I would hate them less.

    FWIW, I think Monza/Vegas were likewise pieces of shit most years and most trims. Sometimes, they had a reasonably good engine (e.g., Cosworth or even the “Iron Duke”).

  12. The Neutered 302 came out sooner then the MII… the 73 mustang had a neutered 302 as did the early Fox bodies… If they are tuned right and built decent they will always start and run good. Like any vehicle. and Ill agree the 4 cyl with no sway bars handled like shit. If ya chk out my blog and or my Flickr you can see im redesigning a II to my design ideas so it will be different. as for the Monza’s and Vega’s, they were pretty much in the same boat as the MII, the gas crunch killed the muscle car so GM had to do what they had to do. The Cosworth engine was ok, as for the Iron Duke that 2.5 would run through anything… but its all a matter of preference… they did have a Yenko Vega, as well as a Monroe Handler Mustang II… so they tried to recover the kick in the pants they got. I think they all did well with what they could do.

  13. My Wife and I are huge Mustang II fans. We have a 1978 coupe, medium chestnut paint code 5M, saddle interior. Garaged and is at 2 shows a year. A great little car. Someone above mentioned name a magazine that has a mustang II article in it. Collectible Automobile october 2009 issue has a 10 page article. And Mustang Monthly Magazine has been featuring them a lot. Thouhg this little car was only produced 5 years 1974, 75,76,77,78 they sold 1.3 million of these cars. Not bad.

  14. Ok That is fine, did you read the article in the Collectible Automobile Magazine, October issue 2009. Great article. We are huge mustang fans, just bought a Grabber Blue 2011, a great car. One thing that has always puzzled me, Mustang fans are always quick to brag that the Mustang has been around for 46 years. Well that includes the 5 years of Mustang II’s. Maybe they have only been around 41. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    1. I think it is a marketing fail, and I blame the Deuce (Henry Ford II). Mustang II? Capri II (remember that)? Bronco II? That guy would probably called the Escort the “Pinto II.”

      I think the car would have gained more acceptance if they did not add the II.

  15. I love my mustang ll . I have owned it for 12 years originally bought it for my son for his first car. It is a King cobra .white with red stripes . Not a fan of the pin stripes.It had a 302 minus smog control.We have pretty much beat the shit out of it for years now can’t kill it.I am getting ready to put a 89 5.0 5 speed with turbo coupe rear end in her.I have owned many cars Old coupes, 67 mustang fastback ,66 mustang coupe,71 Bronco.The mustang ll is by far the biggest head turner I have owned people just seem to love it. As for the original Mustang it was the most dangerous car ever made ,even Iaccoca would agree. The floor of the trunk is the top of the gas tank,The gas tank is part of the crush zone of the unibody construction with only a decorative bumper even the cap location is bad.This means you have no separation between the fuel tank and the passenger compartment. You can’t get any more dangerous than that. If you own one you better consider a fuel cell Iaccoca designed them and has stated they should not be on the road.

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