Mustang II: The Rodney Dangerfield of Cars

They don't get no respect!

The more you know about cars, the more you know that most people, at least most people who like to run off with their mouths, don’t know what they’re talking about.  Kinda like bloggers.  No where is this more abundantly clear than when the subject of conversation turns to the Mustang II.

Probably about the worst example, it's almost like I'm  giving ammo to the enemy.

You probably heard it before, some stupid blowhard will spout off something like, “It was the worst car ever made.  Ford ruined the Mustang with that warmed over Pinto.”

Really?  Ford ruined the Mustang with the Mustang II?  May I ask how?  First off, you don’t hear too many people singing the praises of the ‘71-’73 Mustangs either, but I always thought that they were kind of cool too.  

In 1973, Ford produced about 135,000 Mustangs, but the the very next year they made about 390,000 Mustang II's, about three times as many.  I bet all car companies could “ruin” all their car models as well.

Then you got the performance thing, and once again, a 1973 Mustang standard engine produced 90 hp.  The top performing engine was rated at 266 hp, but that only accounted for a relatively small percentage of sales.  The much more common 302 2 barrel  V8, produced 140 hp.  Ford did not offer a V8 in the Mustang II in 1974, but when it returned a year later, for ‘75, it produced, (can you guess?) that’s right, 140 hp. 

 What I’m saying here is that compared to other cars produced at the same time, the performance of the Mustang II with a V8, was not all that bad, and if anyone was dissatisfied with it, that could be relatively easily and cheaply rectified.  Add a carb, intake, cam, and maybe some headers if you wanted to get crazy, and you had a car that could hold it’s own against many cars that had a good reputation for performance. It was a 302, for Christ's sake! Basically, the same motor that was in the "great" Mustangs that came before and after.

In the early to mid ‘70’s, no one knew how high gas prices might go.  It was the job of the Mustang II to deliver sales for Ford during a time of great uncertainty, and it did that job amazingly well.  Even though America got used to paying a dollar per gallon for gas and more, the Mustang II was able to be either a performance or an economy car depending upon which power train the buyer chose, and they helped bridge the gap between the age of the muscle car and the advent of modern technology like electronic fuel injection which finally was able to offer respectable fuel economy and performance at the same time.

Don’t anyone ever complain about the looks of the Mustang II either.  The car looked great, especially for it’s time.  You can’t argue with its sales figures.  They speak for themselves.  All things being equal, I’d take a ‘78 Mustang II King Cobra over any ‘79 - ‘83 Mustang, any time, and if we are going to be honest, they were better than many classic Mustangs of the ‘60’s.  If you don’t believe me, go take a ‘65 six cylinder, three speed Mustang with no power steering or brakes, for a spin.

It's OK, it's OK.  I still love you.

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