The Mustang II was a direct response to the energy crises brought on by the OPEC oil embargoes of the early ’70s. Looking at the bloated 1973 Mustang
, Ford was sure the way to go for ’74 was smaller. So it slapped a new body atop the Pinto to create the Mustang II and skipped V-8 engines altogether.
Even as the Mustang II went on sale, purists were crying that it represented a betrayal. Instead of the powerful car the Mustang had been, here was a poseur with wheezing four- and six-cylinder engines under the hood. And except for slightly better fuel economy, there were no compensating virtues.
Styling cues from earlier ponies—the “C” indent along the flanks, the three-section taillights, and the corral-shaped front grille—were cartoonish on the misshapen Mustang II. And no other Mustang is quite as despicable as the 1975 Mustang
II Ghia notchback coupe with the half-vinyl roof. Ford shoehorned a V-8 into the Mustang II during 1975—a strangled two-barrel 302-cubic-inch rated at a pathetic 129 hp—and that further proved how ludicrously fragile the car’s structure was.
Today the Mustang II is the Mustang only the most socially inept enthusiast loves.
________________________Ford Mustang II – Based on the Pinto, the Mustang II was Ford’s answer to the oil crisis of 1973. The standard car had 88hp, and the high-end version had 105hp, not swift by any definition. Shorter, and smaller than the old Mustang, it looked overly styled, bulky and was an embarrassment to the Mustang name.___________________