1976 Ford MustangS

Nothing seems more emblematic of Malaise Era cars than what happened to the Mustang as the 70s progressed. First Ford went into Bloat Mode, piling on gingerbread and ever-larger bodywork on the once-sleek Mustang, then ditched the platform completely and produced the Pinto-based Mustang II starting in 1974. The Mustang II was actually a more sophisticated machine than its predecessor, but it was underpowered, suffered from crappy build quality, and (perhaps worst of all) looked like a cruel killjoy parody of the once-sporty Mustang design. In a sense, the Mustang II told America that the good times were over- now get ready for 120-horse V8s, Nixon's resignation, and the Fall of Saigon, suckaz!

1976 Ford MustangS


Note to designers: Put a huge horse emblem on the grille, so everyone knows it's not a Pinto. You hear me? Not a Pinto! Oh, wait... the Pinto had a horse emblem, too.

1976 Ford MustangS


Also, those scoop-like indentations in front of the rear wheelwells let you know it's a Mustang. Some things never change. Actually, some of the Fox Mustangs lacked this feature.

1976 Ford MustangS


A fair number of kit cars used Mustang II taillights (and, of course, the front suspension), which themselves were reinterpretations of the mid-60s taillight design.

1976 Ford MustangS


Hey, isn't that a '66 Mercedes-Benz 200D parked around the corner? I wonder if the Mustang and the Mercedes share an owner.



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