I just want to know what’s going on here. Why did these two people decide they needed to meet in the middle of that parched, barren desert? One dude in a showy, firetomato red car, the other in a featherweight autogyro, having some very, very private conversation. What are they plotting? What do they know?
As much as the Mustang II is reviled now I remember when it was new, modern and extremely popular. Back then, reviewers were a lot more forgiving, perhaps because what there was to compare the car to wasn’t that much brighter a light.
With a bit of work the Mustang II can be made to handle very well. If you wanted to keep the 2.3 Pinto engine the base model came with, FoMoCo themselves found a way to pry a lot of extra power out of one with the addition of a turbo, or you could shove a much newer 302 with a lot more power under the hood, and have some serious performance capability far, far exceeding the original Mustang II and comparable to what is available today.
I like its proportions. When the first-gen Mustangs were getting big, Lido said to tone it down so the next gen was moved onto the Pinto platform, yielding a much more compact machine that was more in keeping with the category of pony car. Not Clydesdale. It feels like the scrappy little Escorts and Capris of British Touring Car Championships when fully built out, densely packed and intense, like a bantamweight boxer. A lot of capability in a small package.
Just so long as you keep the stripes. The Mustang II’s tape package was The Bomb.