This is sort of an experiment. I want to know if, by just posting some vintage ads, an otherwise rational human can be made to have feelings of desire for a Ford Mustang II, widely considered to be the least desirable Mustang of all, and that includes a Fox-body Mustang your brother’s roommate once puked in.

The Mustang II was launched in 1973 and was based on the Pinto platform. It was primarily an effort to have a smaller, more efficient Mustang, and since it came along right as the 1973 Oil Crisis hit, it’s hard to argue that it wasn’t a decent idea. And, they actually sold pretty well, considering.

Still, Mustang purists and people who wanted a performance car to be not, you know, sloth-like, weren’t happy. And even in the compact car context, it wasn’t doing so hot — Consumer Reports recommended the AMC Gremlin over it. The Gremlin.

So, okay, we get it. No one likes the Mustang II. But I’m going to ask you to really open your mind as I show you these ads, and then let’s see how you feel. Here we go.

I’ll start off gently:


You probably never liked the Mustang II because you thought the fun was optional. Well, I’m happy to tell you you’re wrong. Dead wrong. The fun is standard, jackass. STANDARD. Plus, look at the size of that hatch! It’s like a cellar door, which is often cited as one of the most beautiful phrases.

Okay. You’re probably softened up a bit. Let’s keep playing this cool and easy. Who likes saffron?


You do! Right? You love saffron! You just can’t get enough of yellow, yellow, yellow, right? Right? Look how goddamn yellow everything is there — the cars, the sky, the airplane, every single jaundiced scrap of that interior. How can you not love a car so willing and eager to be so freaking yellow? I love it.

I wonder what will be ––


WHAM! Woah — what the hell just happened? I’ll tell you what happened — you just got KING COBRA’d, bitch! That’s right — feast your eyes on the orange-is-the-new-old-black glory of his majesty, the King Cobra. Gone is the little anemic Pinto and in its place growls a 302 V8. Plus, T-top, and what I’m assuming is some sort of stylized snake on the hood.

Are we getting closer to pushing you into Mustang II acceptance? Will this help?


Just look at her there, standing like an elegant floor lamp through the sunroof of that deliriously brown Mustang II. Is she toweling herself off? Listening intently to her scarf? I’m not sure, and I don’t care. I just want to be there for her, in my Mustang II. Shit, I think all these are working on me.

Let’s class this up a bit:


A Ghia edition. That’s right, the Italian taste-makers at Ghia took a break from welding together all those Karmann-Ghias to breathe ultrablue class all over the Mustang II. It’s got so much class it made that guy sling his sportcoat over his shoulder, hooked rakishly on a solitary finger. No wonder that lady is giving him all that hot leaning-on action. If you want to be leaned on — and I mean, really leaned on — you’ve GOT to get yourself a Mustang II.

Plus, those sparkles on the bumper. Where was this photo taken, Elf heaven?

Okay, time for a palette cleanser:


T-top, sort-of-Targa-looking roll bar trim, front air dam, that thick, woolen sweater, the understated sensuality of seafoam green, parked in a damp, black void, this, this is what dreams are made of.

Okay. Final push. This one’s got to do it:


See what’s happening there? That guy has a Mustang II. It doesn’t even have the T-tops, (it’s the Mustang II version of the Mach I), it’s not a King Cobra and yet, look. Just look. Infer that dialogue. The dude is 20 minutes away from the three-way that will come to define his entire young life.

That’s the power of the Mustang II.

So. Did these change your mind? Should you open a Craigslist window now?

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