First-Year Mustang II Can't Hang On Until It Gets Collectible, Heading To Crusher

Illustration for article titled First-Year Mustang II Cant Hang On Until It Gets Collectible, Heading To Crusher

Reviled as it may be nowadays, the '74 Mustang II sold very well; about 386,000 of the Pinto-derived Mustang rolled off the showroom floors that year, nearly triple the number of '73s that Ford managed to move.

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Illustration for article titled First-Year Mustang II Cant Hang On Until It Gets Collectible, Heading To Crusher

Could you get a Pinto with red velour interior? Well, probably, but it wouldn't have had the sporty cachet of the Mustang!

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Illustration for article titled First-Year Mustang II Cant Hang On Until It Gets Collectible, Heading To Crusher

There's a sad story being told in this photograph; note the San Francisco parking tickets and parole officer's calling card. Did the car's owner get hauled off to the clink for a parole violation, while his or her car stayed on the street to collect street-sweeping tickets and, ultimately, a tow-truck ride to the junkyard?

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DISCUSSION

My brother had a coupe like this, a '76 I think, for a while - handed down from his father-in-law and it floated around as a spare car for emergency use. I drove it for a couple of weeks while my car was out of action and I could see how in 1974 you could feel pretty sporty in one of these.

Random observations:

Nice low seating position. More sporty than a later Fox or SN95. Probably better shifter positioning too but it was an auto so it's hard to compare. Certainly can't be any worse.

Power steering is ridiculous - steering effort is like your car with the front wheels jacked up off the ground while the engine is running.

Deployed parking brake handle is a source of much childish humor.

A look under the hood reveals that the car is entirely and solely powered by vacuum hoses. There is absolutely no visible evidence of an internal combustion engine under there despite claims of a 2.3L 4 banger.

Why the hell was everybody so hot for Mustang II front suspensions? Because they were independent, compact, readily available and cheap, I can only guess, because the handling and feel was terrible. I guess the ride wasn't too bad though.

His FIL had bought it new and kept it all those years and taken decent care of it but by the time my brother ended up with it, it ran like crap and could barely get up to highway speeds and the transmission was violently opposed to shifting. The baby blue vinyl interior was in pretty decent shape and the white paint was a little faded and dull but still attached in most places.

Today's old crappy cars are a hell of a lot better than yesterday's old crappy cars.