Ford Authority

Remembering The Ford Mustang II: History Alley

Earlier in the week, Autoblog published a piece by Murilee Martin (of 24 Hours of Lemons/The Truth About Cars fame) about one of Ford’s most unfortunate models: the Mustang II.

As sorry and unusual a car as the Mustang II was, being built on the same platform as the subcompact Pinto, its humble underpinnings were chosen with a noble goal in mind: weight loss. The first-generation Ford Mustang grew in just about every dimension during its 9 years of production, swelling from its lean, 2,500-pound starting point by some 800 pounds. The switch to the platform underpinning the Pinto meant that weight could drop back down to a more palatable 2,600 pounds.

“The bad news,” Murilee writes, “was that the Mustang II was, well, a Pinto underneath.”

According to him, the majority of Mustang II examples were had with the anemic, 2.3-liter I4, which produced somewhere around 88 horsepower. A 2.8-liter Cologne V6 and 5.0-liter Windsor V8 were available, but comparatively rare. For all intents and purposes, the Ford Mustang had become a small, underpowered, economical coupe with (perhaps disingenuous) sporty styling by Ghia.

The Ford Mustang II was only sold from 1974 to 1978, until it was replaced with the Fox-platform third-generation model. For many, it was a change of pace that couldn’t have come soon enough.

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

Subscribe to Ford Authority

For around-the-clock Ford news coverage

We'll send you one email per day with the latest Ford updates. It's totally free.


  1. Ken

    It sold well and kept it alive.

  2. Mark Masten

    I drive a Mustang II. ’74 Mach1. Ordered her in ’73. 360,000 miles, Philco-Ford 8-track.

    1. Bobby Gallimore

      The MII would not work on the Pinto platform and therefore has its on.
      They have no more in common with the Pinto than any other Ford. Please stop repeating this false information that people keep repeating because thats what they have heard. Do some research please and get the facts…

  3. Bobby Gallimore

    The MII ended up with its own platform..
    Not the Pinto..Please do research before posting untrue so called facts like this..
    The MII has really nothing in common with the Pinto other than being a FORD and a few parts that all Fords have in common..So much false information and people just keep repeating it…


Leave a comment