Mustang II popularity

Discussion in '1974 - 1978 Mustang II Talk & Tech' started by deadhead5.0, May 2, 2005.


  1. parthos

    parthos Founding Member

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    Ah don't let the know it alls get to ya. The II is just like any other Mustang, with it's strength's and weaknesses. The only thing is with a II getting direct fit parts is starting to get tough, yet you can get complete bolt in whatever for any other Mustang... But it was blessed with a great front suspension, and anything else I can build off of.

    If you really want to get creative, places like chris alston chassis works and other race car component dealers will hook you up with almost anything for any car... Think of it this way, stock restoration, the IIs are getting rare... And when you are building a dedicated race car, most of the time it's going to be custom built just like every other race car... The II's a great starting platform for almost anything.

    [​IMG]
    #41
  2. walter

    walter Founding Member

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    I'm not going to lie I was one of the "brainwashed" types that automatically assumed the MII was a bad car. Partially it was due to the performance restrictions from fuel economy, safety, and emissions, part of it was from the styling which wasn't my cup of tea (though I have since found a few models of the series to be pretty cool looking) but also partially because of the similarities and parallels to the Pinto which went down in history as one of Ford's most misunderstood cars with an explosive past to say the least.

    I started changing my way of thinking toward the car after reading a couple of Mustang coffee table books I got at Xmas. One has to look at how the car came about to really appreciate it. While others (like GM and Chrysler) were building clunkers that were merely shadows of their past days Ford decided to go a different way and to build a new car that was suitable for the times without any pretense all the while paying homage to the "glory days". Performance was thus up to par with the times and was more then adequate to keep the model fresh and practical. It also helped a lot the fact that Iacocca was involved with this car which gave it that element of legitimacy that some of the more famous and recent models don't have. I'm sure if a lot of the bashers took the time to get to know the car they would probably change their mind like I did. How could I consider myself a "true" mustang enthusiast if I didn't give this model the proper credit?
    #42
  3. Wart

    Wart I'm Mad as HELL and I'M not Gonna Take it ANYMORE! Founding Member

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    Same here.

    I've come to understand that even when someone knows what their hearing is bull **** and / or don't care to hear it the bull **** still has an effect and that someone starts to believing the bull ****.

    I thought the II was ... whatever .... then in September of '78 I went to the Ford dealer to see the 'new and improved' '79 Mustang.

    I had to have the car pointed out to me. Since when did Mustangs look like that? Ford didn't even take a II and beat it with an ugly stick, Ford started with a completely different car and beat IT with an ugly stick. And they beat it mercilessly.

    I can live with ugly. That is if the Ugly has some character.

    With the '79 "Mustang" Ford made a bland econobox void of style, a shoebox with a huge trapezoid sat on top, all straight lines .... and 4 freaking eyes? WTF?

    You could start by understanding that not a damned thing in this world is "all or nothing".
    #43
  4. Dano78

    Dano78 Founding Member

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    You can't compare these hp ratings. In 1973 or 74 they changed the rating system. It's like comparing apples to oranges in a bad way.

    I liked my II when no one else did and the junk yards were full of them. The more people like IIs the less I like mine at times.
    Went to a 'cruise' this last weekend. Was estimated that 1500+ cars were in attendance. (it was freaking PACKED in our downtown area) Not 1 single Mustang II was there other than mine. A restored rock-stock pinto wagon was the only thing close. That made my day ten-fold! I love it when people come up to me and ask "What kind of car is that?" (even from folks older than me...) You can't put a price on that stuff!
    #44
  5. COBRA 7

    COBRA 7 Founding Member

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    "What kind of car is that?"

    I got that just yesterday.

    The older our cars get... The better. :D
    #45
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  6. Jax Rhapsody

    Jax Rhapsody Member

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    They didn't change the rating system, they went from crank hp to rwhp. Which means if the recorded hp for a 78 302 Mii is 140 then it's actually about150@ the crank.

    Funyy how in a thread about how people diss the Mii, theres alot of hate fox body this, ugly foxbody that. I look at it as an MII being based off a Pinto is a bull excuse. Let me know when a Mustang gets it's own chassis thats shared by nothing else. Tell those 1st gen owners they have nothing but a worked over Falcon. The Fox owners have nothing to brag about sitting on a shortened Granada chassis. Fox4's are still fox chassis.
    And the s197's, they're based on a car based on a car. That is to say the s197 is based in the DC2 ie failed Lincoln LS(3.7 V8, bleh) and Tbird which is based on the MN12 chassis(Tbird, Cougar, Mark VIII). Those are the ones the Mustang world should tease. Especially since it managed to loose it's IRS. The only thing wrong with MII's is finding one.
    #46
  7. Steel Steeds

    Steel Steeds New Member

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    That's not true. No manufacturer uses RWHP, only guys who've taken their car to a shop with a chassis dyno.
    What actually happened is that in 1972 the gubmint told the auto companies that they were not being realistic, because the SAE horsepower numbers were crank ratings for a motor with absolutely no accessories attached, and no exhaust system hooked up. No power steering, no alternator, no air conditioning, no water pump. That tended to inflate things a bit. So, they mandated the usage of Net Horsepower, which is still obtained at the crank, but must have all standard accessory items hooked up, as well as the exhaust system that will be used in the vehicle, with all required emissions items also attached.
    Gee, numbers went down a lot, even though actual performance did not.

    Actually, the Fox Mustang is based on the Fairmont, not the Granada.
    #47
  8. Cobra II

    Cobra II New Member

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    I think all the "negative pub" started in the late 80's by a few "auto journalist experts" who had several publications out then. 10 years after the production on IIs ended it had become quite dated, and HP improvements were almost double what they were a decade prior. Styling had dramatically changed too.
    Remember most of the '70's press was positive, the only shortcomings were economy and handling (understeer). But every area was an improvement (as it should have been) for the times. Years later it is easy to take out of context and compare it to newer models, but is unfair to do so.
    Among Mustang enthusiasts I think the negative pub is caused by one factor: The largest (or most HP) engine within a bodystyle.
    1965-68 had a 335HP 428 Cobra Jet available
    1969-70 had a 375HP Boss 429 available
    1971-73 had a 370HP 429 available
    1974-78 had a 139HP 302 2V available
    1979-93 had a 235HP 5.0L V8 available
    1994-2004 had a 390HP 4.6L V8 available
    2005-2011 had a 550HP 4.6L V8 available

    So I think that if Ford had put a 351 4V in the '78 King Cobra the Mustang II as a whole would be more respected.
    When's the last time you saw someone slam an '81 Cobra with a 4.2L V8??

    I was born in '74. At 2 I was in love w/my dad's friend's Ghia, and mine looks like it now. The yellow '73 coupe next door to me meant NOTHING to me.
    The '74 looks like the '65.
    When I was 3 I used to pretend my Big Wheel was a black and gold '77 Cobra II. Now I have a white and blue one. It's all about perception.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #48
  9. 69gmachine

    69gmachine Member

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    In 1977 my older brother and I stopped at Keller's drive in on Northwest highway in Dallas for lunch one day. There was an absolutely gorgeous black and orange Cobra II parked next to us. I fell in love. I was only 16 and had no way to buy a new car, but I knew I wanted a Mustang right then.

    I had no idea at the time that a Mustang II wasn't "popular" and as far as I could tell it WAS popular. When I was finally able to buy a new car, I bought a brand new '79 coupe with a 2.3 4 cylinder. It had no power, no personality and it was just plain ugly. I only kept it a year and traded it in on a "real" Mustang; a 78 hatchback with a V-6.

    That's where my hot rod addiction started. When the little V6 threw a rod, I put a 302 in it with a Comp Cams 268H and a Holley 600. With help from ET Racing in Garland, Texas we managed to force a full size scattershield in it with a 164 tooth flywheel and a 4 speed top loader. I put a 9" rear from a '70 Mustang out back (made the wheels stick out too far, but hey I was just a kid). I had the front rotors drilled out for 5 lugs as this was before all the hot rod kits were available. I put some 14" wheels on it and thought it was one righteous ride. Man I miss that car!
    #49
  10. 54deuce

    54deuce Member

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    For as much negative stuff I hear on line and read about these cars I never expected positive feedback from the public when I take mine out. But were ever I go with the car people are drawn to it and love it. As far as parts, exhaust (headers), and trans swaps they are difficult to find and do but thats the price you pay when you have a unique vehicle. And what alot of people dont realize is if we didnt have the II we would not have are foxbodys or terminators or GT500s that are cranking out alot of power. It was the right car for the time and I am glad I own one.
    #50
  11. joeythesaint

    joeythesaint New Member

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    I've always loved muscle cars. My first car was a '71 Chevelle. I found my II's body at a swap meet and had a vision of a Rat Fink cartoon. Little car, big engine. Radical, irreverent. Flamethrower exhausts. Dragster scoop. The kind that guys used to draw on their notebooks back in high school.

    I wanted something like this:

    [​IMG]

    I built this:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I must confess that I love going to a coffee shop and sitting in the window, watching people stop and admire my car. More often than not I'll come out of a store or bar and find a knot of people standing around it.

    I get a whole lot of "What is THAT?" but the car is a head-turner regardless.

    The II makes a great pro-street platform; I'm surprised we haven't seen one on Pinks. I sure see a lot of iron-headed small-block mid-80's Mustangs taking it home, and the II is far lighter and runs the same drivetrain.

    The II is hated out of ignorance. It was a misunderstood car in its time and a lot of the hate these days comes from those with limited vision.
    #51
  12. sally78

    sally78 New Member

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    I thoroughly enjoyed reading that. Thanks.
    #52
  13. innocentfool

    innocentfool Founding Member

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    I own a King Cobra. It was my first Mustang, bought it because it looked cool, and i loved the way the interior looked. and i got it for a great price. that was 20 years ago this July. i havent really driven the car much, it is a project that i slowly do work on as the rest of my life goes. but it has been around longer than any GF, survived a marriage and divorce and always seems to get the same reaction when someone new sees it, 'wow cool car, i knew someone that used to have a mustang like that'

    i have seen maybe one mustang II driving around once a year, and that suits me fine. i like have something different,something that makes people stare(hence why i date this hot chick now! LOL)

    the car is a non t-top, A/C equipped, four speed with 110,000kms and original paint and decals that needs to be redone, but it is all there. in the last 20yrs i have had 6 other IIs and stored some parts from them when i was done, so i was thinking ahead.

    i love my car, dont care what haters think:canada:
    #53
  14. Ron Hulzebos

    Ron Hulzebos New Member

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    a lot of people dislike the 11's because it took place during the fuel crisis and made huge changes that a lot did not agree with, I bought a 77 m11 to start with loved it and stumbled upon a 78 cobra 11 with only 88000k on it and it has been with me now since 1988, I love the attention it gets running down the street and I have had many people running up to the car at red light's just to compliment the car, they are making a come back it seems. I also like the very uniqueness of the car, now granted with the lack of room it is a total pain to work on but when it is all said and done it is well worth the effert, I am sure mine will still be with me till the day I die, then my son wants it
    #54
  15. 1970impala

    1970impala Please God, somebody find me some WHITE CARGO PANE Founding Member

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    I have fought many years against the MII classification syndrome in my area. I have heard people mentioning at various shows that the look of the MII cobra was all fake....especially the defunct hoodscoop. I also agree with Fox body profile mentioned by LXXVICOBRA. What a shame.:(
    #55
  16. Mstng2

    Mstng2 Founding Member

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    I think a lot of Mustang owners and even II owners allow the Myth of "The II wasn't a popular car." Nothing is farther from the truth. It's called re-writing history, the loudness of the voice of the Mustang owners who were disgruntled with the lack of power have (over the last 20 years) convinced many that the II was not popular. The Mustang II was INSANELY Popular from 74-78
    Fact is the Mustang II is still to this day one of the top ten best selling Mustangs of all time!

    Some other Mustang II Myths...

    The Mustang II was SLOW, yes but not for it's day
    It was NOT slow for it's day.
    Yes, it was lower in HP numbers than the 60's Mustangs and of course lower than the high tech cars of today but it was right in the ballpark for the cars of the 70's:
    1978 Camaro 305 V-8 135 HP vs 1978 Mustang II 302 V-8 139 HP. Yet you never hear the Chevy Fans bag on the Camaro...

    It doesn't even LOOK like a Mustang... Oh really??

    [​IMG]

    "The Mustang II was "Unpopular"...
    Not True...
    The Mustang II is and remains one of the top ten selling Mustangs of all time, it was also the 1974 Motor Trend Car of the Year.
    SALES FIGURES:
    67: 474,121
    68: 317,404
    69: 299,824
    70: 190,727
    71: 149,678
    72: 125,093
    73: 134,867
    74: 385,993
    75: 188,575
    76: 187,567
    77: 153,173
    78: 192,410
    79: 369,936
    80: 271,322
    81: 181,552
    82: 130,418
    83: 120,873
    84: 135,678
    85: 156,514
    86: 224,410
    87: 159,145
    88: 211,225
    89: 209,769
    90: 128,189
    91: 98,737
    92: 79,280
    93: 114,228
    94: 123,198
    95: 190,994
    96: 142,267
    97: 108,344
    98: 175,522
    99: 138,790
    00: 215,393
    01: 161,227
    02: 142,404
    03: 153,134
    04: 154,753
    05: 165,762
    06:
    07: 134,626
    08: 91,251

    Basically, the TRUTH is slowly coming back as the old school folks that propagated the Myths die. (literally)
    #56
  17. 1970impala

    1970impala Please God, somebody find me some WHITE CARGO PANE Founding Member

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    It doesn't even LOOK like a Mustang... Oh really??

    [​IMG]

    This Cobra III is a fake decal, correct?
    #57
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  18. Mstng2

    Mstng2 Founding Member

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    Yea that's a photoshop Job I found, not sure who to credit it to. :)
    #58
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  19. 1970impala

    1970impala Please God, somebody find me some WHITE CARGO PANE Founding Member

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    That is awesome! we need to begin making that viral.
    #59
  20. Ron Hulzebos

    Ron Hulzebos New Member

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    I also notice a lot of mustang parts websites do not even mention the 74 to 78 cars but at the same time I have got to the mustang shop here in Calgary and asked for stuff to fit my Cobra and find that they are willing to help with locating parts and getting them in with all the other parts shipping to help keep the costs down a little and they seem to show more interest now as they also did not look at the old 74 to 78 era, we are a select few but we will keep them running and on the streets
    #60

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