The Truth About Cars » mustang II http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:37:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » mustang II http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1974 Ford Mustang Mach 1 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1974-ford-mustang-mach-1/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1974-ford-mustang-mach-1/#comments Thu, 30 Jan 2014 14:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=727090 02 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAll right, Mustang II experts, I’m going to start right off by saying that this Pinto Mustang might not be a numbers-matching real Mach 1. Maybe it’s a FrankenMustang with what appears to be the correct collection of Mach 1 options. Either way, this fine Malaise Era machine— which I found at a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard a few weeks back— is a fascinating museum of the diminished automotive expectations faced by car shoppers in a grim period in American history.
20 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Mach 1 for ’74 came with a mighty 105 horsepower. No, really.
11 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThanks to Ford’s European operations, a very compact 2.8 liter pushrod V6 was available for the Mustang II. If a Ford dealership also sold Mercury cars, Cologne-powered Capris could be found in the same showroom.
16 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis car received a thick coat of what appears to be gray latex house paint, probably just before it took that final tow-truck ride to the Parking Lot of Automotive Doom.
06 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAutomatic transmission with factory tachometer! Yes, that’s a 5,000 RPM redline on an allegedly sporty V6.
09 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinRemote passenger-side mirror!
07 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinTruly amazing vinyl-on-vinyl-on-pleather PetroPolstery™ seats!
05 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinEither the original buyer of this car cheaped out and got the $61 AM radio instead of the $346 8-track player (that’s $1,634 in today’s dollars, for those of you who scream that your Bluetooth-enabled head unit cost too much), or this is an aftermarket Philco that replaced a stereo ripped off by Seconal-crazed junkie thieves in 1976.
14 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou’d never see a pre-1974 Mach 1 in one of these low-buck self-serve wrecking yards, because such a car would be snapped up at the auction for much more than the junkyard chain’s buyer would ever pay. Poor unloved Mustang II!

01 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1974 Ford Mustang Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/01/junkyard-find-1974-ford-mustang-mach-1/feed/ 117
John Clor, Buck Mook and Howard Payne Are Not At All Ashamed Of The Mustang II http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/john-clor-buck-mook-and-howard-payne-are-not-at-all-ashamed-of-the-mustang-ii/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/john-clor-buck-mook-and-howard-payne-are-not-at-all-ashamed-of-the-mustang-ii/#comments Sat, 21 Sep 2013 17:04:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=522145

Click here to view the embedded video.

The first one that I bought was a Mustang #2
Nobody kept ‘em any longer than they kept a pair of shoes
They started showing up at every used car lot in town
A V-8 on a go-cart, easy terms, no money down
- Daddy’s Cup, Drive By Truckers

Props to Ford for including the Mustang II in its 50th anniversary celebration, featuring the much maligned little pony car in this video with Ford Racing’s John Clor and his pristine 1977 Cobra II. The Dearborn automaker also issued a press release with the almost apologetic title “The Right Car At The Time: The 1974 Ford Mustang II”. The Mustang II is the one Mustang people love to hate. Even Mustang enthusiasts will turn their noses up at a Mustang II. At the recent Mustang Memories show put on by the Mustang Owners Club of Southeast Michigan, with about 800 Mustangs and another 200 Ford powered cars in attendance, I was only able to find a single Mustang II, a ’78 Cobra II that was immaculate. Said to be a glorified Pinto, and indeed originating with the Pinto platform, the Mustang II had the misfortune of being made during the so-called Malaise Era, when cars featured emissions control choked engines, battering ram 5 mph bumpers, tacky ’70s interiors, and loud and large exterior tape and decal treatments. The truth is that the Mustang II wasn’t a failure and that it was indeed the right car for the time.

How can you mock a car this clean? Full gallery here.

How can you mock a car this clean? Full gallery here.

Mustangs had grown fat by the 1973 models. Sales of the pony car had slowed by the 1970s and by late 1970 Lee Iococca, by then president of Ford, had embraced the idea of a smaller Mustang, getting back to its compact Falcon roots. That was well before oil started getting expensive in the wake of the 1973 Yom Kippur war as the Arab oil producing states started flexing their economic muscles. When the oil crisis hit, making a smaller, more fuel efficient Mustang proved to be a fortuitous move. People flocked to buy the Mustang II just as the original Mustang drew people into Ford showrooms in 1964. The Mustang II era includes some of the highest sales years in the nameplate’s history.

John Clor's immaculate 1977 Mustang II Cobra II. Note the Malaise Era trifecta of bold graphics, louvers and T-tops.

John Clor’s immaculate 1977 Mustang II Cobra II. Note the Malaise Era trifecta of bold graphics, louvers and T-tops. Full gallery here.

Coincidentally, just before  Ford released the video with Clor, I had made plans to visit Mustang Alley at the recent Woodward Dream Cruise, specifically to take pictures of Mustang IIs. If I’m the kind of guy who will walk past a half dozen ’69 Camaros to shoot one Corvair, you just know I’ll walk past more mundane Shelbys and Boss 302s to get pics of Mustang IIs.

Nobody knows what happened to the actual TV cars, but the Mustang II was featured on Charlie's Angels, hence the decal on the spoiler. Full gallery here.

Nobody knows what happened to the actual TV cars, but the Mustang II was featured on Charlie’s Angels, hence the decal on the spoiler. Don’t TorqThrust wheels look great, even in small sizes? Full gallery here.

In addition to finding a handful of 2nd generation Mustangs hanging out in the Ferndale district court’s parking lot, Clor’s Cobra II was in a premium spot, a place of honor if you will, right on Nine Mile Road with John dressed in a shirt with both Mustang II and Pinto patches, extolling the Mustang II in general and his Cobra II in particular (it’s a genuine Cobra, so to speak, since Ford paid Carroll Shelby $5 a car for the rights to call it one).

Starting with the Firebird TransAm's "screaming chicken", it became fashionable in the 1970s to plaster a huge decal of some kind of fauna on the hood, in this case, a cobra. This was the only Mustang II out of over 800 Mustangs at the Mustang Memories show. Mustang enthusiasts generally don't have fond memories of the Pinto derived Mustang II. Full gallery here.

Starting with the Firebird TransAm’s “screaming chicken”, it became fashionable in the 1970s to plaster a huge decal of some kind of fauna on the hood, in this case, a cobra. The Mustang II got a snake, the TransAm got a bird, and the Hornet based AMC AMX got a bug. This was the only Mustang II that I could find among over 800 Mustangs at the Mustang Memories show. Mustang enthusiasts generally don’t have fond memories of the Pinto derived Mustang II, but it was hardly the worst car of the era. Full gallery here.

Clor hasn’t been the only person who worked at Ford whom I’ve met at car shows that is not at all ashamed of the Mustang II. Retired Ford designer Howard “Buck” Mook is active in the Detroit area car collecting community, bringing his cars to local shows and serving as a judge at events like the Eyes On Design and Concours of America shows. His resume includes some Ford’s F series trucks and while still in design school he helped customizing great Dean Jeffries create the Monkeemobile and Green Hornet Black Beauty television cars. Buck was responsible for the three-door fastback shape of the Mustang II (Dick Nesbitt drew the notchback variant).

notchbackimg_0234_l

Lee Iacocca had two competing teams work on the Mustang II, an important project at Ford. Howard “Buck” Mook, of the Mercury design team drew the fastback. Dick Nesbitt of the Ford team drew the notchback. Is there some kind of metaphor about blind justice and how the Mustang II is regarded? Full gallery here.

Another Howard, Howard Payne, headed the interior design team. Payne’s own resume includes the model he made with John Orfe that ultimately became the 1961 Lincoln Continental. You can mock the Mustang II all you want but it was a priority job and Ford assigned some of their best talent to the task.

Interior designer Howard Payne said that no expense was spared and the cockpit has aged well.

Interior designer Howard Payne said that no expense was spared and it shows. The cockpit has indeed aged well. Full gallery here.

Payne says that his team was told to spare no expense, and the Mustang II cockpit has aged well. Like Mook, Payne can be seen showing one of his cars at local shows. I’ve run into them at different events around town. Actually, I ran into both of them at the same time once, when Mook was showing his French Ford Comete and Payne his own Cord at the Orphan Car Show.

78 king cobra black_l

Some folks may laugh at the Mustang II King Cobra, but even with a smog choked 302, because of its light weight it was actually faster than many V8 powered first generation Mustangs. The rack & pinion steering and control arms have made Mustang II front suspensions popular with customizers and hot rodders. Full gallery here.

As mentioned, they’re not ashamed at all about the Mustang II and will gladly talk about their experiences designing it. They might also mention that while sales later dropped, the first year the Mustang II was on sale, it sold almost 386,000 units, the most of any Mustangs since 1968 and one of the best years ever in the car’s now half century history.

John Clor. Note the Pinto patch on his sleeve besides  the one for the Mustang II. Full gallery of John's '77 Cobra II here.

J\Ford Racing’s John Clor. Note the Pinto patch on his sleeve besides the one for the Mustang II. Full gallery of John’s ’77 Cobra II here.

The inclusion of the Mustang II in the Mustang’s golden anniversary celebrations is appropriate, if only because of its role in the nameplate’s history. Unlike the Chevy Camaro and the Dodge Challenger, the Mustang never went out of production, in no small part due to the Mustang II’s success keeping the nameplate alive. While it may have had its shortcomings as a car, the ultimate measure of success in the auto industry is selling a lot of units.

76 fastback white_l

Per the “Grand National Effect” most Mustang IIs that you see today are Cobra models, but as you can see from this 1976 fastback, the car could be ordered without gaudy stripes and decals. It has a Stallion decal on the hood but I’m not sure that it’s a Stallion edition. Full gallery here.

Over 5 model years, Ford sold over 1.1 million Mustang IIs. Cars, though, are also a hobby in addition to being a major industry. The inclusion of the Mustang II in Ford’s celebration of the pony car’s 50th anniversary is also appropriate because the people who own and collect them obviously love them as much as owners of first generation K-code Mustangs love those cars.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can dig deeper at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

snake decal img_0294a_l 76 cobra ii black charlies angles_l 76 cobra ii black_l 76 fastback white_l 78 king cobra black_l clorimg_0210_l interiorimg_0292_l john clor img_0207_l king cobra silver img_0286_l notchbackimg_0234_l ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/09/john-clor-buck-mook-and-howard-payne-are-not-at-all-ashamed-of-the-mustang-ii/feed/ 107
Behind the Orange Curtain, 1993 Edition: V8 Mustang II, Ran When Parked http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/behind-the-orange-curtain-1993-edition-v8-mustang-ii-ran-when-parked/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/behind-the-orange-curtain-1993-edition-v8-mustang-ii-ran-when-parked/#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2011 17:30:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=408768 After sharing this beater Torino wagon I photographed back in the early 1990s, I ran across a series of shots of an even Malaise-ier machine. Just as silver miners often find lead mixed in with their metal of choice (or maybe it’s the other way around), I keep discovering long-forgotten car photos as I scan the negatives for the 1965 Impala Hell Project series. Here’s a car that I believe has a 0.00043% chance of having avoided The Crusher during the 18 years that have passed since these photos were taken.
During a visit to a friend’s place in Santa Ana, I spotted this basket-case Mustang II in a driveway across the street. I had just discovered the joys of cheap 35mm cameras at that time, so I’d ditched the AE-1 in favor of thrift-store point-and-shoots, disposable cameras hacked and reloaded with black-and-white film, and crappy panorama cameras. This Mustang seemed like a good subject for some artsy experimentation, and so I shot it with three different terrible cameras. This panorama camera had such terrible light leakage that the sun-in-background shots blew out the images in several adjacent frames.
These days, the few Mustang IIs that didn’t die donating their front suspensions to Model A Fords are enjoying something of a comeback. They’re not exactly valuable, but they’re worth a lot more than the nadir of value they reached in the early 1990s.
The Pinto-based Mustang II spent the entire decade of the 1980s being loathed by car freaks, and so an ugly 15-year-old example with mismatched body parts— even with Centerlines— would be about as desirable in 1993 as, say, a slushbox ’91 Hyundai Scoupe with a full Manny, Moe, and Jack customization and a potato for a gas cap would be today.
But look! Finding details in these blurry, grainy photos is like looking for the second gunman in frames of the Zapruder Film, but this car definitely has a V8 emblem on the fender. The Mustang II was available with a just-barely-into-triple-digits-horsepower 302 starting in 1975, but the problem in 1993 was that California hadn’t yet exempted pre-1976 cars from emissions testing. That meant that the owner of this car couldn’t swap in a real V8 and still pass the smog test. Not that it really mattered, since this Mustang probably hadn’t run since Reagan’s first term by the time I photographed it.

93-SantaAnaMustangII-V8Emblem 93-MustangII 93-SantaAnaMustangII2 93-SantaAnaMustangII3 93-SantaAnaMustangII4 93-SantaAnaMustangII-1280 Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/08/behind-the-orange-curtain-1993-edition-v8-mustang-ii-ran-when-parked/feed/ 25
Curbside Classic: Ford’s Deadly Sin#1 – 1975 Mustang Cobra II http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/04/curbside-classic-fords-deadly-sin1-1975-mustang-cobra-ii/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/04/curbside-classic-fords-deadly-sin1-1975-mustang-cobra-ii/#comments Thu, 01 Apr 2010 15:01:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=351000

Powered By Ford. There’s something special about those words, something iconic, something that evokes nightmares of an uniquely American scope, from our first family cross-country trips in a 1954 Ford that perpetually overheated and stalled from vapor lock (when it actually started) to the last one, Mother’s craptastic 1981 Escort (replaced by a Civic)  that could barely do seventy wheezing unsteadily along the rain-soaked I-70 straight. Powered by Ford. It’s the peeling logo hastily slapped onto the valve covers of this five-liter Mustang II, but you won’t need to raise the hood to understand what it means. The first time this pathetic lump of an engine tries to suck air through its tiny two-barrel carburetor and wheezes its feeble exhaust through soda-straw sized tailpipes, it will be more than crystal clear.

My apologies to Jack Baruth (and it’s not the first time I’ve stolen some of his words). But his stirring words of worship at the altar of Ford compels me to release the anti-Ford held safely thus far in my digital files, and unleash its full 122 horsepower V8 fury upon his Mustang love poem.  Nature seeks a balance, and for every heroic blue oval exploit at Le Mans in 1967 and Topanga Canyon Road in 2010, there is a 1971 LTD or this 1975 Mustang Cobra II to offset the glory. We wouldn’t want to be accused of being Ford fan-boys at TTAC, now would we?

The Mustang II was a truly wretched car. Obviously, it couldn’t have been much worse than its predecessor, that hideously oversized barge of a draft-horse car, the ’71-’73 ‘Stang. Or could it? One wants desperately to give Lee Iacocca credit for trying to do the right thing: dramatically downsize the Mustang to make it competitive with the Euro style “super-coupes” that were the hot thing after the pony car market collapsed under the weight of its wretched excess.

So the target competition for the Mustang II were the Toyota Celica, Opel Manta, and Ford’s own European import, the Capri (sold by Mercury). Therein lies the sum and substance of Ford’s enormous mistake with the Mustang II, the same one that GM and Ford repeated endlessly until they were finally pounded into submission. Instead of just building the highly competent Capri as the Mustang II, or in the case of GM, the Manta/Opel 1900, in their US factories, they threw themselves repeatedly on the sword of hubris: we can do it better in Detroit, even small sporty and economy cars, something the Europeans had been building and perfecting for decades.

GM’s Vega was the first to go down this path, if we generously give the Corvair a pass. The Opel 1900/Manta was a delightful-handling and well designed car, and with a tiny fraction of the money wasted on the Vega’s development, it could have been made truly superb. Ford’s Pinto was only marginally better than the Vega because it didn’t blow up or rust quite so instantaneously, but its silly low, short and wide and cramped body were retrograde from the perfectly practical English Ford Cortina that donated much of its guts for it.

That was 1971. That was also the year Mercury started selling the Capri here. Surprisingly, or not, it became a genuine hit, and at its peak, was the number two selling import in the land after the VW Beetle. Reviews praised it: (R/T) “a very attractive sporting car. It’s solid as a Mercedes, still compact and light in the context of 1974 barrier busters, fast, reasonably economical of fuel, precise-handling, and quick-stopping: its engine and drivetrain are both sporty and refined.” Apparently not good enough for Lido; he had wrought a true miracle turning the Falcon into the original Mustang, so why not do the same thing with the Pinto? Why not indeed! Unlike lightening, hubris always strikes after someone’s first success, deserved or not.

A reworked front end and some new longer rear springs were designed to quiet down the Pinto’s notorious trashy interior noise levels and general structural inefficiencies ( the whole car rattles and rustles like a burlap bag full of tin cups. Self destruction seems only moments away. C/D 1971) . Lee wanted the Mustang II to have a touch of luxury to it, especially in the padded-top Ghia series; a sort of mini-T Bird. So, yes, let’s put lots of cushy rubber and soft springs in the suspension to give it a nice ride on the freeway.

But somehow, all that sound deadening and whatever else the Ford boys did to transform the Pinto into the Mustang II must have weighed a lot; well, lead is a terrific sound barrier. The unfortunate result was that the Mustang II weighed more than the original Mustang, despite the fact that its wheelbase was now a full foot shorter and it sported a four cylinder engine. But Powered By Ford was stamped or glued to the new 2.3 liter OHC four, a noisy and thrashy lump that soldiered on for decades. Generating all of eighty-eight horsepower, Ford’s long investment in racing engines was now really paying off.

If the four wasn’t quite recreating the Le Mans Mulsanne straight experience adequately, the Cologne V6 was the only option for more go in 1974, the II’s first year. C/D tested the new Mach 1 version with the 105 hp 2.8 six, and noted right off the bat that it was saddled with too much weight: “Our test car weighed over 3100 lbs…(the V-6 Capri we tested in 1972 weighed slightly under 2400 lbs)…the (Mustang’s) engine is more notable for its smoothness than any feel of power”. The quarter mile took over eighteen seconds (@74 mph), and zero to sixty took over twelve seconds. Ouch. But it probably had a nicer ride than the Capri. Oh, did it ever:

As the Mustang II Mach I (with the optional “competition” suspension) approaches its cornering limits, the front end transmits the fact that it definitely is plowing…enthusiasts are going to be disappointed..excessive body lean was present in all handling tests…” The Mustang II plowed and handled like crap with the light four and little German V6 under the hood, so it doesn’t take much of an imagination to speculate what it handled like when Ford finally shoehorned the 302 V8 into it for 1975, for all the wrong reasons. And the fact that it was still riding on 13″ wheels didn’t help any either.

Before we get on to the Cobra II, let’s note that C/D felt that the new four speed transmission that was developed in the US specifically for it was “not as smooth shifting as the current Pinto 4-speed” (sourced from Europe). And the fact that it was given the Pinto’s brakes without change wasn’t too inspiring either: “difficult to maintain precise directional stability during hard stops”. C/D sums the Mach1 up this way: “its acceleration and performance don’t match expectations. Much of that is due to weight and some to emission standards, but neither of these factors justify the car’s flaccid handling”.

Given that Ford had to do some fairly extensive work on the Mustang II’s front end to accommodate the V8 implant, it’s obvious that they never planned on that outcome. And given that the 302 put out a mere 122 hp in 1975, one wonders why go to all the trouble, given the dramatic increase in front end weight it caused. Ford should have spent money on its turbo-four program a few years earlier. Or found a way to federalize the DOHC and fuel injection engines it used in Europe. But the American legacy of Ford was built around V8s, and what’s a Mustang without one: Powered By (genuine US) Ford.

Now we can finally speak our vile words about the actual Cobra II. Please note that this is the very first automobile to carry that august name since the original. As thus, it was one of the most disastrous abuses of destroying equity in a name that was a true legend.  That it was put on such a ridiculous pretender of a car, a Pinto (barely) in disguise, is almost mind boggling. Anything  positive anyone can say about the Mustang II program is instantly offset by this cruel joke made by Lido and his not-so Whiz Kids. And it only got worse with the King Cobra version a couple years later. The seventies really were the pits, US-built automobile wise anyway, and the Mustang II was the little pebble lodged at the bottom of the pit.

It turned out that real V8 performance in an excellently handling coupe was still in demand, and very much available, in the form of the Camaro Z-28. And at a price that put the Mustang II Mach I and Cobra II to infinite shame. In the very same issue of C/D is a test of the 1973 Camaro Z-28 with the slightly civilized but still very satisfying 350 V8 that churned out 245 hp, exactly double (plus one) of the Mustang’s V8. And the Z 28 cracked off the dash to sixty in 6.7 seconds, almost exactly one half of the Mustang Mach I’s time. And ran a 15 second quarter at 95 mph. And handled and steered most properly indeed.

C/D summed it up the Z28 this way: “Because few cars at any price offer the refinement in going, stopping, and turning abilities. And that refinement is housed in one of the most handsome forms ever to roll out of Detroit. But the real clincher is price: the latest Z-28 is a blue chip investment.”

Here’s the shocker: the Z-28, equipped with the potent V8 and four speed, stickered at $4066 ($19k adjusted). The 1975 Mustang II Mach I with the V6 listed at $4188; how much more the Cobra II package and the V8 cost is a guess. Half the horsepower, twice as long to sixty, miserable handling, in a ridiculous and mal-proportioned body with a yard too much front overhang. No wonder the Camaro rated a “GM’s Greatest Hits” designation at CC (here’s the full gushing writeup), and this Mustang II earns Ford’s first Deadly Sin. Powered By Ford.

More new Curbside Classics here

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/04/curbside-classic-fords-deadly-sin1-1975-mustang-cobra-ii/feed/ 135