Junkyard Find: 1978 Ford Mustang Stallion

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1978 ford mustang stallion

After the first-generation Mustang went from frisky lightweight to bloated monstrosity, Ford transferred the name over to an economy car based on the Pinto. This proved to be a wise move, in light of certain geopolitical events that took place right around the time the first Mustang IIs began rolling into showrooms, but most of the old Mustang magic was lost during the Pinto-ization process.

Ford created a bunch of flashy trim packages for the car, and I spotted one of the more unusual ones in a Denver self-serve yard a couple of weeks back: the Stallion.

The Stallion Option Group was appearance-only, and got you stuff like a black grille, black rocker panels, and these snazzy fender decals. The Stallion could be ordered in Silver Metallic, Vermillion, Bright Yellow, or Silver Blue Glow paint.

While a 2.8-liter V6 and 5.0-liter V8 were available engine options, this car has the base 2.3-liter four-cylinder. Power was rated at 19 horsepower, on a good day (actually, it was 88).

This car is in the same yard as this ’79 Mustang Cobra, so it’s possible that both came from the collection of the same Malaise Mustang hoarder.

As recently as five years ago, every Mustang II front suspension got yanked and purchased within days of hitting a cheap self-serve yard like this one, because hot-rodders use them to modernize ancient Detroit machinery. These days, though, it’s easier to just buy a brand-new aftermarket setup.

Go Mustang!

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3 of 44 comments
  • CaptainObvious CaptainObvious on Apr 09, 2019

    Watching the commercials - I'm reminded of another that played at the same time with the tagline: Mustang II - Boredom 0! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzhtHx0p-dM And this commercial mentions the Stallion package!

  • Rocketrodeo Rocketrodeo on Apr 14, 2019

    Destined to be the rarest of Mustangs, due to the widespread ignorance that is perfectly reflected here, by people who should know better. The Mustang II was not a response to the gas crisis; it anticipated it and was on the market at just the right time. It was the first downsized American car, and it was wildly successful, selling more than any Mustang other than the original. My dad bought one in 1975, with the 2.3 liter four cylinder and four speed manual, and it became my first car. Lots of my friends had them too. It got 30mpg and handled and braked far better than the 67 GT fastback that I replaced it with. People who claim to be car guys can't bitch about how bloated the Mustang had become in the early 1970s and also bitch about what a bad car the II was, especially since the early foxbodies weren't much if any better. The weight was right, the design was right--for the times--and with some good old fashioned hot-rodding with off-the-shelf parts it becomes a legitimately fast and tight-handling car. The rack and pinion steering is still modern, and even if the rest of the suspension is completely conventional American rear-drive, you can do a lot with a smallblock on a 96 inch wheelbase.

  • Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
  • Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
  • Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.