1976 Ford Mustang Ghia: Garage Orphan

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We’ve been there, right? Buy a project car and think we’ll have plenty of time to take it apart and put it back together. I can remember long nights in a tiny garage trying to swap interiors, get finnicky electrical motors running and wire up headlights when working on my 3-Series, and don’t miss those days at all. The seller of this 1976 Ford Mustang Ghia here on eBay is coming to terms with the fact he is not finishing this project and has put it up for sale.

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Apparently, this car belonged to the seller’s father-in-law who bought it new in ’76. The car has endured periods of dormancy, most recently sitting because his son had expressed an interest in restoring it. Now, after beginning disassembly in preparation for bodywork, the son wants a truck and the seller wants the car gone. The interior appears to be in great shape, with uncracked seating surfaces. I can’t tell if that’s rust forming in the bottom of the B-pillar.

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I was struck by how nice the fake wood trim even appears to be. The steering wheel looks unused and the carpets are free from any obvious staining. The original owner must have taken pride in owning this Ghia Mustang II, as there are 80,000 miles on the clock – and the condition looks to be from a car with far less time under its wheels.

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Thankfully, this Mustang has the factory 302 V8, a better option than the six – especially when hooked up to an automatic transmission. I’d like to know more about the mechanical condition and history, as it seems this is where most of the issues reside. The seller admits it has a leaking transmission seal and the engine needs new gaskets. With an opening bid of $500 and no reserve, this looks like it could be a good starter project for the aspiring hobbyist. Would you agree?

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Comments

  1. Donnie

    I had a gold and tan one with the 2.3 4 banger automatic slowest car I have ever driven

    Like 1
  2. Mark S Member

    It looks like he took way more of the front of that car apart then was needed. This makes me think that the seller is in over his head, and it is probably a good thing he stopped when he did. I wonder if he was smart enough to take pictures as he went. It would be helpful for reassembly. This would a good starter car for an up and comer.

    Like 1
  3. Jason Houston

    The only thing wrong with this car is that is says “Mustang” on it. Had Ford named it anything else, I would love it. Too bad it doesn’t have a real transmission in it, instead of another leaky old boat anchor. Still, for a nickel it’s a helluva bargain, as it does appear to be a pretty well-kept car.

    • Jeff Staff

      That’s pretty much where I am. Not saying I’d want to own it, but for the money, it looks like a decent car if you’re dying to restore a Mustang II.

      Like 1
  4. JW

    Well it is the step child of our Mustang culture which keeps the price down but since he took things apart and didn’t put back together he devaluated it more so his opening bid of $500 is about what he will get. It is worth more in parts than whole as most were crushed and they don’t reproduce much at all for the 74 to 78 Mustangs and they do have their followers so parts especially original are worth a pretty penny.

    Like 1
  5. 64 bonneville

    6 days left and no bids. $500.00 is a good price for this project. I might even want to take it on myself, if I could get it and get it back home for a $1000.00 total investment.

    Like 1
  6. Paul R

    I would build a 347 stroker for it and put 4;10 gears in the rear. Leave the hub caps and whitewalls for the ultimate sleeper!

  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    I don’t know…I graduated high school in 1976, and thinking back, it was the 60s cars that I liked. Back then we thought the Pinto was lame. Ghia schmia. This car we called the “Pimp-O”. Usually the passing of time will make a car that’s less than interesting seem interesting, but not in this case.

  8. piper62j

    These were the Pinto spin-offs… Should have been named something other than Mustang.. What was Ford thinking..

    Good project and would make a great driver once finished.. There is really no value hold on these cars because of the Granada take on the Ghia name..

    Nice car though..

  9. John

    Funny how we (me included — I don’t like’em) denigrate these little cars because they were Pinto based but we never talk about the fact that the original Mustang was little else but a re-bodied Falcon. And I would much rather spend road time in a Pinto that in a Falcon.

  10. Moparmann Member

    If this were the fastback & closer to me, I could be seriously tempted. I had a friend whose car was not the Ghia, had a four speed/4 cylinder w/this interior, and was a nice car for what it was. Even as a diehard Mopar guy, I always thought that these looked great and were sized more along the lines of the original. In spite of the HATE from Mustang lovers, these enabled the Mustang line to persevere unbroken (unlike the Camaro) from 1965 to the present! Incidentally, here is a picture comparing the size differential between a 1971 & a 2014 Mustang. :-)

    Like 1
  11. Jason Houston

    If this car doesn’t get a $500 bid in six days, the future of this hobby is really doomed.

  12. Brakeservo

    The low miles are no surprise, an awful no fun to drive car when new, and it certainly hasn’t improved over the decades. But hey, people collect Yugos, Chevettes and Pintos so why not a Mustang II? By the way, I had one back then. Gawd no I didn’t buy it, it was a company car and my only other choice was a Pacer.

  13. Jason Houston

    I drove a 1978 fastback from San Francisco to Palm Springs and have to admit, it was a nice handling, easy car to drive.

    Like 1
    • Brakeservo

      OK, but have you ever driven virtually any Ferrari, Aston Martin, Jaguar?? Notice I left out Lamborghini – they’re awful . . . fast but awful. If not, a Mustang II might very well be alright . . . in my case it was better than a Pacer but no comparison to the DB5 at home.

      • Jason Houston

        I don’t do foreign cars, but I can’t argue with the Pacer comparison!

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