4,400 Miles! 1978 Ford Mustang II

You know ’em, you love ’em, here is another almost perfect 1978 Ford Mustang II and it reportedly has just 4,400 miles on it! This all original rust-free beauty can be found here on Craigslist in the Monongahela Valley, Pennsylvania area and it’s not cheap with a $7,600 asking price. Thanks to Ian C. for sending in this tip!

Low mileage claims typically don’t go over well but we just report the news, we don’t make it up. The low mileage on this beauty is hard to dispute by looking at the photos. Check it out and give us your thoughts. I don’t know if I’ve seen this two-tone red over white paint scheme and the seller says that this car is all original other than a few maintenance items that were changed – the fuel pump, brake booster, master cylinder, and tires. It’s a great look and it defines the late-70s to me. I expected to see white wall tires which could have been a nice touch.

This was the last year for the second-generation Mustang – the Mustang II. Its importance to the history of the Mustang brand is truly one of the most overlooked car-related stories of all time, at least in my opinion it is. They rarely get any love but the Mustang could very well have gone away if it wasn’t for the second-generation cars. The seller appears to be a huge car lover as you can see from some of the other vehicles around this one, not to mention the great garage with a lift! This car is absolutely rust free, according to the seller. It could be the nicest one that I have ever seen and we’ve seen a lot of them recently.

The interior looks about as nice as it did when this car was new, wow! That two-tone red and white again is incredible. I don’t see a cosmetic flaw anywhere on this car inside or outside so far. One thing you noticed right away is that this car has an automatic which is a bit of a drawback for driving fun. The seller goes into the importance of the Mustang II and is nice to see that it’s not just me bringing that up every time. This car was about $4,000 when it was new in 1978 which equates to $15,600 in 2019 dollars. Hopefully, that $15,600 number will keep the “It wasn’t even that expensive when it was new!” fans happy – now it’s only half price!

The engine even looks great if not better than great. It’s a Ford Cologne 2.8L V6 which would have had around 90 hp. With the automatic transmission, this car is set up more for leisurely cruising than burning rubber. The seller has this one priced at $2,400 over the #2 excellent condition value and just $500 less than Hagerty’s #1 Concours value. If a person had to have a Mustang II this looks like a fantastic example.


  1. Howard A Member

    Put me in the “I like Mustang ll’s” group. Much more like the original concept, rather than the bloated muscle car it had become, only to start all over. My question is why this wasn’t driven? Can’t dispute the miles on this one, but it’s barely an oil changes worth of driving. I guess some people buy cars and die, or something, and never use them. Jaclyn Smith ( ahOOga, who-hoo, hubba-hubba) would be proud.

    Like 20
    • Paul

      Put me in the I hate club…..I have way to much first had experience with the mustang II to like anything about them…….(at one time believe it or not they were among my favorite cars) that was before driving a new 78 everyday…..sorry I mean pushing one off the road everyday. These are the worst cars ever made by any manufacturer.
      I am a true believer that the world is better if every single one was crushed.
      So please save someone in the future from anguish and take this to the crusher.

      Like 1
      • Crash

        Then why on gawd’s green earth would you troll a Mustang ll post looking to spread your ignorant opinion? I don’t like japanese cars, so I just don’t look at them. Grow up…

        Like 15
      • Howard A Member

        Yeesh, that’s a hefty claim, worst car made by any manufacturer. That include Yugos? You know, they DID sell over a million cars in 4 years.

        Like 13
  2. Tom

    I agree put me in the I like Mustang II groups as well. Although I do prefer the fastback over this one but still very nice car

    Like 10
  3. bobk

    Also in the “I like Mustang II’s” group. A 76 Mustang II Cobra II is part of my history. Admittedly not a pavement shredder like the ’67 Mustang GT 390 that preceeded it, but definitely fun.

    Like 10
  4. dirtyharry

    Car manufacturers went off the skids after the gas crisis. We got Vegas, Pintos, K-Cars, 4 cylinder cars of all types. We also got this, something more like a bulging Pinto than a Mustang. For historians who want to remember “everything,” here you are. As for me, I have a lot of periods of my life I just as soon forget.

    Like 9
  5. Will Fox

    It seriously needs a set of whitewall tires. Otherwise, you’ve got a real conversation piece. I too, would like to know how this thing got mothballed.

    Like 3
    • '59fordFAN

      I, absolutely, concur, Will Fox. ‘Just, put whitewalls, on it. I’d take it. If it was good enough, for two of the three “Charlie’s Angels”, it suits me, fine!

      Like 1
    • Randall Arnette

      I agree. With a car of this scale/size, everything that meets the eye should l
      Rook the best it possibly can. In profile, the bland and drab black-wall tires take up a lot of visual surface to just leave unadorned.

  6. don

    I’m also in the Mustang II fan club . While a lot of people hate the car, the Mustang II was Ford doing exactly the same thing they did 10 years earlier – taking their base model car and making it more sporty and making all sorts of options to personalize it to the owner . From the Falcon came the Mustang ; the Pinto became the Mustang II . Looking at the top picture , you can see how Ford took the 65 coupe styling for the 74 model – long nose, short trunk, square roof ,scallops on the side , three section taillights , etc. You could get a 2.3 4cyl , the 200 straight 6 , the v6, or a 302 . In some ways it was better than the first generation, with disc brakes, rack and pinion steering and larger bumpers which made the driver safer in an accident . Sure it wasn’t a tire boiling muscle car, but most Mustangs weren’t, and when the Mustang II came out , Muscle cars were unloved dinosaurs and these little cars sold like hotcakes outselling the previous style models by a mile. Like the first generation cars, It was the right car for the times .

    Like 17
    • dweezilaz

      Agreed, but those bumpers weren’t there for the safety of the driver, but to decrease the cost of minor fender benders.

      Like 2
  7. Alex

    I mean I love my Mustangs, but this is the era of Mustangs I’d rather not own. The Mustang line was saved in 1985 when the fox-body look was saved. (in my opinion, sorry Mustang II fans)

    Like 4
    • Jett

      Your 1985 statement confuses me. The Fox-body was produced from 1979-93. What does “the Mustang line was saved in 1985” have to do with anything?

      Like 4
      • Paul Hudson

        I think he is referring to the point that the Probe was supposed to be the new Mustang back at that time and Ford kept both and made the Probe a separate model. There was too much push back since the probe was based on the Mazda MX6 and was front wheel drive.

        Like 1
  8. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Count me as a Mustang II fan. This one would fit perfectly with the super clean red/white 1978 Bronco which was featured a few days ago. (Which by the way sold for $35,100…..). How cool would it be to have these two side by side at a show, with a poster board highlighting “this is how it was at your Ford dealer in 1978.”

    Like 10
  9. Tony Primo

    Never really cared for this generation Mustang, as for Cobras….

    Like 1
    • Pat L Member

      Same thing comes to mind when someone tells me that they have s Cobra.

      Like 1
  10. Georgie Izbeel

    Short wheelbase, excessive overhangs, tiny wheels… it looks like a pig on roller skates.

    Like 1
  11. Jim Hall

    I bought a 75 mach I right off the showroom floor. I was 19yo. That thing would scoot. And handled like a dream. McPherson struts, and rack & pinion. Wish I still had It.

    Like 5
  12. Boatman Member

    I too am a Mustang II fan and I worked for a Ford dealer in 1978. I’ve never seen that white accent on the bottom. Sorry, but I don’t think that is original.

    Like 8
    • dweezilaz

      Neither do I Boatman.

      Two tone not listed in the brochure as an option. It doesn’t look right at all.

      Like 6
    • Joe M

      Maybe this is a variant of the Stalion mustang of the same year without the stickers? They were two tone.

      Like 1
      • Jett

        Wasn’t the Stallion black with gold graphics?

        Like 1
      • Joe M

        The Stallions were mostly notchbacks they came in a few colors red with black at the bottom like this, and had grafic of a stallion on the hood and sides. It was mostly a styling package and they were mostly built with 4cyl, but were also known to be built with a 6 cal special order

      • Jett

        Cool to know, thanks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in person, just pictures in magazines or online.

  13. Steve

    As a former Acapulco blue ’68 vert over baby blue 289 three speed guy (my high school car), it pained me then and pains me now that this fun product became a gas sipping secretary car. But the oil-shock did that.

    • karl

      Many (if not most ) 1964 1/2 – 1970 Mustangs were gas sipping 6 cyl secretary cars too , and the Mustang II was available with a 302 which at the time was pretty peppy for a little economy car .

      Like 3
    • Jett

      A 170 or 200 I-6 in an original Mustang was often seen as a “gas-sipping secretary’s car”, as well. Just sayin’…

    • Jett

      That must’ve been a very rare car, as only the first month or two of ‘68 production used up leftover 289s, then they switched over to the new 302.

  14. GTiDave

    Looks like it’s a legit paint scheme.

    Like 8
    • Jett

      I’ve been a Mustang nut since the late 80’s, and other than a couple of commemorative Olympic models in ‘72 and ‘76, i don’t recall ever seeing a factory paint scheme like this one. Might’ve been a dealer edition, but I doubt it was factory.

      Like 2
    • Jeff

      I remember these back in the day. Nice little cars. I went through the factory in Dearborn when they were making the mustang II’s one rolled out the door every 93 seconds! They were pumping them out! I never saw so many Mustangs in my life! I ended up owning a 78 red one with a 6 cylinder and a 4 speed. Great running car!

  15. Brian Scott

    It’s comical how many supposed car guys love to make sport of trashing the Mustang II. But let’s be honest, had Ford soldiered on with the ’73 Mustang for a few more years, sales would have fallen off a cliff, and today we would not have what truly is a world class performance car. These things sold exceptionally well, and one would be hard pressed to refute that it was not the right car for the times.

    Like 7
  16. Michael DeRosa

    The V-6 in this car had more like 105hp.

    Like 3
  17. Maestro1

    Scotty, I too, am in the Mustang II Group, I’ve had two and they are I think simply misunderstood both in the hobby and by others, which gives those of us who like the cars a substantial price advantage. This one is a beauty although I don’t personally like the color combination and it’s too far away someone should jump on this one. Thank you for the post.

    Like 2
  18. Little_Cars Saul Member

    Hard to beat any malaise-era car with red carpets and accents survive 40 years without a bit of fading or chalking of the red parts. Unfortunately, this is about as bland as you could get in a Mustang II. Drive this for 10k miles and it will be just another Mustang II without the “time capsule” vibe going for it. Dislike the white lower panels, black would have reduced the tallness of the body design. And whitewalls with the Pinto mags would really do this one some good.

    Like 1
  19. Ron M

    Count me in too,This car is very nice and would look great sitting next to my 51 woody and 73 red convertible,oh yah Ron M

  20. irocrobb

    I love the white seats. So much cooler than “shake and bake” black.
    I think this is inexpensive for the condition.

    Like 1
  21. Paul

    Sorry to offend you Crash, every time I see a Mustang II posted I feel the need warn any prospective buyers. I bought my 78 Mustang II because I liked a coworker’s 74.
    After I bought mine the coworker said I made a huge mistake that his was the worst car he had ever owned and his car didn’t see 3 years and 40,000 miles before it was to costly to repair for what it was worth.
    I know they sold well when they first came out….however there was a reason that the much older bodied Camaro took the sales lead away from them!
    I am just talking from first had experience not ignorants….this car was rated in a book of lemons the number one worst car of all time….it even beat out the Pinto and Yugo!

    Like 1
    • Crash

      I just don’t see the need to bash it. I’m sure we all know virtually every American car from the 70’s was “bad”, in one way or another. Still, I’m a Mustang guy to the core. Would i choose a ‘77 ll over a ‘67 Shelby? No way. But would I choose that ll over the equivalent camaro? Every time.

      Like 1
      • Paul

        I am also a mustang guy of all years except 74-78
        I also like Camaro’s, Firebirds, Cuda’s and Chargers as well.
        I owned both Mustang’s and Camaro’s and still do!
        I absolutely love 67-70 Mustangs and 67-69 Camaro’s

        When somebody gets a Ford employee discount and trades the Mustang II in on a 79 Camaro that’s got to tell you something about how much of a lemon that car was.
        The Camaro at the time was such a better riding, handling quieter, more reliable car, riding on a 9 year old platform and still outsold mustang in a big way for 1978. And that was with Ford paying big money to TV networks to Have the very popular Farrah Fawcett driving one in one of the more popular TV shows of the time.
        The mustang came out with an all new car for 79 and I still wouldn’t consider a Mustang.
        I really learned to appreciate other makes other than Ford…it was many years later after and much scrutiny from coworkers that I bought another Ford product. Other then Pinto’s and Mustang II’s you will not see me trash any of Ford products. I guess I know too much about the engineering and reliability of these cars to see any value in them at all. I know that quality of all autos was low at the time, these cars where just simply the worst of the time.
        I would want to hear and would most definitely listen to anyone that knows any true facts about these cars that could enlighten me as to them being a better car then my experience. I don’t want to hate them I just can’t help it!

    • Howard A Member

      To be clear, it wasn’t the Mustang ll’s fault, it was Americans driving habits that killed these. I don’t mean to be rude, but over a million buyers simply can’t be wrong. Americans were used to big motors, and drove these too hard. Maintenance was the key, and couldn’t take Americans abuse. ( my old man changed oil once a year on his big Oldsmobiles) Heck, Europeans made do with 4 cylinders long before us, and did ok. It was a changing time in the auto world, and these cars were kind of the guinea pigs. I’d be interested in knowing WHY it was the worst car for you. The Mustang ll was the perfect car for the times, it just took Americans a while to get used to it.

      Like 2
      • Paul

        Hi Howard,
        The reason why it was the worst car for me is
        1 First week of ownership muffler came disconnected (not because of driving habits) because factory left off something..
        2 Also steering wheel was misaligned from factory.
        3 With in the first month car was towed 3 times for not starting. Electronic ignition I think was the issue.
        Windshield cracked from a factory chip under stainless moulding
        4 The second month the automatic floor shifter broke
        And the speedometer stopped working.
        Car leaked oil and transmission fluid on my parents new asphalt driveway.
        There was more items I just can’t remember all of them.

    • karl

      I was given that same paperback book as a joke – what a crock ! I believe Top Gears’s Jeremy Clarkson was involved in that book and there was some lame attempt at humor on why certain cars were the “worst” It was all just some opinions based on the writers likes or dislikes, not based on fact- if they didn’t like it, it was “top rated worst” They rated the Gremlin as one of the worst cars not because it sold well or had a very dependable engine, but mainly because they don’t like the style ,and said other things about cars that simply were not true.( I threw the book out)
      I’m not sure Camaros outsold Mustang IIs either .The Camaro by 1974 was an ill handling barge that got terrible gas mileage ; something very important to consumers in the 70s . I tried to sell my Duster ’73 340 in 1979 for $1,500 with 40,000 on it , and not one person answered a month of ads ! In hindsight I’m glad, I still have the car !

      Like 3
    • Crash

      they were no worse than any jap product of the time, nor euro, even the luxury stuff (benz, audi, etc), so to me, your “worst car ever” comment is totally irrelevant. I still see ll’s on the road all the time here, summer and winter, and we have winter conditions here that often last seven or eight months. That tells me the car wasn’t that bad, regardless of your “scrutiny”, etc. Can’t recall the last time I saw a daily driver ‘76 honda…

      Like 4
  22. GTiDave

    Paint the lower dark gray and find a set of the original Ford aluminum mag wheels and white letter tires

    Like 3
  23. JoeNYWF64

    I STILL say Ford made it’s BIGGEST mistake by not continuing the ’69-70 body style thru ’78 – at least. More & more & more & more old fashioned t/a’s were sold starting in ’75 & i am sure if the best looking mustang mach 1 (’69-70 style) was still around with a big motor, it would have cut into & then at least matched the t/a’s sales.

  24. Jett

    They didn’t have a choice in replacing the big cars. Look at Firebird sales in 1975…about 85,000. Mustang ll hit almost 200,000 the same year (and they sold over a million in five years). The market demanded a smaller, fuel efficient car, so that’s what they had to build. A muscle Mustang would have done less than half of that…

    Like 4
  25. Superdessucke

    I don’t think the II is any worse than the ugly bloated and smogged out 1971-73 personal luxury Mustang. That’s a pretty low bar though. I would personally prefer an earlier Mustang or the post-1978 Fox body model.

    Anyway, a buddy of mine in high school had a light blue 1978 Ghia with the 4-cylinder and automatic. I think that was the slowest car I’ve ever driven to date. Maybe the Cologne V6 livens things up a little bit. I just think overall this is a rather dull car. I would rather spend the classic car garage space on something else.

    Like 1
  26. Frozenbird

    The Mustang II brought us more then just an economy driven sports car, it brought now which is the most copied and used front suspension used on virtually everything to improve it’s handling. You can even buy Mustang II style front ends for Chevys. But besides that how bad could it have been, no CPU’s, no fuel injection, no anti-lock brakes, few had power windows or locks to break. Simple basic carburated cars having the most advancement at the time of electronic ignition. Millions of cars sold which meant millions of parts which also means millions of used parts at the time. I don’t know, not my era but I fail to see why these would be considered as so bad, I think they are kind of cool in a retro way and rarely seen anymore.

    Like 3
    • Paul Hudson

      I totally agree. And like someone else said, why is it that we see plenty of Mustang II’s still around and virtually no 1970’s Japanese cars? The Mustang II font end is definitely the choice of custom car builders. I laugh at some of the articles I read online about best and worst cars. Usually they are written by non-car people. Frequently they even have the wrong car pictured.

      Like 4
  27. Paul

    Hey Guys,
    I am truly not wanting to offend anybody’s taste in cars, I sincerely wonder why anybody would think these are good cars especially after having myself first hand experience!!
    These cars just simply were not engineered to last long and were not built to even the quality standards of 1978….yes any car can run forever if you keep throwing money at it.
    I know some of us die hard Ford fans think anything Ford made is at least okay…….not true with Mustang II ask most Ford parts suppliers in that time or some of the actual factory workers and even the engineers whom actually worked on them what there take is on them at the time, how low the bar was for this particular car. Ford did do a great job in giving the public a economical car and making money in doing so.

    I am someone that had both Mustang II, and Camaro of the same area…..more ford employees then you may realize wished they could of bought a trans am’s or Z28’s at the time…..I remember one women saying she was jealous that her neighbor bought a Pontiac Firebird formula…and because she worked at Ford she couldn’t buy one….look at the 78 sales figures for firebirds and Camaro. I also know Sale figures do not mean better car at all. However Mustang was getting whooped at the time by a much older platform being the F body GM cars. The fact is the GM f body car was a better car. Can anybody imagine Smokey and the bandit driving a mustang II.
    Out of respect and appreciation for the few Mustang II lovers out there I will no longer post any negative comments about the mustang II.. I guess I am just always curious as to why some people think they are so great.

  28. David G

    I like the Mustang IIs. Great styling, and fun to drive with the manual transmission V-6, or with the 302 in either transmission type. That being said, if I was to have to choose between buying either a II or a same year Camaro/Firebird, I would take the F body every time. These little cars have a huge cult-like following in Japan. Their Mustang IIs have power windows, a factory option that I do not believe is available in the U.S. or Canada.

  29. Bhowe Member

    IIs were good competition at the time for the celica, 200 sx nissandatsun, etc. They had issues but so did the imports. Imports ran forever reliably, but interior fabrics, carpets and plastics disintegrated before your eyes, and rusted almost immediately. Domestics had issues such as electronic ignition, carburetion, and the like, mostly due to big 3 accountants trying to save a nickel per vehicle but purchasing cheaper components. Buyers just had to pick what they wanted their vehicles to fail at. IIs werent great performers but i personally have always liked the styling. My opinion is that there is something to appreciate it every old vehicle. Its easy to get on a soap box and bash this or that, but much harder to look for the good things

  30. Carter Wagoner

    I’m bringing it home to Romney, WV tomorrow. Our family had a 74 with a 4cyl and auto. and it wouldn’t get out of it’s own way, however, it was loved and enjoyed for several years. I have eclectic tastes in cars, and this Mustang II is further evidence. In the stable are (2) Colony Park wagons (a 68 and a 70) a 1969 E-Type Roadster, 1972 T-Top Vette totally original, 67 4-dr Thunderbird, 66 4-dr Lincoln Continental conv. and on it goes. Point is, to me, it’s how an old hunk of iron makes you feel and thank you no (2) of us are exactly alike. Wish me luck!

    Like 4
  31. Boatman Member

    Congrats, Carter! After you’ve looked it over closely, please let us know if you think the white accent is factory! Thanks.

    • Carter Wagoner

      Good morning! I drove it home Monday evening and it performed perfectly. There is no doubt in my mind the white band around the base of the body is from the factory. Also, I found in the 1978 brochure where this color combo is mentioned. The gentleman who sold me this car is a new friend and fellow car guy, and, if anything, he undersold the Mustang. The entire trip home, down old Hwy. 51 to Uniontown, PA car after car blew their horn, yelled, thumbs up, etc.
      Good buy!

      Like 1
      • Boatman Member

        Thanks for clearing that up, Carter. Glad that you’re happy with your purchase. Enjoy!

      • GTiDave

        Carter, do you by chance know any Weinberger’s in Uniontown?

  32. Stevie G Member

    I recall seeing that paint scheme many times as a kid.
    My uncle had a 1974 Mustang as a college beater back in the mid 1980’s. It was a coupe like this, also a v-6 but with a 4 speed. His was lime green with matching vinyl interior & the crank operated moon roof. He liked the car but I remember as a teenager thinking that engine made a lot of ticking noise. I have never been a fan of that engine, even as a kid, because of the noises his car made. But it was very reliable & never left him stranded. He replaced it with a really sharp but really unreliable Opal GT. Shoulda kept the ruststang.
    Even though I am not a fan of these engines, I would buy this car. Congrats Carter!

    • Boatman Member

      Stevie, these engines had solid lifters. Even when they were adjusted properly, they were noisy. As a Ford mechanic then I heard a lot of complaints.

  33. Stevie G Member

    Hey Boatman, I never knew that. Thank you for clearing that up for me.
    My uncle was a very intelligent man. I figured if there was a serious issue he would have addressed it. But then he chose an Opel GT to replace the Mustang. Not a great choice in Milwaukee.
    Anyhow, now that I know these are solid lifter engines, I can easily live with the clatter.

    • Boatman Member

      No problem, Steveie. Btw, I had a 73 GT. What a blast to drive!

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