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Cheap Wheels! 1975 Ford Mustang II Ghia

Although the Ford Mustang II is often criticized by Mustang purists, it likely saved the nameplate from extinction. By coincidence, the smaller, lighter, and more fuel-efficient car was introduced right at the same time fuel prices went up in 1973-74, and sales of the Mustang rebounded nicely from the rut they had been in. Otherwise, would there even be a Mustang today? This 1975 edition is the Ghia, an upscale version of the little car, and has been in the same family since new. But it hasn’t run in 10 years and needs someone to sort that out. Located in Barnes, Wisconsin, this nice-looking project is offered in cheap wheels territory at just $1,000 here on craigslist.

For those that would argue that the Pinto-like Mustang II was a bad decision, just consider the production numbers. Mustang sales peaked at 607,500 units in 1966 and dropped to a low of 134,900 in 1973. With the car reborn in smaller proportions, sales jumped to 386,000 in 1974, though fell back to 188,600 in 1975, the year the seller’s car was built. If you’re a bean counter at Ford, it was a good idea. And you could still get a V8 engine, though the top choice was the venerable 302 cubic-incher that dated to 1968.

From the few photos offered by the seller, this 75 Mustang II looks like a solid car. Perhaps not as nice as a similar one we saw here on Barn Finds recently, but for a lot less money. Bought new by the same family that owns it today, it’s perhaps only seen 50,000 miles of use and was stored indoors beginning a decade ago. We don’t know if it doesn’t run now because it didn’t run then or because of the effects of the passage of time.

This Mustang II has the 302 which wasn’t offered in 1974, the only year a Mustang didn’t have a V8. And it has an automatic transmission. The body and paint have held up and perhaps the interior, too, but all we see of that is the dashboard. While the 1974-78 Mustang II doesn’t appeal to folks like its predecessors or successors do, $1,000 doesn’t sound like too much of a gamble, especially since this is a V8. Chances are if you get it running and drive it to Cars & Coffee, it will be the only Mustang II there (except for maybe a Cobra). Thanks again for another great tip, Pat L.!

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Fahrvergnugen Member

    Ultimate throwback sleeper. Or sleep inducer.

    Like 12
  2. Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

    I’ve never understood why the Mustang II was criticised by Mustang “purists”. So it’s derived mechanically from the Pinto, so what? How does that make it a bad car? I’d drive one if it were mechanically maintained and carefully driven.

    Like 22
    • Avatar photo Jim

      Agreed. Given the original Mustang was derived from a Falcon.

      Like 10
      • Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

        I agree. So why was the original Mustang not hated?

        Like 1
    • Avatar photo al

      I agree the original mustang was just a falcon with a different body l always liked the falcon sprint with a 260 4 speed better than the new mustang

      Like 1
  3. Avatar photo Ben Parkhust

    Growing up in the 1980s there were still quite a few of these on the road. It is now a 50-1 ratio of first gen Mustangs on the road to the Mustang IIs that are out there. I know rare doesn’t equal valuable, but if you want something that will get people to stop you and say “I had one of those” every time you stop somewhere, this is your car. Even if it needs a new engine, this is quite the steal.

    Like 15
  4. Avatar photo Bill Bolinger

    Exactly!!! The same “purists” forget the original Mustang road a Falcon chassis. Duh, right?

    Like 16
    • Avatar photo Bob S

      I’ll add also that a year before the fox body mustang came out, (79), it started out as the Fairmont, which everyone likes to slam!!

      Like 13
      • Avatar photo Frank Drackman

        Friend of mine had a Fairmont with the 302 and a 4 Speed, could fool some people. OK, not a SS 396 but maybe a late model Camaro with the 305

        Like 4
      • Avatar photo Frank Drackman

        Like this one
        https://barnfinds.com/rare-302-4-seed-1979-ford-fairmont-futura-coupe/
        Heck, it might be that one, can’t have been too many. 4 Speed was only available for 79 models

        Like 2
  5. Avatar photo Nelson C

    It’s Deja Vu all over again. I like trunk racks but this cured me. In the spring of ’75 Chevy responded with the Towne Coupe. The lux compact just didn’t catch on. Just look where we are today.

    Like 4
  6. Avatar photo Dave

    My wife had one when we got married. It was tan. Tan body, tan vinyl top, and tan interior. I could get the 302 to chirp the tires a little from a full stop. There are much better heads, pistons, and of course cams to boost the power. I liked it. This car is lunch money cheap, and may not be desirable in it’s current state to some, but that is easily remediated.

    Like 12
  7. Avatar photo CCFisher

    I don’t consider myself a Mustang “purist,” but I’m not a Mustang II fan, either. For me, it’s the styling. Ford took early Mustang styling cues and heaped them on to a stubby little example of their “lumpy-humpy” 1970s design language. They finished it off with undersized wheel openings (particularly in front) that somehow make this tiny car look like an elephant on roller skates. The whole thing just looks awkward, as if Ford’s designers had no confidence in what they were doing. The 1979 Mustang was just a bit larger and carried over the Mustang II’s drivetrains, yet it saw much broader acceptance in the Mustang community, largely due to more coherent styling.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo CCFisher

      I do acknowledge that without the Mustang II, there would likely have been no Fox-body Mustangs, at least not right away. Competitive pressures would have probably pushed Ford to re-introduce a Mustang in the 1980s.

      Mustang II also played a part in the survival of Camaro and Firebird by removing those cars’ biggest competitor. When Barracuda, Challenger, and Javelin were discontinued after 1974, Camaro and Firebird became the only games in town.

      Like 4
  8. Avatar photo Fran

    If it is legit it’s a steal!

    Like 7
  9. Avatar photo eric22t

    man o man if i was a blue oval guy this one would be snapped up pdq.
    she looks nice and relatively unmolested.
    i think i might hafta extract that luggage rack though

    Like 6
  10. Avatar photo Stan

    Good looking Ghia w luggage 🧳 rack 👌

    Like 5
  11. Avatar photo Bob_in_TN Member

    From what we can see from the minimalist ad, doesn’t seem bad at all. Especially for the price. The Ghias were trimmed nicely. A Mustang II enthusiast could have fun refurbishing or modifying it.

    FYI Speaking of Mustang II enthusiasts, there is a Mustang II show-within-a-show at the national Mustang Club of America event at Indy July 27-30.

    Like 6
  12. Avatar photo Davey Boy

    Man that really is a nice car for what it is. $1,000 is super cheap nowadays. Good luck finding anything even remotely close to this thing. If it were a little closer I’d snatch that one up. Good luck to the next owner

    Like 5
  13. Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

    Call me crazy, but I’d prefer the Mustang II any day over the current generation Mustang.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

      You can fit 4 people in 1 of these & even a pinto! Try that with today’s modern pony cars. & it’s got properly sized side windows, a color keyed interior(no grey here!) & the ford racing mirrors(mounted where they are supposed to be mounted!) – instead of “modern” ugly cheap JCW looking plastic ones that started in ’79. I would have preferred the more glass non opera side windows & no vinyl roof & no luggage rack, but one has mighty slim pickens today,
      I guess these rusted out faster than ’60s versions, when driven in bad weather?

      Like 4
      • Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

        That’ll happen to any car eventually.

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo Cowboy

      Okay, you’re crazy. (Hey, you asked!)

      I owned a 1974 Mustang II Mach 1 with the 2.8 V6 backed w/ a 4-speed. (Geez, those are a lot of numbers.) I really liked the fastback styling of the II’s along with the convenience of the hatchback. It was a fun little car and would be cool to own today. I know the styling appears ungainly to some, but you also have to take into consideration that this generation was also the first to suffer the indignancy of the government-mandated guardrail bumpers, which had to hamper the design somewhat.

      And despite the grief the car receives, I firmly believe the II was an important part of maintaining the Mustang nameplate. Now we have a whole slew of “purists” who bemoan the Mach-E, but the existence of the Mach-E is helping delay electrification of the Mustang.

      Like 5
      • Avatar photo rayburn

        I remember back in the mid 70s, there was one of these 302 cobras running around town. It was white and a 4 speed, it turned heads and sounded like good ole American muscle!

        Like 1
    • Avatar photo Fran

      YES the Mustang II was way better looking than any of the FOX body Mustangs…Fox body Mustangs were just a square box…UGLY!

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

        Not to mention the loss of frameless side glass in ’79 as well as the loss of the II’s optional sport mirrors, replaced with ones designed for JC Whitney. & a better looking dash & overall interior in the II, IMO.

        Like 0
  14. Avatar photo Bick Banter

    $1,000? My Spidey Sense is tingling.

    Like 5
  15. Avatar photo AndyinMA

    Luggage rack, vinyl top, mud flaps. The 70s were strange

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo rayburn

      Ya but Charlies Angles drove one…

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo rayburn

        Angels!

        Like 1
  16. Avatar photo Boatman Member

    Another wonky Craigslist ad. Should be long gone.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Bick Banter

      I’m not saying these are the most desirable cars that are selling for big money. But $1,000? Come on, man. Something is fishy.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo PRA4SNW

        It never fails. BF posts cars and most of the posts are about how expensive they are and that no one can afford them anymore.

        A cheap car finally makes its way here, and its all about the car model, that it’s junk, or a scam.

        Any of the above could obviously be true, but how about the idea that there’s still bargains out there. Not everyone is trying to line their pockets, could be just someone trying to empty out their garage.

        Like 1
  17. Avatar photo Threepedal

    I understand Ghia is considering purchasing this vehicle, will then crush it to reduce the embarrassment of their name being associated. One of so many.

    Like 1
  18. Avatar photo rayburn

    Smaller and more fuel-efficient mustangs I think were mostly as a result of the gas crises and slow sales of the mid 70s, I was there as an 18-year-old in 1976, and I bought a 69 383/auto roadrunner for $800 in good shape as my first car. Camaro sales slumped also but gm hung on to them, cuda and challenger were gone after 74, in my opinion the gas thing scared them, should have hung on to those mopar pony cars till sales picked back up, but it is what was I guess…

    Like 0
  19. Avatar photo John D

    I’m not a huge fan of the mustang two and liked the fastback much better than the coup, that said for a grand with a 302 in stock form this car does look solid from the few pics provided and being it’s been stored inside that’s not much cash to take a chance on. Plenty of go fast parts available for the 302 to give this anemic engine some much needed pep. Must loose that luggage rack though. If it were closer I’d go take a look with cash in hand as long as the underside isn’t rotted and I could turn the motor by hand I’d buy it.

    Like 0
  20. Avatar photo CJM

    Thing looks super straight, not weathered at all, and I dont see any rust. $1000 would be a steal for any Mustang (II or not) in this condition, let alone a V-8 powered Ghia. Absolute deal of the month! Personally I like the looks of Mustang II’s (favoring the fastback). I don’t know why they get all the hate. Someone get themselves a sweet car for a thousand bucks.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. Assuming everything on the car works like they should, and it runs and drives like it should, I’d be willing to pay around $1000 for the car, maybe more than that for a Cobra II.

      Like 1
  21. Avatar photo Dan Rogers Member

    I bought this one. Was suprised it was still available. With prices going up on everything, $1000 is indeed lunch money. It doesn’t run. It was parked 10 years ago due to overheating according to the elderly owner. It was his father’s before that (he passed 9/10/2001 – consider that date).
    It has had backyard body work done to it. It looks like the rear quarters likely have a fair amount of bondo, as does the left rocker (at least). The interior is awesome and the car is complete. The luggage rack shall be disposed of very soon. Likely to eventually get new sheet metal, but for now will concentrate on getting it back on the road. I am very happy with the purchase.

    Like 5
    • Avatar photo rayburn

      Rare, even the rack (I’m not a big fan of them) but may be worth keeping original.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

        The luggage rack may be aftermarket.

        Like 0
    • Avatar photo John D

      Nice! Keep us posted on how bringing it back to life goes. Gotta say I agree on the luggage rack it would be the first thing to go, that’s not an oem rack to begin with. Good luck!!!

      Like 1
  22. Avatar photo JoeJ56

    I’ll tell you one big negative about these being based off the Pinto: they have the same “explosive” potential when rear-ended. For some reason they don’t have that reputation, but there was a young lady from my home town that got roasted alive in one, driving to her freshman year in college. You’ll never get me in one, I don’t care how cheap it is.

    Like 0
  23. Avatar photo Dan Rogers Member

    The seller commented that his father had installed the rack thinking it made the car look “classy”. He kinda chuckled when I winced looking at it.

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

      I think it looks good with the rack on the trunk. Unless I’m mistaken, it’s also supposed to provide a place for luggage that would otherwise not fit.

      Like 0
  24. Avatar photo JoeNYWF64

    Car Nut Tacoma, Ford sold a ton of ’65-66 mustangs, but they also sold a ton of Mustang II’s. So why so few II’s left? Both gens at the time were never thought of as being valuable collectibles in the future, & were used for errands, school, & trips – most in all sorts of weather. & many were parked on the street.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

      I’ve often wondered why myself. I’ve seen a lot of cars in my lifetime that I’ve wondered how they became collectible. They weren’t considered collectible during its production run, but years, possibly decades after production ended, they’re somehow collectible. Crazy, eh?

      Like 0

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