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Dusty 1978 Ford Mustang II Ghia

The Mustang went on a diet in 1974 when Ford launched the Pinto-based Mustang II. It was an attempt to get back to the car’s roots as a smaller, nimbler model. The move worked as sales increased, but some of that could be attributed to the OPEC oil crisis that occurred at the same time. From the last year of the Mustang II comes this 1978 Ghia edition which appears to have fallen on hard times. It’s available in Warminster, Pennsylvania, and here on eBay where the Buy It Now price has been set at $2,500.

Ford had a huge success on its hands with the Mustang in 1965. They sold more than one million of the pony cars in its first two years. But as more competitors surfaced to dethrone the ‘Stang, Ford responded by making them longer, wider, heavier, and more expensive. The result was a decline in sales to the point that the Mustang was just a shadow of its former self by 1973. Whereas the first Mustang was based on the compact Falcon, the subcompact Mustang II was based on the Pinto. So, the big, thirsty V8 engines were out, and 4-cylinder power was in, as was a V6 for a little more punch. The 1978 models would be the last of the Mustang II’s. Ford would build some 192,000 of them that year, with nearly 35,000 being Ghia hardtops like the seller’s car. Thanks, Mustang Specs, for some background specs.

The seller doesn’t offer much on the history of this 1978 Mustang III Ghia other than it hasn’t run in years. It was discovered in a barn in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and apparently trailered back to the seller’s shop. At least two of the tires are flat, the paint is faded, the vinyl top is started to come unglued or rust has begun beneath it, and there’s a dent in the passenger rear quarter panel. There is no mention of rust, but since this car has likely seen some of its downtime outside, it would be surprising not to find any. It would be interesting to see what a serious detailing of the exterior would produce.

The cleaning comment also applies to the interior, but since there are covers over the front seats, it’s likely that the material there is damaged. So, scrub-a-dub-dub and see what you can come up with. The mileage on the odometer is said to be 84,000, so you might get a little more life out of the car if you’re trying to do a vintage buggy on a budget. This car was a Ghia model which means its trim level was a step up from an ordinary Mustang II.

We’re told the original buyer opted for a V6 with an automatic transmission. There is no mention if the car runs, so we’re going to guess that it does not. Since there are no photos under the hood, we don’t know if a simple tune-up with belts and hoses will do the deal or if something more complicated will have to be done to the drivetrain.

The Mustang II is third in line as to resale value for 1960-70s Mustangs. The original 1965-68 run fetches the most, followed by the 1969-73 models and then the Mustang II. Hagerty thinks these cars top out at $8,500, so will $6,000 in repairs and refurbishing get you into that territory? Probably not, so, it begs the question is this car worth the trouble? Perhaps, if you stick to the basics and don’t shoot for pristine.


  1. Avatar photo Bob_in_TN Member

    I think Russ has provided a good analysis of this car and its place. Seems that folks who like the Mustang II’s like the sportier trims (e.g. the excellent white/blue Cobra II from a few days ago), but I also enjoy the Ghia models like this one. Getting it back to decent shape will be a labor of love; I agree, maybe a simpler approach would be best. That said, there sure aren’t many Mustang II’s which have been restored, and it is a pleasure (at least for me) to see a once-common basic car, especially with the nice trim of the day, back among the living.

    Like 6
  2. Avatar photo Mitchell Gildea Member

    I wonder what’s up with that Allante in the background

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Arthur

      I don’t know, but I think it would make a good candidate for an Art Morrison chassis installation since it’s a convertible.

      Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Stangalang

    I see a v8 on the ground next to the car..buy that too and put it in the ghia= ultimate sleeper man

    Like 3
  4. Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

    Sweet looking Mustang II Ghia. I’m not sure I’d want a V8 engine powering it, unless it’s under 5.0 litres. For a car like this, I would think either a V6 engine, or a straight six engine.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo piston poney

      our 75 mustang 2 coupe has a 351 M in it, (we bought it that way) to fit it in there who ever cut it in had to cut the iner fenders lol, it has side pipes to, sadly it has an automatic in it.

      Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Steve Clinton

    The ‘bullet nose’ Thunderbird in the background would make a better candidate for restoration.

    Like 2

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