Mossy 1974 Ford Mustang II Field Find

This is one of those cars you ask yourself why? Not why did Ford reinvent the Mustang in 1974 as a made-over Pinto, but why would someone buy this car in the shape it’s in? The nicest one of these cars on the planet today would fetch maybe $10,000. Perhaps as a parts car if you’re fixing up another Mustang II, of which there aren’t many of them around anymore. This one is sitting out in a forest with several other forgotten cars in Esopus, New York and is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $500.

The original Ford Mustang kept getting longer, wider and heavier as time went by. So, Ford redesigned it in 1974 in response to a growing demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars during the post-embargo fuel crisis of the 1970s. The strategy apparently worked as Ford sold more than a million of them during its four-year run and it was named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year right out the gate.

Gone was the V-8 engine, so most early Mustang II’s mostly shared their basic powerplants with the Pinto. So, the seller’s car might have the 2.3-liter inline-4 that was capable of more than 30 mpg at the gas pump. This Mustang is said to have 120,000 miles on it and those were hard miles. With an automatic transmission, this blue Mustang II is rocker-panel deep in leaves (and dirt?) and the windshield is mostly gone, so Mother Nature and its critters have been able to invade the interior.

If you were to acquire this car, what would you do with it? Parts for another project? Convert it into some sort of drag car as the seller suggests? Or be merciful and take it the crusher? Otherwise, it may continue to stay out there for years to come.

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Comments

  1. Rustytech Member

    It’s good for street rod parts!

    Like 4
  2. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    This little soldier has served its purpose, strip it and let It die with dignity.

    Like 15
  3. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I have a friend who has restored some Mustang II’s to show condition. He notes that certain parts are getting ***very*** hard to find, which is remarkable given the high production totals for the Mustang II. So maybe there are parts here to be salvaged. Otherwise, as Bakyrdhero says, let it die.

    Like 6
  4. Steve R

    Nobody is going to convert this into a race car, it makes no sense to do so. Competitive turn key cars that run in the 10’s can be found for around $10,000-$12,000, grudge night bombers are significantly less. It may not even be a good parts car due to the rust and broken windshield. This car is better left for the land owner to dispose let alone actually paying them money to take it off their hands.

    Steve R

    Like 5
  5. Uncle Leo

    Surprised nobody commented on the Monte or the Bronco in the background.

    Like 6
    • Joe Padavano

      The Bronco was the first thing I noticed. Given the stupid money those go for, I’m amazed it’s still there.

      Like 3
    • stu

      First thing I noticed where the trees….

  6. DON

    Definitely a parts car , I’ve wandered around so many old time New England junkyards to know that nature has taken a hold of this. Worse yet , when the interior is exposed to the elements, the decomposition process speeds up. We have all seen plants and trees growing out from the inside of old cars . You can see the trunk has rotted out from water being trapped due to dirt and leaves clogging the drain channel and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the channel rotted out and letting water in the trunk . As sorry as this car is, at least its escaped its date with the crusher long enough to help someone keep their classic on the road .

  7. CCFisher

    The Bronco and Trooper are far more interesting.

    Like 5
    • walter

      bro thats a montero

      Like 1
  8. Ed Hardt

    I am only interested in this as an episode of Vice Grip Garage

  9. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    Esopus? Put it back in the Creek.

    Like 2
  10. Steve Clinton

    Throw in the Monte Carlo and I’ll buy it for $500.

    Like 1
  11. banjo

    Living in the same region of the country I will guarantee there is nothing left to the bottom side of this car. Unless there are the ultra hard to find parts mentioned above still attached I think even $500 is pushing it. Seller would do far better with the Bronco in the background even though it is probably in about the same shape.
    Even though these are far from my favorite car, it’s still a little sad.

    Like 4
  12. Erik

    Who else is thinking that if you changed the “7” in the year to a “6” then the asking price would be 10x or 20x higher at this sme condition? And that some fool would pay that much too!

    Like 1
  13. Burt

    120,000 miles was outstanding for an economy car of this era. 2-3 times the life of a Vega. If they’d have put the mustang on a Maverick platform these would be collectible today.

    Like 1
    • Steve Clinton

      ‘Shoulda, coulda, woulda.’ ;-)

  14. DavidL Member

    Rust to rust, ashes to ashes, rust in peace.

    Like 1
  15. Bob Fleisch

    Looks like it’s exactly where it should be.

  16. Jeff

    That was a lot of blue when new! I have a serious question about the condition of many cars that have sat on the ground and are piura rust underneath. How is it possible to mash one up and get any clean steel from it? All the plastic and vinyl and rubber. Then add to the fact that what steel remains is 80% rusted. Looks like a losing proposition to me.

    Like 1
    • karl

      Scrap cars usually get shredded into little pieces ; a lot of the fluff is separated from the steel there. Later, magnetic cranes pick up the small bits for transport which separates them more . The steel furnaces likely incinerate anything thats left

      Like 2
  17. Rick

    A friend of mine traded i her AMX on one of these awful cars. It had the 302 engine and overheated constantly. She sold in in less than a year and bought another impractical car. She should have kept the AMX. I could have bouthe it for $600, but I did not have $600 at the time.

  18. Stan Marks

    Question is, what part is salvageable??

    Like 1
  19. scott m

    A little early in the bubble for this one. Maybe in 40 years Unobtainium in LA will feature it

  20. Gary

    You said four year run. It was actually 5 model years, ’74, ’75, ’76, ’77 and ’78.

  21. Kevin Kendall

    74 the year that Ford took a dump & offered it up to the public & called it a Mustang

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