No Reserve: 1977 Ford Mustang II Ghia

In the automotive world, timing can be everything. The 1st Generation Mustang created its own market niche, and buyers stampeded Ford dealerships in droves to secure a light and relatively compact car with stunning looks and the potential of excellent performance. By the time the final Mustang from that generation rolled off the line, the model had evolved from lithe and seductive to heavy and sedate. The Mustang II that followed addressed the size and weight issues and was a sales success. However, Ford introduced it at the start of The Malaise Era, which meant that a combination of tighter emission and safety requirements served to blunt the car’s performance. The Mustang II in all forms became an unloved and ignored model as the 1980s dawned, and many examples ended their days in scrapyards. The tables have turned, and while not as coveted as their earlier brethren, when a tidy Mustang II hits the market, it generates reasonable interest. That trend is graphically demonstrated by this 1977 Mustang II Ghia, which has attracted an impressive thirty-five bids since it was listed for sale here on eBay. It is located in Modesto, California, and the price has risen to $4,350 in this No Reserve auction. It seems that Barn Finder Larry D has a good eye for an interesting classic, so thank you for referring this one to us, Larry.

It seems that this Ghia has spent its life in sunny California, and that serves as good news for potential buyers. These little classics could suffer rust problems in the wrong environment, but this one has avoided that fate. The impressively straight panels show no evidence of rust. Delving deeper, there are no signs of significant surface corrosion that might be a harbinger of hidden problems. The seller admits that the original owner treated the vehicle to a repaint in its original Dark Emerald Glow and that the work was completed many years ago. The paint remains in good condition, suggesting that the car has been parked out of the reach of harmful UV rays when not in use. This belief is further supported by the state of the White landau-style vinyl top, which shows no evidence of deterioration. The external trim is in good order, while the glass appears to be flawless.

Like its predecessor, the Mustang II was based on humble underpinnings. With the 1st Generation cars, Ford hid a Falcon below that svelte exterior. In the case of the Mustang II, what was concealed below the surface was a lightly reworked Pinto. That made it a considerably smaller and lighter vehicle than the one it replaced. However, many potential performance and efficiency gains were lost to more stringent safety and emission regulations. These served to sap engine power and add weight, and both harmed the reputation of the Mustang II. I have to take my hat off to this Mustang’s owner because he is brutally frank about the performance potential of this classic. The engine bay is occupied by a 2.3-liter “Lima” 4-cylinder engine that would have produced 88hp in its prime. A 3-speed automatic transmission backs this little four, and this combination wouldn’t serve to get your pulse racing. Pointed at a ¼ mile, the journey would take a reasonably leisurely 19.7 seconds. However, the owner says that he has no issues extracting 20 mpg from the Ghia when it hits the open road. He has recently treated the car to a complete service and tune-up, and while it takes a couple of minutes to warm up on colder days, it runs and drives extremely well once everything is up to operating temperature.

The exterior condition of this Mustang suggests that it has led a sheltered and pampered existence, and the interior trim would seem to support this. White vinyl upholstery can look stunning, but it can also be susceptible to stains and yellowing following years of use and exposure to UV rays. This interior hasn’t suffered that fate, and its condition appears to be above average. Its flaws seem to be confined to a seam separation on the headliner and one on the edge of the driver’s seat headrest. Neither problem is particularly bad, and I feel that a competent upholsterer would be able to address both without the need for the buyer to purchase replacements. The carpet is original and in surprisingly good condition, while the dash and plastic trim has escaped the type of UV deterioration that can plague these vehicles. There is some minor wear on the wheel, but the buyer should be able to take this Ghia to a Cars & Coffee without feeling any shame about its condition. Luxury features aren’t dripping off this interior, but the Mustang II comes equipped with cruise control and a pushbutton radio.

Over the years, the Mustang II has been a much-maligned vehicle. However, it did manage to keep the Mustang badge alive in an era when it could easily have disappeared. It also sold in healthy numbers, with 153,173 cars finding a home in 1977. They fell out of favor as the Fox-body cars established themselves in the marketplace, and many were driven into the ground before ultimately being scrapped. However, the worm has turned, and values across the board have risen by an incredible 40% over the past five years. I need to qualify that statement by admitting that these value increases started from a relatively low base, but the trend shows no signs of slowing. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the bidding on this ’77 Mustang II Ghia head to $8,000, although it could go higher. That would still make it an affordable classic, so this is an auction that should be worth watching.

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Fair and reasonable write-up Adam. This looks like a well-cared-for Mustang II. It isn’t loaded with options but the green/white theme makes it eye-catching. I agree, it seems these have found a place in the market, and clean ones like this will bring some value. As long as you are not in a hurry to get there, you could have some fun at Cars & Coffee with this.

    Like 13
  2. James427

    The first car I ever totaled was my girlfriend’s mom’s black fastback Mustang II with a 302, 4spd and red interior. The insurance company screwed her and all they gave her was enough money to buy this exact green Ghia shown in these photos. Every time I saw that ugly slow, green piece of crap I felt so guilty for smashing her beautiful black stallion. That was 1975. I still feel guilty to this day. Ahhh memories.

    Like 7
  3. Boatman Member

    Car doesn’t have cruise, Adam. What you’re seeing is a simple wiper control.

    Like 5
  4. Charles Atlas

    My 1986 Ford Escort Pony 4 speed can beat this in a race.

    Like 22
    • Denise

      Who cares? Not everyone wants to race! I had a ’74 Mustang II coupe and traded it 5 months later for a ’74 Mustang II hatchback. Both cars were great! I drove the hatchback to 109,000 miles with NO issues before buying a new ’81 Lynx. Both ’74 Mustangs were comfortable and handled well, even in heavy snow! I’d love to find another!

      Like 7
      • Blyndgesser

        Charles is a troll with nothing better to do than post love songs to his Escort in response to every post.

        Like 9
  5. Charles Atlas

    My 1986 Ford Escort Pony 4 speed can beat this in a race.

    Like 15
    • Miao Yin

      I heard you the first time.
      Respectfully, M.Y.

      Like 24
    • MrBZ

      Great, a sloth race.

      Like 6
    • Raymond

      Get on ur pony and ride, sick of you commenting about the piece of junk, I’d be ashamed to own it let alone tell people…

      Like 6
      • Jerry Cannon

        Who cares.

        Like 5
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      Charles, we all know your little Pony is very nice. Now take your medication and go back to sleep.

      Like 6
  6. SftlWray

    Hmmm, I winder, would a coyote fit?

    Like 4
    • Ray

      The SVO Turbo is a direct swap. I’ve seen it done on a hatchback.

  7. wuzjeepnowsaab

    You call it a Mustang II Ghia. I call it a Fancy Pants Pinto

    Like 16
    • Mike W H

      Exactly Jeep/saab. This is a Pinto with different sheet metal.

      I’m kind of missing those little POS’s. I’d buy a clean low mileage Pinto and drive it until the wheels came off.

      As an extra car of course. I’d like a top of the line one with wood paneling trim and a luggage rack. Crusin’ down the avenue. Plus, with the back seat down and that hatch back, I can fit my board in there.

  8. Bob

    beautiful example of a horrible car, worst car I’ve ever owned

    Like 2
  9. John Klintz

    Agreed with wazjeepnowsaab above. These were no more than uglified Pintos, which explains everything you’ve written so far other than the fact that the prices are coming up! I would MUCH rather have the Gremlin; at least with that car you will get noticed!

    Like 5
  10. Jim

    Wow…..this is a little beauty. Wish it wasn’t on the other end of the country.

    I love seeing a nice Ghia like this one. Most of the Mustang II that are preserved are of the Cobra variety.

    Whoever gets this car will be buying a gem.

    Like 8
  11. Karl

    Looks to be the same design team that came up with the electric mustang of today!

    Like 2
  12. david r

    People should have gone to prison for what they did to the Mustang.

    Like 4
    • Jim

      Ford sold ~135,000 1973 Mustangs. They sold ~400,000 1974 Mustang IIs.

      Doubt that anyone at Ford was too upset with the change. Obviously, the public wasn’t either.

      Like 12
    • John Klintz

      Including the so-named Mustang Mach-E. Ford is going through one of their doldrum-malaise periods which they do every few years. I worked for them for six years in the eighties and experienced one of those periods; just self-promoting, out-of-touch management.

      Like 3
  13. Bill D

    My parents had a Pinto with the same 2.3/auto combination. 0-60 times were measured using a calendar.

    Like 4
  14. Frank

    A military friend of mine had one. Now most of the front ends are on Hot Rods.

    FORD’s two big mistakes:

    1. They called this a Mustang!
    2. They called the new E-car a Mustang!

    Like 3
  15. Richard D McElwee

    I had a 75 Mach 1, the rear fenders rusted out in a few years.

  16. JoeNYWF64

    This tiny car has a longer trunk lid than almost any new car you can buy!
    & it’s not a granny’s ez load trunk either.

  17. Dan August

    Does it have an interference engine?

    Like 7
    • Gerardo

      No, not an interference motor.

      Like 1
  18. Mario Lara

    Looks like it has a cross-flow head.

    Like 1
  19. Bick Banter

    Friend of mine had one of these Ghias back in the early ’80s. It was light blue with a white vinyl top and had the same engine and transmission, and air conditioning. It was really really slow I remember, even by the low standards then. Way slower than my other friend’s manual Pinto, which was no barnburner..I imagine it would be scary to drive now in modern traffic where everybody drives huge high powered SUVs and crossovers like they have a brick strapped to their foot.

  20. Abi

    The bumper covers are all cracked. The car is a 20 footer. Looks good in the pictures but up close it has plenty of interior and exterior flaws

  21. Prowen

    My high school gf(later wife then later ex wife) had a 74 Ghia. Thought it was a hot rod. Told her I could beat it with my 70 Nova SS in reverse. So when ever you stepped on the gas, the a/c and/or heater would blow thru the defroster vents. Had to be a vacuum issue but nobody could ever fix. And yes the nova went faster in reverse!

  22. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $5,610.

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