One Owner Ghia: 1978 Ford Mustang II Coupe

Mustang II Ghia

Given the recent discussion about Mustang II’s on Barn Finds, I thought this would be a perfect time to look at this controversial pony a little further. This almost pristine example of the most luxurious Ghia version is currently available here on eBay in La Porte, Indiana with bidding not at reserve but a Buy-It-Now of $7,500.

1978 Mustang Ghia

When I was growing up, my parents owned three “classic” Mustangs, and shortly after our return to the US from England, they bought a brand new 1978 Mustang II. I actually took my driver’s license exam in it so that I didn’t have to worry about the stick shift in my TR4A. I recall it being an underpowered (4-cylinder) but attractive car that did what it needed to do, get my Mom from point A to point B. But she was never thrilled with it and eventually replaced it with a Triumph Spitfire 1500.

1978 Mustang II

The Ghia coupes were an upmarket version of the Mustang II, with padded vinyl roofs, Ghia badges, and fancy wheel covers. This one has some pinstriping as well that I believe to be aftermarket, although the body side moldings are factory. I recall my parents’ car being fitted with white letter Firestone 721 tires, so these Eagle GT white letters aren’t far off.

1978 Mustang Ghia Interior

The Ghia models had unique seats and a lot of fake wood appliques anywhere they would fit, even on the T-handle shift lever. While the seats look in great shape, the carpet on top of the dash is probably hiding a crack or three, and the door handles have yellowed from being gripped. The car has been stored in a climate-controlled building so moisture should not be an issue.

Mustang II Ghia Rear Seats

Having spent some time in the back seat of a Mustang II, it’s not large by any means. At least with the hatchback version the seat folded down for some more utility. This coupe was all about style, 1978 style!

1978 Mustang Ghia Engine

But look under the hood! A 302 small block V8 was fitted from the factory, and the air conditioning is in place, although we don’t know if it’s operative.

1978 Mustang II Underside

To improve symmetry, a fake left hand side exhaust is fitted and included in the several undercar pictures leaving little to the imagination. I have to say that would be the first thing I’d remove, though! Right now there are only 65,546 miles on this one-owner Pinto derivative. Would you like to put some more on it? Let us know in the comments below!

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    As a diehard Mopar fan, I always liked the Mustang II. Didn’t really care for the Ghia; my preference ran to the liftback and the notchback coupe. This IS a nicely kept car, however just not my cup ‘o tea!! :-)

  2. Vickie Crisp

    love them. This is my 77 with 62000 miles on it.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Pretty car, Vickie! Thanks for sharing!

    • tom999p

      Nice car! You sure don’t see those around anymore, not even at car shows…

    • Jim

      My first car was a 78 in exactly the same color with exactly the same hubcaps and vinyl top (although mine had the full vinyl top). With only 30k miles and the V6, it got 13 miles to the gallon and use a quart of oil every 250 miles (no lie). It was a gutless POS… but I’d love to have it back today! :-)

    • '59FORDfan

      That’s a very good-looking II!

      • '59FORDfan

        I was referring to the BF readers’ rides but, the subject vehicle is very nice, also.

    • John

      Want to sell? Please e mail. Looking for one for my wife.

  3. Chris in San Diego

    I’d give him 75 cents and have it recycled. That is about the best I could do for that turd.

  4. Brian C

    I think the fake dual exhaust tips should be left on,……this could be the one redeeming aspect of this car,….providing a good laugh for enthusiasts far and wide.

    Even the author’s own mother shunned her Mustang II ,…..doesn’t that tell the whole story.

  5. sir mike

    back in the day we used to call those bumpers….”porno” bumpers

    • Rancho Bella

      I was just thinking about those bumpers. I think they should be
      bigger………….. :(

    • bruce R. Colbert

      ’57 Chevys had porno bumpers.

      Two of em, sticking right out the front.

  6. Maestro1 Member

    It would be a good grocery getter, a driver, good transportation, don’t expect too much mor

  7. tom999p

    King Cobras in good condition don’t even go for that much…

    • Dany

      Actually King Cobra’s go for about twice that much.

  8. Charles

    I have never been a fan of the Mustang II, however one has to respect the fact that this car looks to have been well maintained and protected from the elements. The 302 V8 makes it a little more interesting also. For the right owner, this could be a fun little car, although I can’t see the price that the owner is asking.

  9. Wayne

    Whoever designed? those bumper bars should have been looking for employment the next day.

  10. jim s

    these mustangs alowed the name to keep going, without them the name would have died. and then who knows how history would have played out. the first were off the falcon and these were off the pinto. i do not know if it is worth the asking price but it sure looks like it would make a great daily driver. great find.

  11. G stegall

    Sadly, the Mustang 302 barely chocked out 134 horsepower. What a sad era in American automotive history. Wonder if it is even possible to massage this engine to produce more HP and still pass California’s strict smog emission laws?

    • Thom

      I had a 78 Ford Mustang ll GHIA with a 302 Police Interceptor that put out 350 HP it was midnight blue with a tan top and sunroof all stock from the factory. When I bought it with only 18,000 miles on it, This version that I had made a Porsche 928 V8 eat my dust. Mine had a top end of 180mph. So this one put out a lot more then 134 HP.

      Like 1
  12. Jim

    Not a great (or even good) year for the Mustang, but it’s as good an example as I have seen of the Ghia option. Might make a nice little muscle car if it’s done right. The mill that’s in there now has no stank at all. Unfortunately, replacing it won’t change its awful appearance. The welded-on “faux” pipe is as more embarrassing than its tailights and bumpers!

  13. Rich

    It cracks me up that so many of the cars built in the 70’s are being idolized now. I got my driver’s license in ’75 and can tell you from experience most of them were junk…

  14. Alan (Michigan)

    That exhaust tip: Hahahahaha!
    But kind of scary, now that I think about it. Positioned in the proper place to be driven right into that rear-mounted fuel tank during a rear end collision. Yikes!

  15. Rex Kahrs Member

    The car is in nice condition, to be sure. But ask yourself this: would you pay $500 for a harvest gold crushed velvet leisure suit? Even if it was in good condition the cheese factor would be a 10. Same deal with a Mustang II.

  16. bruce R. Colbert

    Excellent condition !

    A lot of hard work went to keep this car looking good.

    However, I never liked the styling.

    Love the fake exhaust ,
    Looks like something from JCWhitney.

  17. linda c

    What makes a mustang a Ghia? The only Ghia I am famaliar with is the Carmen Ghia. What does it mean to be a Ghia?

    • bruce R. Colbert

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrozzeria_Ghia

      Don’t know the origin of Ghia.

      From this, looks like it is a car thing.

    • Mike_B_SVT

      Like Bruce pointed out, it is the name of the Italian design studio that did the styling for that model / trim level.

  18. RickyM

    Not sure that I like the car, but I can appreciate the work that has gone into keeping it in this condition, considering the age of the car. Nice find.

  19. Tim W

    While this is a well maintained example it also the lowest point in the Mustang’s legacy,

  20. Mike_B_SVT

    Pretty clean car! One that you could enter in just about any Mustang show and probably have little or no competition at all in your class / category! Thumb your nose at all those Shelby’s, Boss’s and Cobra-Jets duking it out. I bet with relatively little work you could probably bring it up to “Concours” level and start raking in the trophies! LOL!

  21. Ricko

    I dunno, I kind’a dig it. It would be a great sleeper with a ‘proper’ Windsor in it :)

  22. hhaleblian

    Gag me with a Buick

  23. Retrogreg Member

    Working for Borg Warner (Long Div – Heat Exchangers) in the early seventies preparing for the Mustang II we got a frantic call from Ford design – they had “no room under the hood” and due to a transmission front pump temp exceeding the Ford guideline of a max of 300 deg F they needed an oil cooler – where & how. Well we got it done in a most unconventional way – a single 1/2 inch hairpin tube that stretched the width of the car with fins first stacked along its length then internally expanded and turbulators added inside! The trans temp was so high even with the auxiliary cooler in the 4 cyl due to its terrible power they had to induce an inordinate amount of slip in the torque converter . And ………… believe it or not at product launch the 1974 Mustang II 4 cyl cars had to be carried on the lower deck of the carries – cause they could not make it up the carrier ramp!
    The auto industry was lots a fun in the good ole days.

  24. Paul B

    So bad. I do hope that someone who loves these grabs this one, as it’s in very nice condition. The nadir of the industry and of Ford and the most complete sad expression of Iaccoca’s rehashing expertise IMHO. No doubt others feel the same way about cars I’d love, but I just can’t appreciate these except as historical markers. Retrogreg’s post says it all. Good Heavens.

  25. Cameron Bater UK

    As a die hard Mustang fan (or ‘Stang if you live locally to me) I dont count the 2 as a mustang, to me it screams Pinto in drag and sits high on my worst cars in the world list. I much prefer the bigger, more powerfull Fastback classic and excluding the 2015 Mustang I havn’t been happy or at least truly happy with any bodyshape since (Including the cupe of the same vintage)
    I think Top gear (thats US) also had a “worst cars in the world” episode where this featured alongside such atrocities as the Pontiac Aztec.
    I defy anyone to tell me that this is less beautifull though

  26. kirker

    ARRRGGGHHH! I was hoping this car would not gather much attention. I am actively bidding and hope to get it. It is so ugly and odd that it is beautiful. And with the Windsor 8, it has get up and go. My roommate in college had one of these and it really moved along. Wish me luck and will let you know if I get it!

  27. Garagezone

    ‘Fraid I’d rather find a ’78 Maverick with a 302…

  28. Paul MacD

    I had a Mustang II Ghia Sport in 1978 and loved the car. The IIs always got a bad rap, but things are changing. I currently have a 77mach 1 with a 302 with 5 speed and t-tops. Car is a blast to drive. The car gets many positive comments at shows. There are a number of original and very tastefully modified IIs out there that have gotten praise by the media lately as well

    Like 1
    • Deab

      Hello, nice car . I had a 1977 just like yours except mine was Byellow, with black interior. 302 v8

  29. Mark-A

    In the UK Ghia was used as the Top Trim level for Ford Family cars, like the Cortina Ghia (which was available with a 2.3 ltr V6) I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for Ghia models as my Folks owned a 1984 Mk3 (Front Wheel Drive) Ford Escort Ghia 1.6 CVH (but it did have the Fiesta XR2, Escort XR3 twin choke Webber) as I passed my Driving test in this car I simply adored it even though it was a mixture of Sport & Comfort! Remember it being able to pull almost 70mph in 2nd gear (I was just 17 & just passed my test after all!!) Ghia was definitely an Italian styling house that if my memory serves right was bought by Ford so they could use the name as they saw fit!

  30. dave

    Had a friend drop a 302 Boss in one of these. It did very well on the street racing scene.

  31. Skip

    My one and only Mustang was a ’74 Ghia. Got it c.1985 for $750. I loved the little car, but the engine was very weak, so I didn’t keep the car very long: letting the original owner have it back, since he hadn’t told me about the engine problems. If not for that, I’d probably still have it today.

  32. charlie charlie

    This one has some pinstriping as well that I believe to be aftermarket, although the body side moldings are factory.
    Read more at http://barnfinds.com/one-owner-ghia-1978-ford-mustang-ii-coupe/#g82o2I5TlBrk0Ii8.99

    Sorry to break your heart. that is factory pinstriping.

  33. Jim

    My first new car. 1975 Mustang II Mach I. Bought it right off the showroom floor. I was 19yo. I loved this car. I might not have been the fastest but it sure looked like it was. Got great gas mileage. McPherson struts could straighten out any curvy road. This is what it looked like.

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