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Original V8: 1976 Ford Mustang II

It seems that the seller of this 1976 Ford Mustang II has found his little pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. He located this classic hidden away in a barn, a spot that it had occupied for more than fifteen years. When he washed away the dust and grime, what emerged was a tidy and clean vehicle that was a credit to its sole elderly lady owner. He has returned this Ford to a roadworthy state and has decided that the time is right for it to find a new home. Located in Tieton, Washington, you will find the Mustang II listed for sale here on Craigslist. You could be parking this survivor in your driveway for a mere $3,850. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Matt H for spotting this fantastic car for us.

When I see cars like this Mustang II, I often wonder what the story is and why the owner would choose to park the car for years rather than selling it. It seems that its original owner was an elderly lady, so maybe she reached that point where she had to acknowledge that she was past the point of driving safely, but retaining the car helped her to feel like she could have her independence if she desired. Regardless of the story, it seems like someone will likely become a winner out of this deal. She ordered the car in the shade called Silver Blue Glow and chose a matching landau-style vinyl top to add a touch of class. Once it had been cleaned and polished, the paint returned to an impressive shine. There are no significant problems or issues to report with the panels or paint, although the buyer will probably want to address the slight damage to the rear bumper on the lower right corner. The vinyl is in good order, with none of the deterioration or fading that can develop with age. The external trim is in excellent condition, as is the glass. The current owner has installed 14″ alloy wheels and new tires, although he does include the original 13″ steelies and hubcaps in the sale for those who prefer a stock appearance.

While it isn’t a hard-and-fast rule, elderly buyers tend to be pretty conservative on the subject of drivetrain choices in any new car purchase. An exception is when they seek a vehicle capable of towing a trailer if they intend to spend their retirement years on the road leading a life of adventure. The other exception is with cars like our Mustang II. The original owner could’ve chosen to equip her new purchase with a 2.3-liter four or a 2.8-liter V6, and everyone would’ve respected that decision. But it seems that she wasn’t fond of treading the middle ground, so she went straight to the top by ticking the box beside the 302ci V8 option. Admittedly this V8 wasn’t the same firebreathing monster that it had been at the start of the decade, but it still produced 134hp. She rounded out the package by adding a three-speed automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. The great V8 had fallen on hard times by the time this car rolled off the production line, so a ¼ mile ET of 17.7 seconds was about as good as it got. When the seller located this car, it hadn’t fired a shot in anger since 2006. He dragged it home and proceeded to perform all of the tasks required to return it to a roadworthy state. After pulling the tank and cleaning it, he flushed the rest of the fuel system and rebuilt the carburetor. He then replaced the master cylinder and any other brake components that were suspect and flushed the cooling system. The final piece of the puzzle was the new wheels and tires, and it is here that we find the only substantial modification that he performed. To gain clearance for the larger wheels and tires, he fitted adjustable coil-over shocks. These probably also help the handling, but I believe that reversing this change would be possible if the buyer wishes to preserve this Ford’s originality. The hard work has been worth the effort because the owner describes this car as fun to drive. It seems that this one is ready to go with a new owner behind the wheel.

The interior shots supplied by the owner aren’t great, and this is the pick of the bunch. However, it seems to be indicative of its overall condition. The seats are upholstered in blue velour cloth, and I doubt anyone has ever sat in the back. The front buckets are in a similar state, and the seller believes that the original owner may have protected these with slipcovers since Day One. What can be seen of the dash and plastic trim seems good, while there are no apparent issues with the carpet. The faux-walnut is in good order, the gauges look crisp and clear, and the overall impression is that the original owner cherished and protected this classic. The interior isn’t loaded with luxury features, so it appears that a sports gauge cluster with a factory tach and a pushbutton AM radio is about it.

I don’t see the point in doing a “hard sell” on this 1976 Mustang II because I believe this car sells itself. Its overall condition is extremely impressive for its age, and there are no significant issues for the buyer to tackle. Admittedly, V8 engines from this era were pretty disappointing performers. However, many of our readers will believe that at least the car has the correct number of cylinders. If the buyer isn’t concerned with originality, the option is available to squeeze a few more ponies from that engine for a modest outlay. For me, it is the price that sells this car. As a first purchase for someone considering dipping their toe into the classic car scene, they don’t come a lot cheaper than this. That’s why I think that someone will grab this Mustang II pretty quickly.


  1. Avatar photo FordGuy1972 Member

    Cheap money for a clean, low mileage, 45 year-old car. Not the most exciting classic car but I suppose as there are plenty of speed parts available for the small block 302, you do have the option of more performance if you wanted to go that route. To me, those wheels look a little out of place on this granny-mobile so I’d be inclined to put the originals wheels and hubcaps back on. The interior looks good from what can be seen, too. Nice car overall and bargain-priced.

    Like 14
    • Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

      For a car like this, I’d install a V6 engine. V8 seems too big and heavy for a car like this.

      Like 2
  2. Avatar photo Bob_in_TN Member

    I agree with Adam and FordGuy, this is a nice Mustang II and certainly a bargain. Credit to this flipper: he notes he bought the car not long ago (probably for very little money), lists what he has done, and is now selling it for a profit. But given the low asking price, he isn’t making much and isn’t gouging his buyer.

    Join your local Mustang club and have fun, I’m sure they would welcome someone with a rarely-seen II.

    Like 14
  3. Avatar photo KC John Member

    Nice find. Decent money. World ending. Lol

    Like 10
  4. Avatar photo Car Nut Tacoma

    Nice looking car. I remember this generation Mustang from when I was a boy. I was too young at the time to drive, but I remember admiring it and wanting to drive one. Here I am, more than 40 yrs later, and while I’ve yet to drive one, I still like the car, and would love to drive one.

    Like 5
  5. Avatar photo Troy

    I think my 2019 turbo 4cyl Volkswagen Tiguan is fast than this thing. But someone will have fun with it

    Like 1
  6. Avatar photo Rick in Oregon

    These were crappy cars when new, my mother worked for Ford in the 70’s and employee’s could purchase lease returns at a big discount. She got a ’75 Ghia, top of the line, V6 in Silver. What a turd that car was, my Pop hated that car with a passion! I cannot imagine buying one today knowing what I did about them new….

    Like 4
  7. Avatar photo Bob-O

    Since there is a V8 in it already I think that I’d replace it with a modern Ford crate motor, put in a stronger rear end and do a 4-lug to 5-lug conversion. I’d also go back to steel wheels but widen the rear’s slightly and use the factory dog dish hubcaps.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Mike d

      My understanding is the newer V/8 s require lots of work to be sandwiched into the 74-78 stang’s, particularly with the suspension motor mounts,etc. Of course correct me if I am wrong.

      Like 2
  8. Avatar photo Mike d

    My understanding is the newer V/8 s require lots of work to be sandwiched into the 74-78 stang’s, particularly with the suspension motor mounts,etc. Of course correct me if I am wrong.

    Like 2
  9. Avatar photo Howie Mueler

    The ad is gone now.

    Like 0
  10. Avatar photo jwaltb

    What part of this is a classic? Because it’s old?

    Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Philip Lepel

    Shame its gone. Ive wanted one of these for years to go with my fox body and my new edge 2004 convertible. Changing to 351 heads can bring real power to this engine along with a four barrel carb or fuel injection.

    Like 4
  12. Avatar photo ccrvtt

    Overstyled and underpowered and still better looking than your BMW.

    Like 1
  13. Avatar photo James Taylor

    I had one exactly like it, same colors and equipment package. Worst car I ever owned. Had nothing but problems with it. I was very happy that Mount St Helens erupted and basically put the piece of shit out of it’s misery. Traded it off to a dealer for a Dodge van that turns out was one of the most reliable vehicles I ever owned.

    Like 1
  14. Avatar photo Mark merrell

    I am interested in this car

    Like 1

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