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V6 And 4-Speed: 1978 Ford Mustang II Mach 1

Hitting the market in the fall of 1973 for the 1974 model year, the Ford Mustang II was quite a change from the previous generation of Mustangs. They had changed a few times during the first decade, growing in size as the energy crisis hit. This 1978 Ford Mustang II Mach 1 is listed here on eBay in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and the current bid is $3,600, but the reserve isn’t met. There is an $8,450 buy-it-now price if you can’t wait.

For the record, the seller’s buy-it-now price is between Hagerty’s #3 good condition value and #4 fair condition value. As a 1978 Ford Mustang II brochure touts, the 1978 Ford Mustang II “…takes you away from an ordinary day.” Ain’t dat da truth. Drive this car in traffic or on errands and you’ll find out how unordinary it is today. As in, it’s not a silver SUV. The seller has included many photos, kudos to them for doing that – it gives me hope for humanity, or at least for online sellers. The underside looks like it could use some help but the seller says it’s mostly solid with just a small rust area on the driver’s floor pan.

The Mustang II was offered until the end of 1978 in both a two-door hatchback body style as with this car, and a two-door sedan with a notchback and trunk. They both had trim packages available, such as a fancy Ghia trim level for the notchback and the 2+2 for the hatchback, which also came with t-tops. The hatchback also was available in King Cobra and Cobra II packages in 1978. This appears to be a Mach 1 package, but those wheels don’t look like anything from the Ford catalog in this era. Luckily, the seller says that the OEM wheels are included!

The paint could use some help, but the interior looks quite nice in this Mustang II. The Chamois-colored Ashton Cloth/Vinyl seats look good and the back seat looks basically like new. The Mach 1 came with a standard four-speed manual and that’s what we see here.

The Mach 1 also came with a standard V6, and this dusty Ford Cologne 2.8-liter V6 would have been factory-rated at 90 horsepower and 143 lb-ft of torque when new. The throwout bearing is making some noise but a new one is included as is a new clutch. Any thoughts on this Mustang II, price-wise?


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Thanks Scotty. I don’t really follow prices on these, but most anything in at least decent shape (such as this) for under $10k is a bargain in today’s world. The interior appears good but it looks like it needs paint, though for a driver it’s probably okay. The wheels don’t do anything for me. Hope it goes to a new owner who will appreciate and enjoy having a now-uncommon Mustang II (like you said, no one will mistake it for a silver SUV….).

    Like 16
  2. Al_Bundy Member

    Nice survivor and the price seems reasonable. I like the drivetrain. The 2.8 was a pretty good engine with a gear driven cam. I’d keep her as is, garage it, maintain it & just take it for some easy Sunday drives.

    Like 10
  3. Rw

    383 SBC /Turbo 350/9 in. It would be a real street sweeper

    Like 5
    • Brian W

      It’s not as easy a drop in as you think. First of all, Ford didn’t offer a V8 for this car for the first year 1974 and had to shoehorn in a 302 for 1975 and later. This required longer fenders and a longer hood. No idea why you would want to destroy this rare classic with that heavy handling killing small block. Buy a Camaro already. And a Chevy engine at that. The Blue Oval crowd would almost universally revile you on both accounts.

      Like 0
  4. CrustyOl65

    Personally, this car is not rare enough (to me) to justify keeping the 6. I’d put a healthy 302 into it but keep it as stock as possible otherwise. And enjoy it! However, not sure how stout of a 4spd was used in ‘78, and the rear diff might be of questionable strength as well…

    Like 8
  5. JudoJohn

    I like this. As bob said, nice to have a different kind of Mustang. I would keep the engine, but it could be made more powerful with a little work. However, this one looks like some rust may be lurking underneath. I think $4K is a good price.

    Like 2
  6. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    Very clean Mustang ll but I drove the 4&6 cylinder back in late 70’s. To me it was sad. This Stang could use a new drivetrain. Ford stroker 347 and 5 speed with custom driveshaft going to shortened Ford 9″ rear. Keep it Ford all the way. Nice exhaust system and you will have one hell of a sleeper. And if you need a hood get a King Cobra. It’s has a good looking interior and a fair price $7,000 because it was maintain well all these years. Good luck to the next owner.🐻🇺🇸

    Like 5
  7. Kirk

    I always hear the mustang II being a pinto underneath but never hear any comparisons to the mercury capri of the same vintage. I know the 80’s90’s capri and mustang were the same car just with different sheet metal on the outside for the most part but always wondered if the mid 70’s ones shared the same under pinnings

    Like 0
    • Dave

      The 70’s Capris were completley different. European made by Ford. I had a 73, fun car. V6 standard.

      Like 5
    • Motorcityman

      The Mustang II was NOT based on the Pinto, that’s old incorrect info.

      Like 5
      • Tony

        This car is nothing more than a pinto. 90 horsepower out of a V6? Please give me a break. This car isn’t even worthy of the Mach 1 moniker. Oh my God

        Like 1
      • Big C

        Younger folks don’t know that the reason cars were so down on horsepower was the govt. got involved in the auto industry. They wanted small cars that got better mpg and cleaner exhausts. Buyers still wanted a luxurious ride and creature comforts of the big cars. Detroit was under the gun. With the time crunch and not much technology at hand? They strangled their smaller engines with dark age pollution controls. Thus, you got 90-100 horsepower V-6’s.

        Like 2
  8. Maggy

    This is one car I can say actually looks better as a hatchback. Gives it a sport coupe look.

    Like 4
  9. John L Nichols

    I’ll pass, heavier than a European Capri. The gear driven cam on the original cam gear had plastic teeth, fortunately not an interference valve train. I had a Capri that lost it’s gear. Those engines are prone to overheating and cracking the cylinder heads, burning exhaust valves. But I’ll say this it’s in great shape for it’s age and the owner has put a larger aftermarket radiator in it which should help avoid the overheating issue. That clutch would be super easy those transmissions are light.

    Like 0
  10. John N

    At that price, hard pass with that rust in the floorpans, rockers, and door bottoms.

    Like 3
  11. Timmy V Member

    I’m tempted to buy this for my son, who’s going to be driving in the next few years. It’s in better shape than 99% of the Mustang IIs that were around when I got my license in 1985. But that floorpan rust is a dealbreaker – it won’t pass inspection in VA like that and the BIN price is all I’d ever want to spend on it beyond routine maintenance.

    Like 3
  12. Grape Ape

    Good friend had one of these when we were in our 20s, it was a dog. Perhaps not a “Mach 1” – how you call a low HP NA V6 a Mach 1, I don’t know.
    Not a Mustang fan in the first place to be honest, however the first gen fastbacks are cool. This car would be a pass for me at less than half the current bid of $3,800. If won free, would sell. Sorry Mustang fans, that’s the beauty of different autos tho, each their own.
    Good luck to both seller and buyer.

    Like 0
  13. Robert Levins

    These cars were sporty/cool in their own right. They were. But not fast. They knew that they weren’t going to be right from the start. They were after the “small car market “ and got put into the Pinto category for efficiency. Put a turbo charger on any of these Mustangs and you’re good to go. Fun cars but only for a cheap price….. good luck.

    Like 2
  14. Beauwayne5000

    chassis is very weak even stock 302 V8 added common parts Cam + 4BBL carb & Headers entire rear area of chassis & suspension connecting mounts would warp Crack twist & leaf springs would break clean off.
    That’s without any special head work or increased compression with after market pistons.
    HD 4spd was more than ok w/the 100+ hp increase but entire back was like a drunk walking a crooked line.
    Chassis as is needs reinforcing plates on rear suspension mounts & dump factory stock rear & Axle for 9inch locker & shortened axles to fit wider wheels 🛞 & Tires
    The mustang 2 front suspension is great but that V6 shock tower setup would need upgrades.
    Had a 76 Cobra II 302 4spd Wheelies in 3 gears hard scratch in 4th.
    ACDC on cassette a double bubble & 3ft flames 🔥 on shifts & of course got arrested several times

    Like 0
  15. BA

    Shameful that Ford did this to a Mustang IMHO , but I’m happy we still have a Mustang so IDK

    Like 0
  16. Clay Harvey

    My girlfriend had a 77 Mustang hatchback that came with a 302 v8 automatic. It was red on red with rallye wheels had ps, pb, and a/c. It was a good running car though the Gov’t made them detune the engine down so much.

    Like 1

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