Ford Mustang II History Part 3


When the 1975 Mustang II was released, it appeared to be the same car as the previous year with the exception of the vinyl roof being shortened to a half roof with a small rectangular opera window.  The coupe and hatchback were back with the option of the standard, Ghia, or Mach 1. There was also some big news for gear heads...the rebirth of the 5.0L.  Recognizing the need for a performance engine in their compact performance car, Ford introduced a 5.0L V8 packing 140 horsepower to the Mustang II; that engine would become legendary, but not for their work in the Mustang II.  This V8 gave the Mach 1 a respectable amount of horsepower, and got the Mustang name back on the charts as being a performance car, even though economy and comfort were still the main goals of Ford Motor Company.  There was still the option of either the 2.3L 4 cylinder or the 2.8L V6, for those who were truly more interested in the look and feel of the Mustang II than they were with performance.  However, even with the 5.0L option, sales dropped by almost 60%.

1976 brought good news for those who felt that the Mustang II should still be viewed as a performance car: the introduction of the Cobra II.  The Ford Mustang Cobra II had hints of Carroll Shelby-esque styling with Shelby-like stripes along the top of the car and the lower sides of the car, similar to those found on the G.T. 500's.  Also, the Cobra II featured the quarter window louvers, hood scoop, and fender/grille badges similar to those found on the Shelby models of the 1960's.  There was also the addition of a spoiler below the front bumper as well as a rear deck lid spoiler, which were color matched to the paint scheme chosen.  The Cobra II was offered in white with either blue, red, or green stripes, or black with gold stripes.  In an effort to get the Cobra II into the public eye as much as possible, Ford issued a white/blue Cobra II to be driven by Farrah Fawcett on the television program "Charlie's Angels", and magazine advertisements went so far as to feature Carroll Shelby himself.  It should be noted that while the Cobra II package came standard with the 2.3L 4 cylinder, the available 5.0L option was often chosen.  While overshadowed by the Cobra II, the Mach 1 was still offered, as were the Ghia and base model.  Ford referred to the base models as Mustang II MPGs, pushing the fact that they were very efficient in the hope of stealing some business from Japanese automakers.  The Mustang II Stallion package was also offered, but simply as an appearance upgrade.  Sales for 1976 dropped again, but it was much less severe than what Ford saw from 1974 to 1975.

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