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Mustang of the Day: Ford Mustang II

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Counting Down to the 50th Anniversary

1974 Ford Mustang II Hardtop

1974 Ford Mustang II Hardtop

While the Ford Mustang II was among the best-selling Mustangs of the pony car’s near 50 year history, it has gained dislike from some devout Mustang fans across the globe. Notable for the Ford Mustang II was the absence of the V8 engine, as well as the apparent downsizing: it shed 500 pounds and shrunk by 19 inches.

1974 Ford 2.8-liter V6 for the Mustang II

1974 Ford 2.8-liter V6 for the Mustang II replaced the V8.

It was the decision to do this to the Mustang, however, that has likely kept the American icon on roadways still today. That’s because after the original Ford Mustang hit the market, other automakers immediately began to emulate it to match its success. With each passing year, the cars became bigger and badder, trying to outdo one another—and the Mustang had to go along for the ride to stay relevant. Eventually, the Mustang grew nearly 700 pounds heavier and over a foot longer, just at a time that demand for small cars began to grow.

Enter the Ford Mustang II, to take the Mustang back to its roots. With the oil embargo in the Middle East in 1973 and the surging gas prices that followed, the downsizing of the Mustang, and its engine, was actually very well timed. While the Ford Mustang II might not have had the same exciting acceleration of the Mustangs before it, it did restore the agility that pony car aficionados had come to know and love. And, to quell the concerns of the still dissatisfied, Ford brought back a V8 for the second year of the Mustang II.

Check out our Ford Mustang II: Through the Years gallery below:

Ford Mustang II Photos

  • Timothy MooreManaging Editor

    Timothy Moore hails from Dayton, Ohio, and tries to bring that Midwestern flavor to his writing. (But as it turns out, no one really likes the Midwestern flavor.) He has been covering the auto industry for years, with several national auto shows under his belt, but he’s been writing about lots of other things (like dragons and Mickey Mouse and cows drowning in milk) since he was just a tot. Outside of the land of cars, Timothy enjoys watching The Office and consuming excessive amounts of peanut butter and beer, and is on the board of an up-and-coming Dayton theatre company called The Playground. And when he’s not on stage (or three jars into a peanut butter binge), Timothy spends time with his mischievous dog, Greyson. See more articles by Timothy.