Emerald Wild: Will This Unfinished Mustang II Project Scratch The Speed Itch?
The Mustang II is like the weird kid you knew in middle school: puny, ugly, nothing to be threatened by. Nevermind that Ford actually read the market perfectly and that the Mustang II sold stunningly well when it took over from the Clydesdale that was the 1971-73 Mustang. Nevermind that the first oil embargo just smacked everyone back to reality, or that the smog era was in full force. Even ten years later, Mustang IIs were punchlines. They were dinky little disco-era demons that were usually powered by a wheezing 2.3L four or an oil-burning 2.8L V6 as they squealed around corners with worn-out 13-inch tires.
That being said, you never know what that weird kid is all about. In 1975, after receiving dump truck loads of mail about the missing V8, Ford saw fit to shove the 302 under the hood. Was it a good move? Not really. We’re talking smog-era, 150-ish horsepower of barely annoyed small-block Ford. But, what that DOES mean, is that anyone who knows anything about a small-block Ford can give the Mustang II it’s balls back.
Hate the looks of Iacocca’s “little jewel” all you want. But a romping 302 in a Deuce, especially one that’s packing a third pedal and some gear out back, is a guilty pleasure. I know, it’s my oldest one in the automotive realm, and it’s one that I had to try out again recently when I borrowed Dylan McCool’s Cobra II at Ford Fest earlier this year and took it for a rip.
Earlier this summer, Kevin sent me the Craigslist ad that started the build process you’re about to see here. Frankly, he stole this car, and the little blower setup is icing on the cake for a Mustang that was filled floor-to-ceiling full of goodies. Dylan is a Mopar guy who will dabble in Fords, and he loves his Cobra. Can Kevin be the next person to admit that a properly-powered Mustang II isn’t as bad as the Internet swears they are?