The 1974 Mustang was marketed as the Mustang 11, the rebirth of the Mustang. Getting back to its roots and all that. Well, Unfortunately,it was also based on the grocery getter, better known as the Pinto.
OK. OK... I know... a lot of people love the Mustang II. But its rebirth had little to do with reviving the proud pony car name and muscle car image. The 1974 Mustang was a product of expensive gas,pollution controls,new bumper laws and falling sales.
Sure,lower weight, mated with a smaller but peppy motor should work. Power to weight ratio right?
Well,the little Mustang 11,with it's new "metric" 2.3 liter four cylinder (140 cubic inch) engine dished out a thundering 88 horsepower with a stump pulling 118 pounds of torque. Weighing in at around 2600 lbs for a stripped four cylinder car, made its acceleration about the same as the I6 equipped big Mustang.
Ford's performance option for the little 1974 Mustang was in the form of the 2.8 liter V6, which was said to borrow its refinements from the european Ford Capri. Now,I've driven both, and something got lost in the translation. Quarter mile times for the V6 were just under 19 seconds for the 4 speed and about 19.5 for the automatic.
The Mustang II was 19 inches shorter and almost 500 lbs lighter than the 1973 car it replaced.
The convertible was gone, not to return for another six years. The available versions were the coupe,now called a notchback,and a 2+2 fastback,instead of a sports roof.
The Ghia model was the replacement for the Grande and was to be a smooth riding little luxury cruiser. It also featured its own vinyl roof treatment and logo.
Just like the outside,the interior for the new car was dramatically different. Smaller, with a slant towards a more european feel.
The Ghia had its upscale look, with a fake wood dash, bank of idiot lights and seats that resembled a small LTD.
Other Mechanical Changes
Like its Pinto cousin, the Mustang shared the new for a pony car rack and pinion steering steering system, but unlike the pinto, it had its own front sub frame that was separately mounted to the body.
Spring rates were calibrated for the different combinations, with the softest spring rates dialed in for the Ghia.
As pretty much everyone but Ford expected,the new Mustang's sales were flat. Its savior,came in the form of the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo, which was caused by a splinter group of Arab members,of OPEC, who banded together, to cut off oil supplies to the US and Western Europe, for supporting an emergency supply effort to get oil to Israel, allowing it to hold off Egyptian and Syrian forces.
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