About The 1974 Mustang
The year 1974 ushered in a completely new Mustang known as the Mustang II. It was designed in response to the baby boomers’ desire for imported cars that were not only smaller but better on gas. This in addition to a gas crisis and higher insurance rates for high powered cars resulted in the Mustang II design.
The original Ford Mustang was high powered, a true pony car, and had an amazing following. However, times were changing and Mustang sales had been going down. There were new emissions regulations in place that considerably affected the original Mustang’s power. So, Mustang needed to make a change to not only re-create the love of the Mustang in consumer’s hearts but to also sell some units. What was needed was a fresh design that was small and sporty, handled well, with outstanding engineering.
The result for this tall order was a Mustang II that did not meet any of the necessary requirements. It was not proportioned or designed well, was too small, had poor handling, not enough power, and was at the bottom of the performance ladder. Despite being what seemed the worst Mustang ever produced it sold amazingly well. Almost 386,000 units were sold in 1974 alone. Amazingly enough, the first Mustang II won the 1974 Motor Trend Car of the Year.
Most true Ford Mustang fans hate the Mustang II and feel as if it is a poor excuse for a Mustang. The fact that this vehicle won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award is like rubbing salt in the wound for these diehard fans. However, there are some Mustang II fans out there who believe there is nothing better than this design.
The biggest problem with trying to create a new Mustang from the old one is that the basic recipe had changed. The same ingredients were no longer being used so creating the same type of car would be difficult. The original Mustang was inspired by the Falcon while the Mustang II was inspired by the Pinto econo-box. Regardless, Ford forged ahead and the Mustang II was introduced considerably weaker and hardly recognizable as a pony car, but a Mustang nonetheless.
Source: Mustang Forums