The second generation of Mustang saw many changes from the first generation and was marketed by Ford as the Mustang II and had no common components with the preceding Mustangs. The 1975 Ford Mustang Cobra II was like the sportier 70s version of an iconic 70s car. With Shelby-styled front looks and a focus on fuel efficiency, the Cobra II was an attempt from Ford to recover from the decline of popularity by reminiscing about the Shelby era.
Sharing structural similarities with the Ford Pinto, this second-generation Mustang was 490 pounds lighter and 19 inches shorter than the 1973 Mustang. With a unique unibody and an isolated front suspension, some chassis and driveline components were similar to the Mustang First Generation.
Interestingly, in 1975, the Oil Embargo Crisis was ending, and Ford reintroduced its oil-guzzling V8 with this model. Now, Ford needed the V8 to return to the Mustang II to have some kind of performance back. The 1975 Ford Mustang Cobra II did not launch with positive reception, as the 71-73’ had already disappointed many Mustang fans. It was upon the Mustang Cobra II to save some reputation of Ford in the performance car segment.
Ford Mustang Cobra II: An Attempt To Match Euro-Cars
Lee Iacocca designed the 1975 Ford Mustang Cobra II, and he deserves credit for making the new Mustang in line with other Euro-sports cars that were all the craze. This change from the pony car styling was positive and much appreciated since the overuse of pony cars by too many carmakers. The transition to Euro “super-coupes” saw an exponential rise in sales figures that year, making it the 9th most sold Mustang till this date at 199,199 models sold.
The 1975 Mustang Cobra II and any Mustang II, in that case, did not shine on paper with pretty low specs. The V8 in this 1975 Mustang produced a meager 122 HP due to the emission requirements and Ford’s catalytic converter that continued on all Mustangs starting 1975. The target competition for the Ford Mustang Cobra II was the Toyota Celica, the Opel Manta, and the Mercury Capri, which was Ford’s European import.
The 70s was not a good decade for Ford and GM for many reasons: their stubbornness in not accepting their European models and focusing on selling that in the USA. So, instead of building on the caliber of Capri and selling it as the Mustang II. Engineers at Ford were eager to show that they could do it better in America, the concept of small economical cars, which Europeans had mastered at that point.
Focus On Low Interior Noise And A Comfortable Ride
The major problem in Ford Pinto was its high rattling and interior noise that was close to making anyone feel like the car was just seconds away from collapsing. Ford engineers kept this in mind and made the new Mustang Cobra II a more silent vehicle on the inside. Lee Lacocca wanted to make the 1975 Mustang Cobra II a luxurious car and incorporated soft springs in the suspension to offer a comfortable ride.
The 1975 Mustang Cobra II interior was designed to offer a luxurious feel and get the Mustang back to its glorious days. To be fair to Lee and his team, the Mustang Cobra II did give more elegant vibes than the 1974 or 1973 Mustang II could never do, especially in the padded-top Ghia series.
Why Did The 1975 Mustang Cobra II Not Succeed?
Despite Ford’s efforts of increasing customer reception for its performance cars ever since their downfall during the Oil Embargo Crisis, the 1975 Mustang Cobra II was not released to great reception. With the 1975 Mustang Cobra II, Ford decided to reintroduce a V8, which was the standard for American Muscle Cars of the time. Given that Ford did quite a job on the front end of this car to accommodate that V8, it is evident that they did not think of the specifics.
The 302 V8 used in this 1975 only produced around 122HP, which makes the choice of going to all the trouble of increasing the front-end weight quite questionable. There is no doubt that coupes giving actual V8 performance were still in demand, as seen with the Camaro Z-28, which produced 245HP and did 0-60 in 6.7 seconds, exactly half of the Mustang Cobra II’s time of 12.6 seconds. The Camaro’s pricing was pretty close to the V6 Mustang, let alone the additional V8 and Cobra versions. Thus, the 1975 Mustang Cobra II had a lot of faults, mostly due to Ford’s pride in producing cars in Detroit and some questionable decisions.
How Much Does A 1975 Mustang Cobra II Cost?
The non-V8 version of the 1975 Mustang II will cost you less than the Cobra II at around $10,000. However, this will be hard to find on sites selling classic cars. It is even harder to find the 1975 Mustang Cobra II as most buyers of the time didn’t consider its muscle-car performance special enough to preserve. It is possible to find the 1975 Mustang Cobra II, but most models are way over 100,000 miles, but cost lesser than its successors at around $15,000 for a 1975 Mustang Cobra II.