Unlike the Camaro and the Charger/Challenger, the Ford Mustang never spent one year off the market since its 1964 introduction. However, the pony had its fair share of difficult years and nothing sums that up like the Mustang II built between 1973 and 1978. However, with classic muscle being more popular than ever these days, the fanbase of the second-gen ‘Stang is growing. And this 1977 example, which was rescued by YouTuber Dylan McCool last year and continues to evolve, provides an inspiring story.
The past nine
years months have seen the vlogger slowly, but steadily reversing the fate of the Mustang II, which had been left to rot for 27 years. So, instead of focusing on the project with the resources of a YouTuber who has half a million subscribers (make that 501K at the time when this article was published), Dylan decided to take things gradually—he still receives support from multiple partners, but none of the updates done so far seem to have required a serious budget.
This is as mean as second-generation factory Mustangs got
Perhaps the best thing about the Blue Oval machine is that we’re dealing with the 302 ci V8 (this packs 4.9L, but you’ll find it under the 5.0 moniker). Keep in mind that Ford had to revise the engine bay of the Mustang II to fit this V8 for 1975, as the compartment had only been designed for the initial L4 and V6 engines. That’s how sad the Malaise Era was, with its oil crisis-generated, strict fuel efficiency targets and antiquated legislation that prevented proper innovation to meet those numbers.
The first video below, which just landed on YouTube, sees the vlogger delivering a bit of a recap before proceeding to further improve the pony, which also features a four speed manual (yaay!).
In their time together, the Mustang had received attention in terms of the brakes, fuel system, and body. And, outside those fixes, the machine received a few basic improvements, including a more aggressive cam setup, an intake, carburetor, and exhaust. Oh, and let’s not overlook the wheels and tires.
As for the bits covered today, we’re looking at a new ignition module that seems to seriously boost drivability and a good old pressure wash before reinstalling the rear spoiler. Note that the latter is part of the Cobra II appearance package present on the vehicle.
The Ford Mustang II 302 V8 wasn’t exactly a beast down the quarter-mile
Back in the day, the Mustang II with the 302 V8 packed 140 hp, which led to a 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) time of 10.5s and a top speed of 106 mph (170 km/h). As for the quarter-mile time, Dylan only briefly recalls his drag strip stint in the Mustang Cobra II in the first clip, which is why we’ve added a second video below. That’s where you’ll see him taking the pony down the strip while aiming to improve the 17.5s E.T. from back in the day.
And while the said upgrades should deliver extra muscle, some of the horses might’ve escaped over the years, so, unless Dylan takes the thing to a dyno or at least revisits the drag strip, there’s no way to tell how much power the engine currently makes.
However, one thing is certain: this 1977 Ford Mustang 302 Cobra II can pull a respectable burnout, even if the added blue exhaust smoke means it might be sipping a bit of extra oil. Then again, there’s nothing a future adventure can’t solve.
PS: If you’re like us and this whole story brings dreams of a full transformation for the ‘Stang, perhaps the rendering at the bottom of the story can help. This sees the 1978 King Cobra (an even meaner visual take on the Cobra II) getting a widebody makeover from digital artist Rostislav Prokop. The twin-turbos penetrating the hood are on the house.