Mustang MonthlyNews & Views
First Test of the V-8 Mustang II in 1974
“The car you see on these pages is a Mustang II with a 302 cubic-inch V-8 engine and a four-speed manual transmission, power steering and power disc brakes as standard equipment. It is built on a Ford Motor Company assembly line and is not some small garage engine conversion one-off. You can buy one just like it right now, today. But you’ll have to restrict your driving to places like Juarez, San Miguel de Allende, Mazatlan, and Mexico City, because the 1974 Mustang II V-8 is sold in only one country in the world, the Republic of Mexico.”
When the Mustang II debuted in 1974 you could only get a 140ci (2.3L) I-4 or a 171ci (2.8L) V-6, no V-8. That wouldn’t happen until the 1975 model year, but Ford’s Mexico assembly plant did offer a V-8 that first year for use only in Mexico. Wanting to test one, Hot Rod’s Jim McCraw flew down to Mazatlan (rough duty Craw!) to drive the V-8 Mustang II. He described the car as “An absolute ball to drive. Just incredible,” and was quite happy with the 200kph (122 mph) top-end and mid-9-second 0-60 times.