Thus spake NoOp :
And do what we did in the mid 70s, drop a 302 in to it. Of course,
this was in response to the guys who were putting 305s into their
The only guy who could beat John's Pinto in stop light runs was doing
it on his RD 350.
My ex had a 72 Nova Hatchback with a 305. No idea if it was original
What was it? The Tiger that had the 289 dropped in in place of the
original 4 bangers?
The classics like Mustangs are so priced out of the average person's
wallet that even Mustang IIs are becoming collector cars. So why not a
My first car was a Pinto. That's why I've gone on to buy six Mustangs over
Two of those six Mustangs were Mustang IIs. Anybody want to try and convince
me that the II is a "collector car"?
Here are the details of Chevy's 305.
The 305 5.0L variant of the small-block Chevrolet introduced in 1975
had a displacement of 305 cu in (5 L) with a 3.7350-inch (94.869 mm)
bore, and 3.4803-inch (88.4 mm) stroke. Many performance enthusiasts
shun the 305 because of the availability of 350 engine, along with the
fact that the same parts will yield much more power in a 350 cubic
inch package. Due to the popularity of the 350, items like rebuild
kits are more expensive for the 305. Still the 305 has considerable
power potential to the high selection of aftermarket parts that are
readily interchangeable with the popular 350. Not all cylinder heads
apply to this engine due to valves having bore interference or
shrouding issues with the narrow bore of the 305 engine, but there are
many LO3 setups that can produce over 300 horsepower from the right
Induction systems for the 305 included carburetors (both 2 and 4-
barrel), throttle-body injection (TBI), tuned-port fuel injection
(TPI), and sequential fuel injection (GM Vortec).
The 305 was used in the following cars:
1976=961992 Chevrolet Camaro
1980 Chevrolet Corvette (California only)
1977=961996 Chevrolet Caprice (includes Impala)
1977=961986 Pontiac Parisienne
1976=961979 Chevrolet Monza
1976=961979 Chevrolet Nova (also GM X-body clones after 1976)
1976=961988 Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet El Camino, and Chevrolet
1978=961992 Pontiac Firebird
1978=961980 Oldsmobile Cutlass (US Market only, Canadian market 1978=96
1991=961992 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser
1981=961987 Pontiac Grand Prix
1975=961979 Buick Skylark
1977=962003 Chevrolet/GMC Trucks, SUVs, Vans
1991=961992 Cadillac Brougham
1978=961987 Buick Regal
After 1996, its usage was limited to light trucks and SUVs until the
2000 model year (vans and commercial vehicles until 2003) as the
Vortec 5000. Currently still in production as a marine powerplant for
First it was the 260 and later the 289.
That and many of the popular classic 60s/70s cars have been
overexposed -- at big car show you're just one of many if you have a
regular 442, GTO, Chevelle, Mustang, etc. But show up in a Pinto,
Gremlin, or old stationwagon and you will get noticed.
Was the Mustang II built on a Pinto frame? I had a '76 Mustang II with
the V6 engine and it was fun to drive, but it certainly was not a nice
handling machine. I eventually handed it down to my Son, who drove it
until it rusted out and the sheet metal on the doors started flapping
in the wind. Regardless, I still liked that car.
In Lee Iacoca's book from 10 or so years ago he talks about the
development of the Mustang II. They put quite a bit of work into it
to try and make it a nice car and separate it from it's humble
beginnings. Considering the times, it may not be all that bad a car.
Also consider how generally poorly handling almost all Fords were back
then unless you ordered a handling package, which few people did (same
Traded my bright purple Pinto in on a used* '74 Mustang II Ghia coupe, with
a six under the hood and manual trans. I absolutely loved that car and
enjoyed the hell out of it, but much of that may have been relative, since I
was coming off of the Pinto.
Of course, I also bought a 1978 light blue hatchback (six/auto), that was
"our" first car when we got married, and it served us for about 11 years. As
with all my cars, it was my baby until it wasn't or until the next baby came
But I'm honest about Ford's build quality of the day (heck, all
manufacturers' build quality), and there's no way that I would ever want to
go back. It really wasn't until the early 1990s that car companies had the
emphasis on quality and the manufacturing techniques to back that up.
It's funny, buy my '93 LX 5.0 is now a comparative piece of crap, when
looking at what's being built today. But my '93 is far better than either of
my Mustang IIs. I may be blinded by my Fox loyalty, but I would consider the
Fox 5.0's as far more "collectible" than the Mustang IIs.
* In 1974, second-hand cars were still called "used." The term "pre-owned"
was not yet invented, and I remember thinking how utterly stupid that word
was, when it first came around. Pre-owned. Y'know, if you think about it, a
really good meal is nothing more than pre-shit.
I don't doubt that Ford tried to build a "nice car," but the II was a victim
of the times in which it lived. After all, this was the successor to a
highly successful line of Mustangs, and it was important that the redesign
do well in the marketplace. If I remember correctly, the sales figures for
the IIs were not bad at all. But it was a piece of crap.
If the goal was to build a car that could assume the badge AND become the
answer to the OPEC-inspired desire for fuel economy, the IIs failed
miserably. I won't deny that I had a great time with both of my IIs, but the
same is true of my old Honda 360 motorcycle - enjoyed it, but it was a piece
Maybe this is all just through hindsight, though. Certainly, in 1978, when I
took delivery of a brand new Mustang II hatchback (for $5,000), I didn't
think that was a piece of crap then. Maybe, as I sit here typing this in
2011, it's just that looking back, I can't believe that anyone would ever
want to go back to the suspect automotive creations of the mid- to late-70s.
For sure, build quality was an oxymoron. My '77 Mustang (V6 4-speed)
only went through a car wash once; the rear window leaked some, and the
passenger door leaked in sheets. I took it back to the dealer several
times complaining about rough running at low speeds in traffic; the
dealer fiddled to no avail and suggested that I remove the air pump,
which helped some; after it was out of warranty, I discovered that the
EGR valve was defective and blocked it, which solved the problem.
Handling sucked, but I still liked the car -- Four on the Floor beats
Three on the Tree every time.
But times change. I bought a new 2011 Fusion Sport AWD in December,
fully loaded, and the build quality is outstanding: the fit and finish
is great, the steering is excellent, the handling is very good for a
sedan, and I've not found any defects yet. It seems that Quality really
is Job One, at least in Ford's Hermosillo (Mexico) plant.
My only complaint with the Fusion is that I really wanted a new Mustang
GT. My wife observed that since I was retired, I should grow up; she
coerced me to get a car with an automatic and with a back seat big
enough for adults.