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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

The Mustang Owner's Museum is thriving in one of America's car-craziest cities

Befitting of the moniker "The Queen City," Charlotte, North Carolina's crown contains more gems than that of the Britain's Royal Family. It's the second-largest banking center behind New York, for one, and is home to the second-largest financial institution by total assets, Bank of America.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/automotive-history/the-mustang-owners-museum-is-thriving-in-one-of-ame...
31 REPLIES 31
audiobycarmine
Technician

A photo (#17) of a banner/sign shows the title "First Generation 1964 - 1973",
but the 1971 - 1973 Mustangs had a totally different body than all earlier ones.
THEY are the Second Generation, after which came the &%$#!! II. I can't call it a Mustang.
Snailish
Gearhead

Gen 1 is Falcon based platform. I hear you on the body changes for the 71-73 really not making one feel that they all belong in the same club.

Gen 2 is Pinto platform.

Gen 3 & 4 is Fox body ( and then modified Fox body renamed SN-95) was originally a shared platform but Mustang was the last to use it.

Gen 5, 6 and probably beyond the platform is Mustang exclusive, at least until everything is one EV rollerskate fits all...

DaveVan
Intermediate Driver

GEN 2 is a Pinto platform.
Owning both a Pinto back in the day and currently a 76 Mustang II.....NO.
They did share some parts, rear end and leaf springs on 4cyl cars, but the Mustang II had a different unibody/chassis and it's own front suspension that was so well designed it is under THOUSANDS of hot rods, including my 1946 Ford coupe!
Love them or hate them Mustang II were MUSTANGS and a decent car of the ERA. Thanks
TG
Technician

I always thought the Gen 2s (properly dressed) were sharp in their own right
Snailish
Gearhead

Pinto came out in 71. It was a rushed development program with a much shorter lead time then the industry norms at the time.

 

Mustang II was evolved out of this program. It came out in 1974.

 

I agree they are a Mustang. I have defended them on these forums quite a few times actually. The Pinto platform thing is basically just a trivia question, though it never hurts to know what vehicles share components with one you might have.

JBBearcat
Advanced Driver

Mustang II was not on a Pinto "platform" or chassis.
Completely different suspensions and body.
Snailish
Gearhead

It's Pinto derived. Dick Nesbitt's design team was originally going to base it off the Maverick but new Ford president Lee Iacocca wanted it smaller.

 

No you can't just slice a Pinto top to bottom and plunk a Mustang II onto it. The unibodies were different with the key being the isolated front suspension subframe --aka the thing hot rodders have loved about the II. Many components were the same though, and the development costs were shared.

 

Pinto has some lineage back to the Euro Escorts of the day too.

BossGreg
Detailer

The Mustang II is called that for a reason and saved the Mustang with their high sales. Some people hate them, and others are paying the high raising prices for them. 71-73 still had Mustang essence and are my favorite ones. They also won the most design awards.
JBBearcat
Advanced Driver

While you are technically correct, most Mustang experts go with the Mustang II as being the second generation.
Oldroad1
Gearhead

The best things that came out of the Mustang II was that brilliant front suspension. The best part from both the Mustang II and Pinto was the 2.3 SOHC L4. You can squeeze +10 horses and even more torque out of those engines without adding any parts to the factory layout. It's not really the HP but the torque multiplication that is possible with one little adjustment.
okfoz
Advanced Driver

I appears that there are a lot of people that agree with the 71-73 being different to consider it a new Generation. It seems Ford thinks that the 71-73 shared enough components from the previous 1970 to consider it part of the Gen 1 family.
According to Ford:
Gen 1: 64-73 (Falcon Based)
Gen 2: 73-78 (Mustang II - Pinto Based)
Gen 3: 79-93 (FOX Body)
Gen 4: 94-2004 (SN 95 / Fox-4)
Gen 5: 2005-2014 (S197)
Gen 6: 2015- 2023 (S550)
Gen 7: 2024-? (S650)
camarogirl57
Intermediate Driver

It has been written that Ford ''couldn't decide what design element" to go with on the '71-'73 Mustang; either the long flat rear end, recalling the GT40 or the long hood of their "pony" car. So they tried both elements on the same car and it's the '71-73 'Stang.
DaveVan
Intermediate Driver

Mustang II is NOT Pinto based.
kenlichtig
Pit Crew

Don't mention to anyone in the Federal Goverment that April 17th is National Mustang. Another excuse for the Federal Goverment to make it a National Holiday so they can have the day off.
SJ
Technician

Make more sense than some holidays.
Hotrodbuilder
Pit Crew

So what's wrong with another day off? Most other Democratic countries have more days off than the US.
SJ
Technician

I wonder what they would charge to live there.
jspboss1
Pit Crew

The 71-73 absolutely are 1st gen Mustangs. As they are built on the same platform as the 65's. 71-73 share many components from the earlier versions. If you base your argument on styling, then everything after 66 is a new gen.
DaveVan
Intermediate Driver

As someone that lived in Charlotte for over 30 years I feel the need to add some info.
The original Mustang Owners Museum building, that opened in 2019, was a real GEM. Purpose built for the museum it was a showcase. The metal warehouse that the museum now uses is serviceable but not really fitting for the museum. I donated money to build the original building but NO ONE has ever gotten a 'why' as to a reason for the move in such a short period of time.

The Charlotte region is not a car crazy region. It is full of bankers, lawyers and coffee shops. But the car clubs I was a member of and some I even help start, all struggle to keep members or just stay alive. Yes......the region has the NASCAR HoF, the Mustang museum, all the NASCAR shops and a few other car based attractions. ALL these draw from tourist. Go to any of them and try and find a local. You will not.

Just IMHO ONLY......but 30 years there and valid POV
Thanks
KwikDraw
Intermediate Driver

I live about 45 minutes from Charlotte. I don't know about "car crazy", but there are a lot of car clubs and car shows in my area. There a a number of small car museums tucked into different small towns in the region. There are some private collectors that occasionally open the doors to their collections. And the Charlotte Motor Speedway hosts two big show events every year.
DaveVan
Intermediate Driver

I have been to the smaller museums like Mooresville and even the one near the Mustang Museum before it closed. Attended AutoFair for 15 years running. And there may be more clubs than I am aware of but the AMC club, 100 members back in the 1990's, is gone. The MCA chapter, I am founding member #9, is a shadow of it's self. It might be a point of view thing.....I saw how it was from 1975 (when I got my Mustang) until the lean years of late 1990's. ALSO....change is the only constant so I am sure what we had then is much different now.
Ponyprez
Pit Crew

Great article, I was part of a small group who travelled from Stockton CA to Concord NC two consecutive years for the opening of the Museum. Both were great trips and I still remember assisting with sorting the pallet of name/business/club bricks for placement in front of the museum the day before the grand opening. Steve and his family were wonderful hosts considering all on their plates and his team of volunteers must be recognized as it was a team effort. Track days at the Charlotte motor Speedway, The Concord Chamber of Commerce, Daniel Carpenter Restoration Parts, The Calabasas's Brewery and convention center and so many others did such a fantastic job making this a wonderful event.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

This looks pretty cool. I'd give it a visit.
capngrog
Pit Crew

With no mention of the popular 1979 - 1993 Fox-bodied Mustang, it's neither much of an article nor much of a museum. Just my opinion.
miata93
Instructor

I had the 1979 Mercury Capri which was their version of the Mustang. It had the 2.8L German engine and a 50/50 weight distribution. I wish that I had it today. These were the cars that saved us from the Mustang II generation. Rousch Racing successfully campaigned Capris in the Trans-Am series. These cars deserve to have a place in a museum.
DaveVan
Intermediate Driver

The start of the FOX Mustang and Capri. The Fox Capris were in attendance at the 'Ponies in the Smokies' show in April. I'd like to add one to my stable!!!
Billthecat707
Instructor

Was just in Charlotte a couple of weeks ago. Looks cool, wish I'd known about it then.
BA4
Intermediate Driver

Where is the banner with the fifth generation (S197)? Looks like a stop I will be making soon!
Oldroad1
Gearhead

Mustangs have Falcon DNA 64-66. 67-68, 69-70 and 71-73 were sized up Falcon DNA made to handle FE,429 and the larger small block applications of 351W and 351C. All basically based on the Falcons front end coil over shock tower unibody. This front end design, even in it's earliest form, provided great stability and handling. When Shelby American added the fender skirt cross bar bracketed in front of the towers along with the two factory stabilizer brackets from towers to firewall and the lower frame cross bar, (for the added weight of the V8s), the stability and handling went from great to superb.
espo70
Advanced Driver

I understand the logistics might be hard as these are customer's cars, but I like when each year or generation is properly represented in a car museum. Especially when it's devoted to just one model. Of course, these are only a few images, so we might not be getting the total range of displays.
Truthworldwide
Detailer

Very cool. I live about an hour from that - I think I've got a good weekend pin to drop.