With the gas crunch in full swing, Mustang got a major redesign for the 1974 model year, shrinking its size considerably. Known as the Mustang II, the car was only offered in two body styles: a 2-door hard top and a three-door hatchback. The new car was a full 490 pounds lighter than the 1973 model, and performance was also downsized to match.
But the Mustang II was a big hit, and 1975 saw the reintroduction of Ford's 302 V8. The Mustang Cobra II, inspired by Shelbys of the past, was introduced in 1976, and it offered a little performance. A further evolution of that, the King Cobra, was introduced in 1978, and was the first Mustang to feature what would become an iconic symbol for Mustang lovers: the 5.0 badge.