What Is the Mustang Ghia Edition?

The 1974 Ford Mustang Ghia was one of the first of what would be many collaborations between Ford and the legendary Italian design house Carrozzeria Ghia. The Mustang Ghia was a noble attempt to put a luxurious spin on the otherwise austere Mustang II. While not a performance powerhouse like the pony cars of the ‘60s, the Mustang Ghia was an interesting attempt to redefine what the Mustang was in the wake of the gas crisis of the early ‘70s.

Ghia MustangHistory

To understand the Mustang Ghia, it is necessary to understand the Mustang II. With sales of the first generation Mustang steadily declining from 1966 onwards, Ford began to sense that a change was necessary. The 1973 gas crisis had consumers opting for smaller cars — especially Asian and European imports — and Ford responded by offering up a smaller, more fuel-efficient Mustang based on the Pinto platform. Though the Mustang II is frequently put down now, at the time it was both a critical and commercial success, winning the coveted Motor Trend Car of the Year award.

The Mustang Ghia

With the success of the Mustang II, the idea of a luxury Mustang became a lot less farfetched. Ford had recently bought a majority share in Ghia and drew upon that company’s expertise to create a luxury option for its new pony car.

The original 1974 Mustang Ghia was available as a two-door coupe and featured a vinyl roof, spoke-style wheel covers, upgraded sound, shag(!) carpeting, wood-colored accents and a host of other upgrades. The Ghia model was available as a luxury package throughout the production run of the Mustang II. Even after Ford moved to the Fox body platform, the Ghia name stuck around and continued to be offered in 1979, 1980 and 1981.

Ghia in Europe

While today the Mustang Ghia may seem like a quaint piece of Ford history, the two companies had a much longer association in Europe. Until 2010 Ford offered many of its most popular models in Ghia trim. To this day, the company continues to contribute its design expertise to some of Ford’s most exciting concept cars.