In 1975, Ford designers began working on the third-generation Mustang, and it was clear after the Mustang II that they were in those awkward teen years where they were trying to figure themselves out.

The Mustang II was born out of a need to address late-60s fuel economy concerns and a cry for a smaller car. In the process, many argued that the original Mustang spirit was lost.

The '79 Mustang would be built on the Fox midsize platform, a lightweight, rear wheel drive unitized chassis that would go largely unchanged through 1993. Designers, both Dearborn and Ghia’s studio in Italy, were challenged to make the new Mustang more aerodynamic and fun to drive while delivering a spacious interior.

Read more over on Road&Track.