Money No Object: The “Sudden Death” 1975 Ford Mustang II Is Going Up For Auction!

Money No Object: The “Sudden Death” 1975 Ford Mustang II Is Going Up For Auction!

(Images: Mecum Auctions) For every person that has ever said that a Mustang II could never, ever be cool or worthy, ask them one question: have they ever heard of the one simply known as “Sudden Death”? If they haven’t, then they don’t know jack. This silver 1975 Mustang II hatchback is the ultimate expression of what a second-generation Mustang could and should be, and it will be one hell of an uphill battle to convince me, or a legion of hot-rodders who know the story behind this car, otherwise. From the start, it was to be a street racer. Not just a side-hobby, stoplight deal either…Joe Ruggirello, the commissioner and original owner-driver of this car, was hell bent on beating everyone that dared line up to him, and when his 429-powered Ford Torino was only achieving a 75% kill-death ratio, he determined that weight was the problem and selected the most plane-Jane looking Deuce hatchback he could. He then somehow roped Gapp and Roush to turn it into Thor’s hammer, something that would send Road Runners, Chevelles, AMXs and whatever else underestimated the little car back to the trailer or to the parking lot to lick their wounds. This car was the needle used to deflate just about every possible ego in the Detroit area, and it was damn good at it’s job.

Now, what if I told you that you had a chance to own the car? You do. It’s going up for auction at Mecum’s Kissimmee 2018 auction on Thursday, January 11th, 2018 as Lot T79. The paint is fresh, as is the carpet and headliner, but everything else is as it should be, including the 505ci thumper under the hood, the C6 automatic, and the rear suspension that all were courtesy of Gapp and Roush. The silver monster still lives, and if we were you, we’d hurry up and start liquidating some things to get the cash together. If you think the fat reindeer herder in red is going to bring you one of the most infamous street racer legends to your driveway, you’ve got another thing coming!

Mecum Auctions Link: Lot T79: 1975 Ford Mustang II

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20 thoughts on “Money No Object: The “Sudden Death” 1975 Ford Mustang II Is Going Up For Auction!

  1. beagle


    Was probably the most influential magazine article in my youth. I can still remember the article and the comments about snow on the ground and not wanting to wreck it. Baskerville had a way with words and this car needed few.

  2. Oklxs03

    When BS asked a few days ago “if you could drive any one car…” I said “Sudden Death “ Unfortunately it being for sale doesn’t fix me being broke. The only other car that has stuck with me like SD was the Black Death 57 Chevy in Hot Rod years ago. I’d drive any beater peice daily to have those 2 in the garage for the weekends. I guess some dreams stay the same whether you are 15 or 50. Maybe the next lottery drawing…..

  3. Oklxs03

    “Payment calculator “ in the link now that’s some funny shit…. “ Mr Banker can you loan me the money to buy a 40 year old street racer because it’s the most awesome car from my teens”

    1. ken costella

      yes but these 2 cars (mustang and Challenger0 were the first documented cars in the 9’s and street legal the Lisk challenger beat the mustang 3 out of 4 times one night….
      even the silver bullit was only a 10 second street car

  4. Tom P

    I have followed the resurrection of that car the last few years. Nice job of it.
    Hopefully everyone else hates Mustang II’s so much that I can afford to get it!


    during the Woodward street racing wars of the 70’s the Sudden Death Mustang… Lisks Challenger and Addisons Silver Bullet were the Kings of the street
    Oklahoma Boys were still wearing diapers

  6. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    This has increased my heart rate to such a degree that it really is Sudden Dea-aaaaaaaargh…..

  7. TheCrustyAutoworker

    When Crusty saw the original Hot Rod story on this car back in high school (Miss Frishe’s English class, the one where I’d climb out the window of after attendance was taken and head to the auto shop) I nearly lost it. Was the most awesome mid 70s car I’d ever laid eyes on. And it would still be in my top ten list if I ever won the big one with my lottery numbers.

  8. Matt

    I’m not old enough to remember this car but I love reading these comments. This car obviously has legend credentials.

  9. Brian Rutter

    I have never understood the disrespect the 2 get’s from the Mustang community. They were lite and available with 4spds and V8 power, granted, not much power, but that was easily overcome.

  10. Mike

    This is a total beast of a car brought back to life in the most beautiful way possible. If I had the money, this car wonder be in my garage and prowling the streets as often as possible. The way it was built for,not tucked away.

  11. Dave

    Ruggirello\’s Mustang II was a low 9 second car Lisk\’s Challenger was a high 9 second car on nitrous.

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