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Ford Mustang Mk IV

Bet on this one Published: 14th Jun 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Ford Mustang Mk IV
Styling looks like a Mustang should from every angle and there’s plenty of performance on tap too Styling looks like a Mustang should from every angle and there’s plenty of performance on tap too

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After years in the wilderness, the MK4 Mustang returned to form and is now a strong runner in the American muscle car stakes

Pros & Cons

Value, driving, Mustang name and feel
Lacks character of the original

Ever since the demise of the musclecar era and the incredibly successful fi rst generation Ponycars 1964 - 1973, the Mustang took a back seat when it came to svelte styling and high performance engines. However, with the introduction of the fourth generation cars in 1994, this marked a very strong comeback in the desirability stakes and since then the model has gone from strength to strength and established itself as a very strong competitor alongside such offerings from Dodge and Chevrolet.


Arriving in 1994 the completely restyled Mustang still utilised the venerable SN-95 platform from the previous Fox bodied cars that reigned for 15 years, but was beefed up where necessary. The Mustang was available as a two-door semifastback or as a convertible, the last of which was withdrawn way back in 1973. Engine options included the base 3.8-litre V6 rated at 145bhp or the 5.0-litre V8 at 215bhp. The suspension set-up was as before with the tried and tested MacPherson struts at the front, and coil springs at the rear. Transmission options were either a fi ve-speed manual or four-speed automatic. In 1995 the Ford Special Vehicle Team (SVT) produced a limited edition Cobra R of which 250 were built. Ostensibly a car for the race track and sold only to competition licence holders, the car was bereft of creature comforts, no rear seat, air conditioning, electric windows or radio! Performance and handling were what this model were all about with a 5.8 engine rated at 300bhp. The Mustang was also used to pace the Indianapolis 500 race for the third time in its history with an SVT built car that featured modifi ed cylinder heads, inlet manifold, 17-inch wheels and snake logos. Sales were on the up too with 190,994 Mustangs sold in ’95, up 67,000 on the previous year. Another complete body restyle arrived for 1999, but the basic SN-95 Fox platform lived on. One of the most collectible limited edition models of this era was the 2001 ‘Bullitt’ Mustang to celebrate the original ‘Bullitt’ car that appeared in the feature fi lm starring Steve McQueen. It wasn’t simply a standard GT with a few embellishments, but a car with 69 changes including engine, suspension, brakes, etc, and only 5582 were built, in black, blue or green. The last of the generation also included a Mach 1 produced between 2003/2004 with a very impressive straight-line performance.


The 2001 Bullitt Mustang is probably the fi nest model of its genre and getting behind the wheel will not disappoint. From the fi gure hugging leather trimmed seats, and superb performance with 275bhp on tap and 315lb ft torque, this is a true GT. There’s a long throw to the gear shifter which is a tad notchy, the all round 13-inch disc brakes with Brembo calipers are excellent, though the pedal has a softish feel due to the ABS. The car’s been lowered with uprated front and rear anti-roll bars and revised Tokico struts and dampers for supreme handling.


Early V6 engined cars can sell for as little as £2000 - £4000, a 4.6 GT 1996 - 1998 are priced around £3000 - £5000, 1999 - 2004 cars will now be in the sub £10,000 range. Collectors models like the 2001 Bullitt and Mach 1 will be nearer to £10,000 - £14,000 due to their rarity, possibly more for mint low mileage examples. As you can see, with prices so low it’s hardly worth buying a poor example to ‘do up’.

What To Look For

  • Rust should not be a major issue, but its worth having a good look at the fl oorpan. Although they were treated to a good quality zinc etch primer, okay for dry states, but they may not have faired so well in others.
  • Obviously look for signs of previous body repair work, poorly fi tting panels and dodgy paintwork matches.
  • The headlamps are not very powerful on anymodel, they are in fact very poor, so many owners will have already addressed this problem and fi tted aftermarket upgrades, if not, it’s something you will want to do!
  • Lighting conversions to comply with the UK MoT test is another issue that should already have been completed. However some aftermarket kits necessitate drilling into the lamp clusters which can lead to the ingress of water and annoyingly they can mist up too. The supply of Cobra type orange rear lamp clusters has also begun to dry up now.
  • Leather interior trim can mark and crack if not treated periodically to a good hide food, something that’s often over looked.
  • The running gear enjoys excellent longevity, but only if regular servicing has been maintained. Check for rear axle leaks which can easily be remedied by fi tting new gaskets
  • .
  • Rear disc brakes can corrode quite quickly, so ensure all is well in the braking department. Front calipers can also be prone to have sticking slide pins.
  • If the automatic transmission judders as though you are driving over a cattle grid at 50-60mph, this could well indicate that the transmission fluid needs changing and it’s worth upgrading to a higher specifi cation fl uid.
  • Some owners have found it hard adjusting to the Tremec fi ve-speed manual transmission, standard specifi cation on the 2001 Bullitt, and Mach 1 models. Changing gear can prove diffi cult when the ‘box is cold, and also when changing into third. These problems were found on earlier cars, but are not consistent. One Bullitt owner we know replaced his shifter forks and the four weak plastic guides for specially machined brass guides, which remedied the problem.
  • It’s worth bearing in mind that Japanese imports and cars from Canada will have the speedometer reading in kilometres and will require replacement, or an appropriate calibration conversion sticker.


Early fourth generation cars are probably the cheapest purchase of any Mustang right now. You have all the kudos of the marque, but with much more refi nement, lots of style,performance, reliability, and practicality making them a serious contender as your daily driver if required.

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