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Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Published: 23rd Nov 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang
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If you want to ride a Mustang then you really need to know their form first...

Why it’s a winner

Mustang is the original Pony car and still the fastest selling car of all time. Aimed at the youth market at the start of the swinging 60s the car became a landmark in marketing because essentially all it was, was a rebodied Ford saloon in sexier clothes.

What made the Mustang so popular – apart from those looks of course – was that there was a model to suit everybody – and there still is. Mustangs are as easy as an MGB to maintain – perhaps easier – and unlike many American classics – they look pleasingly European.

History

1964 Launched, based upon the Falcon floorpan with a choice of bodystyles, trims and engines.

1965 Fastback arrives, alternators became standard, the straight six and V8 engines were up-gunned, but biggest news was the introduction of the Shelby cars.

1966 Minor trim alternations, more windows for fastbacks and the six cylinder engine is refined and now running on 14inch wheels.

1967 Biggest change yet – Mustang grows by two inches, three inches wider as it takes its structure now from the Fairlane. Cobra range was bolstered by the awesome 355bhp 428ci GT500.

1968 A full fat 390bhp 427ci (seven litres!) tune came on stream. Carol Shelby then launches the GT500KR, standing for ‘King of the Road’.

1969 Another restyle put on weight, while a Grande luxury version saw the car get a soft in character but Boss 302 with 400bhp compensated.

1971 Mustang was sadly losing its appeal, line up saw the car a lot bigger and over 500lb heavier than the original.

Driving

The Mustang has often been compared with the English Capri when it comes to driving so if you are used to modern day Euroboxes, then driving one will come as a bit of a culture shock, as the old Falcon saloon was never the greatest handling car of all time! Having said that, there’s a heap of tuning gear and experience at your fingertips to make one drive extremely satisfactory. Adding an export brace and ‘Monte Carlo’ bar will improve handling around corners, and fitting a booster to most drum brake cars will vastly improve braking. For modern motoring we’d certainly consider such mods so it can keep a better pace with modern traffic.

Very few folk – and this includes specialists touch a six and even those who don’t crave for horsepower simply want that V8 sound. Having said that, if all you want is to quietly cruise rather than drag race then they are fine; ditto the equally unloved wide ratio three-speed manual where second gear is like an auto.

The good thing about a Mustang is their compactness, being smaller than a Zodiac so they are easy to drive, park and garage – important things to consider.

Best models

It’s the 19641/2 cars that have the most classic appeal as successive models became heavier and larger – yet with their Fairlane underpinnings drove better and could be made to handle better – and – unless you’re talking about the 390 or 428 Cobra where they can break into six figures – are cheaper. K and H Code cars have a magical connotation but many reckon that in real world driving their added performance isn’t that notable. Right-hand drive models used to be made, but anything other than a Ford conversion aren’t liked – cheap buys?

Prices

Mustangs are always in demand and cheap ones are largely a thing of the past. Take £15,000 as the bare minimum for a decent car and you rarely see examples for under £10,000 worth having unless, if it’s a ‘six’ where values can be as much as 25 per cent lower. If all you want is to cruise they make entirely reasonable steers.

A matching numbers ‘K’ code fastback GT will be £30,000-£40,000 depending on originality, condition and options, a good convertible now jumps the £20,000 barrier, a superb ’66 Shelby will be £100,000 plus with ease, and a 1965 Shelby GT350R will be Aston DB money! There’s an army of specialists and dealers in the UK, most can source cars from the States although once shipping and import costs are dialled in then they will be as dear as those in the UK but perhaps in better condition, unless they were made at the Michigan plant where the weather’s not so sunny say experts (check VIN plate for build details).

Verdict

If a first generation Mustang is the car of your dreams, saddle up fast as they ain’t going to get any cheaper. Replacement parts are readily available, and there’s superb club support both sides of the pond. Even those who hate Yank cars invariably make an exception with this Ford and that’s a huge compliment.

Five top faults

1. PROVENANCE Biggest issues to establish are car’s originality and specification

2. BODY Can rot badly so check although brand new shells are available, at a cost

3. LEAKS Window surrounds that rots scuttles, floors etc; try a bucket test

4. COOLING Ensure radiator shroud is there; usually removed, it helps cooling

5. PARTS Top supply and club support means you can build one up from scratch



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