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Ford Mustang: Buying guide and review (1964-1973)

Ford Mustang: Buying guide and review (1964-1973) Classic and Performance Car
Ford Mustang Convertible Ford Mustang Convertible Ford Mustang Convertible Ford Mustang Convertible Ford Mustang Convertible interior Ford Mustang fastback Ford Mustang fastback
Mention the name Ford Mustang anywhere in the world, and it will conjure up images of Bald Eagles, stars and stripes and cheeseburgers. This is quite possibly the most American car ever produced. For many it’s the appeal of running a Mustang outside of the USA, proving a taste of American culture at what is still a hugely reasonable price. 
 
There are plenty of iconic American cars, but if you want one with real presence and plenty of power, it’s the ‘Stang that ticks most of the right boxes. While this year it’s actually possible to officially buy a new Mustang in right-hand drive form in the UK – a first for the model – but it’s the original that we’re talking about here. 
 
For many, the introduction of the Mustang in the UK has re-kindled an interest in the classic models, even though not originally sold here, in particular the first-generation cars. Built between 1964 and 1973, the original Pony car has a huge following around the world. While you might think buying one in the USA is your only option, there are many Mustangs on offer in the UK, and the great thing is they’re actually still rather affordable. 
 
When it went on sale in 1964, the Ford Mustang became the fastest-selling car in history. In its first year, a whopping 418,812 found buyers and by the end of the second year, a million had been sold. There was a huge range of options and engines available – no two Mustangs needed to be the same, and the car could be all things to all people – a shopping hack, a sports car or something flash for the weekend if the drop-top option was chosen. 
 

Which Ford Mustang to buy?

 
For the faint-hearted there were straight-sixes, in 170ci (2.7-litre) and 200ci (3.27-litre) flavours. Anyone with a stronger constitution could opt for a V8 – if a 260ci (4.2-litre) unit was too tame it was possible to buy a 289ci (4.7-litre) engine instead, with either two-barrel or four-barrel carbs. True power junkies opted for the Hi-Po 289 (known as the K-Code option), which was a 271bhp 4.7-litre V8 – or the iconic (and now hugely collectable) Shelby GT350 from 1965. 
 
American cars are generally unsuited to UK roads as they’re so big – not so the Mustang. It’s just compact enough for British roads, you can get the parts and they’re easy to work on. Throw in a huge choice of engine choices and other options and there’s a spec for everyone. Although buying one shouldn’t be too fraught with problems, knowing what to pay and what’s worth buying is a minefield. Engine, options fitted and bodystyle are all important in deciding whether a basket case is worth restoring or fit for parts only. 
 
The least valuable Mustang is the coupé, with the fastback in the middle and the convertible easily the most valuable. Similarly, six-cylinder cars are worth less than those packing a V8; K-Code cars are the most valuable of the bunch. 
 
It’s just as well owners of six-cylinder cars aren’t generally in a hurry, as uprating these engines is pretty much impossible. The inlet manifold was cast as part of the cylinder head so carb swaps are out of the question.
 
V8 conversions on six-cylinder cars are fine if everything is done properly. That means the brakes must be uprated, which isn’t a small job as the hubs must be changed in the process. On top of this, the springs and dampers have to be uprated as the V8 weighs more than the six, but kits are available. 
 

Performance and specs

 
Ford Mustang V8 289
Engine 4735cc, V8 
Power 225bhp @ 4800rpm
Torque 305lb ft @ 3200rpm
Top speed 111mph
0-60mph 8.0sec
Fuel consumption 18mpg
Gearbox Three-speed manual, optional four-speed manual/three-speed auto
 

Dimensions and weight

 
Wheelbase 2743mm
Length 4613mm
Width 1732mm
Height 1298mm
Kerb weight 1162kg
 

Common problems

 
• Poorly repaired accident damage is common; look for misaligned bumpers and panels, although the factory panel fit was never that great. 
 
• Expect rust in the sills (even though they were galvanised), floorpans (especially the driver’s footwell), bulkhead plus the front and rear valances. Cars from dry states are ideal, but even a few years in the UK can lead to corrosion.
 
• Engines last forever if looked after – check for leaks, blown gaskets, thick black oil and signs of neglect. The fact they are so robust often leads to a lack of maintenance. 
 
• Six-cylinder engines last at least 150,000 miles – considerably more if looked after. Six-pot buyers tend to be less worried about performance, so such examples are unlikely to have been thrashed. 
 
• The V8s last pretty much indefinitely if not too highly tuned, then thrashed. If the engine has been modified, ask for receipts and see who has done the work. 
 
• V8s overheat because of poor maintenance and the under-sized radiator. Removal of the radiator fan shroud, a leaking water pump and the fitment of tubular exhaust manifolds are other reasons. Springs were put in the coolant hoses to stop them kinking; they corrode with predictable results. 
 
• The three-speed manual transmission is the weakest of the lot while the three-speed auto is the most common. None of the transmissions is quiet, but a transmission in its death throes will be vocal. The manual transmissions are all interchangeable. 
 
• Clutches are mechanically actuated (rather than via hydraulics or cable) – they’re strong and cheap to replace. 
 
• The power steering gives zero feel; the GT got a quicker box but no power assistance. If power steering is fitted, check for pump leaks and a worn steering box. 
 

Model history 

 
1964: Mustang launched in April as a 1965 model and subsequently known as 1964 1/2 model. A three-speed manual gearbox is standard, optional are a three-speed auto or four-speed manual. From September there’s a fastback with optional disc front brakes. 
1965: GT is introduced, with five-dial instrumentation, uprated engine, front disc brakes, twin exhausts, GT decals and fog lights. Pony interior first offered (with embossed ponies charging across the seats), in place of standard vinyl trim. Shelby-built GT350 appears, with 306bhp, side exhausts, stronger gearbox, anti-tramp bars and lowered Koni suspension. 
1966: The five-dial cluster is now standard across the range; the 170ci and 260ci engines are dropped. 
1967: There are styling changes plus a bigger, heavier bodyshell. The suspension is revised and a 325bhp 6.5-litre V8 arrives. 
1968: A 335bhp 428ci (7-litre) V8 appears, with front disc brakes and auto gearbox. 289 engine replaced by 302ci (5-litre) unit. 
1969: Major restyle; car is four inches longer, there are two extra headlamps and the luxury Grandé debuts. More cabin and luggage space. Mach 1 arrives with air scoops, rear spoiler and 250bhp 351cu in (5.7-litre) V8. 
1973: Another major restyle – the Mustang is now eight inches longer, six inches wider and 600lb heavier. 250ci ‘six’ or V8s between 302ci and 428ci. 
 

Owners clubs, forums and websites 

 
• www.mocgb.net
• www.mustang.org 
• www.vintage-mustang.com
• www.allfordmustangs.com
 

Summary and prices

 
Despite its relative rarity in the UK, the Mustang remains surprisingly affordable to buy, if not fuel. Early V8 convertible cars are probably the most sought after, and very clean examples tend to cost upwards of £35,000, although the entry point for a tidy car is closer to £25,000. Six-cylinder cars are actually pretty unusual in the UK, and the V8 is far more desirable. 
 
Two-door Coupe cars are the cheapest, and you should be able to find a good example from around £15,000. Probably due to the Bullitt connection, it’s the Fastback Mustang that people really want, and that’s why prices for these are around 40 per cent higher than the standard two-doors. Shelby, Mach 1 and Boss Mustangs are all significantly more expensive, and are difficult to find outside of the USA.
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Last updated: 3rd Oct 2016
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Ford Mustang
32000 54995 GBP
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £34,000 £34,000

    Variant name:Fastback 5.0 V8 GT Special Edition 5.0 V8 (Petrol) 6 Speed Manual 2016 ,Derivative:MK6 (S550) ,Variant: GT

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 473 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
    Peoples-Peoples Edinburgh
    0131 603 7769 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £38,000 £38,000

    Variant name:Fastback GT ,Derivative:GT ,Variant: 5.0 V8 GT 2dr Auto Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT 2dr Auto

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 6544 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £36,995 £36,995

    Variant name:Fastback GT ,Derivative:GT ,Variant: 5.0 V8 GT Auto Finished in Guard metallic with full Ebony black leather interior. OPTIONAL FEATURES FITTED TO THIS CAR Custom pack to include Shaker premium audio system with satellite navigation, climate controlled heated and cooled seats, reverse camera with rear sensors, 19” Lustre Nickel alloy wheels and chrome window surrounds. Automatic transmission STANDARD FEATURES Bluetooth connectivity DAB radio USB audio interface Voice control Multi function steering wheel cruise control Illuminated door entry guards Power folding exterior mirror Auto dimming rear view mirror Automatic Bi Xenon headlights Keyless entry and ignition Guard Metallic is a celebration of the 1968 Ford Mustang GT driven by Steve McQueens Bullitt! This stunning 415bhp V8 fastback is offered in superb condition and has covered 5000 miles by its 1 owner. Car comes complete with the balance of a Ford manufacturer warranty until June 2019.

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 5000 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
  • 2014 Ford Mustang ASC Dominator

    £54,995 £54,995

    About This Ford £54,995.00 Mileage : 0 Engine : 5.0lt Transmission : 6 Speed Manual Ext. Color : Int. Color : Black Doors : 2 Fuel : Petrol Stock# : Wheelbase : VIN : Model# : Details 675hp, Roush Supercharged, Roush Suspension, Brembo Brakes, Cervinis "Eleanor" Body Kit, Magnaflow Exhausts, 20" weels or 412hp with Body Kit and Wheels £44,995

    • Year: 2014
    For sale
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £36,499 £36,499

    Variant name:GT ,Derivative:MK6 (S550) ,Variant: GT The 5.0L V8 GT comes with performance on an epic scale, provided by Fords most powerful 5.0-litre V8, with 418 PS and 524 Nm of torque. The numbers are quite impressive, but they are backed up by engine’s distinctive throaty growl that provides the soundtrack to every drive. With all this power you’ll need some stopping power to, this is provided by a performance brake system featuring Brembo 6-piston front callipers and Electronic Brake Prefill. Fully independent front and rear suspension, Electronic Stability Control with three settings and a limited slip differential give you a confident steering feel and make this the most agile Mustang ever, equally at home driving in town or on demanding mountain descents and tracks with hairpin bends and sharp bends. You will also get the legendary “GT” badge on the boot lid and “5.0” badge on the front wings to ensure everyone knows exactly what you have under the bonnet. On top of all this you get everything you expect from a modern car, including: Ford SYNC 2 8" colour touchscreen with DAB radio, USB & Bluetooth Auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and auto-dimming rear-view mirror Reach & rake adjustable leather steering wheel with integrated controls 6-way power adjustable front seats, driver's seat with power lumbar adjust Ford KeyFree system with Ford Power Starter Button and keyless entry Rear view camera Dual zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC) Fords MyColour ambient interior lighting

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 359 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
  • 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback

    POA POA

    Rotisserie Restoration with The Following Modifications: 347cid Ford Stroker, Crate Engine Tremec 5-Speed Transmission Billet Pulley System Billet Radiator Headers with 21/2 Exhaust & Flow Masters 9-Inch Ford with 373 Ratio TCP Adjustable Coil Overs Front and Rear TCP Billet Coil/Shock Tower Braces TCP Frame Connector System TCP Rack & Pinion 4-Wheel Wilwood Disc 17-Inch Torque Thrust with New BFG, G Force Tires Billet Gas Tank & Oil Pan Shelby Rear Quarter Windows Shelby Fiberglass Hood W/Billet Hinges and Hood Pins Show Quality Paint, Base Coat/Clear Coat New Interior with High Back Adjustable Bucket Seats Shelby Billet & Wood Grain Steering Wheel New Bright Chrome Trunk Nicely Finished Battery in Trunk

    • Year: 1965
    For sale
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £45,950 £45,950

    Variant name:Fastback GT ,Derivative:GT ,Variant: Lucari Design 5.0 V8 GT Top spec custom pack GT 5.0 V8. -Sat NAV -Shaker sound system -Reverse camera -Rear parking sensors -Cruise control -Heated and cooled seats It then also features the following LUCARI DESIGN upgrades: Exterior: - Borla ATAK cat back stainless exhaust system - 20" black Niche alloy wheels with Pirelli P ZERO tyres. - Piano black pack: side skirts, rear valance, front splitter, front upper and lower grille, fog light surrounds. - 350R style rear wing finished in gloss black - Twin white 350R style stripes with black pin stripes. - Roush bonnet/hood scoop - Black 5.0 decal upgrade Interior: - Full black leather seats front and rear finished in red stitch diamond quilting and perforated centres. - Full black leather and red stitch arm rest - Full black leather and red stitch door cards - Alcantara Genuine Shelby 350R steering wheel

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 4100 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
  • Ford Mustang 289 Notchback

    POA POA

    Today this Mustang presents exceptionally coming directly from the aforementioned work. Accompanied by full UK registration, a most exciting race history both in period and modern day racing and an exceptional history file, this superb example is ready to be raced competitively by its new owner immediately.

    For sale
  • 1966 Ford Mustang Coupe

    $33,500(£27,014.40) $33,500(£27,014.40)

    Ground up restoration on a rust free Western car. Features all of it’s original body panels. Powered by a rebuilt 289ci. V/8 w/four barrel carburetor. Other options include an automatic transmission, power steering, power four-wheel disc brakes, Cold Air Conditioning, Pony interior, w/console, wood grain steering wheel, front & rear seat belts, vinyl roof, Styled Steel “GT” wheels & push button radio. Great looking and driving Mustang! Comes with stacks of restoration receipts.

    • Year: 1966
    For sale
  • Ford Mustang GT | Hollybrook Sports

    £38,000 £38,000

    A beautiful Mustang which still carries all the hallmarks of a new example throughout with only 1800 miles from new. Finished in choice Guard green metallic, this is one of fewer than 130 cars supplied to the UK in this colour (which is no longer available), and a great contrast against its ebony leather cabin. This Mustang is equipped with the coveted 5.0 V8, boasting 416 Bhp through its 6 speed paddleshift gearbox and limited slip differential. Accompany this with a Ford Racing by Borla Touring EC-type Cat-back exhaust system (fitted from new by TrustFord Lisburn), you have a very special car that looks and sounds spectacular. This particular example also boasts: Ford approved Diamondbrite exterior paint & upholstery protection Immediate post-collection Dinitrol 'New Car' rust proofing treatment by Hollybrook Sports Cars Immediate post-collection fitment of 4 Michelin Pilot Sport tyres Oil change carried out at 1,500 miles Official Ford front footwell and boot load area protective mats Viewing essential. ~ Personal presentation video of our cars available on request ~

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 1800 mi
    For sale
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