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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 cars for sale

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Ford Mustang
21995 54995 GBP
  • Ford Mustang

    £21,995 £21,995

    Outside the car: The paintwork is mostly original, in good condition and is the correct original colour of Wimbledon White. This car has a nice vintage patina in places whilst retaining a good overall finish. The door handles, tail light bezels, chrome and bright work are all good. I'm not 100% happy with the fit of the front/rear screem chrome window trim and will be fitting new clips and parts prior to sale. The car has good tyres and and styled steel wheels. Inside the car: Correct original interior colour combination in overall very good condition. Dash area is clean and presentable. Front and rear windows operate correctly and windows go up and down smoothly. Wipers, turn signals, main and dipped beam headlights and horn all work. Heater and ventilation system in good working order. Working air conditioning. The car has an an aftermarket radio with unmolested surrounding dash area. New front seat covers have been fitted. A new headliner has just been installed and the front and rear screen seals were also replaced. A new carpet will also be supplied with the car as the current one is old. Chassis and engine bay: The car has a clean and original engine compartment. It has a straight under carriage with rust free original floor pans. Rusty floorpans can be a common issue on these cars. The cowl area is original and rust free. Cowl issues are another common rust problem on these cars. Pinch weld under rocker is clean with no rust. Driving: Car starts well and idles well once warm. The car has a throaty aggressive tone to the exhaust. Transmission shifts correctly in all gears. Tracks straight and does not pull left or right. Suspension tight. A lovely classic 65, in an original colour with many nice desirable features. This car is supplied with an MOT. The preparation work for UK registration and MOT (headlights, tail lights, indicators, windscreen washer system etc.) was done professionally by an experienced auto electrician, whilst retaining the original factory appearance. I have have good experience with classic 1960s Ford Mustangs, having owned several of similar cars and am I happy to provide written references from buyers of similar Mustangs I have previously owned. POLITE NOTICE: No timewasters and lowball offers. I am more than happy to discuss any questions over the phone for genuine interest. Genuine near offers considered. Payment terms: £1000 deposit to secure sale. Payment in full by bank transfer before collection.

    • Year: 1965
    • Mileage: 81318 mi
    • Engine size: 4.7
    For sale
    Matthew DE LEYSIN
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £36,495 £36,495

    Variant name:GT ,Derivative:MK6 (S550) ,Variant: FASTBACK GT V8 5.0 3dr, Rear View Camera, SYNC 3 8in Colour Touchscreen, Voice Control System with Ford Emergency Assist, Rain Sensing Wipers, 6-Way Power Adjustable Front Seats, Ford Power Starter Button, Bluetooth & USB Connectivity, 19in 5x2 - Spoke Bl

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 1126 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £37,495 £37,495

    Variant name:ECOBOOST ,Derivative:MK6 (S550) ,Variant: AUTO 2.3 EcoBoost 3dr, Voice Control System with Ford Emergency Assist, SYNC 3 8in Colour Touchscreen, Rear View Camera, 19in 5x2 - Spoke Black Alloy Wheels, Rain Sensing Wipers, Ford Power Starter Button, Bluetooth & USB Connectivity, 6-Way Power Adjusta

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 3355 mi
    • Engine size: 2.3
    For sale
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £34,991 £34,991

    Variant name:GT ,Derivative:MK6 (S550) ,Variant: GT Fastback 5.0 V8 Quad Cam 32 Valve Engine with Induction Sound Tube. 416ps. Custom Pack with Shaker Pro, Navigation, Climate Controlled Ceramic Leather Seats, Reverse Sensors and Camera, 19 inch Lustre Nickel Multi Spoke Alloys.

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 5442 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 5.0 GT

    POA POA

    Vehicle Description Engine Capacity: 4998cc Body Style: Saloon Fuel: Petrol In stock now is this stunning 1965 Ford Mustang 5.0 GT. First brought into the UK in 1987 the car has only had 4 owners since. Finished in Shadow Blue with blue leather, cream dashboard and doors the car has been lovingly cared for. The car has been restored including a full body bare metal respray and also a complete reupholstery, new headlinging, carpets, door panels, seatbelts, dashboard etc. New parts fitted include quarter panels, wheelarches, floor panels, doors, wings, front end, instrument cluster panel, front and rear lights, front grille, exhaust, brakes, wheels and tyres. We have a CD of photos which show the car going through this restoration, hundreds and hundreds of hours must have been spent on it, and in excess of £8,500 in parts and labour. A beautiful piece of classic American muscle.

    • Year: 1965
    For sale
  • Ford Mustang 5.0 GT

    POA POA

    Vehicle Description Engine Capacity: 4998cc Body Style: Saloon Fuel: Petrol In stock now is this stunning 1965 Ford Mustang 5.0 GT. First brought into the UK in 1987 the car has only had 4 owners since. Finished in Shadow Blue with blue leather, cream dashboard and doors the car has been lovingly cared for. The car has been restored including a full body bare metal respray and also a complete reupholstery, new headlinging, carpets, door panels, seatbelts, dashboard etc. New parts fitted include quarter panels, wheelarches, floor panels, doors, wings, front end, instrument cluster panel, front and rear lights, front grille, exhaust, brakes, wheels and tyres. We have a CD of photos which show the car going through this restoration, hundreds and hundreds of hours must have been spent on it, and in excess of £8,500 in parts and labour. A beautiful piece of classic American muscle.

    • Year: 1965
    • Mileage: 25000 mi
    For sale
  • Ford Mustang

    £37,995 £37,995

    Air Conditioning, Bluetooth, Climate Control, Colour SatNav, Comms Pack, Dual Climate Zones, Full Leather, Memory Seats, Xenon Headlamps, Alarm, Immobiliser, Privacy Glass, Colour Coded Interior, Electric Seats, Front Centre Armrest, Head Restraints, Heated Seats, Height Adjustable Seat, Sports Seats, Rear Armrest, Rear Headrests, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Parking Sensors, Power Steering, Stability Control, Traction Control, Trip Computer, ABS, Brake Assist, Multiple Airbags, Auto Lighting, Colour Coded Body, Front Fog Lamps, Metallic Paintwork, Rear Spoiler, Auto-dip Rearview, Automatic Electric Windows, Electric Handbrake, Push Button Start, CD Player, Radio, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, Due In Soon, 19'' Alloys, Full service history This stunning and extremely low mileage Ford Mustang 5.0 GT is due in shortly. The car has the full custom pack and is finished in a beautiful colour combination. Beat the waiting list and save thousands! Please call James today to secure this amazing car......

    • Mileage: 982 mi
    • Engine size: 4951
    For sale
  • Ford Mustang

    £32,500 £32,500

    Climate Control, Full Leather, Powered Folding Mirrors, Xenon Headlamps, Parking Camera, Push Button Start, 19'' Alloys

    • Mileage: 1300 mi
    • Engine size: 2261
    For sale
  • Ford Mustang - Call for more details.

    POA POA

    POA Call for more details. 1965 Ford Mustang 2+2 Fastback in Inferno Maroon (burgundy) (metallic with clear coat), with a black Pony interior. The cutouts are easy to reach, no climbing under the car. It has a functioning hood scoop. The car is fast and very attractive in Inferno Red metallic. Call for more details. It has a rare fold down rear seat which is easy to operate, a GT dash, with all gauges, and a rally pac mounted on the steering column. It is a C-Code Mustang engine(was a 289 V-8 with a 2-barrel carburettor) with a 351 V-8, 4 barrel Holley 600 CFM carburettor, and Hedman headers. Attached to the engine is a 4 speed (top loader) manual transmission. The front brakes are disc and the rear drum. The wheels are 15" American Racing 200S.

    • Year: 1965
    For sale
  • 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback 2+2

    POA POA

    (SOLD) One of the best examples we’ve yet to come across, this is a first year of production vehicle making it an extremely collectable Mustang. This very popular and collectable car is as desirable now as it was then. Don’t pass up on a chance to own a piece of American muscle history. Our car is a matching numbers, very original, CA black plate vehicle that has been restored to an excellent condition show driver with bucket seats, aluminum radiator, center consol, AC, and power steering. The restoration process was very complete with excellent fit and great attention paid to detail.

    • Year: 1965
    For sale
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