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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
1 52950 GBP
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £1 £1

    Variant name:GT ,Derivative:MK6 (S550) ,Variant: 5.0 V8 GT 2dr Auto Convertible

    • Year: -1
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
    £1 £1
    Furrows Group-Furrows of Telford
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £27,983 £27,983

    Variant name:ECOBOOST ,Derivative:MK6 (S550) ,Variant: ECOBOOST Originally supplied new by SMC, this excellent one owner Mustang Fastback Ecoboost is now offered for sale by us again. Finished in stunning Deep Impact Blue metallic paint and fitted with the Custom Pack, this car also benefits from a Full Service History with SMC. Call us today to arrange a test drive, and ask about our finance packages available for this car.

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 20417 mi
    • Engine size: 2.3
    For sale
    £27,983 £27,983
  • Ford Mustang Convertible 1968

    €39,950(£0) €39,950(£0)

    Ford Mustang Convertible 1968 Power top, Power brakes and power steering This Mustang convertible was delivered in 1968 in the really fabulous colour Candy Apple Red. The exterior also has new wheels with chrome accents. The Mustang drives really great also thanks to the V8 engine in perfect condition. The car has power steering and power brakes which makes driving very pleasant. The fabulous V8 sound is a pleasure for the fans. The interior has black leatherette and the original dashboard with wooden steering wheel. From the inside out the power top is easy to handle. This Ford drives great and is ready for lots of sunny rides. Car has USA title and document importduties for every EU country are paid by us. Documentation is complete for registration in every EU country. You do not need to pay any importduties. We can help with transport. Trading in, buying and consignment possible.

    • Year: 1968
    For sale
    €39,950(£0) €39,950(£0)
  • Ford Mustang Cabriolet V8 1968

    €39,950(£0) €39,950(£0)

    Ford Mustang cabriolet V8 1968 Powertop, power steering This Ford Mustang convertible V8 was delivered with the magnificent Sunlit Gold paint. The interior has black vinyl and the original dashboard with wooden steering wheel. The Mustang Convertible has a black powertop and is provided with powersteering. The car is in very good condition and is ready for lots of driving fun. Car has USA title and document importduties for every EU country are paid by us. Documentation is complete for registration in every EU country. You do not need to pay any importduties. We can help with transport. Trading in, buying and consignment possible.

    • Year: 1968
    For sale
    €39,950(£0) €39,950(£0)
  • Ford Mustang Cabriolet V8 1967

    €52,950(£0) €52,950(£0)

    Ford Mustang cabriolet V8 1967, restored, revised This is a fully restored 1967 Ford Mustang convertible. Provided with a marvellous new black paint with new original wheels. The V8 engine is fully revised, connected to the automatic gearbox. The fabulous new interior has beige vinyl upholstery. The black power top is easy to handle from the inside out. Car has German title and mot/tuv. Easy to register in every EU country. You do not need to pay any import taxes. We can help with transport.

    • Year: 1967
    For sale
    €52,950(£0) €52,950(£0)
  • Ford Mustang Cabriolet 1965

    €32,950(£0) €32,950(£0)

    Ford Mustang V8 cabriolet 1965 Powertop This is a 1965 Ford Mustang convertible V8, delivered in red paint with a black Powertop. The car is in neat driver’s condition with traces of use and marks in the paint. The car has black vinyl Pony interieur and the original dashboard. The Mustang has the 289CUI V8 engine and automatic gearbox and drives great. Car has USA title and document importduties for every EU country are paid by us. Documentation is complete for registration in every EU country. You do not need to pay any importduties. We can help with transport. Trading in, buying and consignment possible.

    • Year: 1965
    For sale
    €32,950(£0) €32,950(£0)
  • Ford Mustang Fastback 1970

    €39,950(£0) €39,950(£0)

    Ford Mustang Fastback Sportsroof 1970 in fabulous condition This Ford Mustang was built in 1970 in Metuchen New Yersey in the Sportsroof version, also known as ‘Fastback’. The fabulous lines look great in combination with the dark grey metallic paint and the fabulous chrome. The interior has black leatherette seats and a beautiful wooden steering wheel. It is a pleasure to drive thanks tot the V8 engine in combination with the automatic gearbox. Technics fully checked in our workshop and is in excellent condition. The car also has disc brakes at the front, Styled Steel wheels and powerbrakes. So a beautiful Mustang Fastback ready for lots of driving fun. Car has USA title and document importduties for every EU country are paid by us. Documentation is complete for registration in every EU country. You do not need to pay any importduties. We can help with transport. Trading in, buying and consignment possible.

    • Year: 1970
    For sale
    €39,950(£0) €39,950(£0)
  • Ford Mustang Cabriolet 1968

    POA POA

    Ford Mustang Convertible 1968 Powersteering Powertop This Ford Mustang Convertible was delivered in the fabulous paint colour Candy Apple Red with a white stripe. The V8 engine was fully checked in our workshop and quarantees a great sound. The brakes are completely renewed and the Mustang drives great. The Ford has a beautiful original interior in burgundy red leatherette with the original dashboard with aluminium details. From the inside out the powertop is easy to handle. This great Mustang cabriolet has an automatic gearbox which makes driving even more pleasant. This Mustang has USA title and document importduties for every EU country are paid by us. Documentation is complete for registration in every EU country. You do not need to pay any importduties. We can help with transport. Trading in, buying and consignment possible.

    • Year: 1968
    For sale
    POA POA
  • Ford MUSTANG 5.0 V8 GT 2dr Auto, 1 Owner, Full Ford Service History, 19inch Black Alloys, Sync 3, Navigation, Bluetooth, DAB Radio and USB, Shaker Pro Audio, Reverse Camera, Climate Controlled Seats Heated and Cooling.

    £36,900 £36,900

    Multi award-winning prestige car dealership John Holland is delighted to offer for sale this stunning Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT Convertable finished in Shadow Black with Ceramic Leather and Brushed Aluminium Trim. The Specification on this car includes 19inch Black Alloys, Sync 3 which includes Navigation, Bluetooth, DAB Radio and USB, Shaker Pro Audio, Reverse Camera, Tints Rear Spoiler, Multi Function Steering Wheel, Cruise Control, Climate Controlled Seats heated and Cooling, Ford KeyFree System, Electric Folding Mirrors, Auto Lights and Wipers, Xenon Lights, Dual Zone Climate Control, Hill Assist, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System and much more. This car also benefits from a full Ford service history carried out exclusively by Ford Chesterfield at 9998miles on 21/03/17 and 19377miles on 07/07/17. Supplied with 2 keys and all its original owners manuals and wallet. John Holland has been established for over 40 years supplying a premium level of service in the sale of sports, prestige and collectors cars. We have a team of experienced buyers who hand pick our cars from all parts of the uk so you can buy with confidence all vehicles are HPI Clear and prepared to the highest standard, f

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 22658 mi
    For sale
    £36,900 £36,900
  • Ford - Mustang - 1968

    €8,000 - €10,400 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €8,000 - €10,400 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE
    Online Auction
    €8,000 - €10,400 est. (£0 - £0 est.) €8,000 - €10,400 est. (£0 - £0 est.)
    Auction Date: 01 Jan 1970
    RESERVE PRICE