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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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24500 54995 GBP
  • 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
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    Atlantic Sports Cars
    0131 333 2288 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • 1967 Ford Mustang

    POA POA

    Other features include: MSD 6AL ignition with integral rev limiter, MSD electronic trigger distributor Canton 9 qt. road racing oil pan and windage tray, Melling high-volume oil pump Ford top loader 5-speed trans, Ford 9” Positraction rear end with 3.5:1 gearing Ceramic coated tubular headers, Custom side exit exhaust Flaming River quick ratio steering box Front disc brakes with slotted rotors Full 4-point roll bar, Shelby wood steering wheel Genuine American Racing Trans Am correct wheels, including spare Griffin Aluminum radiator Fiberglass hood, trunk lid and bumpers 4-point front seat belts and harnesses Heavy duty front and rear springs, One inch front sway bar Koni Classic adjustable shocks Trunk mounted battery with removable shut off switch Mileage: 9320 Exterior Color: yellow/black Interior Color: black Body Style: Coupe Engine: 400hp V8 Transmission: 5-speed manual Drive Type: RWD Fuel Type: Gasoline Doors: Two VIN: 7R01C162583 This faithful recreation of the Trans Am Championship winning 1967 Mustang was built for Rick and Patti Sue Titus as a tribute to Rick’s father, Jerry, “MR. Trans AM,” by Greg Reynolds and John Brown of Reynolds Restorations, Yukon, Oklahoma and wa

    • Year: 1967
    • Mileage: 9320 mi
    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

    £34,995 £34,995

    Variant name:Fastback GT ,Derivative:GT ,Variant: 5.0 V8 GT Auto Finished in Racing red 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 Steering wheel settings DAB radio USB audio interface Voice control Multi-function steering wheel Cruise control Illuminated door entry guards Power folding exterior mirrors Auto dimming rear view mirror Automatic Bi Xenon headlights Keyless entry and ignition This stunning 415bhp V8 right hand drive fastback is offered in superb condition and has covered 5800 miles. The car comes complete with a full Ford main dealer service history and the balance of Ford’s manufacturer warranty until January 2019

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 5800 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
  • 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe

    $24,500(£19,668.60) $24,500(£19,668.60)

    Rust free "Black Plate" California car, older restoration with a recent detail. Equipped with a 289ci. V/8 w/4 barrel, 4-speed manual transmission, headers, dual exhaust, GT stainless tail pipe tips, GT options, Pony interior, Chrome Rally wheels, FM and refinished in a beautiful blue metallic two-stage paint. Great driver!

    • Year: 1965
    For sale
  • Ford Mustang

    £36,990 £36,990

    Leather Upholstery, Climate controled fully electric seat, 19'' Gloss black multi spoke alloy wheels, Reverse cameraVVS is delighted to offer this 2016 Ford Mustang 5.0 GT Fastback in the extremely rare combination of competition orange metallic and full black leather interior with only 2,800 miles on the clock. In addition to the vehicles already considerable spec it comes complete with factory fitted reverse camera, climate controlled fully electric seats, bluetooth and 19'' gloss black multi spoke alloy wheels. The engine has a tone quite like nothing else on the road and the drive truely is a welcome break from the norm. The vehicles desireablity means the waiting list for a new Fastback is over 12 months, this perfect example is availa, Please visit www.vvsuk.co.uk for 20 High Definition photographs of this car.

    • Mileage: 2000 mi
    • Engine size: 4951
    For sale
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £38,991 £38,991

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

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 1760 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    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
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