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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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1850 49950 GBP
  • 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby 350R replica

    £39,000 - £44,000 est. £39,000 - £44,000 est.
    Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
    Auction Date: 24 Jun 2017
    RESERVE PRICE
    • Engine size: 5
    Auction Date: 24 Jun 2017
    Brightwells
    01568 611122 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • 1965 Ford Mustang MK-I 289 FIA

    POA POA

    This car is in excellent condition and ready to race for the 2016 season. The engine is new and has only Dyno testing hours. Ford 289 engine with 340 HP and 426 Nm torque New 2015 FIA HTP Periode F - Class CT10. This car is ideal for all Touring car races in the Pre-65 grid. The car comes with lots of spares (spare engine, wheels, rear axle, diff, C&P, brake calipers and a lot more) EUR 95'000 http://grabersportgarage.ch/1965-ford-mustang-mk-i-289-fia.html Net Export

    • Year: 1965
    For sale
  • Ford Mustang 1997

    £1,850 £1,850

    mustang 157km  auto 3.8 very good con ,left hand drive been sorn when mot run out .in nov 2016..19"wheels i have std 15"wheels with new tyres +some spare parts lights fog all parts from usa . i have no time to do any think with it due to ill health  ,its cheap due to get it gone then to see it rot seat on the drive  

    • Mileage: 157 mi
    • Engine size: 3790
    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
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £31,999.20 £31,999.20

    Variant name:Fastback GT ,Derivative:GT ,Variant: 5.0 V8 GT 2dr This Mustang GT Fastback has come from 1 previous keeper, with balance of manufacturers warranty and 12 months roadside assistance. With the added extras of shaker pro, navigation system, premium audio, rear park assist, climate seats. Featuring upper grille black- GT design featuring vertical power bars, aerolip spoiler, diffuser, rear LED tail lamps, GT exterior badge on bootlid, body coloured heated, foldable, power door mirrors, dual chrome exhaust, 19 inch glossy black alloy wheels, tyre inflator kit, xenon auto headlights, front fog lights, daytime running lights, sports style front seats, rear ISOFIX child seat preparation, auto dimming rear view mirror, rear view camera, cruise control, Ford keyfree system, Ford SYNC 3 with voice control and 8 inch TFT touchscreen DAB radio and USB connectivity. Dual zone electronic automatic temperature control.

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 6323 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £33,000 £33,000

    Variant name:Fastback GT ,Derivative:GT ,Variant: 5.0 V8 GT 2dr We are lucky to offer this pre owned Mustang 5.0 V8 Manual. This stunning American Muscle car has now been available in the UK since Dec 2015 and with lead times on brand new ones exceeding 9 months, this is a great chance to get your hands on one straight away. The vehicle has optional extras of ShakerPro Premium audio system, Rear park assist and Climate seats. The 421ps V8 engine is loud and responsive and the driving dynamics make every moment of driving this car perfect.

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 12926 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £38,000 £38,000

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

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 11256 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
  • Ford Mustang-Engined Trike

    POA POA

    - Unfinished trike project powered by a Ford Mustang V8 engine - Engine overhauled circa 20 miles ago and allied to auto gearbox - A potentially rewarding project

    For sale
  • FORD MUSTANG V8 5.0 FASTBACK Auto 2017

    £44,299 £44,299

    17 Reg New Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT Fastback Automatic, Magnetic Metallic , Ebony Leather Seat Facings, Factory Extras: CUSTOM PACK which includes "Shaker Pro" premium audio system with SYNC3 8" Colour Touch Screen Navigation, Climate Controlled Seats(Heated and Cooled), Reverse Parking Sensors, 19" Lustre Nickel multi-spoke alloy wheels, and Side windows chrome surround. Standard Equipment Rear View Camera, Xenon Headlight. PHYSICAL CAR and AVAILABLE TODAY. NO 6/9 MONTHS WAITING. 45 MILES ONLY. ;;VAT QUALIFYING *** NOTE ROAD TAX ONLY GBP 140. YES GBP 140 PER YEAR ***

    • Mileage: 45 mi
    • Engine size: 4.951
    For sale
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £37,425 £37,425

    Variant name:ECOBOOST ,Derivative:S550 ,Variant: ECOBOOST BRAND NEW Unregistered 2.3 314PS ecoboost with factory extras of Custom pack ( Shaker Sync3 navigation and voice controlled bluetooth technology climate heated and cooled seats reverse parking sensors) offered in beautiful Shadow Black metallic paint with EBONY leather trim,with its 2.3 EcoBoost engine with direct injection and twin-scroll turbocharger which offers masses of performance coupled with its Fully independent front and rear suspension Limited Slip Differential (LSD) Performance brake system featuring 4-piston front callipers and Electronic Brake Prefill Selectable Driving Modes - Snow/Wet, Normal, Sport+ and Track Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with three settings 19" black 5x2-spoke alloy wheels Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps Ford Finance available please call and ask about our finance package

    • Year: 2017
    • Mileage: 25 mi
    • Engine size: 2.3
    For sale
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £35,000 £35,000

    Variant name:Fastback ,Variant: 2.3 EcoBoost 2dr Auto This Mustang Fastback auto has come from 1 previous keeper, with full balance of manufacturers warranty and 12 months roadside assistance. With the added extras of climate seats, shaker pro and rear park assist. With its distinctive long sculptured bonnet, sloped windscreen and low roof line, it keeps the key elements of a classic Mustang. Featuring rear bumper- diffuser, rear LED tail lamps, door mirrors- body colour power, fold, heated. Auto xenon headlights, front fog lights and day running lights. Sports style front seats, rear ISOFIX attachment, auto dimming rear view mirror, rear view camera, cruise control, Ford keyfree system, power opening front windows, dual zone electronic automatic temperature control, Ford sync 3 with voice control and 8 inch TFT touchscreen 9 speaker DAB radio and USB connectivity. Tyre pressure monitoring system. With the Ford Hill Start Assist technology, the vehicle is held stationary for 2seconds using brake pressure, giving you more time to find the right amount of revs and clutch to pull away on an incline, and once pressure applied to the accelerator, the brakes will automatically disengage.

    • Year: 2017
    • Mileage: 20 mi
    • Engine size: 2.3
    For sale
  • Ford Mustang Cabriolet

    €34,950(£30,224.76) €34,950(£30,224.76)

    Ford Mustang cabriolet 1966 Wimbledon White very well maintained This fabulous Ford Mustang cabriolet was delivered in 1966. The Ford has the very well maintained 6 cyl, 122 HP engine and drives great. The exterior has beautiful paint in colour Wimbledon White, finished with chrome details. Recently the beautiful Pony interior was renewed and provided with red/white leatherette with chrome accents. Recently the cabrio top was replaced. The dashboard looks as new and has a wooden steering wheel. Thanks to the automatic gearbox the Ford is a real touring car and drives great. Car has Holland 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: 1966
    For sale
  • Ford Mustang Convertible 1965

    €49,950(£43,196.76) €49,950(£43,196.76)

    SOLD / VERKAUFT / VENDU / VERKOCHT Ford Mustang Convertible 1965 full options This marvellous Ford Mustang Convertible was delivered in 1965 and provided with a fabulous red paint and impressive chrome. Driving this Ford is very comfortable thanks to the power steering and power brakes. The car has an electric softtop as well. The beautiful interior has red vinyl with chrome accents, airconditioning and the original Mustang radio. The powerful Windsor V8 engine has a 4 Barrel Holley carburator with Edelbrock manifold and produces 233 HP. The engine is connected to an automatic gearbox (C4) with double kick-down. This is a real car for fans in very good condition which guarantees a great driving experience. Car has Holland 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: 1965
    For sale
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £37,425 £37,425

    Variant name:ECOBOOST ,Derivative:S550 ,Variant: ECOBOOST BRAND NEW Unregistered 2.3 314PS ecoboost automatic with factory extras of Shaker Sync3 navigation and voice controlled bluetooth technology climate heated and cooled seats reverse parking sensors offered in beautiful Ruby Red metallic paint with contrasting ceramic leather trim,with its 2.3 EcoBoost engine with direct injection and twin-scroll turbocharger which offers masses of performance coupled with its Fully independent front and rear suspension Limited Slip Differential (LSD) Performance brake system featuring 4-piston front callipers and Electronic Brake Prefill Selectable Driving Modes - Snow/Wet, Normal, Sport+ and Track Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with three settings 19" black 5x2-spoke alloy wheels Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps Ford Finance available please call and ask about our finance packages

    • Year: 2017
    • Mileage: 25 mi
    • Engine size: 2.3
    For sale
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