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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
24995 42998 GBP
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £42,998 £42,998

    Variant name:Fastback GT ,Derivative:GT ,Variant: Fastback GT Special Edition 5.0 V8 (Petrol) " 10 SPEED AUTO, RECARO SEATS, TWIN EXHAUSTS, DRIVERS PACK "

    • Year: 2018
    • Mileage: 3000 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
    £42,998 £42,998
    Desmond Motors Ltd.-L'Derry
    028 7136 7136 View contact number
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £34,483 £34,483

    Variant name:Fastback GT ,Derivative:GT ,Variant: 5.0 V8 GT 2dr This stunning one owner, low mileage Mustang 5.0 V8 GT 2dr is available now at SMC Ford Crayford. Originally supplied new by SMC to the only keeper. This car features a great specification including Lightening Blue metallic paint with Ebony leather interior, Shaker Pro premium audio, rear parking sensors, climate controlled seats and much more. Call us today to arrange your test drive, and ask about our finance packages available for this car.

    • Year: 2018
    • Mileage: 6500 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
    £34,483 £34,483
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £37,488 £37,488

    Variant name:Fastback GT ,Derivative:GT ,Variant: 5.0 V8 GT 2dr Auto We are excited to present this superb 2017 Ford Mustang GT presented in Shadow Black with a Black Leather Interior. This particular example has a great specification including Multi-Spoke Silver Alloy Wheels, LED Daytime Running Lights, Automatic Headlights, LED Rear Lights, Fully Adjustable Electric Leather Seats, 3-Spoke Multi Function Leather Steering Wheel, Digital Trip Computer, Cruise Control, Automatic Windscreen Wipers, Electric Adjustable & Folding Wing Mirrors, Shaker Audio System, Keyless Push Button Start, Traction Control, Switchable Dynamic Driving Modes, Dual Climate Control, Air Conditioning, Heated & Ventilated Front Seats, Touchscreen Infotainment Screen, Full Colour Satellite Navigation, DAB Radio, Bluetooth Smart Phone Connectivity, Rear Parking Sensors and Rear Parking Camera. For more information on this incredible Mustang please contact a member of our Sales Team on the phone number listed above.

    • Year: 2017
    • Mileage: 4200 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
    £37,488 £37,488
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £32,990 £32,990

    Variant name:GT ,Derivative:MK6 (S550) ,Variant: GT (Custom Pack) Porsche Cardiff are proud to offer this exceptionally well presented Ford Mustang GT (Custom Pack) Coupe Auto finished in Metallic Blue with Black leather. The car comes with a very low mileage and a great specification. It has a full main dealer service history and has just been serviced by a Ford main agent as part of its preparation for sale. Please give us a call for further information on 02920 350911 or ask us for a personalised video presentation of this very special vehicle. That way you will also be able to hear the V8 growl too!

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 5140 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
    £32,990 £32,990
  • FORD MUSTANG GT 2015

    £29,495 £29,495

    Beautiful big spec example, Custom Pack, Shaker stereo, heated and cooled seats, GT350R Steering wheel, Mudflaps, Privacy glass, Rear diff bush kit, rear subframe bush kit, Steeda front arm bearing kit, Steeda Anti roll bars all round, Steeda Clutch spring, Roush 1/4 panel scoops, Mustang side stripes, Mishimoto X Pipe and Axel Back Exhaust

    • Mileage: 16000 mi
    • Engine size: 4.951
    For sale
    £29,495 £29,495
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £31,899 £31,899

    Variant name:Fastback GT ,Derivative:GT ,Variant: 5.0 V8 GT 2dr We are excited to present this beautiful 2016 Ford Mustang GT finished in Shadow Black with a Black Leather Interior. This car has a great specification including Fully Adjustable Electric Heated & Ventilated Seats, 3-Spoke Multi Function Leather Steering Wheel, Electric Folding Wing Mirrors, Automatic Headlights, Digital Trip Computer, Cruise Control, Automatic Windscreen Wipers, 6-Speed Manual Gearbox, Shaker Audio System, Keyless Push Button Start, Traction Control, Switchable Dynamic Driving Modes, Dual Climate Control, Air Conditioning, Touchscreen Infotainment Screen, Full Colour Satellite Navigation, DAB Radio, Bluetooth Smart Phone Connectivity, Rear Parking Sensors and Rear Parking Camera. For more information on this excellent car please contact a member of our Sales Team on the phone number listed above.

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 6900 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
    £31,899 £31,899
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £32,870 £32,870

    Variant name:Fastback ,Variant: 2.3 EcoBoost 2dr Auto We are proud to present this beautiful 2018 Ford Mustang presented in Shadow Black with a Black Leather Interior. This particular example has a great specification featuring 5-Spoke Gloss Black Alloy Wheels, Automatic Headlights, LED Rear Lights, Fully Adjustable Electric Leather Seats, 3-Spoke Multi Function Leather Steering Wheel, Electric Folding Wing Mirrors, Cruise Control, Digital Trip Computer, Automatic Windscreen Wipers, Shaker Audio System, Keyless Push Button Start, Switchable Dynamic Driving Modes, Traction Control, Dual Climate Control, Air Conditioning, Heated & Ventilated Seats, Touch Screen Infotainment System, Full Colour Satellite Navigation System, DAB Radio, Bluetooth Smart Phone Connectivity, Rear Parking Sensors and Rear Parking Camera. To discuss this lovely car further please contact a member of our Sales Team on the phone number listed above.

    • Year: 2018
    • Mileage: 3000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.3
    For sale
    £32,870 £32,870
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £32,989 £32,989

    Variant name:Fastback GT ,Derivative:GT ,Variant: 5.0 V8 GT 2dr We are excited to present this stunning 2017 Ford Mustang GT finished in Shadow Black with a Brown Leather Interior. This particular example has a great specification featuring some excellent options including Multi Spoke Gloss Black Alloy Wheels, Automatic Headlights, LED Rear Lights, Fully Adjustable Electric Leather Seats, 3-Spoke Multi Function Leather Steering Wheel, Electric Folding Wing Mirrors, Cruise Control, Digital Trip Computer, Automatic Windscreen Wipers, 6-Speed Manual Gear Box, Shaker Audio System, Keyless Push Button Start, Traction Control, Switchable Dynamic Driving Modes, Dual Climate Control, Air Conditioning, Heated & Ventilated Seats, Touchscreen Infotainment System, DAB Radio System, Full Colour Satellite Navigation, Bluetooth Smart Phone Connectivity, Rear Parking Sensors and Rear Parking Camera. For more information on this excellent car please contact a member of our Sales Team on the phone number listed above.

    • Year: 2017
    • Mileage: 15602 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
    £32,989 £32,989
  • MUSTANG GT 289

    £24,995 £24,995

    Welcome to the sale of this 1966 Ford Mustang GT 289. This is an all matching number car so its as it was when it left the factory but it does have the benefit of a recently rebuilt 4 speed manual gearbox and rear differential. It also had new head gaskets in 2016. ;This car was imported into the UK in 2014 by its current owner and has been lovingly looked after ever since. ;;The car comes with service history from both the USA and UK, including the original stamped service book and receipts dating back to 1965 for a number of works.

    • Mileage: 81000 mi
    • Engine size: 4.7
    For sale
    £24,995 £24,995
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £29,480 £29,480

    Variant name:Fastback GT ,Derivative:GT ,Variant: 5.0 V8 GT 2dr We are proud to offer this lovely Ford Mustang GT finished in Ingot Silver with a Black Leather Interior. This exceptional car features a 6-Speed Manual Gearbox as well as a great specification including 19" Multi Spoke Gloss Black Alloy Wheels, Fully Adjustable Electric Heated & Ventilated Seats, Multi-function Leather Steering Wheel, Electric Folding Wing Mirrors, Automatic Headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights, Automatic Wipers, Digital Trip Computer, Cruise Control, Push Button Keyless Start, Traction Control, Switchable Dynamic Driving Modes, Shaker Audio System, Dual Climate Control, Air Conditioning, Bluetooth Smart Phone Connectivity, USB Connectivity, Full Colour Satellite Navigation, DAB Radio, Rear Parking Sensors and Rear Parking Camera. For more information on this excellent Mustang please contact a member of the Sales Team on the number listed above.

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 40000 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
    £29,480 £29,480
  • FORD MUSTANG GT 2016 Manual Petrol Red

    £29,990 £29,990

    Ford Mustang 5.0 V8 GT (Custom Pack) Fastback 3dr;Immaculate Corsa Exhausts FSH;2016 (16 reg), Coupe;13,000 miles;Manual;5000cc;Petrol;Stunning Example with Full Service History. Corsa Stainless Exhausts (Sounds Fantastic) Rear Window Louvers (colour Coded). My own car for 18Mths Selling Due to ordering a New One. 12 Months Ford Warranty Remaining., Upgrades - Reverse Parking Sensors, Shaker Pro Premium Audio Sys. w. Navigation, Ceramic Leather, Silver Body Stripes, Custom Pack (Fastback), Race Red, Climate Controlled Seats, 12 months MOT, Full service history, Excellent bodywork, Full leather interior - Excellent Condition, Tyre condition Excellent, Standard Features - DAB - Radio, Dual Zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC), Rear View Camera, SYNC 3 8in Colour Touchscreen, Voice Control System with Ford Emergency Assist., 19in 5x2 - Spoke Black Alloy Wheels, 6-Way Power Adjustable Front Seats, Bluetooth and USB Connectivity, Electrically - Operated Front Windows, Ford Power Starter Button, Rain Sensing Wipers, Upholstery Leather. 4 seats, Solid Race Red, Full Service History Comes Complete with Both Remote Keys and Full Original Book Pack. HPI Clear and Ready to Drive Away. Please be aware that the specification of the vehicle above can sometimes differ as a result of the use of third party data., Opening Times, 9-6pm Monday to Friday , 9-4pm Saturday , Closed Sundays, Other times available by prior appointment., Finance Arranged Fully FCA Authorised, GBP 29,900 p/x welcome

    • Mileage: 13000 mi
    • Engine size: 4.951
    For sale
    £29,990 £29,990