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Ford Mustang: Buying guide and review (1964-1973)

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

    £35,999 £35,999

    Variant name:Fastback GT ,Derivative:GT ,Variant: 5.0 V8 GT 2dr

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 100 mi
    • Engine size: 5
    For sale
    Essex Auto Group-Ford - Rayleigh
    01268 906994 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • 1966 Ford MOSS Mustang Shelby GT350 Fastback Race Car


    ?The Moss Mustang? Historical Race Car The Sir Stirling Moss Shelby GT 350 Mustang was produced in 1965 as one of the fist 150 Shelby?s made. Peter Livanos, of the famous Livanos Racing team, had the car converted to a race car by Chris Liebenberg with all the ?R? code specifications and raced the car at all the famous venues across the United States. The car sat dormant for many years until Sir Stirling Moss purchased the car for racing in nostalgic events around the globe. Sir Stirling Moss raced the car at many famous venues including Tasmania, Australia, Laguna Seca, Goodwood, Silverstone, and Nuburgring. This piece of history virtually raced on every continent and Sir Moss has stated that this was his most favorite car of all time. He spent lots of seat time flogging this car in completion and had a blast doing it. It has an extensive history with many photos, documents, and race registry?s.

    • Year: 1966
    For sale
  • Ford MUSTANG

    £35,480 £35,480

    Variant name:ECOBOOST ,Derivative:MK6 (S550) ,Variant: ECOBOOST 2.3 314PS AUTO 2DR, Custom Pack, Automatic, Cruise Control/Speed Limiter, Shaker Premium Sound System, Sync 2 With Nav, Full Black Leather Heated and Cooled Interior, Electrically Operated Front Seats, Mustang Logo Puddle Light

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 1105 mi
    • Engine size: 2.3
    For sale
  • Ford Mustang 289 Convertible (1964).

    £32,300 £32,300

    The first production Mustang rolled off the production line on the 9th March of 1964. It was advertised as "the car to be designed by you", and therefore had a range of interior, exterior and drivetrain options. Buyers had the choice between coupé, convertible and in a later stage fastback body, and different interior options, some of which included front bucket or bench seat, rear bench seat, a sports car style steering wheel and a floor mounted gearshift. Enginewise, there was a choice between a 6-cilinder 170ci (101 bhp), a 260ci V8 (164 bhp), a two barrel 289ci V8 (210 bhp) and from June 1964 on also a 4-barrel V8 offering 271 bhp. The Mustang was an instant success, and after the first production year 418.000 examples were sold ! This very early example is a 289ci V8 car with manual gearbox. It was delivered in April 1964 in California, in the fantastic colour combination of Prairie Bronze with a Palomino vinyl interior. The first Mustang was introduced in April 1964 by Lee Iacocca in exactly the same colours, and it must be said it looks absolutely stunning. The car had the manual 4-speed gearbox, and the first owner specified some very interesting options like a power conver

    • Year: 1964
    • Mileage: 442 mi
    For sale
  • Ford Mustang

    £23,000 £23,000

    1967 Ford Mustang Coupe - 4.7 Litre V8 3 Speed Auto. The car is in outstanding condition, body is super straight with flawless wimbledon white paintwork, all door/panel gaps are just as they should be, the glass is also in fantastic condition including the front screen which is like new. All window seals and rubbers were also replaced as was the carpet and various interior items. The seats look new but are actually the originals, I think this is what you get when you start with a very good car - this was a "Sympathetic" restoration. The 289 runs beautifully, it has a mild cam, headers, ally inlet, and a brand new edelbrock 4 Barrel on top. The C4 Transmission shifts effortlessly and is firm, in my opinion it has a shift kit fitted to it as it changes swiftly so makes for a nice driving experience. Car is fully serviced, all fluids, filters, plugs are new, car is turn key and ready to enjoy. The blue Shelby stripes are vinyl and have just been added. Brakes are power disc up front, they have been re-newed, as have the rear shoes. All chrome that had any signs of age was replaced with new items, so everything is factory fresh - this really is a show and shine car ready to be enjoyed. Please email me with questions, if you wish to make an appointment to view then feel free to contact me. Car is UK registered, it has just sailed through an MOT and is Tax exempt.

    • Year: 1967
    • Engine size: 4.7
    For sale
  • 1965 Ford Mustang 2+2 Fastback


    289 cid V-8 Engine C-4 Automatic Transmission 1964.5 A TRUE A-Code 4bbl Carburetor Factory Front Disc Brakes Factory COLD Air Conditioning Deluxe Interior Decor AKA the Pony" Interior Wood Grain Dash & Steering Wheel Center Console Rare Rally Pack (Tachometer and Clock) Dual Exhaust System with the Famous Trumpet GT Styled Steel Wheels Original " RAVEN BLACK" Paint Very Nice Arizona Car Sold on Arizona Title "

    • Year: 1965
    For sale
  • 1995 Ford Mustang GT

    £8,385 £8,385

    76,149 actual miles on a very well cared for car. The interior is immaculate, the exterior is in exceptional condition as well. Power comes from the 306ci. V/8 equipped with a Vortec supercharger which supplies the boost to the aluminum cylinder heads & Edelbrock intake. Other features include MSD adjustable ignition, Flowmaster exhaust, 5-speed transmission, 3.73 rear end getting all the power to the ground. Ford Performance springs lower the car 2". The 18" chrome Cobra wheels roll on a set of "Z" rated tires. Other amenities include power windows, power locks, CD and much more.

    • Year: 1995
    For sale
  • 1968 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 ‘Eleanor’ Recreation


    The Ford Mustang needs little introduction; the car that built America, that bought freedom to the younger generation and featured in many blockbuster films including, in this instance, a GT500 in 'Gone in 60 Seconds' starring Nicolas Cage. The car in question, 'Eleanor', represents Randall 'Memphis' Raines's nemesis and is something to be feared and adored in equal measure. The Shelby Mustang is a high performance variant of the Ford Mustang which was built by Shelby American from 1965 through to 1970. From 1967, the GT350 carried over the K-Code high performance 289ci with a 'COBRA' aluminium hi-rise intake manifold. The GT500 was then added to the line-up. These later cars carried over few of the performance modifications of the 1965/66 GT350s although they did feature more cosmetic changes. In September 1967, production was moved to the A.O. Smith Company of Ionia, Michigan under Ford control. Based on the 1967 Shelby GT500 fastback, the 'Eleanor' was a modernised variant with serious power and is considered by many to be the ultimate Mustang. What can only be described as a fabulous example and finished to a very high standard, this GT500 recreation is based on a 1968 390GT Mu

    • Year: 2016
    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
  • 1968 Ford Mustang Convertible RHD V8 Auto PAS Power Top Excellent Codition

    £26,520 £26,520

    We all know the iconic Ford Mustang, possibly the greatest American classic and loved by all. There is nothing quite like cruising in a Mustang with the top down and sharing the experience with your friends & family in this four seat classic.Unusually this Mustang has been in Australia almost from new, certainly since early 1971. Converted to RHD as would have been required for registration back then. Showing only 65,500 miles and in single ownership for 45 years, The sunflower yellow coachwork contrasting with the black power operated convertible roof and interior upholstery. The 289ci V8 engine is very smooth and beautifully dressed under the bonnet. Uprated with a Holley 4 barrel carburettor. Automatic gearbox and power steering make this car a delight to drive. The factory sports steering wheel and 14 inch sports wheel trims set the car off beautifully. This car is in excellent condition and drives exceptionally well. We will service and prepare the car before going to its new owner. This car should not be confused with the usual low quality Mustangs that proliferate the sales columns. © Copyright 2016 | Cummins Classic Cars | ABN 86 122 279 350 MD Licence 20325 Website by VA

    • Year: 1968
    • Mileage: 65500 mi
    For sale
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