54,354 original miles. One of 5970 built with the 2.3 liter turbocharged engine and 4-speed manual transmission. Working factory A/C, tilt, AM/FM/cassette, sunroof. Nice survivor that drives great!
With so few miles, this is a really clean survivor. It has not been restored or repainted, and even the decals are original equipment. From that you can easily see that it has been someone’s cherished toy since it was new and never had to endure the daily grind. The paint has a nice shine and all the decals remain well-adhered to the bodywork without any cracking or peeling. The sections that are finished in satin black, including the hood scoop and lower rockers, are in excellent condition with some slight streaking that’s probably inevitable on satin-finished parts. Important areas like the rubberized window sills and the slates behind the quarter windows are in excellent condition without the usual chalky look that these parts tend to develop when they’re left out in the sun. Yes, there are a few nicks and scratches here and there, but nothing noteworthy and certainly nothing that would require a repaint. Someone loved this car.
Pace cars also received significantly upgraded interiors, starting with a set of grippy Recaro seats with unique zebra-pattern upholstery. The fabric remains in great condition with only light discoloration and both front chairs are still firm and supportive. A full set of gauges was standard, including a tachometer, all visible through the spokes of a great-looking three-spoke leather-wrapped wheel. A full-length console houses the 4-speed manual shifter, which was the only transmission available with the turbocharged engine, as well as a cool information center and digital clock. Pace cars came loaded up, and this one includes working factory A/C, a tilt wheel, AM/FM/cassette stereo, and a sunroof, which is a great feature for cruising. Fold-down rear seats make this a surprisingly practical pony car and there’s a neatly carpeted trunk area under the hatch. You’ll also find the original spare tire that has never been down as well as a factory jack assembly.
Admittedly, the 2.3 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine isn’t going to win any drag races, but it was a great step forward for 1979. It only gives up ONE HORSEPOWER to the 5.0 liter V8 that was also available, and given what we’ve learned about turbos in the past 40 years, I would call this one an opportunity waiting to happen. This one remains fully operational and still a lot of fun to drive, with a nice, fat torque curve and a pleasant whack of boost that comes on after a bit of lag. It’s quite clean and very stock under the hood, right down to the original hose clamps, so this survivor would be great for preservation-class judging and proves that it hasn’t been abused. It starts easily, idles nicely with a somewhat unorthodox soundtrack from the single Flowmaster muffler, and it’s perfectly happy to drive around town without complaint.
A big part of the car’s fun-to-drive quotient comes from the standard 4-speed manual transmission and 3.45 gears out back. The car feels light on its feet and keeps up with traffic without a second thought—you’ll be driving it like you’ve owned it for decades after just a few minutes. You’ll note that this one is a little grungy underneath but there is no rust or rot to worry about—it has never seen winter weather. Floors and rockers are completely solid, the subframes haven’t been tweaked, and it shows signs of routine maintenance over the years. The aforementioned Flowmaster exhaust system is recent and might improve horsepower a little bit and it sits on unmarked aluminum TRX wheels with correct Michelin TRX radials, which are still available.
Extras include the original owner’s manual, a full set of shop manuals, the sun shade for the sunroof, original pace car jacket, and even a model of the car for your mantle.
I like this car. A lot. It’s distinctive yet very affordable. It’s fun to drive but economical to feed and maintain. And it’s a Mustang, which will always be America’s favorite pony car. There are thousands of Fox Mustangs running around, but you don’t see these all that often anymore and especially not this well preserved. So get over the horsepower numbers and embrace the rebirth of performance and a fun Mustang that does everything well. Call today!
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com
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