15,601 original miles. One of only 1015 built in 1988. 100% original except for radio and wheels. Unmodified 5.0, well-maintained, ready to enjoy.
The most obvious difference is the fact that this is strictly a 2-seater. The black paint is factory-applied and shines up brilliantly, and the stylists at ASC wisely chose to go a minimalist route, keeping the Mustang GT’s front fascia and enhancing it with custom side skirts and a tidy rear valence with similar but distinctive taillights. A small deck lid spoiler combined with the extended tonneau gives the McLaren a very long, lean look that erases the Mustang GT’s inherent chunkiness. A silver stripe around the beltline adds some contrast and unique ASC/McLaren emblems replace the Ford oval up front and the “MUSTANG” lettering on the rear bumper. It doesn’t erase the Mustang’s DNA, but it sure gives the car a unique look that stands out. The tonneau springs open with the touch of a switch, folds forward and then back again to allow the top to disappear underneath. There’s also a motorized pull-down that secures the rear of the top to the tonneau, as well as a clever little switch that prevents the tonneau from being opened if the trunk is open, just to eliminate costly accidents. If you haven’t seen one of these up close, the workmanship will really impress you.
The interior also received extensive upgrades, starting with new leather covers on the Mustang’s already excellent bucket seats. The ornate stitching and ASC/McLaren embroidery make this one stand apart from its more common cousins and the carpets are the same plush stuff found in Rolls-Royce and other high-end European cars. A custom center console adds a useful arm rest but keeps the Ford controls for the power mirrors, and a wood-rimmed steering wheel (remember this was pre-airbag) moves it upscale. Mustang gauges were big and clear and it had one of the best-designed dashboards of the period, so no need to reinvent the wheel there and Ford’s HVAC controls were powerful and effective, then and today. There’s a newer Alpine AM/FM/cassette stereo head unit to replace the Ford setup, but that and an alarm system appear to be the lone deviations from original spec. The neat package shelf behind the seats is great for gear and doesn’t interfere with top operation, and you’ll find a CD changer tucked behind the passenger’s back. And speaking of the top, it’s black canvas, not vinyl, and looks fantastic with crystal clear rear windows and no signs of UV damage.
Sporting the same performance hardware as the legendary 5.0 Mustang, it remains a formidable performer. Better still, this one is completely unmodified and original, so you know it hasn’t been raced or abused by a younger owner like so many other unfortunate 5.0s. It starts instantly, idles smoothly, and pulls with that endless supply of torque for which the 5.0 was justifiably famous. This one is so stock that it still has the rubber boot on the distributor and the lifting brackets bolted to the exhaust headers! And if 225 horsepower and 300 pounds of torque aren’t enough, there’s an infinite amount of horsepower available from the aftermarket, which rivals that of the small block Chevy. Either way, this one is ready to enjoy however you prefer to do it.
The 4-speed automatic transmission was a $510 upgrade for the ASC/McLaren and it makes this a genuine grand-touring car. It’s got quick reflexes so when you punch it it’ll drop down a gear or two, but the towering overdrive combines with 2.73 rear gears to make this a superlative highway cruiser that actually pulls down decent fuel economy. The suspension is agile yet still supple enough to drive every day and the structural upgrades that ASC added underneath make a notable difference in how it rides and handles. Of course, this car has never seen snow or inclement weather, so it’s extremely clean underneath, still exhaling through the factory exhaust system. The only notable deviation is a set of shiny 16-inch wheels that were added early in the car’s life, perhaps even by the selling dealer, and were a nice step up over the original 15-inchers. Recent 225/55/16 performance radials are fitted and they’ve got plenty of life left in them.
A very cool piece of Ford history, this limited-production ASC/McLaren convertible will get everyone talking when they see it and remains an awesome way to enjoy some serious firepower with a more luxurious lining. There just can’t be many nicer than this.
For more details and photos, please visit www.HarwoodMotors.com