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Tighty Whitey: 1979 Ford Mustang

This 1979 Ford Mustang is on Craigslist for $3,500. The seller mentions that the price was just reduced from $6,500! That’s quite a reduction, not $6,000 or even $5,000 to test the waters before going down to $3,500? This has to be one of the best bargains that I’ve seen in a while. But, I think that about every vehicle.. This car is located in Bad, Bad Leroy Brown’s neighborhood: the South Side of Chicago.

Isn’t this one crisp, clean Mustang? 1979 was the first year for the third-generation Mustang using the Fox platform, which we all know and love (heavy on the love) (come on!) from the Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr. This is the notchback, but a hatchback body style was also available. Both were available in base trim or Ghia, which was more luxurious. I personally like wheel covers and cars like this, just basic vehicles that people bought and used, not the uber-hyped ultra-rare factory hot rods that roll across the stage at auction after auction until we all believe that most people actually drove Hemi Cudas and Shelby Mustangs to pick up milk and bread.

This car looks like it’s in great condition, but is that paint work next to the wheel in this photo? And, in this photo of the bottom of the door? That’s the beauty of white or black vehicles, the paint match is usually pretty simple to master. It looks like the hood may be out of adjustment in the photo above, or is that just me being to critical? It looks like the rockers have been repaired and/or repainted, but I could be wrong. This Mustang looks pretty good, though, even though it’s not the rip-roarin’ monster V8-powered tire-burner that most folks are looking for. If you can find one of those for $3,500 you’re pretty lucky.

The interior looks good with maybe a bit of fading on the carpet, and there’s the 800-pound elephant in the room: the automatic transmission. a 4 or 5-speed manual would have been nice to see, but a lot of folks are looking for automatics in cars. The interior could use a thorough cleaning, but couldn’t we all.

This car has the 3.3L inline-six with around 85 hp. It isn’t a 302 V8, which is a bummer. If it would have been a 302 car with a 5-speed it wouldn’t be $3,500, though. We take what we can get and work with it. What are your thoughts on this tight, white Mustang? How about that price drop?

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Comments

  1. Blyndgesser

    Not a bad little driver if there isn’t too much rust underneath.

    0
  2. JW

    Not bad for $3500, that hood looks bent on the front lip to me, southside of Chicago better look for any signs of patched bullet holes, believe me I’ve been through there quite a few times to White Sox games.

    0
  3. Karo

    My ’66 has the standard wheel covers with “spinners.”

    The white car is wearing Mustang II wheel covers.

    0
    • Karo

      Looking at the ’79 Mustang catalog, 13-inch steel wheels were standard; a 14-inch steel wheel was optional. Trim rings could be added to these. Optional were 14-inch wire-style wheel covers, the “turbine” (plastic) wheel covers that also could be found on the Fairmont (the chrome lug nuts poked through holes in the covers), 14-inch alloys (also on the Fairmont/Zephyr) and the famous 3-spoke TRX wheels that took special Michelin tires. Wheel size was 390 mm or just over 15 inches.

      Also shown is a base car with a 13-inch wheelcover that I don’t think I’ve ever seen. It has round holes around the outer rim.

      The white car probably has the standard 13-inch steel wheels under those Mustang II wheel covers.

      I’d drive a Fox-body Mustang in a minute, but I’d want A/C at least.

      1+
  4. Rustytech

    Nice commuter car or 1st car for your kid if their into older cars, I’d like this just for running errands instead of driving my Jeep Hemi every where. The gas savings in the 1st year would pay for the car.

    2+
    • Scott

      I’m siding with Rusty if a kid was into older cars, the flip side to that is this would be a great ride to get them interested in older cars and share some of your car knowledge about the different eras of cars. This is a bridge gap car of when things were really changing in the car industry. Great call Rusty.

      1+
  5. EU Broker

    “This car has the 3.3L inline-six with around 85 hp”

    I had a BMW 635 CSi with a dog-leg gearbox from around the same time period, had a 3.5L inline-six that put out 218 hp. (Best car I’ve ever owned). And Detroit wondered why people flocked to foreign cars…

    1+
    • CCFisher

      In 1979, a BMW 633CSi cost over $26,000. Is that really a fair comparison? I seriously doubt that anybody walked out of a Ford dealership in disgust and ran directly to a BMW dealership to buy a car that cost three times as much.

      1+
      • JRATT1956

        More like 4.4 times the cost of my 1979 Mustang hatchback -$5,900 out the door. I just wish I would of bought the 2.3 with the turbo, it was fast. 2.3 non-turbo not so much.

        1+
  6. David H.

    My aunt had one almost exactly like this one brand new (white ’79 notchback with the 3.3 six), and I remember how radical it seemed compared to the big boats everyone was still driving in those days.

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  7. daniel wright

    Say what you will about a straight 6 and an automatic. This is just an old car that will keep up with traffic with no problems. I would leave it as is and take it out on nice days. Although split duel exhaust manifold’s might be fun!

    1+
    • Sonic R

      I have a 1980 Mustang Ghia with the 3.3 straight 6 and the 4-speed manual, and though it’s not neck breaking fast, it moves well enough in traffic… about on level with most of today’s 4 cylinder cars.. it’s a fun, leisurely riding car and I enjoy it on nice days (with the flip up roof open!)

      1+
  8. Teddy

    I had a m Capri 5.0 from 1979. It had aboutv146 HP but it was a fun car.

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  9. Pts

    That’s not a 6. It’s a trusty 4 from the pinto.

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    • Blyndgesser

      Wrong. It’s the pushrod six. The four has an obvious lump at the front of the valve cover to clear the cam sprocket.

      0
  10. Pete W.

    “It’s a trusty 4 from the pinto.”

    You sure about that?

    Wouldn’t the 4 have a cam drive on the front of the engine, and why would someone have written 3.3 straight 6 on the air cleaner?

    0
  11. Darrun

    Isn’t the Intake on the other side of the engine on “the trusty 4”?

    Nice driver for the money. Cheap entry into the old car market for someone.

    0
  12. Jason

    The rear bumper sticks out like a Habsburg’s lip.

    1+
  13. Howard

    I just dont see why any car guy would want this car. Its basic transportation with no excitement. We had several of these at the rental car agency I worked at when I was in college. They were duds then and are duds now.

    1+
  14. Sonic R

    I have a 79 (with the 5.0) and an 80 Ghia with the 3.3 straight 6 and manual 4-speed… they’re great cars, all stock, and fun to drive… sure, they aren’t excessively fast, but I’m not out on the road trying to race anybody.. I just enjoy driving in a car just like the one my father had when I was growing up.. the 5.0 has a little pep when I need it, and the 6 cylinder keeps up with traffic well enough.. most everyone who sees my Mustangs always have nice words and find it refreshing to see one that hasn’t been hacked up in to a drag strip car…

    4+

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