1 Of 133: 1982 Ford Mustang Bivouac Convertible

This 1982 Ford Mustang is a bit of a mystery machine. The owner claims that it is 1 of 133 that underwent a conversion by Bivouac Engineering to become a convertible before Ford were in a position to offer one themselves. There are ways to verify the authenticity of the conversion, but this would require a personal inspection of the vehicle. You will find the Mustang listed for sale here on Craigslist. It is located in Belvidere, Illinois, and is being offered for sale with a clean title. The owner has set a price of $3,300 OBO for the Mustang. A big thanks must go out to Barn Finder Chitto for locating this one for us.

Before we tackle the authenticity or otherwise of this car, we need to examine its overall condition. The car is basically straight, although there are a few minor dings and scrapes that are obvious. The owner states that the floors have three minor holes in them, and one of these is visible in a shot of the underside of the car. The soft-top cover has a nice, integrated look to it, and also appears to be in good condition. If this is a genuine Bivouac conversion, then the soft-top operation will be manual, as no power option was offered.

With the interior, it really is a case of “what you see is what you get.” The owner doesn’t have the seats, and the rest of the interior trim is going to require restoration. All of the Mustangs that underwent the Bivouac conversion were the Coupe version, and all were completed as 2-seaters. The soft-top cover is not unique to the Bivouac, as there were three separate companies that undertook this type of conversion, and all used the same covers. The only way to confirm whether this is a Bivouac is to remove the rear “seat” trim and check the bracing that has been installed. On the Bivouac this bracing is unique, but you will still need an expert to check the bracing, as no original pictures or blueprints are known to exist. If this is a Bivouac then it is also pretty rare, as the vast majority of the 133 built were powered by the V6 engine, and only a handful were fitted with the V8.

Speaking of the V8, it’s there, it’s original, but it’s incomplete. The owner states that the engine has good compression, but that it doesn’t run. There are a number of components missing off the engine, and once again it’s a case of what you see is what you get. The radiator appears to be sitting inside the car, but everything else that should be there to get the car running is absent, and replacement parts will need to be sourced. All of the V8 versions of the Bivouac were fitted with a manual transmission. This one has a manual transmission, but it is a top-loader out of a ’71 Mach 1, so if the new owner intends to undertake a full restoration, then a replacement transmission will also need to be sourced.

If this were a plain old ’82 Mustang in this condition, then I’d be wishing the owner luck in achieving his price. If it is a genuine Bivouac conversion, then that changes the game just a bit. It still doesn’t make it worth mega-dollars, but it does make it an unusual and interesting car that would be worth restoring. An inspection by an expert is going to be the only way to verify the authenticity of the car. That would be my starting point.

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Comments

  1. Ike Onick

    Has anyone heard of Bivouac Engineering before today?

    24
    • Todd Priest

      Not me. Judging by the lack of info on search engines and the hinges I see on the convertible top cover/panel, there’s likely a good reason why. Yikes!

      7
    • Trent Whitcomb Member

      I hadn’t heard of them, but found some old promo information. Hopefully the photos will upload…

      7
      • Frank Sumatra

        Thanks. It is worse then I thought.

      • Todd Priest

        Thanks! I guess I didn’t look hard enough.

    • Trent Whitcomb Member

      Here’s some promo info, provided the photo uploads…

      2
      • Trent Whitcomb Member

        Apologies for the double post. Here’s the other promo page.

        5
  2. Neil

    The hinges look like they are off a hard shell guitar case, pretty flimsy and not to mention ugly.

    7
  3. Matt steele

    Oh my the coveted bivouac convertible custom .have not seen one of these… well ever… They were known for their convertible Mustangs that didn’t have any seats in them except for possibly a kid’s booster seat.. I’m hoping this is 1 of 1 cause I don’t ever wanna see another one.lmao

    13
  4. Bob_S

    I only know of ASC (American Sunroof Corp) conversions that were done in Brighton Mich.

    5
  5. Suttree

    A long way to go for very little on this one. Money Pit.
    Pass.

    2
  6. Rock On

    Odd that they didn’t also do conversions on the hatchbacks !!!

    1
  7. Uncle Bob

    Hmmm, did a search and found a couple references but for some reason the post didn’t post, maybe going through some sort of approval by management because of the attached links. There’s a brochure on ebay.au and a discussion on foureyedpride. com, a mustang specific forum.

    2
  8. Robert

    Bivouac was known for conversion vans. Cars and Concepts were out of Brighton. ASC was out of Southgate and did a 2 seat Mustang and Capri.

    2
  9. cjm

    why buy this cobbled up mess when you can buy a factory made 1983-93 Fox convertible?

    5
  10. Maestro1 Member

    Robert and cjm are both right. It’s a $2000.00 car maybe, no matter it’s history,
    and there are better alternatives. I have to say that with the top up it looks like a Mercedes 450 SL from the rear, and the two seat arrangement is interesting.

  11. Wrong Way

    I have heard of these, and always wondered why? I didn’t like them then, and I sure don’t like them now! It was a ugly conversion! I would definitely get the bracing looked at! I can almost visually remember what that looked like! My friend who owned a restaurant back then had a genuine one! I remember the bracing from putting the top up and down! If it checks out, and if you like to gamble, buy it! I wouldn’t touch it myself!

  12. Neal

    “Begin the process and accept the challenge”
    takes on a whole new meaning 36 years later.

  13. Ira

    I have one of these beauties in the 5-0 version. Will see if I can upload photos.

    1
  14. IRA HARBER

    heres my ’82 bivouac 5-0

    1
    • IRA HARBER

      They look great when all done up!

      1
  15. IRA HARBER

    more photos..

    1

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