22k Genuine Miles: 1979 Ford Mustang Pace Car

With 10,478 cars built, the 1979 Mustang Pace Car is not rare by any stretch of the imagination. What makes them interesting is that with the combinations of two different engines, each with a choice of two transmissions, cars equipped with the V8 engine and manual transmission accounted for only 2,402 cars. This particular Mustang is one of those 2,402 and is located in Saint Petersburg, Florida. You will find the Mustang listed for sale here on eBay, and with bidding sitting at $9,500 and the reserve having been met, this is a car that is set to head off to a new home.

The presentation of the Mustang is extremely good, but it isn’t perfect. There are a couple of small marks on the Pewter Polly and Black paint, but none of them are major. This isn’t a bad achievement for original paint that is 40-years-old. The owner says that there is no rust anywhere on the car, while it’s nice to see that items such as the original fog light covers are still present. Those are one feature that seemed to have a tendency to grow legs and disappear from these cars.

As I said before, there were only 2,402 Pace Cars built equipped with the 302ci V8 and 4-speed manual transmission. The engine is no fire-ball but still produces 140hp. Where the V8 engine had a major advantage over its turbocharged sibling was in the area of engine torque. The V8 was just a far more tractable engine than the turbo four, making the car a bit easier to drive, especially in low-speed or stop/start traffic situations. The transmission is a 4-speed manual, while the car is also fitted with power steering and power brakes. The owner says that the Mustang has a mere 22,400 miles under its belt, and that is now only used exclusively for cruise nights and has been safely stored when not in use. He says that the car starts, runs, and drives well and that the transmission shifts smoothly. This is a very original car, right down to the date-coded hoses. One item that can be a sticking point with some people is the use of TRX wheels and tires. Sourcing replacement tires for these can be a bit of a nightmare, but thankfully, this Mustang has been recently fitted with a new set of tires.

The interior of the Mustang is very clean and original, and it is pretty hard to fault. There may be some wear on the wheel rim, but the rest of it looks good. One area of the interior that is prone to wear and deterioration is that distinctive upholstery on the heavily bolstered Recaro front seats. These were prone to wear on the edge of the outer bolsters, and for the white and black patterned center sections either discoloring badly or becoming brittle and torn over time. The seats in this car look like they are in good condition, while the originality of the car extends right down to the factory radio/cassette player still holding pride of place in the dash. The only fault that the owner identifies is a slightly finicky tachometer, but this may be able to be fixed.

There is no doubting the extreme levels of popularity that the 1st Generation Mustang has experienced from the day that the public first saw the car. The Mustang II failed to emulate this, and it still has a limited appeal today. The Fox body Mustang was seen by many as a major step forward for the badge, and while they will never reach the popularity of those early cars, they do have a strong following. There are still plenty of Mustang Pace Cars kicking around out there, but many of them are beginning to look quite tired. This one looks like it is a pretty good one, and it also looks like a car that will provide plenty of years of enjoyment for its next owner.


  1. Jason

    The custodian at my elementary school drove one of these in the early 80s. It was his pride and joy.

    Like 5
    • Jett

      They must’ve paid janitors pretty well!

      Like 2
  2. poseur Member

    what a beautiful car!
    amazing job keeping it in this lovely condition & also enjoying it by racking up some miles along the way.

    Like 3
  3. irocrobb

    I thought they were real funky when they were new ,but have grown to really like them. A V8 and a manual trans says it all. Can not think of the last time I saw one.

  4. Mike

    The TRX tires USED to be hard to find. Now they’re being repopped. They’re pricey, but, if ya gotta have em…

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