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Hot Rodded Survivor: 1985 Ford Mustang Notchback

There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of heavily modified Fox-body Mustangs, but those that are clean and low-mileage are few and far between. Even with a few simple but tasteful modifications, this 1985 Ford Mustang LX notchback still embraces its clean and low-mileage existence, albeit with a fresh engine. This one was sent in by a Barn Finds reader who found it here on eBay in Cleves, Ohio. With 31 bids tendered the current high bid is $17,900, but the reserve has not been met.

With a base price of $6,989, the hardtop was the cheapest way to get into a brand new Mustang in 1985. It was a popular choice in 1985 as 56,781 Mustang hardtops rolled off the assembly line. It being lighter and more rigid than its hatchback and convertible counterparts have made it a popular choice for those looking to race their Mustangs.

I’m well aware that this Mustang body style isn’t for everyone. However, it’s my favorite. The 4-eye took a while to grow on me, but seeing one tastefully modified like this makes me want to submit a bid. The exterior looks solid and clean. The Weld Racing wheels are a nice touch — and the only hint that this may not be a base 4-cylinder car — but I’m partial to something that looks a little less drag race-y. The only detail on the exterior the seller offers is that this Mustang is wearing original paint.

The simple blue interior looks very well cared for. I’d like to emphasize my simple descriptor there. The cloth/vinyl seats are in great shape, the carpet looks clean and shows little wear, and the builder has practiced great restraint from modifying by keeping almost everything original inside — even the radio appears original. Again, the only evidence this Mustang may be hiding something special under the hood is that short-throw Pro-5.0 shifter.

Even though the “all original” claim had to be surrendered thanks to the work under the hood, I think it was worth it. The seller has installed a carbureted 306 cubic-inch V8 with an extensive list of modifications. Power is sent to the 4.30 rear end by a “built” T-5 transmission. The seller says this Mustang runs great and has no issues. I’d be interested to see the video the seller mentions in the ad, if only to hear that 306 breathe through those BBK long tube headers and 3″ exhaust.

There’s a variety of Mustang tastes and, thankfully, a variety of Mustangs to fill those tastes. Aside from the wheel choice, this perfectly matches mine. Do you like this understated look, prefer all original, or would you go all-out and heavily modify?


  1. Dusty Stalz

    Different engine and tranny than the car was born with, aftermarket brakes and wheels but yeah Barnfinds let’s call it a survivor.

    Like 7
  2. Miguel

    So they took a 4 cylinder Mustang and put a V8 in it and now it is worth 20K?

    I am going to grab all the Mexican mustangs that had V8s from the factory and send them north. They have to be worth much more than a cobbled together 4 cylinder.

    Like 13
    • Jaydawg7 Jaydawg7

      Obviously by the bids we can tell there’s plenty of enthusiasts. I’m going to follow it to see just how high it goes.

      Like 2
      • Miguel

        It is getting harder and harder to find the 4 eyed cars so maybe that is why the bids are up.

        Like 2
  3. Steve R

    Whoever modified this car they did a great job, it’s well thought out and executed. The VIN indicates the car originally cam equipped with a 4 cylinder, which means it would have had zero interest among enthusiasts. The modifications breathed life into what would otherwise be boring car destined to be forgotten over time. At least now, in it’s current configuration it will be enjoyable to drive.

    Steve R

    Like 13
  4. Stangalang

    Mmmm..yeah…nice but I personally would weld all those holes under the hood and smooth it out. Little details matter but that’s just me

    Like 3
    • Terry K

      Yea- That popped out at me too. Looks like its been hit with tommy gun.

      Like 1
  5. Winfield S Wilson

    I guess the other 49 states are different, but in California, any modifications under the hood means the car fails smog certification. You could race it, or drive it around your estate that’s it. Cute car, though.

    Like 0
    • MarveH

      I live in an area with no emissions testing so no worries. It also opens up the opportunity to pick up clean cars from California that can’t pass emissions. So keep those regulation coming Cali!

      Like 2

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