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ASC/McLaren Drop-Top: 1987 Ford Mustang

The Fox-body Ford Mustangs were built between 1979 and 1993, which included the limited-production  ASC/McLaren conversions during 1987-90. Only 1,806 of these special convertibles were built over four years, including this low-mileage first-year example. It has won several awards and only sees daylight at the occasional car show. Located in Old Bridge, New Jersey, the seller is toying with selling it here on craigslist at an asking price of $22,500. Thanks for another interesting tip, Pat L.!

Convertibles were absent from the Mustang portfolio during the years of the subcompact Mustang II (1974-78) and for part of the Fox-body (family platform) era of the third generation. A Detroit customizer thought the market was ripe again for a pony car drop-top and approached Ford and American Sunroof Company (ASC) about it. ASC was already working on a similar project with McLaren. At first, the idea was to create the car as a Mercury Capri (Mustang derivative), but that car was dropped in 1986, leaving the Mustang as the sole target going forward.

Ford shipped fixed-top LX coupes to ASC/McLaren to do their magic. They cut off the roofs and installed custom interiors, special body moldings, front air dams, rear spoilers, special wheels, and unique graphics. However, no adjustments were made to the engines, which were stock Mustang fare (302 cubic inch V8s). The converted cars were not cheap, topping $20,000, and – coupled with a weak economy at the time – led to the end of the project in 1990.

The seller here has an ’87 edition that is said to be one of 467 built that year and only 1 of 67 painted white with a blue leather interior, so this is a rare car. Given that the odometer reading is said to be a scant 8,000, the seller and anyone else who has owned the car must have decided this was a collectible to be used sparingly. The mileage is said to have been verified by Carfax. It looks to be in beautiful condition with no apparent issues with the body, paint, or interior. It drives well and everything including the tires is original except for the exhaust and the battery.

In the past two years, this Ford has only seen 200 miles of use and comes with a stack of awards for when it has been shown. It’s a turnkey automobile (in the seller’s words), although I wouldn’t drive it far with 35-year-old rubber that meets the road. It has a 4-speed automatic transmission, although a 5-speed manual was standard. If you’ve been looking for a Mustang convertible from this vintage, what premium would you pay for an ASC/McLaren edition with low miles?

Comments

  1. Big C

    A rare beauty, but points are deducted for the slushbox tranny.

    Like 5
  2. Tom71Mustangs Member

    Nice write up, Russ. Convertibles were absent from the Mustang line-up for 9 yrs (’74-’82), kinda explains why so many ’73 ‘verts were sold when Ford announced (in ’73) “no more Mustang convertibles”, which was “kinda” true, at least for 9 model years. I always liked the McLaren cars but they never seemed to take off from a collector’s standpoint, not sure why. I’d certainly take this one over a “standard” Mustang GT Convertible every day… except for the lack of a back seat to be able to put my little ones back there for a ride. The blue leather interior is a beauty, much better than the “porno-red” interior that was so prevalent in the Mustangs back then (I owned two 5.0 LX’s with that red cloth interior, it kinda wore me out on them). Although the lack of a manual tranny does generally detract from the desirability of a V-8 Mustang, I’m not sure that it hurts “luxury convertibles” like this one much. Maybe.

    Like 2
  3. Bob McK Member

    Only 200 miles… amazing.. However, knowing that it will require tons of work to replace all of the parts that fail from lack of use. I just finished a car that had only sat for 13 years. It cost me around 10K to “fix” everything. Hopefully this one will cost less unless the new owner just wants it as a trailer queen. That is a perfect use for this beauty.

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