California Dreaming? 1973 Ford Mustang Coupe

73 Mustang Front 3

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We’ve seen quite a few rust bucket Mustangs on Barn Finds lately. While the 1973 iteration of the iconic pony car is way less popular and desirable for many, this version for sale here on craigslist in Los Angeles, California might be a desirable target simply for its overall cleanliness and semi-original condition.

73 Mustang rear 3

The seller provides a lengthy and detailed description of the car. It’s equipped with the 135 hp 302 V8 and C4 automatic transmission, so it’s no barn burner, but it is claimed to be a “barn find survivor.” According to the seller, it’s got original paint (Bright Green Gold – is that the factory name for this color?) and a new original style interior.

73 Mustang front

The seller says the emission sticker is still on the side window and he found the original build sheet of the car (not pictured though.)

73 Mustang trunk detail

The original California Blue Plate is included in the sale and the Mustang has a clear title. The mileage claimed is 59,489, which certainly could be real.

73 Mustang interior

In addition, the seller has done quite a bit of work on the car to get it ready for its new owner. Perhaps this is a flipper making a buck on the car, but the asking price at $7,750 is right on the average value for this car, at least according to Hagerty, and for what appears to be a rust-free California original car, maybe not a bad price.

73 Mustang trunk view

Here’s the list of work done by the seller (with a few comments): interior (headliner, carpet, seat covers, dash cover), new rear window gasket, new steering wheel (can a Mustang expert say if it is original style?), new turn signal and horn contact wiring harness, all electric reworked, all lights work, new heater core and blower motor, new water pump and thermostat, new coolant hoses and radiator flushing, rebuilt C4 Transmission with clutches and bushings and all seals (master kit), new torque converter, new rear shocks, new trunk paint after cleanup (wish we could see what was there originally), tune up and all new fluids

73 Mustang under front

Also, new front cross member and alignment (why would it need a new cross member? That is a concern, isn’t it?)

T73 Mustang engie

By 1973, Mustangs had gotten bigger and longer, and with the early emissions plumbing that choked their performance, at least for me, they are a lot less desirable than the earlier model years. But this looks like a fun cruiser you could happily drive daily in good weather at a fairly reasonable price.

73 Mustang front sid

I am guessing it will sell fairly quickly. What do you think of this Mustang?

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  1. jim s

    it looked like a nice car at a good price, even with the automatic, until i saw the new front crossmember. that would need a very good PI, with alignment check, as to much can go wrong. also need photos of car with old crossmember in place. interesting find.

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  2. Rob

    No, that is not a Ford factory steering wheel, likely a cheap Grant unit.
    There has been some body work done to the passenger side rocker area, look at that door at the rear and behind the front wheel….shady.
    With that replacement crossmember and body damage, I wonder if this car was ditched/crashed.
    As for “value goes up every day” as the seller claims… maybe a fastback that’s 3 years older…. not the coupes, especially ’71-’73.
    I see a $4000 car, tops…

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  3. MountainMan

    I once saw a Mach one that was a solid car with the exception of the front crossmember. The crossmember had rusted to the point that the bushing was loose on the passenger side in the crossmember. The car wasnt rusty , it was actually just about as clean as this one so I cant imagine what caused just severe and localized corrosion. This one is nice, I am normally not a big Mustang fan but I wouldnt mind this car at all. The price seems fair as well. I think the color works really well on this larger Stang …somebody will likely end up with a straight and clean budget Mustang with this one. As Jim said, a careful inspection would be needed and hopefully the seller can provide a reasonable explaination for the replaced crossmember

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  4. ydnar

    Price is much too high, IMHO. I’d rather have a ’74 than this ’73, and you guys should know how much I hate the mustang II.

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  5. Cassidy

    Maybe it was pulled off the road because of the accident that required a new front crossmember. That looks like a very stout piece of metal, so I too am wondering why it was replaced. Mountain Man has an interesting bit of information about the crossmember, but its still a mystery why it was replaced. Rob, with his eagle eyes has spotted iffy repair work, so this wild bronc will need a PI.
    While I think this color might be the worst color ever, I’d rather drive this coupe than a fastback from ’73 since its nearly impossible to see out a fastback’s rear window

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  6. Blindmarc

    In the late 60’s, the color was called “lime gold”. Not sure if it was changed.

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  7. ydnar

    Dave said –

    “I sold this car to the guy selling it. Not a bad price for what it is.”

    So what it is?;>) What’s the story on the cross member?

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  8. First Born

    My buddy bought this from a flipper on Craigslist almost a year ago. He did some interior work and painted over some rust and eventually sold it for some needed cash. He took a loss at $3k. Hardy a barn find as the craigslist ad says, but probably a good buy for a lower price. Been passed around quite a bit.

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  9. Tirefriar

    Back in the late ’80’s I had a ’71(or’72) with a 302 engine and auto. It was rather lethargic, as I do recall not being too fond of the car in terms of acceleration. It also had a nasty habit of fish tailing under anything but leisure braking whenever it rained. The center console was a deal breaker at the drive-in… Oh yeah, this one is overpriced by a factor of 2

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  10. piper62j

    The front x-member is completely welded in, not a bolt in.. Based on the appearance of the rear undercarriage, I believe this car was pretty well rotted out and has had some work done to it.. I looked at it and had it on my watch list until realizing all the work that has been done..
    I agree with all of you.. Not worth the asking price and IMHO only worth around $2500 to $3000.

    I’ve had and restored several of the 71-73 Mustangs and enjoy them all..

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  11. Gary I

    Some questionable repairs would need to be looked at to make sure the frame is ok. I had a weld break on my 2001Dodge Ram when the truck was six years old. Took it to the dealership to complain and get it fixed and was told in their opinion the truck was totaled. I threw a fit took and it elsewhere and they would not touch it as far as attempting a repair for liability reasons. I welded it myself and added in some angle iron over the crack for extra reinforcement and it’s still on the road today with no problems. Shops can be hard to deal with on these kind of repairs! Also I think this is an attractive year for Mustangs so the price is high.

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  12. piper62j

    Just bought another 73 Mustang today and will have it shipped to my place.. Had it pre-purchase inspected and it passed with flying colors.. no abnormal body damage at all, no rot, (fastback), all original with a 302 auto with a/c and a few toys.. $5k, plus shipping..

    There are better 71 – 73 Mustangs out there, so I strongly recommend an inspection either by yourself, or one of the inspection companies. This can be a fun hobby if you have a good knowledge of what to do.. It’s easy to be taken over the coals these days..

    As I mentioned before, these 71 – 73 Mustangs are my favorite and I’ve had quite a few.. Lots of fun, especially looking out over that massively long hood.. Kind of reminds me of the P51 Mustang from the cockpit out.. LOL

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  13. Keith

    Having had around 30 Mustangs (65-73s) I can say the following….
    A 73 coupe is the least desirable of all the 65-73s, and a 73 equipped with a 302 was really the bottom feeder of the whole group. Horsepower was way down, all the EPA junk under the hood strangled what power the 302 had left in it. It doesn’t appear to have any power options (No AC either), odd that “the whole electrical” had to be re-worked….whatever that actually means. This was really a bare bones car from the factory. That whole crossmember thing is a red flag.
    I do really like the 71-73 fastbacks and ‘verts, but the coupes… Hard to sell and cheap to buy. For $7750 you could get a much more desirable model (though not likely in the same condition of course). Just my $0.02.

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    • Lawrence Ragans

      You said a “1973 equipped with a 302 was really the bottom feeder of the whole group.” What about ones equipped with the 6 cylinder? I had a 1973 Mustang coupe equipped with the 250 cubic inch inline 6 cylinder and a 3-speed manual transmission. No power steering, no power brakes, no power anything. No Air Conditioning. When the Air Force stationed me in Washington State, I discovered to my dismay, that a man on a 10-speed bicycle could pass me with ease if I was climbing a steep hill on the streets of Tacoma!

      Like 1

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