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Cheap 1973 Ford Mustang Project

It’s almost an unwritten law that any complete 1st Generation Mustang project car will be pushing up towards a 5-figure asking price. There are very few exceptions to that rule, but this 1973 Mustang Hardtop is one of those rare exceptions. There’s no denying that it will need some work if it is to be returned to its former glory. However, the $2,000 asking price might make a few of you sit up and take notice. Located in Jamesburg, New Jersey, you will find the Mustang listed for sale here on Facebook.

The Mustang is finished in Medium Blue, and it is showing its age. Judging by the state of the exterior, I believe that it has been sitting exposed to the elements for quite a while. There is rust visible in the lower front fenders and possibly some in the lower rear quarter panels. For me, the biggest concern is that it looks like there might be rust present above the windshield and in the A-Pillar on the driver’s side. If there is, then that would probably sound the death knell for this car. The A-Pillar is structural, and if it needs to be repaired, then the work will need to be performed to the highest standard. Suddenly finding yourself shiny-side-down is not the moment that you want to discover that the repairs are second-rate. The rest of the body might pack a bit of a surprise. I will admit that the photos aren’t great, but I can’t spot anything in the rockers, the lower corners of the doors, or around the rear windows. There is surface corrosion present on the tail-light panel and other areas, but penetrating rust seems to be surprisingly minimal across the rest of the car. It is worth remembering that we know nothing about the floors, frame rails, or the trunk pan. This Mustang may be a bit like an iceberg, where the majority of the trouble is lurking below the surface.

We don’t receive any engine or interior photos, but we know that the Mustang is equipped with a 302ci V8 and an automatic transmission. That combination would have delivered 135hp and enabled the Mustang to romp through the ¼ mile in 18 seconds. The engine and transmission condition is unknown, but it may be possible to coax it back to life if the engine turns freely. Those old Ford V8s are nothing if not robust. We also know nothing about the interior, but at least parts are easy and cheap to find if it requires restoration.

This 1973 Mustang is an unknown quantity, but it is one of the cheapest complete examples that we have seen here at Barn Finds in recent times. That alone makes it worth a look. If there is rust in the A-Pillar, then it has probably deteriorated beyond repair. If that area is sound, then it is possible that it could be one of the surprise packets of 2020. Is anyone willing to check this one out further?


  1. Mark P

    So it’s really not for sale, if it was that wouldn’t have been the ad for it.

  2. Steve R

    Project “first generation“ Mustang coupes in this condition aren’t approaching $10,000, especially the 71-73 models. The asking price, $2,000, might be high based on the information in the ad. For $10,000 someone should be able to find a decent though slightly rough around the edges driver if they are patient and willing to put in the work.

    Steve R

    Like 4
  3. Russell Casey

    I thought gen 1 mustangs were 64-66 MY
    Second-gen 67-68
    Third-gen 69-70
    Fourth-gen 71-73
    Am i mistaken?

    Like 10
    • Steve Lamb

      Up to 73 is classified as 1st gen

      Like 1
  4. Desert Rat

    I think all Mustangs 64 1/2 to 73 are first gens. Mustang ll starting in 74 are
    second gens.

    Like 1
    • Bob C.

      I believe you are right. I still think it’s crazy though. This looks so much different than the first year.

      Like 3
  5. James Schwartz

    Unfortunately, because it’s a ’73 model (and not a fastback or a 351 CJ model), it’s just not worth anywhere near the price of restoration. Sure, someone will buy it, and then realize how many thousands of dollars (and hours) it’s going to take to restore it, and then they’ll sell it a few years down the road.
    You’d be far better off buying one that is restored or a nice original, something you could find for less than half the cost of what the restoration of this one would be. Unless the buyer just wants that “labor of love” thing.

    Like 2
    • Alan Carpenter

      I’ve got a yardfull of “dreams” that prove this very point. And while they sit there waiting for the love, another point is being proved- rust never sleeps.

      Like 7
  6. Jackie Hollingsworth

    I wouldn’t waste my time on this junker.Looks like a parts car to me.

    Like 1
  7. Joe Backer

    The plus side. No bow in the hood. Though give it some time, it will happen.

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