Cheap Four Eyes: 1985 Ford Mustang LX 5.0

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Are you looking for a cheap sleeper? This 1985 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 here on eBay might be a good bet. Complete with the LX-style trim and four-eyed front end, it’s a fairly inconspicuous option for daily-driving a V8-powered muscle car without raising too many eyebrows. The secretary-spec teal paint rounds out the sleepy image, but the 5-speed transmission and 10-hole alloys give some clue to this car’s more sporting capabilities.

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I always liked the LX cars for the reasons described above. This particular example is said to have under 35,000 original miles and very little rust, thanks to its dry, desert location in New Mexico. Despite sitting in his buddy’s yard for many years, the seller says the Mustang fires right up and feels strong. Although those are subjective opinions, these cars are fairly safe bets for bringing back to driver-quality condition without shelling out big bucks.

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Speaking of bucks, the opening bids are dirt cheap but there is a reserve price. The interior looks to be in very presentable condition even with the southern sun beating down on it. Although the mouse-fuzz interior will never win any beauty contests, it is functional – or a good candidate for swapping in some Mustang police-spec Recaros, depending on your priorities. I’d invest in some suspension upgrades and tires before I worried about anything else, personally. The factory t-tops are an added bonus to an already uniquely equipped ‘Stang.

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The motor is impressively clean for what is otherwise a used car. This shot gives me the most confidence that this Mustang’s 5.0 has experienced the limited use its odometer reading implies. Although a swap is always a possibility, I’m sure VIN reader tools exist that can confirm whether this is a genuine LX 5.0 car, but I see no reason why the seller would lie – these aren’t worth enough to try and sell off as something it’s not. If you’re near New Mexico, this looks like a worthwhile project if the reserve is $5K or less.

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  1. Todd Zuercher

    What are the police spec Recaros for these cars? To the best of my knowledge, the SSP cars had lousy buckets too with stronger frames? The 85s were good in 85 but I immediately wanted an 86 when they came out and had SEFI even though they were down a bit on power. Finally got one 23 years later and spent a year with it. 86 Fords just weren’t built all that well so I sold it and went back to E30s.

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    • Patrick

      Right, no such thing as “police Recaro’s” for these. The SSP cars had the same style seats as the LX’s, only with reinforced frames. Perhaps a set of Saleen Recaro’s would make for a nice upgrade! 85 is a good year as it is the first of the “roller” 5.0 liter V8’s. These were rated with the 4bbl at 210h.p. As Todd mentioned 86 is vastly improved, although nearly identical looking. 86 brought fuel injection, the 8.8 rear end, true dual exhausts and a few other mechanical enhancements that stuck around for a very long time. Rated power was 200h.p. on the 86’s, with further upgrades coming in 87 that bumped it up to 225.

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  2. Marathon06

    Rust on both doors and by T-Tops, this will take some coin to get back in decent shape. It is a shame that it sat outside and simply baked in the New Mexico heat. No pics of the dash but chances are it is toast as well. Obviously, the paint is shot. The Recaros that are referred to are the GT options seats that really looked cool.

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  3. racer99

    If I remember correctly, ’85 would have been the last year for the 4 bbl carb’d 5.0 in the GTs and there was a HP drop when they went to the initial fuel injection units the next year (I think the LXs had the same engine package as the GTs in ’85). Pretty clean old car that should go for decent but not outrageous money. Carb’d 5.0 and now exempt from emissions in many states would make for easy upgrades or it should be decently fast as-is.

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  4. piper62j

    What’s all that crazy spaghetti wiring in the engine compartment.. ?? Rt quarter is stuffed at the body side molding..

    Nice car.. Good find..

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  5. Ron (Florida)

    This looks pretty rough for only having 35,000 miles, but a little bit of money would have a nice driver. I’d have to do a color change, I really don’t like the blue, but I love the 85-86 Mustangs. More great cars from my childhood, this is why I like barn finds.

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  6. Gnrdude

    134K Miles I Guarantee Just Not like a 34k Mile Car.

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  7. RoughDiamond

    That ’86 quad headlight fox body mustang 5.0 could be a bargain if the price stays low.

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  8. Oldcarsarecool

    Had an ’86 GT, same color. Mine suffered from the infamous peeling paint common on some Ford colors from that era. Great all-around car otherwise . . .

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