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Green Pace Car? 1979 Ford Mustang

The Mustang was popular enough to serve as the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 on three occasions. One of those times was in 1979 and nearly 10,000 replicas were produced by Ford that year to commemorate the occasion. This “Stang is said to be one of those cars, but it has led a battered life and no longer runs. It’s traded hands a few times and is located in Spicer, Minnesota and available here on Facebook Marketplace for $1,000, making it one of the cheapest finds we’ve seen lately.

Most pace car replicas are built in relatively small quantities as a tie-in to the race they’re pacing. Not so with the ’79 Mustang, who Ford built thousands of for John Q. Public. The cars that were sent to the track had a specially tuned 5.0-liter engine with a Holley carburetor, aluminum high-rise intake and 351 Windsor heads. However, the replicas came with standard Ford fare, either a stock V-8 or a turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder. The V-8 was good for 140 hp while the 4-banger was close at 131.

To match the look of the track car, the replica’s exterior featured a two-tone black and silver paint job along with extensive decals on the hood and sides. They also had a rear spoiler and a set of fog lights. Inside the car, the replica had several upgrades from the stock car as Recaro bucket seats came standard. Each was delivered with an official “Pace Car” card on the dash.

The seller of this ’79 Mustang got it in a trade from someone who had purchased it from a long-time owner’s estate after said person died. He refers to it as a barn find because it sat unused for years and probably outdoors given the photos provided. The mileage is not known, but what is known is the turbocharged I-4 that this one came with does not run. With no indication of what it would take to remedy that. The body is dented and banged up, traces of rust are here and there, and the paint is pretty tired. The interior isn’t much to look at either. The low asking price is likely attributed to there being no title to consummate the sale.

This vintage of Mustang is pretty cheap to acquire and it doesn’t look as though the Indy association makes any difference. Fair condition is $2,700 according to Hagerty, so the seller’s asking price is a bit of a fire sale on a car that it will take more to fix than it could be resold for later (Excellent tops out at $9,000). The last photo here is what it may have looked like new.


  1. RayT Member

    This looks like a Pace Car for the 24 Hours of Lemons.

    Like 11
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I have a 1979 which I bought new, so I know these cars fairly well. This is a very sad car. Certain pieces (e.g. interior and exterior trim) can be worth finding, but on this car I doubt many of these pieces are in good condition either. Unfortunately this car has very little value, even as a parts car.

    Like 5
  3. Bakyrdhero Bakyrdhero Member

    Ridden hard and put away wet, and moldy, and crusty. It’s still in better shape than the blue Mustang II that also on Barn Finds right now.

    Like 3
  4. Steve R

    Moss covered passenger front seat and missing title equals a parts car.

    Steve R

    Like 3
  5. Jim

    You sure that’s green paint? Could just be mold!

    Like 2
  6. Steve Clinton

    “Sir, that’s not a rare tropical disease on your bottom, it’s moss!” said the doctor.

    Like 2
  7. djjerme

    The Recaro’s are worth that price. Pick it up and part it out..

    Like 3
  8. Mike Hawke

    Someone beat the crap out this four-eyed Fox.

    Like 1
  9. BrookfieldChris

    its amazing the Mustang survived. First car I drove was a ’77 Ghia notchback complete with the padded vinyl quarter roof, then drove a ’79 a little. Yeah, the cars ran, but what an awkward era for it.

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