Clean Barn Find: 1988 Ford Mustang GT

This 1988 Ford Mustang GT is described as a barn find by the seller, but it certainly looks better than most cars we see dragged out into the daylight for the first time in decades. It’s a desirable manual transmission example and wears some period modifications, like the BBS-style wheels on Cooper Cobra tires and Flowmaster exhausts. The Fox body hatch comes with the preferred manual transmission and the “Medium Scarlet” paint and Scarlet cloth interior are both in better-than-expected condition. You can find it listed here on eBay with no reserve and bidding at $6,700.

The Mustang looks great in photos, and I dig the cross-lace wheels on here. For a wheel design that normally looks much more at home on a European sports sedan, it’s a bit surprising to see them work this well on an 80s muscle car. The bodywork looks tidy up and down the sides, and it’s great to see the hatch struts still work. The seller notes the mileage as being 118,000, and the car certainly presents like it has a far lower number on the odometer. Despite looking good in photos, the seller still claims it will need a paint job. There is certainly some clear-coat fade, but I wouldn’t panic about a respray in the short term.

The interior really looks spectacular considering the long-term storage and recorded mileage. The seats don’t show any of the typical wear-and-tear you’d associate with a used car, and whatever the storage arrangement was didn’t result in any rodents taking up residence in the seat cloth. The dash doesn’t appear to have any cracks, and the carpeted areas in the cabin and trunk compartment are all in very clean condition. Worst thing I see is some wear on the clutch pedal pad, but that’s an extremely minor nit to pick. Perhaps the best detail in the listing is the seller noting there was still a “….Conway Twitty cassette in the deck.”

The engine bay could do with a cleaning, but that’s a few hours on a Saturday afternoon and it’s done. The seller has performed the basic first-time startup tasks, from cleaning out the fuel system to replacing the fuel pump and injectors. Once that work was done, the Mustang is said to have run quite well, but the seller still cautions that you will need to find time to do all the other basic R&R a barn find needs, like replacing rubber components that have perished and changing out the belts and tires. Still, this is a nice find with some tasteful period modifications that will transform you back to 1988 the second it lands in your driveway.

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  1. Jaydawg7 Member

    Good to see the “cheese-grater” taillights intact, but much prefer the turbine wheels. Hope they’re included. May have to bid on this one.

    Like 1
  2. jwzg

    Don’t see the VIN stickers on the front fenders, which tells me its likely a repaint. Also I don’t know if the hatch was completely closed in one of the pictures, but it appeared not to be properly aligned on the passenger side. Also there was some rust underneath the hatch as well. The interior is certainly in good shape and may warrant the $6700 asking price, but I would want to look at this a little bit closer before bidding that much.

    Like 1
  3. Troy s

    It’s a speed density car, no mass air meter, which caught me off guard being for from California they already had mass air. Like the Flowmasters with dumps which makes some noise for sure. Damage on the front clip, I dont know, it’s not the more desirable LX. Those wheels actually look on the GT trim, not so much if it was an LX.

    Like 1

    Not the more desirable LX? Are you kidding? The GT only weighed 80 lbs more and sold three times as many as the LX. The two were exactly the same mechanically.

    The bumper covers, side skirts, fog lights and louvered tail lights make all the difference in looks. That’s what it was all about. The GT looked and still does mean business. I certainly didn’t want to look like I cheaped out rolling in a chick car that resembled a 4 cyl plain Jane.

    The wheels look to be BBS (I can’t see the center cap) if so a plus but most likely a knock off.

    Like 4
    • Troy s

      Ha ha, good one AMCFan, never knew an AMC dude to stick up for a Ford product. Now,
      All those tacky body trims give it chick magnet status, no doubt, it’s as close as Ford could get to the Trans Am or Camaro in a” look at me “contest. Almost like it was designed by ……GM? Of course not.
      The 5.0 LX was the real favorite amongst enthusiasts, at least then, to the point where many got abused, rebuilt, abused some more into oblivion. They are both neat cars, but I just remember the 5.0 LX being the real favorite, at least amongst Ford nuts. Weight loss was one of the free power tricks, why not start light? Later..

      Like 2
      • AMCFAN

        Troy, So you are saying the real enthusiasts like a LX better? Hmmm. Wonder where they were when they were making them? The production numbers don’t lie.

        Because my handle says AMC doesn’t mean I go through life with blinders on only looking and driving AMC’s. I have had to move on since they quit making them. I have had just about everything at one time or another since. So I usually chime in. Never a brand loyalist liked to try everything once. Still nothing beats an AMX that pulls the front wheels.

        Bought a new GT Rag top back in the day and was impressed enough to have had 4 Fox body hatches since. They would run right out of the box. Did all the typical mods one did. When the GT rolled up everyone in their Camaros and Monte Carlo’s etc knew. No guess work. I will always take the extra 80 lbs. I like my Fog lights and body kit.

        Used to be a saying on the street in the 90’s and went like this: Why do the guys in their GT’s always squeal their tires? Because they can. No different today. Fun times.

        Like 2
      • Troy s

        Yeah, the 5.0 was a great engine. My ’86 GT was mostly stock but could pull hard. That 5 speed transmission was a blast, they really were fun times.

  5. Steve

    “and it’s great to see the hatch struts still work”
    It’s being held up by vise-grips…..LOL!!!!

    Like 5
  6. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $6,900.

    Like 1
  7. irocrobb

    I had both a GT and a LX from this era. Both 5 speed 5l cars.The LX was my favorite. No noisy,crude looking cladding. Mine was the hatch model with the 5 star pony wheels. It was a stock low mileage car and it would take the GT in the neighboring town. Sold it in 1992 and driving Irocs ever since

    Like 1
  8. JoeNYWF64

    No rips or fading in seats with that mileage?! – how is that possible?
    Looks like the cat converter was removed some time ago.
    Bound to be loud as hell with shortened exhaust system.
    Wonder if a CHIP could/would pull over an out of state ’88 like this with those pipes. lol

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