Don’t Hack it Up: 8,772 Mile Ford Mustang Ghia

Oh, this listing makes me angry. Not because of any issue with the car, as I  actually like these early Ghia-edition Mustangs quite a bit. Utilized to take advantage of Dearborn’s connections to the creator of the original Pantera, Ford developed the Ghia trim line with the Mustang II. This Fox Body variant seen here on craigslist is an impressive, low-mileage survivor – that the seller suggests would make a great drag car or V8 conversion! For the love of everything holy, with less than 10,000 original miles, I hope this Ghia survives intact.

Listen: I am not such a purist that I can’t get behind the idea of swapping in a more powerful motor into a car that hails from an era when speed wasn’t exactly a factor in automaker’s engineering departments. But when you take a car of which they have made millions and suggest that a special-edition example of which there aren’t many left and has only 8,772 miles and proceed to suggest it be cut up and converted to a drag car – well, I get a bit animated. I’ll wave my purist card now and say that whether you love it or hate it, this Ghia Mustang needs to be preserved.

The Ghia was all about a more luxurious driving experience, with special carpeting, sound deadening, door panels and more to give Mustang shoppers an elevated driving experience. This one makes do with the four-cylinder engine, though a V6 was available. As you’d expect with such low mileage, the seating surfaces, dash pad, wood trim and door panels are all in mint condition. It’s nice to see the standard sport wheel as well, which would have been deleted if the original owners opted for cruise control. This Ghia also has a sunroof, but no word if it has the optional air conditioning as well.

The seller is asking a heady $7,000 for the Ghia, but will also entertain trades plus cash. I know some of you will see this specimen as an undesirable example of the Mustang Fox Body family, but bear with me: how many are this close to new, and have resided in a climate-controlled setting? There are plenty of beaters out there to build into the ultimate drag car or corner carver. From its inception, this Ghia was meant to make the Mustang more than a one-trick pony (pardon the pun) and preserving the few that are left is more important than building yet another muscled-up Fox Body. Anyone with me?


  1. grant

    This is cool. Reminds me of the Capri I had. The climate controls aren’t very clear in the pictures but it does look like it has the ac setting.

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  2. Benjamin

    Too clean to cut up. This car needs a custodian, not a conversion.

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  3. Adam T45 Staff

    Ok, so maybe it’s not the most desirable Mustang ever made, but it is in amazing condition. It deserves to be saved.

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  4. flmikey

    …I think the seller was only saying that just to generate interest in the car…and you gotta give the seller credit for not turning it into a drag car and keeping it nice and original…nice find….and I think worth the price…

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  5. wayne lyon

    Misaligned odometer numbers usually mean a rollback.

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    • TBall

      Wayne – Or, it could mean photo was taken very shortly after surpassing 8,699 miles… Just saying that based on age and appearance (undercarriage, interior, paint), not to mention being an Ohio car, not seeing this as having over 100k on the dial or having been rolled back. Nice example, should remain 100% Ghia – as mentioned, too many beaters out there to swap into racer.

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    • Mike R

      They all did this. I have had many 79-82 Capri’s and Mustangs, and each one had misaligned numbers. It is just the way those lousy odometers were on these.

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  6. Dovi65

    Dragster? V8 swap?? GEEZ, what’s wrong with leaving it as Henry built it??

    The very first new car my MIL bought was a 80 Mustang like this. Hers was a base coupe, nothing fancy. She gave up a long serving mid 60s Dodge sedan [talk about a step up!] Within a month, my future Mrs, borrowed the car, and took out a few fence posts with it. That Mustang served her for at least 10 years before giving up

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  7. Tim

    I didn’t see any Ghia badges.

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      The last picture shows the ghia emblem on the door panel.

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  8. Derek F

    I can hear the Bee Gees singing in the background.

    I love time warps, this would be a hit at any car show- talk about judging for originality.

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  9. Barzini

    In the real estate world, they tear down perfectly good houses to build much grander ones. People have the right to do whatever they want once the become the new owner of a car or a house but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.

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  10. irocrob

    Just leave it stock and drive it nice days. I think the price is good for condition. The 08 at the start of odometer line up so I think mileage is right.

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  11. ROTAG999

    Ghia Fugly

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  12. Scott Tait

    Seller is obviously a complete tool doesnt have a clue

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  13. Ralph Robichaud

    Wonder why a special license plate?

    Also the underside of floor pan has something odd about it.

    But a very attractive car nonetheless, buy it, drive it, it ‘ll never be valuable enough to cosset it in cotton balls in a climate controlled toomb.

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  14. gregg

    what other ‘new’ car can you get for 8 grand? Sounds like a deal to me?

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  15. KevinR

    My ’80 Capri didn’t have cruise, but I think the control stalk is the one on the left behind the turn signal stalk. Also, my Capri (base, straight six, auto) had a center console, but this upscale Ghia does not? The Ghia versions had external badges which appear to be missing as well.

    Something is odd…

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    • Paul Hudson

      I drove a new 1980 Black on Black Coupe like this one in HS. It belonged to my older brother it was the 4 CYL 4 Speed. I could chirp the rear wheels with this setup. The 1980 moved the door handle higher up on the door. The closer stalk was actually the horn. This does not have cruise control. It was a very nice looking car. I learned to drive a stick on this car. My dad had to teach both my brother and I how to drive a stick. What a humbling experience. I later had a 1989 Hatch with the 4 CYL 5 SPEED. Loved that car too.

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      • KevinR

        On my ’80 Capri, the turn signal and the horn were the same stalk. Push in towards steering column for the horn. Mine didn’t have the second stalk closer to the dash.

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      • FoxbodyForever

        The second stalk was the windshield wiper control. A staple until the 1987 Foxbody facelift.

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  16. '59Fordfan

    My Mom bought an ’80 notchback, new(console,also-base, straight six, auto). I highway drove it, to work, four nights a week and, it never, was anything but a pleasurable experience…loved it-even without cruise-control.

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  17. JRATT1956

    I bought one for $5,900 brand new in 1979. I should of bought the 4 cyl turbo, because the 4cyl was gutless. No way this car is worth anything close to $7,000.
    There are just to many much better cars out there for $7,000.

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    • Ralph Robichaud

      Define better.

      And then find one & post!

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      • JRATT1956

        I see them here all the time on BF. Better in that the $7,000 is the starting price for many 50’s 60’s and 70’s cars that will gain vale as an investment. I do no see value in a 1979 Mustang, having owned one when new.

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    • Mike H. Mike H

      I owned a 1980 turbo GT and it was seriously a gutless turd. Turbo technology has come a long way since 1980; even a few years later Ford had made drastic improvements: my 1983-1/2 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe was heavier but significantly more powerful.

      You were likely better off in 1979 having the standard 2.3L. This is only my personal opinion.

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      • Keith

        Hey Mike not that I have experience with it but I’ve heard that turbo was a nightmare. The 2.3L, from what I understand, was a much better engine.

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      • Mike H. Mike H

        Correct. It was a nightmare, and I eventually removed the turbo motor and sourced a 2.3L from a 1977 Pinto. Some exhaust modifications were required (and the catalytic converter may have gotten misplaced in the process), but in the end the car was a whole lot better to drive.

        By the way, 53,000 miles on the 1980 Mustang when I did the motor swap. Approximately.

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  18. milotus

    Why can’t people fill in ALL of the blanks on the
    right side of the screen,in craigslist ads?I’ve been looking
    in craigslists for a pre-’97 Dodge Dakota pickup,& many times
    they leave out information on 4WD (or RWD?),which engine,
    transmission,& mileage.
    Plus,they can’t go to the trouble to post which
    city/town they’re in.

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  19. z28th1s

    Nice looking well preserved car! I think it is worth the asking price. I do think it is missing the Ghia emblem that should be on the trunk lid.

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  20. Ralph Robichaud

    Agree regarding exterior Ghia badge on trunk.

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  21. Alan M

    I got a 81 4cyl for $500 with the original engine and everything else. 4 speed and everything. Getting repainted and thats it. Rare find

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  22. Skip

    Oh…I’d love to have this one! I bought a ’74 Mustang Ghia back in the mid-80s. I loved the car, but it had a weak engine, so I ended up returning it to the seller. Other than that, I loved the car and wish I could’ve kept it; but on what I made working at a small paint/hdw. store back then, I just couldn’t afford to pay for the car and effect necessary repairs, too.

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  23. Marathon06

    Not sure this is even for sale. Craigslist ad is flaky. No answer at number, says no voice mail set up, no response to email or text. Waste of time.

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  24. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Even more sacrilegious:
    I spoke to the owner of a hi-end restoration shop and he told me the story of a kid who bought an 8K mile Mustang LX and pulled the 5.0 to put in a built Chevy crate motor. The owner was looking for a low mileage 5.0 for one of his restorations, so got the motor from the kid.

    As mentioned above, the new owner can do whatever crazy thing they want.

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  25. milotus

    BTW – I’ve got a NOS Ghia emblem that I bought
    when I had a Fiesta Ghia.

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  26. Michael

    As it turns out, I am the new owner of the Ghia. Yes, it is missing the Ghia on the deck lid, but it was the 70s–maybe the badge guy was hung over that day! I bought it for its originality and not its collectibility. I am all for saving malaise era rides. I also own a 1976 Mercury Monarch with 6500 original miles.

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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Congratulations! We’d love to see pictures of the Monarch as well!

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      • Michael J. Smith

        Here is the 1976 Mercury Monarch Ghia. I guess I have a thing for Ghias!

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  27. Ralph Robichaud

    Ash Michael, A fellow with good taste.

    I share your affinity for the Mercury Monarch.

    Have had its brother the Granada Ghia, and currently have a 79 Lincoln Versailles.Those mid to late 70s Ford products were most under appreciated.
    Well built with quality materials.
    Congrats on the purchase of this fine fox body Mustang Ghia.

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    • Michael J. Smith

      Thanks, Ralph! I have an affinity for malaise era vehicles. This will be a stable mate to my 1977 Mustang II Ghia as well.

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