Drop-Top Project: 1973 Ford Mustang

Changes were around the corner. The Mustang would be all-new for 1974, a smaller package based on the Ford Pinto. So, the 1973 models would be the last based on the original platform. The car had become bigger and bulky, and sales were a fraction of the glory days of the mid-1960s. The seller’s ’73 Mustang convertible would be one of the last drop-tops for another 10 years. Located in a garage in Lehighton, Pennsylvania, this Ford is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $6,500.

Between 1964 and 1973, the Mustang had gained eight inches in length and 800 pounds in weight. This made for a less nimble and thirstier car, which wouldn’t serve well when the OPEC energy crisis of 1973 came along. So, the advent of a smaller Mustang II revived the market’s interest in the car and sales would perk back up. With that new car of the horizon, the ’73 Mustang was little changed from ’72 (which was little changed from ’71) other than a beefier front bumper to adhere to new government impact requirements. Mustang sales for the year were 135,000 units, of which less than 12,000 were convertibles like the seller’s car.

This ’73 Mustang is said to be a barn find, although garage find might be more accurate. It’s covered some 75,000 miles while powered by the basic 302 cubic-inch Windsor V8 which would have been rated at 140 hp SAE net. We’re told the car will run sporadically and you could improve on that by rebuilding the 2-barrel carburetor (there is fuel blockage). Also, the automatic transmission may have some issues. There is an inspection sticker on the windshield from 1997 which may signal the last time the car was used regularly.

The original baby blue paint is ready to be redone while its black convertible top may be okay. We’re told there is some rust-thru in the trunk and on the drop downs on the rear quarter panels. Usually, that’s a sign to be on the lookout for more. But the car is said to be complete and that’s important when it comes to sourcing parts for a restoration. The interior may be okay although the driver’s bucket seat has a rip that needs attention. While the ’71-73 models generally have a lower resale value than the ’65-66 Mustangs, NADA says that a ’73 convertible could be worth upwards of $40,000. Sounds ambitious, but that provides some room to fund the cost of bringing this one back up to snuff.


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  1. Billy

    Only 140HP for the 302 V8? That is terrible. Engine needs work to make it worthy of the Mustang name.

    Like 1
    • mike

      Right on par though for an emission choked 2 barrel carburetor engine. 1973 was the start of the Malaise Era of the automobile

      Like 1
      • Bob C.

        If measured in gross, probably about 210, give or take.

        Like 1
  2. Howie Mueler

    Listed a month ago, might have transmission issue?

  3. Charles Sawka

    How many Pennsylvania winters ? I’m gonna just say no.

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