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Former Pace Setter: 1979 Ford Mustang

1979 Ford Mustang Pace Car

Just the other day, we were discussing some of the market trends that have really been surprising us lately and it didn’t take the conversation very long to land on the Fox body Mustang. It wasn’t that long ago that these cars were despised by some and completely overlooked by others. With the ever rising prices of early Mustangs, it seems these cheaper Fords have been gaining more traction in the collector car arena. This ’79 Pace Car edition needs a lot of work, but has a very interesting look to it! It’s been off the road since 1990 and is now running again. I have no idea what else it is going to need to be a driver, but if you think you’d like to take on the challenge – you can find it here on eBay in Colfax, California with bidding under $1k and no reserve.

1979 Ford Mustang

I had a friend in high school that owned a ’79 Mustang with the 302 and it was just about as rough looking as this one. It wasn’t terribly quick, but it made a nice sound, handled pretty well, and got him to and from school everyday without much fuss. I knew a lot of people who had never experienced that car that claimed to hate it, which I always thought strange. How can you hate a car you’ve never experienced? Yes, it did look as cool or go as fast as a late ’60s Mustang, but it was still a great car.

1979 Ford Mustang 302 V8

Now, I’m not going to say this car is a great machine, at least not in its current condition. The paint is sad, the graphics are even sadder, and the interior needs a ton of work. On the upside, it is equipped with a 4 speed and the 302 is bullet proof. Power wasn’t all that impressive, with just 140 hp. I’m sure with a few upgrades and tweaks, those numbers could be greatly improved upon!

1979 Ford Mustang Interior

And here is that interior that needs work. It looks complete and I don’t see any cracks in the dash! The seats need new covers, but they look sporty and well bolstered! For some reason, as I look at it I can imagine the smell of decaying seat foam, aged plastics and body odor. That last one could be because of how my friend’s car smelled, we never could get that smell out! For some reason, I can’t help but think this would be a great car to leave looking rough. Just imagine the looks you’d get on the road and at the drag strip! People would hate getting beat off the line by it. So what would you do with this Pony?


  1. Avatar photo Charles in TX


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  2. Avatar photo Kiwi Customs LLC

    Not worth the time and effort, mint condition ones sell for much less than you would spend bringing this car back to life.

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    • Avatar photo AMX Brian

      I’d say that’s true for a good percentage of people like myself. We’re doing for the fun of bringing the car back to life. That being said, it would have to be more interesting of a car for me to spend that kind of money on it.

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  3. Avatar photo Jake S.

    My mother had one of these for her first car back in the early nineties, with the same stripe package and everything! My father bought it out of Texas, then hauled it back to Ohio for her. She had it about 5 years, until she had me and decided it was too hard to get a car seat into the back seat. It was getting kind of worn by that point in time, so they moved it along an bought a Tempo. I always wondered what happened to that car, though I am quite sure it got junked years a go. It was quite a looker when she first got it, though, with its ruat free body and black tinted windows. I think it even had alloy rims, and a aftermarket stereo. Frankly, I wish she hadn’t sold it!

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    • Avatar photo Jake S.

      Edit, my mother says the stripes were different (Slightly) and it was an ’83, not a ’79. Very similar, tho.

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  4. Avatar photo Nessy

    Always liked the 79 Mustang Pace Car, just not this one. They came either with the 2.3 Turbo 4 or the 302 V8. The V6 did not come with the Pace Car package. Both engines had about the same power which is not saying much. That 302 really opened up with a simple set of headers and a better intake/carb set up and the Turbo 4 opened up too with the boost turned up and a larger exhaust. Make mine a mint condition T Top model with all the original decals please.

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  5. Avatar photo MountainMan

    Neat find, plenty of mustang fans out there so its sure to find a new owner with restoration in mind. The manual transmission with add to the driving experience when it becomes more drivable. Its running so thats a plus too. I would want plan on headers, cam and maybe a few other things to improve the performance. Keep the stock components on the shelf for the next owner to enjoy.

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  6. Avatar photo Dolphin Member

    I like the basic body design of these. This one has too much fancy stuff applied on it to jazz up the body. I like the white ’86 SVO body from the other day a lot more. The only problem is, the suspensions are very soft and the engines aren’t nearly as fast as the cars look. You would really want a Saleen version of the Fox.

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  7. Avatar photo Paul R

    I owned one with the 2.3 turbo. Turbo died so I removed it and added an Offy 4 barrel intake with a 450 CFM Holley. Car ran great and was faster without the turbo,

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  8. Avatar photo Todd Zuercher

    Those seats are Recaros.

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  9. Avatar photo Rocco

    The 4-speed trans is a 3-speed with overdrive. Not desirable to drive. When you shift to 2nd gear it falls on its face because of the gear ratio.
    Just my $.02

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    • Avatar photo Todd Zuercher

      SROD – single rail overdrive transmission.

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  10. Avatar photo Newgraybeard

    I remember seeing several of these in better shape than this in the wrecking yards back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Never seemed to be a keeper to car enthusiasts.

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  11. Avatar photo Wayne Thomas

    EcoBoost swap!

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  12. Avatar photo erikj

    like all late 70,s into the 80s, same treatment, pull the engine rebuild with higher compression, and change with better heads and fuel system and top it off with nice exhaust that will be a start don’t forget to uprade the susp. and breaks. good to go Fast

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