Holley R&D Vehicle: 1990 Ford Mustang LX

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Test cars are an interesting phenomenon of the collector car world. They don’t necessarily have a ton of additional value beyond a vehicle looked after by a private owner, but they’re still very cool finds in their own right. If you’re the type of collector who likes the idea of having a vehicle in your fleet with some intriguing provenance, this 1990 Ford Mustang LX with the 5.0L V8 that was used as an R&D vehicle by Holley is worth a look. Find it here on eBay with bids to $8,000 and no reserve.

A major performance parts manufacturer using a mass production model as a test mule is pretty much standard practice for vendors of a certain size. Certainly, a behemoth like Holley has the budget to go out and buy actual cars of their own to use for testing new products, along with assessing manufacturing requirements. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that they owned multiple Mustangs to equip with any number of products for evaluation purposes.

And they certainly picked a desirable color scheme, going with black over a Canyon Red cloth interior. Black and red is one of the best combinations out there, especially for an American performance car. The mileage is listed as being just under 71,000, so it has plenty of life left in its tires. With the automatic transmission option box checked, one would hope that the Holley engineers didn’t beat on this Fox body too much – but that may be pure fantasy given there were likely plenty of opportunities to misbehave.

The car is clean, and if it was heavily modified by Holley at one time, those parts have all been removed and the stock components put back on. The seller does note the presence of an aftermarket exhaust and fuel lines, so there was likely quite list of modifications approved for this LX ‘Stang sitting on a spreadsheet somewhere in a forgotten file cabinet at Holley HQs. While there’s no major following for old aftermarket test cars, it’s an intriguing rabbit hole to go down in the performance cars and parts industries.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Dave

    Cool that its a Holley test car, not cool that its an automatic.

    Like 12
    • BillB

      No reserve, so let’s see what the current market has to say on Foxbody Mustangs.

      Like 3
  2. Ike Onick

    Where is the proof it is/was a Holley test car? Until then, it is an old Mustang with issues.

    Like 7
    • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

      It’s being sold by Holley Performance so you could probably call them up and ask.

      Like 14
      • Ike Onick

        I hear you, sir, but 70,000+ miles is a heck of a lot of testing. In my opinion, something doesn’t quite compute, but I ain’t buying the car.

        Like 0
      • Rick Rothermel

        But 70k in 33 years? Low by any scale.

        Like 1
    • Steve H

      Click on the ad!

      Like 4
  3. Old Ford Man

    Unused Holley Development Vehicle Mileage: 70,638 if its unused how did it get its 70k miles? And if you’re testing fuel injection systems and other parts you’re probably testing to the point of failure so you can improve performance.

    Like 4
  4. Geoff C

    Wonder if they had a supercharger on it… or nitrous. Just kidding…sort of.

    Like 1
  5. Sam

    The Paint Is SHOT, I’m betting this PONY was Rode HARD and Put Away WET a few times. 70 Thousand HARD Miles

    Like 0
  6. Stan

    Roll down the windows 🪟 😎 and cruise this autoloader 5.0LX on a summers evening. 🌄

    Like 2
  7. Big C

    The first ‘Stang with air bags. Thus, no tilt wheel! Ford fell over themselves to put that explosive device in front of your face. But forgot that a lot of drivers needed a comfortable driving position, and weren’t driving into telephone poles every day.

    Like 0

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