Like New 1979 Ford Mustang 5.0

Behold a car that may well be decorating a Ford showroom in the Fall of 1978, stirring up excitement among the sales staff with its all-new design and nifty “5.0” badges. The Pinto-based Mustang II had served its purpose from 1975 to 1978, and this new Mustang promised a return to the glory days when every person of youth or aspiring of youth saw himself or herself behind the wheel of Ford’s “Pony Car.” Thanks to Pat L. who spotted this one-owner 1979 Ford Mustang 5.0 here on craigslist in Los Angeles, California, though apparently the car is located in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The skinny tires, white walls, mud flaps, notchback body, and abundance of chrome all suggest “practical economy car,” and indeed you could have ordered this car with a 2.3L OHC four cylinder engine, or a turbo 2.3, or a 2.8L V6, a 3.3L inline six, or this car’s 5.0L (302 cid) V8 making 140 HP and a more respectable 250 lb-ft of torque. Decisions, decisions… Perhaps the original owner subscribes to my philosophy that you never want to roll up to a red light and find yourself next to someone driving the same car as yours but with a bigger engine. After 1979 the 302 took a hiatus from the Mustangs (replaced by the 4.2L V8) until reappearing in 1982.

The inviting all-red interior supports decades of care and the seller’s claim of having covered a minimal 54,000 miles to date. the Having owned a 1989 Fox Mustang LX 5.0 for 29 years, I notice that the dashboard (through 1986) is completely different from the ’87 to ’93 version, but the arm rest / door pulls might be the same. The door latches match mine but mounted extremely low in this car. Buttons on the steering wheel indicate factory cruise control.

What’s not to love about this picture? Happy youthful people and their Mustang. After a long and apparently happy life their nifty red notchback is ready to find another loving home. Personally I could picture the new owner or owners, perhaps in their fifties, looking at this car and admiring it just as it sits, driving it gently along scenic byways, visiting car shows, and occasionally “blowing the carbon out” for kicks. What’s your vision for the next chapter of this Mustang’s story?

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  1. Steve S.

    I saw a nice original Mustang just like this one except in blue set itself on fire in a parking lot last summer.

    Whoever buys this should replace the 38 year old rubber fuel lines ASAP.

  2. Mike

    Gone from Craigslist. I always love one owner cars and their stories.

  3. Steve65

    Please stop giving free exposure to advertisers who are deliberately violating craigslist terms of use. They’re already serously out of hand, and rewarding them for it will only make the problem worse.

    • Peter

      Please elaborate Steve65.


      • Steve65

        “Local content only.” It’s not a hint, it’s not a preference, it’s not a pirate code guideline, and it’s not optional.

        It is literally the sole purpose of the site. Its entire raison d’etre. To provide a platform for local contacts and connections. The fact that it’s mostly dependant on the honor code rather than direct administrator action for enforcement doesn’t make wasting other people’s time acceptable.

      • UK Paul

        What does local content only mean?

      • Steve65

        I find myself at a loss as to what other words could be used to say “local only”. If what you’re selling is in Boston, you post to Boston. If it’s in Seattle, you post to Seattle. If it’s in Las Vegas and you think more potential buyers are in Los Angeles, too bad. You post to Las Vegas, or you don’t post to craigslist.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      Huh ?!

    • Rx7turboII

      Steve, could you please post where it says in the Craigslist TOS about it being against their policies to post in another region even if you don’t live there. I couldn’t find it myself….

      • Steve65

        Here’s where it’s explicit in the FAQ:

        Can I post my ad on more than one craigslist site?
        Please choose just ONE local craigslist site for which your ad is most relevant—generally the site closest to you. If your ad is equally relevant to all locations, your ad does not belong on craigslist. Please find another service. Posting the same ad to multiple locations on craigslist is prohibited.

        And this is the explicit language from the “prohibited” list:

        spam; miscategorized, overposted, cross-posted, or nonlocal content

      • Steve65

        And while we’re in the neighborhood, here’s the language prohibiting salting your ad with irrelevant keywords to push it into irrelevant search results:

        false, misleading, deceptive, or fraudulent content; bait and switch; keyword spam

        And for the ones who think incorporating your list into a wordy sales pitch comparing your car to all these other cars?

        You aren’t fooling anyone, and it’s still prohibited.

      • UK Paul

        It’s poorly worded if they wrote “local content only”. They should have put only advertise your items in your local Craigslist?
        Craigslist is some kind of classified advertising mechanism I assume?
        Anyway, thanks for explaining.

      • Steve65

        Classified ads are the site’s best known aspect, but there are other features as well. The “your ad” cite comes from the ads FAQ, while the “prohibited list” is worded to cover all the site, not just the classified section. IOW, not all the content is ads, but it all has to be locally relevant.

    • Andre

      Dude.. Chill

      • Steve65

        Dude. Shopping for a car is a huge enough hassle without encouraging people to pile time wasting crap into your search results.

      • Andre

        Ya I guess on second thought you should probably ask for a craigslist membership refund

      • T Mel

        I personally find all this Craigslist policy stuff BS. I get what they’re trying to prevent but without any exceptions allowed for reasonable cross advertising I can’t get behind it. For example I live in the middle of nowhere TX. The two closest cities to me that are on CR are both the same distance but in opposite directions. So I’m not supposed to post an ad for both locations? How stupid. Someone is just as likely to consider me local to their location from either one and a potential buyer is just as likely to come to my town from either direction. How exactly I’m I wasting their time by posting in both cities or additional places that are at a distance that someone might reasonably drive to buy my car? The CR people are not considering that America is a big place. Not all of us live someplace where everything is within two miles like San Fran where CR started.

    • Clinton

      THANK YOU! I hate finding something on CL only to find out it’s some asshat that lives across the country! It make it a pain in the ass to sift through listings.

  4. Bill Farmer

    No engine pics?? What a bummer…

  5. Todd Zuercher

    Wasn’t the Mustang II. also made in 1974? There can’t be many left like this one!

    • Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

      Todd Z. – You are correct about the ’74 debut of the Mustang II. I always found it interesting that Ford made the ’71-’73, the largest Mustang, designed to swallow a 429, then a few years later… “Hey why don’t we build the next Mustang on the Pinto platform?” Brilliant!

      • DrinkinGasoline

        Todd, I have to agree. I owned a 71 Boss 351 only by “at the right place at the right time”. I couldn’t pass up the selling price at the time in 1977 at a Ford car show that I attended at a Ford dealership in WVA. I only held the car for 8 months before flipping it. The 71 to 73’s never made sense to Me. They were not Pony cars by any stretch.

      • VegasEMT

        Gas prices had a little bit to do with that.

        My love for Fords started with my dad buying a ’71 LTD wagon with the 429 PI motor….funny car burn outs on those wagon wheels were epic…lol!!

        He traded it in on a Mazda wagon in ’73 because of the gas “crisis.”

        The rotary moved ok, but didn’t get that much better MPG than the 429…

        He went back to an LTD in ’77, but the smogger 400 got lousy economy AND was a dog…those were the days..NOT!!

      • Steve65

        The first Mustang was built on a cheap compact car platform. The Mustang II exemplifies the original design ethos far better than the bloated whales they had become by 1973.

  6. JW

    Nice notchback Mustang 5.0 but another RED on RED car YUK !!!

    • DrinkinGasoline

      I must agree… tired of red. Mid-Life Crisis colors.

  7. Rx7turboII

    Nice car and beautiful Survivor but what I’m really waiting for is the long drawn out BF forum comparison to a 1979 Corvette! LOL

    • DrinkinGasoline

      LOL is right. You answered you’re own question without knowing it…:)

  8. Leon

    Was the 3.3 inline 6 a reliable motor compared to the V6 option ?

    • glen

      I don’t know about the 3.3, but my ’95 F150 went to 500,000 kilometres, with the straight 6. The Chrysler slant 6 also proved to be an excellent engine.

      • DrinkinGasoline

        While being a SBF engine fan, I can certainly agree with you on the 300 Ford Big Six as well as the 225 Chrysler Slant Six having owned a few of them clocking many miles as well as a couple of them on engine stands in the garage as I type. :)

    • Blyndgesser

      The 3.3 was dead reliable. Unfortunately it didn’t breathe very well, so it was rated at an asthmatic 85 hp or thereabouts.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      What 3.3 V6 option ?

  9. Martin Sparkes

    Would you say this one has…….plenty of grunt?

    • DrinkinGasoline

      When introduced as optioned…..yes I would.

    • Rx7turboII

      Lol!! Thumbs up!

  10. sam

    i have a 75 mustang 2 with 5,800 actual miles. its a prototype v6. you list this 1 as having a 302 w/140 hp. the 302 in the m2 was around 130 hp. not much more power for a heavier car

    • VegasEMT

      The new for ’79 Fox chassis was lighter than the previous car by almost 300 pounds v8 to v8.

    • Troy S

      About all the power they could muster out of it with all that smog equipment.

  11. sam

    beautiful car tho. wonder what they were asking for it?

  12. Paul Hudson

    Only the 1979’s had the low mount Door handles inside. I love this body style. My brother had a new 1980 Ghia model Black on Black Vinyl. Nice car It was the 2.3 Liter with a 4 Speed. It was fun to drive but with no A/C was really hot in the summer.

  13. Christin Lagerquist

    There are 2 other interesting first year quirks to the 1979 mustang and Capri they have a crome or black trim piece mounted on the top of the door below the window the 1979 coupe also didn’t have the little lip on the trunk lid and the Capri used the mustang style hood scoop. I had a 1980 turbo mustang and a 1980 turbo Capri they were carborerated but this was the early 80’s the turbo got fuel injection in 1983 when my 1980 Capri got totaled I bought a 1986 mustang svo that was an awesome car and the best of the fox body mustangs 205 stock horsepower that last year of production. Rear disk brakes koni shocks Hurst shifter and 5lugs . These cars were severely under rated. The 84 and 85s we’re good but the 1985 1/5 and 1986 with there flush headlights and better intake are the ones to get

  14. Christin Lagerquist

    My mother bought a 1981 mustang brand new silver with T Tops and gray leather interior the car was nice looking but the the 4cyl automatic with air conditioning was a gutless wonder. I always liked the hatchback better and the Capri had the cool looking flared fenders and nice tail lights but boy that bubble back window and hatch they put on them really did kill the car and it only took till 1986 for them to get discontinued.

  15. VegasEMT

    UK Paul,

    He’s crying about someone from Las Vegas posting a Craigslist ad in Los Angeles.

    Like I’d mentioned, Craigslist will include “out of area” ads when doing a search…’s not a big deal.

  16. Charles Allen Finckbone

    Very clean and well kept I would love to add that fox body to my stang stable.

  17. RicK

    Did not know the 79 5.0 Mustang was a one year only. It’s ironic that it was replaced by a 4.2 Litre V8. 4.2 L equals 256 cubic inches which is almost 260 cubic inches which was the displacement of the only V8 available in the early (64 1/2) Mustangs

  18. WILL A.

    My folks asked me what I wanted for my first new car and I said Mustang! They bought me a new dark blue ’79 Mustang Giha in Aug of ’78. I was so happy, I cried! Seven months later, Ford bought it back in non-running condition. I actually managed to drive about 235 miles during those months…when it was running. It had so many issues; from seized air pump to wipers not working to the transmission pulling an AAMCO commercial and leaving its parts in the road. Ford offered me another one and I told the sales rep that I would walk before I ever drove another Ford. sadly, I never have.

  19. Ponyman1

    1979 was not the first year for the 5.0 designation on the fenders of mustang. 1978 king cobra was on the hood scoop..

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