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Local Legend: 1968 Ford Mustang


Do you ever get the feeling looking at a car that it was once a terror on local streets? This 1968 Ford Mustang here on eBay is said to be a long-time North Carolina car, and it just strikes me as the type of vehicle that the constable would always be on the lookout for while the womenfolk would hope for a chance to catch the eyes of its daring driver. I could be completely in left field on this one, but at least this Mustang looks the part of a burly drag racer. 

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Maybe it’s the hood scoop or Ford Drag Team license plate in the first photo. It’s certainly not this engine picture, which is poor quality and doesn’t tell us much. However, the seller claims he hooked the 289 V8 up to a jug of gas and it fired right up – so despite its 15 year slumber, the Mustang may have a shot at returning to the roads with ease. The seller calls it an original car but I don’t see the words “matching numbers” in the listing. If it’s a genuine 289 / manual car, that would be quite a nice project to take home.

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As you can see, the interior needs work. That driver’s seat has been exposed to sun, weather and lots of wear, and the passenger side is heading the same direction. Not much else is shown in the seller’s photos, but he does add that the floors will need replacing and it has rust in the usual trouble spots. However, while you’re getting the ratty seats with the deal, you’ll not be receiving the hood scoop, traction bars or super ET wheels – the seller is scooping those up for another project of his. Speaking of traction bars, that just might be a clue into this Mustang’s past as a drag strip veteran.

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The rust-stained paint is all the rage when it comes to showcasing a car in its preserved state, and it works well on this example. I’d actually love to see this ‘Stang return to the drag strip scene with this finish in place, while adding a new interior and making whatever other mechanical repairs need to be made. Given the clues to its possible history as a drag racer, I’m guessing the original motor is long gone, but it never hurts to ask. The seller has listed an opening bid of $2,800 with no action as of yet. Do you think that’s a fair starting price?


  1. Blindmarc

    The motor’s looks too stock to be a terror on the streets.

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  2. Dan

    It it’s a ’68, shouldn’t that engine be a 302? 1968 was the first year for the 302..

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    • Colin Mateer

      68 had the option of 289 or 302. I think that they sold more of the 289 for that year though.

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      • Rocco

        I believe Ford put the 289’s in until they ran out, then applied the 302. I’ve pulled heads & intakes off original ’68 302’s in Mustang’s in the ’70’s just to find out it was a 289.

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      68 Mustangs and Cougars had both 289 2V and 302 2V engines installed. All small block 4V engines were 302s. Whether a car received a 289 or a 302 depended on the trim level of the car and the production date. There was a period of time during the 68 model year run that the plant producing the 302 engines were on strike which reduced the availablity of the 302 engines. So for the Cougar production the standard Cougars received 289 engines and the XR-7 models were given 302s. I am not up on the Mustang production so I cannot say which ones received which engines.

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  3. Tom Member

    The only terror here is thinking about the restoration. Sorry, I am, in most cases a fan of “don’t crush em, restore em”….not this time or this car. Fastback for sure, trunk…no…good car for someone to practice and learn how to do a restoration…maybe. the bumpers are mildly bent from several different events and don’t forget, everything they are bolted to is probably bent too. a lot more work to this one than meets the eye AND this year and body are never worth any money. The wheels and tires are maybe a grand (brand new). the traction bars and hood scoop you can keep. the car isn’t worth 2800 with those items included. good luck, like everything else…someone will buy it.

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  4. piper62j

    This is a good find.. the body appears to have surface rust from sitting unprotected a while, but if the floor pans, upper aprons, torque boxes and rails are repairable, everything else is still available to bring it back..

    I’d need the vin to decode the engine, but from what I remember, the early 68’s carried over the 289 until the 302 made it’s full production run.

    This is a good project for Mustang fans, but not worth much in it’s current condition.. 3k tops for this puppy..

    Nice find and a good car if you want to put the time into it..

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  5. JW

    My wife had a 67 coupe back in the early 80’s that we got in a trading deal, she just had to have it and we put $7K in that car back then and when we tried to sell it in 1989 we would have lost our butts so we gave it to our oldest to use at college and he traded it for a big ass Bronco. Coupes just don’t bring decent money like convertibles & fastbacks. If there’s rust in the floor pans theirs rust elsewhere in a Mustang period !!! No Thanks

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  6. roger

    I had a 68 mustang for short time right after I got able to drive.
    Every chevy around would beat that 289.
    I sold that thing and got a 1967 camaro with 283.
    Yanked that 283 out,put in 427,and had lots of fun blowing doors off mustangs.
    We always considered mustangs a chick car after that.
    They look good and the little 289 is very dependable,but it has no guts and cannot put in big block.
    I would like to have early mustang today for cruising around.
    I am old and no longer have ,The Need For Speed.

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  7. js

    why hasn’t anyone commented on the windshield? 7.90 S/G what is up with that?

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    • grant

      I wondered about that too, my guess is that at best that’s an eighth mile time, or more likely the seller trying to drum up some mystery/excitement about his car. No way this thing ran a 7.90 quarter; ever.

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    • jim s

      i think the S/G is the class and the 7.90 is the dial-in for 1/8 mile drag racing. you would need to run as close as you can to that time but not faster which would be a ” break out “.

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    • The One

      I’m thinking more like 17.90 My 64 valiant 273 2v push button auto ran a 17.27 E.T. Forgot the mph, so 17.90 is within a reasonable limit especially if he was sandbagging.
      I never ran a 1/8. in the 70s

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  8. RoughDiamond

    Anyone can say a car was a terror on the streets. Could refer to how bad the driver was behind the wheel of any car. I’m just saying.

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  9. Blindmarc

    My last hot rod ran a 7.40 1/8, and a 12.90 1/4 mile and that was with close to 400 at the rear tires. This appears to be no where close to what the windshield is trying to state.

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  10. John

    I am the owner. I purchased this car shortly after it was posted for sale. the car needed just about everything replaced. Its now in great shape and a fun car to drive. It had the stock 289 motor (now a 351w). The owner said the track time on the windshield was just for looks (why I don’t know). The car was recently painted Brittany blue. Ill post a current pic in the next day or so.

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  11. Johnathan Fleming

    This is the car present day

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  12. JS

    congratulations on persevering through the process and successfully putting this in the saved/restored category

    Like 1

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