Low Price Turbo: 1979 Ford Mustang

This is one interesting Foxbody. This third generation 1979 Ford Mustang was pulled from a barn recently. It has no title but the VIN is listed and the price is at only $770 with no reserve. If it is important to know, the mileage is listed at 42,745. More information can be found on eBay.

A fun fact about the car is the 2.3 liter, turbo 4 cylinder engine that sits under the hood. That is connected to a four-speed manual transmission. The car won’t be moving anywhere though because there is no radiator. It was apparently stolen a long time ago when prices for scrap metal were high.

There are pictures of the interior, but only from outside. One can see from those pictures that the interior is decent, but the roof is falling. The seller is nervous to open the doors, indicating they are locked and they are trying to preserve the interior. That might just mean that they don’t have the key.

There are a lot of questions that go to this listing and car. However, for less than a grand, this car could be one fantastic drag car. Take an EcoBoost 6 cylinder from a wrecked Mustang and stuff it under the hood. Add better tires and leave the body alone. Having a sleeper car for a few thousand sounds fun.

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  1. grant

    Really? This beat down dime a dozen Fox body is interesting? The radiator was stolen for high scrap prices? Uh huh. The car broke down forever ago, and when they pulled the radiator and saw the sludge they realized the motor was garbage. End of story. Sorry, I’ve got no patience for obvious nonsense today.

    • Steve R

      This body style is very desirable for anyone deciding to build a race car, particularly grudge style cars. They are light, the rear suspension are well suited for racing, they have a bolt in engine cradle and has off the shelf units designed for Chevy big and small blocks, LS engines, big block Ford, and most likely Coyote engines. This is an versatile platform.

      As it sits, it’s not very interesting, but the same could be said for any number of cars featured here, but that doesn’t mean someone doesn’t like it or any of the 4drs or imports on this site too. It comes down to not clicking on a car you aren’t interested in seeing, that’s your choice, it works for me, it might work for you.

      Steve R

  2. Miguel Member

    The question will be how loud the rod knock is.

  3. Michael

    The engine oil probably looks exactly like what is on the floor in the photo.

  4. Larry c

    Mustang ecoboost Engines are 2.3 4cyl also

  5. Miguel Member

    From the Ebay listing

    “the radiator was cut out of the car.”

    That can’t be good.

    • Steve R

      The picture makes it look like it was unbolted rather than cut out.

      Steve R

  6. Steve R

    The V6 Ecoboost wasn’t offered in the Mustang, only the 4 cylinder version. A friend recently bought a 20,000 mile 4 cylinder Ecoboost from a wrecked Mustang for $3,500, it came complete with transmission, engine wiring harness and ECU. This may or may not be the right car for that swap. If this has much rust, it will become a parts car or cheap grudge night special. There is no title, but there should be a way for the owner of the property to process a lien on the car, if someone wants to get it on the road again, the seller will need to be involved in that.

    Steve R

  7. John

    Roof is falling, but he’s trying to protect the interior? Ha, more like he’s afraid of the rats that made a home in the headliner.

  8. Gaspumpchas

    My nephew bought one of these as his first car.Engine was loose as a goose-had a noisy front trans bearing that I replaced for him. Took off easy and when the turbo light came on it threw you back in the seat! I was amazed how this thing hauled *ss. He drove it for years!


  9. Jimmy

    If the owner moved without taking the car but he still retains the title would he not still be the owner of this car ?

    • Steve R

      There is always a process to get rid of a car that has been abandoned on private property. If that wasn’t the case, many apartment complexes would eventually be overrun with cars of former tenants. A few friends that own rentals file for a lien, then sell it, often to a junkyard because most of the vehicles left behind have no value. The new owner of the property needs to do this, whoever buys the car will have a much more difficult time getting a title in their name.

      Steve R

  10. CanuckCarGuy

    I’d be in at $500, more to tinker and refresh as time permits then any serious restoration effort. Get it running and safe, and beat the snot out of it…and it wouldn’t take much to beef up the handling and power.

  11. Davis

    And they say ’71-’73 Mustangs are ugly and not worth our time or money.

  12. Ralph

    This was probably an interesting car when new, probably ordered, its the base-ish notchback coupe, with the turbo engine “performance” engine option, gauges and a manual with full wheelcovers and no a/c,.

    Now sadly though it looks like a rat house that hasn’t moved in years, its cheap, but……

  13. Bob in TN Member

    I love Fox Bodies, especially the four-eye (79-86) versions. I am the original owner of a 79 six cylinder coupe, restored to stock condition. I show it at Mustang Club of America events. So this car is indeed interesting to me, because….

    It illustrates something which is fascinating: huge changes over 40 years in how cars are packaged and equipped. The 1979 Mustang was a huge seller– 369,000 copies. That’s in the vicinity of today’s top (non-pickup) sellers. But the difference is in the nearly infinite ways the car could be optioned. Examples: 15 exterior colors, 6 interior colors (that I can remember), 6 upholstery choices, 7 wheels/wheel covers, 25+ stand alone options (mine has 20).

    Compare that to today where you have two or three models which each have a handful of stand alone options, six or eight exterior colors (mostly versions of black, white, silver, and gray), and a couple interior choices. All done in the interest of efficiency. Can you imagine what it took to keep track of the myriad of equipment choices back then? I get it, but it sure was more fun back in the day to spec out a car.

    So, what we have here is a base coupe with a few options (turbo engine, exterior trim group, interior trim group, not much else… the wheel covers are for the base 13″ wheels). Given the huge number sold, very few early Foxes remain; I regularly see Pace Cars, but other early-year four-eyes are rarely seen, especially in stock or near-stock condition. I wish there were more. This one isn’t terrible, but anyone who took it on as a project would be doing it as a labor of love…. unless it was to make it a drag car, which was the fate of many.

    • TouringFordor

      I ordered a new ’79 Mustang hatchback Turbo. It took forever to be built, because Garrett couldn’t make the turbos fast enough.

      I selected the interior and exterior colors, and added the Ghia package. I don’t remember if the TRX wheels came with the Ghia package, or if I ordered them.

      Fast forward three years. It had a worn camshaft, so it had a slight miss. The wastegate was stuck, so it had a lot of boost! All that, plus getting two car seats in and out of a two door led me to trade it for the first of my three Country Squires.

      A friend of mine used to drag race a Mustang Turbo with some success.

      • Bob in TN Member

        The Michelin TRX wheels/tires included suspension upgrades. In 1979 they were standard on the Cobra and optional on all other models. They were not part of the Ghia package. A base coupe with TRX’s is an interesting sight.

        The turbo engine had many issues. Most people had problems with them, often early the engine’s life. Obviously the bugs had not been worked out. When the engine re-appeared a few years later, it was much better.

        Any pics of your car from back in the day?

      • Miguel Member

        Bob, the first dealer I ever worked for had one of these. The car was 3 years old or right around there.

        It had a massive rod knock, but it was the most gorgeous shiny black car you would ever want to see.

        Imagine this exact car in shiny black.

        It was so disappointing when you turned the key and heard that knock from under the hood.

  14. rustylink

    there are a lot cars I’d consider an eco-boost swap for and this isn’t one of them.

  15. Amy

    Too bad there is no title…this car definitely has potential

  16. Bob in TN Member

    The 1979 Mustang can look pretty good when restored.

  17. Bob in TN Member

    Even with a humble straight six.

    • Ralph

      I remember looking at one like this when I looking for a first car back in the mid 90’s, except it was the pale baby blue color and it had the full wheel covers like the featured car.

      I remember how weird it was to find out that it was a 6, I thought these were all either 4 or 8 like the later Fox Mustangs, I knew some had the “Capri” V6 too, but I had never seen an inline 6 one. The 6 seemed so long in the engine compartment, it looked like it was touching the fan shroud and the firewall at the same time.

  18. bull

    I wonder how they got the hood unlatched if both doors are still locked?


    Had a 79 turbo 4 just like this though the turbo was seized up still ran okay. Biggest problem with the early turbos was not letting the engine circulate the oil through the turbo before shutting the engine off otherwise the oil would be cooked and the bearings in the turbo would be dry at startup. There were circulation pumps available that would circulate oil through the turbo for a few minutes to cool the turbo and save it from being ruined, otherwise metal shavings would end up in the engine. This information was provided by the local Ford dealership

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