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No Reserve 1991 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 5-Speed

When Ford refreshed the styling for the Mustang in 1987, the company accomplished two things.  First was a reversal in the slumping sales of the beloved pony car.  Second, they created a car that somehow ignited a fire in both enthusiasts and the aftermarket.  Those that wanted the fastest example checked the box for the notchback coupe.  Today, cars like this 1991 Ford Mustang LX 5.0 for sale on eBay in Hilliard, Florida are bringing big money if they are in good condition.  Is this 94,000-mile example, complete with no power options including air conditioning, worth more than the current bid of $20,000?

Why did savvy customers purchase notchback coupes?  The answer is that they were cheaper than a hatchback and lighter.  A base coupe cost a customer $10,702, a hatchback ran $11,208, and a convertible rang in at $16,767.  Those prices are for the four-cylinder car without options.  As for weights, a notchback was at 2,722 lbs, a hatchback came in at 2,791 lbs, and a convertible tipped the scales at a hefty 3.044 lbs.  I could not find the figure, but I do remember that the GT option and all of its extra plastic panels added another 200 lbs over a V-8 notchback as well.  Hopefully, a reader can verify or dispute this in the comments.

Those numbers don’t sound like much of a difference as long as you didn’t get a convertible.  However, when dealing with a mid-priced car that weighs under 3,000 lbs, every little bit helps.  You also have to consider that this was an era when performance cars were finally making a comeback.  This is a bit hard for people who now swim in an ocean of SUVs with 400 horsepower, but a 2,722 lb. small car with a V-8 packing 225 hp and 300 lb/ft of torque was a powerhouse at that time.

As someone who graduated high school about this time, let me tell you we all knew about the magical powers of a Mustang notchback coupe with a 5.0.  They were priced at a point where a person in their early twenties and with a good job could afford the payment.  The only things stopping us were that pesky need to eat every day and the astronomic insurance rates.  Insurance companies knew about 5.0-liter Mustangs too, and they were the force that stopped Ford from selling a million of these cars each year.

The uniqueness of these notchback coupes was well understood by law enforcement at the time as well.  Many state highway patrols purchased fleets of them to chase speeders.  Florida Highway Patrol had a fleet of these (and a confiscated Buick Regal Grand National) that they used to patrol the interstates of Florida.  You haven’t lived until your ears have been caressed by the sweet, angelic sound of one of these Mustangs winding through the gears in hot pursuit.

Add to all of this the aftermarket response to these cars.  It wasn’t long before the notchback was highly desired by the drag race crowd.  It has become difficult to find one in very good condition and almost impossible to locate a bone stock example.  Too many of them became a rolling Summit catalog.  Of course, when you are focusing on speed those sudden stops tend to happen on occasion.  Being lightweight meant they weren’t built like tanks.  Add to that the fact that less than 20% of the 98,737 Mustangs sold in 1991 were notchbacks.  Survival rates on good cars are extremely low.

That may explain the current bid of $20,000 on this car.  On the surface, this is a well-cared-for used car with 94,000 miles on the odometer.  It has a few issues but is generally in good condition.  The front seats have been recovered and there is some water discoloration visible on the rear seat.  Other than that, the car presents well and polishes up nicely.  It is advertised to have a 3.08 rear axle and power steering.  That is where the niceties end.  The car has no noticeable options other than power steering.  The car is also notable for its originality.  Many pieces first discarded by speed freaks are still there.  Everything replaced to this point could be attributed to regular maintenance.

The car is so plain it doesn’t even have air conditioning.  This is rather odd for a car of this vintage, especially for one selling out of Florida.  By 1991 it was almost impossible to sell a car without air conditioning and few cars in the Mustangs price range still offered it on an optional basis.  Was this car ordered by the world’s biggest cheapskate gearhead?  Was it ordered that way because the owner planned to race it from the start?  Hopefully, the seller can pass along some backstory to the new owner.

If you had the same lust in your heart for a five-speed Mustang LX 5.0 that I did during my early years, this is your chance.  This 1991 LX is not perfect, but it is as close as you will likely get to your dream of driving one off the lot at your local Ford dealer in 1991.  The price is high, but fulfilling dreams is priceless.

P.S.  I remember an article in Popular Mechanics magazine during the early 90s where they purchased an LX 5.0 notchback with the police package to race in maybe the 24 Hours of Daytona or some other important road race.  I was going to put a reference to this in the story, but I could find no evidence of it on the internet.  Does anyone remember this article or have a copy?  If so, please share with us in the comments.


  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    For years I’ve considered the 55-57 Chevies to be the sweet spot in the old car hobby. Why? Good looks, good performance, many were built, solid aftermarket support, easily modified, not terribly expensive, sized right. Maybe they weren’t the best in any one category, but they did well in many areas.

    I’ve now come to the conclusion that, for me, Fox Body Mustangs have taken over this mantle…. for the same reasons. In a sense they have become the ‘center’ of the old car hobby. Not the most valuable, not the most powerful, not the most beautiful… but they do lots of things well.

    Good write-up Jeff. This desirable, lightly modified notchback has had some work done to it and doesn’t really look like 94k miles. The solid bids reflect this. If you can live without having a/c, this should provide loads of fun. Nothing like the sound of a 5.0 Fox Body running through the gears.

    Like 12
  2. bobhess bobhess Member

    The Fox bodied cars are still hugely popular. Friend down the street has one set up for autocrossing and the Outlaw Monday night show had more of them in one spot than I’ve seen in quite a while.

    Like 8
  3. tiger66

    The weights cited here are a bit low — this isn’t a 2700-lb car, it’s more like a 3000-lb car. The 1979-93 V8 Mustang Specifications Guide, which uses Ford’s own weight figures, shows the typical Stang 5.0 sedan (the term for the notchback coupe) at 3037 lbs. with the manual transmission. Automatics, hatchbacks and verts weighed more. Heaviest was the GT vert with automatic, at a hefty 3442 lbs.

    Car and Driver tested a 1985 manual GT hatch and showed the curb weight as 3167 lbs.

    Like 4
    • Stan

      Bullseye 🎯 tall tales abound of the liteweight. Simply not accurate. Plus nose heavy… They’re fun fast, and wonderful sounding cars.

      Like 2
  4. Big C

    IMHO. I’m glad they’re asking over $20k for this LX 5.0. Too many of these are being snapped up on the cheap by the “LS” swap crowd. Nothing frosts me more in “car world” than a GM motor installed in a pristine Ford. Be that a Mustang, a Shoebox or a pre-war coupe.

    Like 11
    • Yblocker

      Amen to that, gm motors belong in gm cars. It doesn’t just “frost” me, it burns my A$$. It’s gotten old. Real old.

      Like 3
  5. Maggy

    No GT for me always liked the notchbacks.No stupid GT spoilers that take away from the cars original design beauty and add unncesary weight imo.I used to maintain a United airlines pilots 86 5.0 notchback 5 speed that was a burnt orange color and he wanted to sell it back in 92 for 3k and the car was mint and this guy was anal about maint.He bought a new Taurus wagon because he was starting a family. Had 100k on it. I didn’t have the scratch at the time so I had to pass.These are cool cars.The weak point I always saw was the crappy plastic clutch cable pawl that would strip teeth located under the dash..

    Like 2
  6. C Force

    That’s still a little steep on the price for a plastic mustang that would get beat by pretty much everything with 4 wheels now.just like the 86 ssp for sale on here,and that one at 28k is way out of line on price.

    Like 1
    • Yblocker

      Wow, you really do have burr under your saddle regarding plastic Mustangs, every car back then, and every car now, is full of plastic. And as far as getting beaten by everything on 4 wheels today, visit any local dragstrip on Ford day, and watch those plastic Mustangs enilate the 1/4 mile.

      Like 8
      • Scrapyard john

        To be fair, most do have an LS swap and a cheap turbo or nitrous in order to annihilate the drag strip, though.

        Like 1
      • Mark Sisk

        I bought an 89 5.0 LX hatch new. Same dark blue as the feature car. 5spd and 3:08 gears. It was a real fun car. Kind of a sleeper. The Minnesota Highway patrol started using the notch backs at the same time. Had a lot of people come flying up on me and slowing down thinking I was a hippo. Once they figured out I wasn’t. Zoom. Off they go. Really enjoyed that car.

        Like 1
      • C Force

        Yeah and all of them are a rolling summit catalog.the ones out where i live that come out and street race here on route 66 on weekends are all 10 and 11 sec foxbodies,some even faster.no inspection program and gas stations that sell race gas at the pump and plenty of nitrous vendors.80s and 90s cars like that never appealed to me and still don’t.but you can make about any car faster with a speed parts catalog…

        Like 0
  7. Scrapyard John

    I’m a GT fan, myself. Oddly, I’ve rarely seen a foxbody GT on this site. Seems like we see an LX every week. Maybe all of the GT’s were wrapped around trees and such.

    Like 1
  8. DGMinGA

    A $500 savings for a notchback that looks like a Nissan Sentra instead of a decent looking LX 5.0 hatchback never made sense to me. I do agree that Ford went overboard with the plastic body cladding on the GT in the middle 80s. It also never made sense that the Mercury Capri had the nice looking flared fenders while the Mustang didn’t. The bubble back window on the later Capris kinda offset the better body lines, but I do still keep the early 80’s Capri RS on my “maybe one day list” but I’m not interested in the low cut tennis shoe that is the notchback fax body.YMMV.

    Like 0
    • SubGothius

      Agreed on the Capri’s handsome boxflared fenders, always mystified me why Ford didn’t transfer those to the Mustang for its major facelift in ’87 since they were also canceling the Capri that year anyway.

      Like 0
  9. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for 22K.

    Like 0

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