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No Reserve, $500 Opening Bid: ’79 Mustang Pace Car

This seems like a deal: a genuine 1979 Ford Mustang Indy Pace Car listed at no reserve and with a $500 opening bid. The seller claims to be past the point of wanting to work on it, despite having invested a claimed $7K in its restoration. Cosmetically, it is tired and the seller alludes to a stock motor that doesn’t make much power, but a spare engine goes with it. Find this cheap Pace Car here on eBay and located in Pennsylvania. 

The seller’s listing is a bit hard to follow, but it sounds as if he bought the Mustang out of Florida in 2016. The car ran and drove to get onto the trailer but felt low on power; the seller didn’t mind as he had a spare engine built 18 years ago to 400 b.h.p. that he planned to use. However, that engine hasn’t ever run and may need to be torn down again; either way, an engine rebuild is in your future. And a set of period Marchal 750 fog lights, missing here.

The original Recaro interior is still intact albeit tired. The backseat looks better. Carpets have been removed and things just look messy inside; the seller has also lost the original keys to the vehicle. Overall, the seller’s willingness to disclose some potential title issues and his doubt that the car only has 18,000 miles (as shown on the odometer) give you some confidence that if nothing else, he’s a practical man who simply lost interest in a fairly significant project.

Motor pictures aren’t too helpful, and the seller doesn’t allude to any further diagnosis about the low power of the stock mill. The body is in need of paint but doesn’t seem rusty or otherwise damaged; the Mustang’s flat tires, however, may indicate an immediate need for new rubber (and keys). For the realistic opening bid and no fear of a reserve, this seems like a worthwhile project to take on, especially if the spare engine can be restored back to full health. Would you throw a bid at this tired Pace Car?


  1. Rx7turboII

    First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to everybody here on barn finds from me and my family! Secondly, where did he spend $7,000 and on what restoration? The motor is tired, the paint and the Bodywork is tired, the interior is a mess but he has a set of fog lights to go with? Is this the $7,000 he spent? LOL you really can’t count the cost of the car in the $7,000 he spent… Have a great Thanksgiving everybody from 21 degrees Rockford Illinois!

    • Moxman

      I’m almost embarrassed to say it; but it was 90 degrees here, on Thanksgiving day, in San Diego, CA.

      • Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

        Hi Moxman. Looks like summer is on the way.

  2. michael h streuly

    The reason it has no power is because its a freaking 4 cylinder.

  3. Superdessucke

    Interesting piece of Mustang history. Pace cars from this year either came with the 2.3 liter 4-cylinder turbo or the 302 V-8. This has the former, and it had 132 horsepower and 142 lbs/ft of torque. Compare that to today’s 2.3 liter turbo “EcoBoost” 4-cylinder, which makes 310 horsepower and 320 lbs/ft of torque! It’s incredible how far technology has advanced.

  4. Steve A.

    I agree. (Up here in 19 degree Janesville Wisconsin) Where’s the $7k?????
    Tell ya what! I have a (completely rust free) 79 stang body that I’ll probably never get around to, along with a separate position rear end out of a G.T. That has fresh brakes and rebuild, I’ll let go for less than half that!!!
    I might even consider delivering it!!!

    • whmracer99

      Steve, think he’s looking at the $4k for the car and $3k spent on the engine (BTW — 400 HP out of an old turbo 2.3L that’s never been run — can’t say I’d put much credence in that). Think I’d take the car and leave the “rebuilt” motor. If it ran definitely worth the $4k — as it is can’t see it. BTW — had a ’79 Cobra with the same motor and they were real dogs until you spooled them up so it doesn’t surprise me that loading it on the trailer it seemed a bit down on power.

  5. jdjonesdr

    Ha, with 29 bids it’s up to 1300 bucks. LOL

  6. JW

    Incomplete projects are never worth a lot because the seller can claim anything he’s done and money he’s invested. With the lost keys, title issues, bad engine and a spare that might need rebuild this is a project for someone who just has to have it no matter the cost but not me. Happy Thanks giving and it was 61 here in the Kansas City Metro.

  7. Henry Drake

    That looks like those metric TRX wheels and tires. Innovative at the time, I bet it’s difficult and expensive to find tires for them today.

  8. Wrong Way

    It’s already gone!

  9. Steve A.

    I’m reminded of the infamous words of P.T. Barnum, “There’s a sucker born every minute!”

  10. michael h streuly

    Its been relisted current bid 1575.00

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