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Obscure Classic: 1988 Ford Mustang ASC McLaren

The ASC McLarens are one of the more unusual collector cars in my book, as they should be worth a boatload more on paper than they actually are. It’s based on one of the emerging collector car platforms in the form of the Fox body Mustang, and it was built in very small numbers. The modifications performed outside of the factory are unique enough to stand out, but not strange enough to offend you. Overall, it should have a lot going for it, but they all seem to hover in the same price bracket – and never fly off the classifieds pages when they do appear for sale. Find this 1988 model with just over 56,000 miles here on craigslist for $16,500.

Truth be told, despite all of its limited edition chops, you’d be better off buying a clean notchback 5.0L Mustang rather than one of these if investment potential is a deciding factor in your next hobby car purchase. The McLarens were definitely short-lived, preceded by a Mercury Capri model that got the same chopped-roof treatment, and the Mustangs totaled under 2,000 made when all was said and done. The price tag was a serious detriment, costing around $20K to take one home. With no modifications under the hood, shoppers were right to question whether a McLaren-converted Mustang was the best place to spend their hard-earned cash.

On top of that, there wasn’t much else to differentiate it from standard, off-the-shelf Mustang models. The interiors were largely the same, and you could choose from the same list of equipment options; this car is equipped with the optional automatic transmission, for example, which actually makes it a touch less desirable among the few McLarens made with a manual transmission. The seller reports that his is just one of ten examples made in this color combination, but unfortunately, not many collectors are scanning the daily listings for when a Fox body McLaren pops up for sale in their preferred color scheme. To be fair, this one does look quite nice inside.

There’s also nothing wrong with a Mustang optioned with the venerable 5.0L V8, especially one that remains bone-stock under the hood. The McLaren kit also got you some pretty color-matched wheels that are either genuine BBS or doing a very good impression of genuine BBS rollers. Overall, this car is quite clean, especially for having over 50,000 miles. The McLaren models will always be an interesting footnote in the history of the Fox body, but I’m just not sure anyone wants one bad enough to justify paying a premium over a clean, standard Ford-built Mustang GT convertible. I know where I’d put my money – what about you? Thanks to Barn Finds reader Boot for the find.


  1. Evan

    The top always looked to me like they stole it off an R107 MB

    Like 2
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    Very good write-up Jeff.

    I think Jeff has done a good job of placing the car in the current collector car world. I have a couple friends with them. The quality of the conversion seems fine. To me they don’t have a real ‘wow’ factor but they don’t look bad either. It seems they aren’t viewed as anything more special than a normal 5.0 Fox, and are priced accordingly. This one seems to fit the above scenario.

    And yes, a clean low mileage 5.0 5-speed LX notchback is the place to be for a Fox Mustang (which is odd, that the low-trim model is what is preferred).

    Like 0
  3. Jwaltb

    Classic? I think not.

    Like 0
  4. t-bone BOB

    Located in Kingman, AZ

    Like 0

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