RHD ‘Stang: 1981 Ford Mustang Ghia

$_57

In the USA, we tend to get bored with the Mustang. It’s not because the Mustang itself is a boring car; rather, they’re just so plentiful, especially in low-spec, base model form. That’s why this 1981 Mustang Ghia here on eBay in the U.K. caught my attention: it’s a right-hand drive model equipped with the 2.3L Turbo engine. Quite a combination and unusual even by British standards. 

ghia2

Can you imagine showing up to the local meet with a steering wheel on the wrong side? I bet it would blow a few minds. Now, being that I own a vehicle with such a steering configuration, it doesn’t phase me – but in a Mustang, it’s downright jarring. Can any of our Mustang experts spot anything else different about the interior that is clearly British-market specific?

ghia3

The carb’d 2.3L turbo motor found under the hood is more commonly associated with the ’79 Pace Car we saw stateside. It’s an interesting option for a motor, and has been known to handle decent amounts of power using the stock block. The engine in this example is said to run out decently but would still benefit from a tune-up and fresh fluids.

ghia1

Not sure what’s going on with the tail lights, but they don’t seem to match up with the U.S. lenses. The nothback body is still one of my favorites, and the slicer-style alloy wheels are the same as found on USDM models. And in what seems like a requirement for all U.K. vehicles, there’s a trailer hitch. What else stands out to you on this oddball RHD Mustang? If this stayed cheap enough, it’d be a gas to bring this stateside just to park at shows all summer long.

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Comments

  1. TdF 83

    not mustang tail lights, look familiar but cant place them. Benz like.

    • Blyndgesser

      Maybe Capri III lights?

      Like 1
  2. Kenny Smith

    Wow – a UK spec Fox Mustang – my car salesman neighbour had a couple of these back in the day. The rear lights are from the contemporary Mark 3 Escort – they used those or Mk3 Capri lenses because we have amber indicators to signal and those units would have already been UK/EEC type approved for use. About 15-20 approved conversions I believe, a very rare car in the UK then, even more now.

    • MeepMeep

      Yep….the UK drivers can’t tell if the car in front of them is turning unless they see amber signals.
      Amber in the rear…so un-American lol.

      • Rob

        And so much better. Should be law everywhere on everything. So much safer!

  3. Mike H. Mike H.

    And TRX wheels. Ick. . . Big money for mediocre tires.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      I hardly think you would be fronting good money for rims and tires.

    • MikeK

      That was my very first thought. I had a 1984 Turbo Coupe with those metric wheels. Easy to find tires…. provided you like Michelin and don’t mind paying twice as much.

  4. Rocco

    I hope to answer your ? about the differences on this UK RHD Mustang.
    1: How about the right side gas filler door?
    2: For the British interior ?, is it the wood-grain dash?

    • NotchNut

      All fox body mustangs have the gas door on the right. Should be in kilometers and not MPH.

  5. HeadMaster1

    Turbo? I don’t see a turbo on that engine. The air cleaner is a stock 4-banger unit, so the it can’t be a “blow thru” turbo set up, thus it would have to be a “draw thru”, like the early Turbo Trans Am’s, but then the carb would be located closer to the turbo….Lastly, I don’t see a turbo anywhere near that exhaust manifold……but hey, that’s just me, and I DO wear pretty thick glasses………..

  6. SSPBill

    Isn’t that a Mustang Mk III coupé with boot?

    I think these were all converted from LHD to RHD on arrival. I’m not sure there were ever factory-build RHD. I believe Tickford did the Aussie conversions. Don’t know who may have done the UK’s. Here are some interesting foreign market ad’s for fox Mustangs.

    http://foureyedpride.com/fep_bild/v/img_arch/album05/album31/

  7. todd

    how about the missing turbo, and the wrong air cleaner assembly, this engine is naturally aspirated. as you can tell buy the exhaust manifold, and no boost gauge either.

    • NotchNut

      The turbo is located on the drivers side near the firewall. The turbo and non-turbo 4cyl look very similar. If I can find my old pictures I will post a picture of the setup on my old 1980 turbo mustang.

  8. NotchNut

    Also, the headlight switch and gas door switch are located on the right lower dash.

  9. Sean

    Hi all I’m the seller of the mentioned mustang. Thank you op for such a brilliant intro. I can confirm its the turbo model and the turbo is located near the right hand side by the firewall. And would love to hear more about this car.
    Regards Sean
    Ps I do have the original photos of the actual barn find before we washed her.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Please share the as-found photo Sean. Thanks!

      • Sean

        It won’t let me upload pictures as its from my phone but if you pm me I’ll gladly send via eBay or email. Regards

  10. TBall

    While in the navy, I spotted a ’70 Mach 1 with the steering wheel on the wrong side in front of a Thailand hotel – said to belong to the owner. Would have loved to have gotten that. This baby ‘stang is a decent car – nice engine option, would be fun with the right tweaks. I thought those cars had the blue oval in center of steering wheel – perhaps a Ghia option?

  11. Andrew

    the outside mirrors are different. as to the tires, yes Cocker now owns the molds and charges close to $400 per tire. However, a company has recently released that style wheel in a 16″ diameter, opening the look of the TRX to standard tire sizes (and prices).

  12. Scott Reska

    How about the fog light/turn signal combo in the front bumper. or the wing style mirrors instead of the A-pillar / door sash mounted units?

  13. NotchNut

    Good catch Scott! The U.S. cars did have solid amber front turn signals. Although I have seen some of the clear/amber ones before. As for the mirrors, I have never seen that setup. They are definitely higher on the car. They also would require a different window belt molding.

  14. Sean

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/FoxDoctorsUK/

    I’ve put the original pictures on that site feel free to look at the original pictures.

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