Rust-Free Arizona Survivor: 1971 Ford Mustang

Commencing a project build can be a lot easier if the vehicle in question doesn’t come with the added baggage of rust issues. Some enthusiasts can find the prospect of spending countless hours and significant money on rust repairs to be daunting. That’s where cars like this 1971 Mustang come into their own. It has spent its life in drier climes, meaning that it has managed to remain rust-free. It runs and drives, so the buyer can choose to hit the road immediately. It would also make an excellent foundation for them to create the Mustang of their dreams. Located in Winslow, Arizona, you will find this classic pony car listed for sale here on Craigslist. You could park this gem in your driveway by handing the owner $6,500.

The owner purchased this Mustang with grand plans, but repeated Army deployments mean this project stalled before it started. That’s good news for potential buyers because it means that they can begin their build with a blank canvas. The color combination of Grabber Lime and White is eye-catching, but they won’t be to everyone’s taste. However, the paint still presents pretty well, meaning that a cosmetic refresh won’t have to happen immediately. One of the greatest attractions of this vehicle is its unmolested state. The seller describes items like the wheels and hubcaps as ugly, but he acknowledges that they are original. The panels appear straight, while the trim and glass are in good order. Probably the best piece of news revolves around this classic’s lack of rust problems. It seems that it has spent its life in Arizona and that climate is perfect for preserving steel. The buyer can leave the welder and grinder in the cupboard on this one because neither will be required.

While potential buyers in 1971 could still choose to purchase their Mustang with a six under the hood, the original owner of this one ordered it with a 302ci V8 that produced 210hp in its prime. They also elected to fit a three-speed automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. If they pointed this classic at a ¼ mile, they could expect the journey to be over in 16.7 seconds. This engine bay brings equal helpings of good and bad news for potential buyers. It appears that the car is numbers-matching, and it does run and drive very well. The seller admits that the V8 smokes at idle and feels that it would benefit from a rebuild. With the rest of the car appearing so solid, refreshing that small-block would be a great way to occupy those colder Winter months.

The Mustang’s interior is what I would describe as serviceable, and its overall condition is far better than we’ve seen in many classics that have spent decades under the blazing Arizona sun. The outer edge of the driver’s seat is starting to crack and deteriorate, but there are no gaping holes or physical damage to the seats or headliner. The carpet also looks pretty presentable, but it isn’t clear how the pad looks hidden away under a cover. The worst-case scenario is that the buyer might choose to perform a partial retrim, although, with the way that part prices work, they will probably find it will be cheaper in the long run to source a complete interior trim kit. However, that’s not a decision that they would need to make immediately. A bit of time and patience on sites like Craigslist or eBay could reap the rewards with the buyer locating the specific pieces required to return the interior to its best. The original owner ordered this Mustang with air conditioning, and while the system is complete, it no longer blows cold. They also selected an AM radio, which remains intact. For purists, it’s a bonus that nobody has seen fit to install any aftermarket components or features.

While it isn’t perfect, this 1971 Mustang Coupe is a car that its next owner could enjoy immediately. If they treated the motor to a refresh and gave the interior a birthday, it’s a car that should offer many years of faithful service. It is also a prime candidate for some mechanical updates that would unleash some welcome performance improvements. It is unlikely to be a mega-bucks car in its current guise, but values are showing some signs of climbing slowly. Anyway, it is pretty rare to find a rust-free First Generation Mustang project car with a V8 under the hood for the asking price. That has to make it worthy of a closer look.


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  1. Domenic

    Posting has been deleted. Someone bought a nice car.

    Like 6
  2. Bill Member

    It’s definitely not standing on a corner in Winslow AZ any more

    Like 8
  3. angliagt angliagt Member

    May be a nice car,but that color doesn’t work well on it.

    Like 10
  4. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I’ve seen this color on the Mach 1, which when contrasted with black stripes is quite eye-catching. (I built a 1/25 Mach 1 back in the day and painted it this color, more or less). I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it on a base coupe. Overall, looks like a fairly nice car.

    Like 4
    • DON

      I agree , I have a 73 Duster 340 in Mist green which is close to this shade , with black stripes and interior. First time I saw it (40+ years ago ) the contrast hit me, and knew I was going to buy it.

      Like 1
  5. Geof

    Nice. But looks like a 72 from the grill. I’ve owed both a 71 Raven Black Boss 351, and a Burgundy with Black vinyl top, Grande Coupe. Miss em both. Obviously the Boss more which was stolen. Ughhh!

    Like 1
  6. Motorcityman Member

    Straight to the paint shop if I got a good deal on it! Ugh!

    Like 3
  7. chrlsful

    all ways period correct paint for me (here’s one, its OK too). But 1st gen? May B in Oz but isn’t this the Boss era, Mac I? May B they wait till the ” stang II ” to claim “2nd gen”? Mine’s the 4 WD model falcon anyway (’66/77 bronk).

    Like 1

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