Spotless Special: 1972 Ford Mustang Sprint Edition

While there are people who will refer to this Mustang as an “Olympic” Sprint, Ford never actually used that word in any form of advertising. The fact is that the Mustang Sprint Edition was released in an Olympic year, and its color scheme appealed to the patriotic leanings of Americans with timing that proved to be impeccable. Barn Finder Ian C referred this beauty to us, so thank you for that Ian. This particular Mustang Sprint Edition is a nice looking car and would appeal to many Ford enthusiasts who are looking for something a bit different in a classic car. Located in Hagerstown, Maryland, you will find the Mustang listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner has set an asking price of $20,000 for the Sprint.

The fact is that this particular model did not mark the first time that Ford had attached the “Sprint” tag to a value package for the Mustang. The first instance of this was when they released the 1966 Sprint 200 package to bolster sales of the 6-cylinder Mustang, which had been heavily overshadowed by its V8-engined brother. The 1972 Sprint Edition was a marketing strategy by Ford to increase sales of the Mustang, which had fallen dramatically. Just how dramatic was this sales drop? Well, in 1966, Ford was able to sell 607,568 Mustangs across all types and specifications. In 1971, this total had fallen to 149,678 cars. The Sprint Edition was introduced to boost these flagging numbers. While it essentially was no more than a cosmetic package, it did manage to sell in reasonable numbers, with a total of 9,383 cars rolling out of Ford showrooms. However, the Sprint Edition did little to stem falling Mustang sales, with only 125,405 Mustangs selling in 1972. The glory days of the iconic Pony Car seemed to be a distant memory.

With two separate versions of the Sprint Edition available, the original owner of this particular car chose Sprint Package “A,” which was a $156 cosmetic enhancement. On the exterior, it brought Wimbledon White paint with Grabber Blue striping on the rockers, hood, and around the tail-lights, all with red highlight pinstriping. The quarter panels featured unique USA decals, except for examples sold in Canada, which featured a Canada/Maple Leaf decal. Also included was a painted front bumper and a blacked-out grille. Interestingly, Package A also included 14″ steel wheels with color-keyed caps and chrome trim rings, but this car is fitted with the 15″ Magnum 500 wheels which were part of Package B. Overall, the presentation of this Sprint is very nice. Photos of the underside reveal a car that appears to be solid and free of rust. The panels look straight, and the distinctive, tri-tone finish appears to be in good condition. So far then, so good.

If you were ordering a Sprint Edition and were hoping for some significant performance upgrades, you were going to be disappointed, because you needed to order Package B to receive the only available mechanical upgrades. These were limited to the 15″ wheels, 60-series tires, and the competition suspension pack. Whereas Package A came at a premium of $156, Package B would set the owner back $347. What you get for your money with this particular Mustang is the 351-2V engine, producing 177hp. It sends its power to the rear via a 3-speed FMX transmission, while this car also features power steering and power brakes. The Mustang is also fitted with a dual exhaust with Flowmaster mufflers, and if the presentation of the engine bay is any indication, this should be a car that is in good health. The owner does say that it runs and drives really well, which is something that I have no trouble believing.

The Sprint Package didn’t restrict itself to external cosmetic enhancements, because there was also a bit going on inside the car. Seat upholstery was a combination of White Corinthian Vinyl and Bright Blue Lambeth Cloth, with red piping separating the two materials, and providing an additional visual highlight. The carpet was designed to enhance the package and could be had in any color that you liked…as long as it was Bright Blue. It was also possible for a buyer to order other luxury and convenience items for their Sprint, such as power windows or air conditioning. The original owner of this car chose to limit themselves to an AM radio, which is keeping things basic and simple. As with the remainder of the car, the interior presentation of this Mustang is very impressive. The seats have recently received new NOS covers, and there is some additional material included with the car to address any potential future problems. This is probably a good thing, as Ford no longer stock the material, and even though there are some aftermarket suppliers who can supply reproduction material, there is nothing quite like having the original material. Thankfully, the rest of the interior remains original, and it does look very nice.

Although it was designed to boost faltering Mustang sales, the 1972 Sprint Edition was not confined to the Mustang range. It was possible to order a Pinto Sprint or a Maverick Sprint. All three of these models managed to sell in reasonable numbers, but in the case of the Mustang, it wasn’t enough to arrest the sales free-fall. The challenge today is to find a really nice Sprint Edition, and I think that this particular car would qualify for that title. With the few that come onto the market selling for between $23,000 and $25,000, this one looks like a pretty reasonable buy at the asking price.

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Comments

  1. Mike

    I remember these. There was also a Maverick and a Pinto Sprint edition.

    Like 1
  2. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    I’ve always liked the looks of these Sprint models. This one is a very nice example. Over the years I’ve seen a few of these, and even a few (very few) of its Maverick and Pinto brethren.

    Like 3
  3. wao

    I see a condenser. Is the rest of the AC available?

  4. Troy s

    Clean example of a Mustang many people forgot all about. I like it, would like it more if it had the four barrel 351.
    Mustang sales started going down the drain so to speak even in ’70, the body style some folks believe Ford should have kept awhile longer. Seems odd, to a gen X(52), the patriotic styling at a time when patriotism,I’ve come to believe, was at an all time low. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
    All pony cars were dropping in sales by then, not just the Mustang, regardless of power or lack of it.

    Like 2
    • Arthell64 Member

      You are incorrect. People were much more patriotic then compared today. You had the WW2 group that was in their prime. Some of the great entertainers of the day like Elvis work eagles with the red white and blue theme clothes. Back then people that disagreed with some of our policies still love America. Plus we had the best music

      Like 4
      • Troy s

        I stand corrected then, and am happy to know it,,..which totally breaks the myth I had of that era of screw the system anti establishment anti hero’s, which must’ve been of the minority not the majority…or the weirdness I witnessed as a child back then that led me to believe older folks came from a different world entirely. Definite split between young and old. It gets confusing.
        Best music?…Most definitely!!

  5. Big_Fun Member

    Adam Clarke –

    Terrific write up on the 1972 Mustang Sprint Packages! I know more about them then I *thought* I wanted to know. That’s a compliment – as I wouldn’t look this information up myself. I did read the article several times, as I wanted to immerse myself in the world of Mustang Sprint, with all the great details.
    There is a great new documentary out now that I have watched several times, picking up more details every time I watch it. Just like this article.
    Thanks again!

    Like 8
  6. Mrtinwoodie

    If that color scheme and flag decal was attempted today on any car it would have had to be OK’ed by Colon Crapernick

    Like 28
  7. Woody

    Very original and classic white sports-roof really compliments itself! The interior is almost perfect,big horse power is not needed here,ram-air hood would top it off.Nice car.

    Like 6
  8. Roy L

    Now where can I find the Pinto and Maverick to match.

    Like 5
  9. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Looks like a great example if your looking for one.

    Like 3
  10. David G

    Beautiful car, except for the no A/C part. Seller shows a value sheet that is adding 25% value for a 4V Cleveland engine, which this car does not have. Also, the sheet lists it as a Mach I, which it also is not. Great car, though.

    Like 3
    • Kevin C.

      4v was 266hp not 248. 248hp is the 2v. You would be incorrect.

    • Rick Gaskill

      According to NADA the Sprint Package adds 15% to the value. With just the Sprint Package NADA gives it an average retail value of $17,710 and high retail of $30,820. I’d say it is priced very reasonably.

  11. Sheffieldcortinacentre

    Don’t know how many made it to the UK but I remember a friend having one around 1990.

    • Ike Onick

      I’m betting my Pound Sterling on “One of One”

  12. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Yep…a nice example of our Spirit back in the day…

  13. lawrence f kniveton

    Patriotism, it is a nebulous concept. It means something different to everyone and goes deeper than flag waving or “support for the troops”. In the broad sense it infers nationalism. That’s unfortunate as it implies exclusivity, similar to religions. Therein lie the seeds of conflict with those who don’t agree. The proud identity of “patriot” waxes and wanes with the social and political climate of the times. Today it is high. When this car was new it was low. The Woodstock generation, fed up with Vietnam, were most definitely unpatriotic. Good for them. Beautiful car but the classic lines and styling of the Mustang were already history. The Olympics…wonderful how every four years there is an event that sort of brings the people of the world together.

    Like 2
    • Troy s

      That’s what I thought, about patriotism back then when this cool car was brand new. Then again, AMC did make a much more red white and blue colored machine a few years before this, and then there was the American flagged gas tank on Captain America’s chopper in the movie Easy Rider.
      Just seems like a strange marketing strategy on Ford’s part to sell more Mustangs considering the times.

      • Frank Sumatra

        Hard to think of a more patriotic group than the American car makers. “Let’s bust the Unions and get these damn things made in Mexico”.

        Like 2
      • Arthell64 Member

        Chevy had the spirit of america nova and caprice editions and the 1970 AAR cuda had an American flag on its quarter panel so I don’t Ford was alone with a patriot edition. I thought they were cool then.

        Like 1
  14. Bill McCoskey

    In 1972 I was working for a large regional Ford dealer and remember a few of the Mustangs coming in with these packages. All of the ones we received were 6 cylinder and either auto trans or 3-speed stick. They also didn’t have P/S or P/B. they were advertised in the Washington Post as a “loss leader”, offering a cheaper Mustang with a special look.

    Our dealership was chosen to handle a series of Sprint CONVERTIBLES, they made 50 of the cars, all with 302 V8, automatic trans, A/C & P/S. The reason for the total of 50 cars was very interesting:

    These were intended for the spring Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington DC, a major event for the region. Each car would have signs taped to the doors to represent a specific US state, and a Cherry Blossom Princess from each location was to ride on top of the back seat during the parade.

    I was one of those who had to prepare the cars for the parade, installing the special license plates front & rear, and attach the Jay C’s fraternal organization seals on the doors, below the sign explaining who was riding in the car, and the state she was from.

    After the parade the cars were returned to various local Ford Dealerships for resale. I kept some of the state signs including Maryland, and a couple of the license plate pairs, but they were destroyed in a huge fire I had in 1996.

    You can search on the internet and find more info.

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