Unfinished Rebuild: 1987 Ford Mustang GT Drop-Top

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The third generation of the Ford Mustang debuted in 1979, more in concept to the original than the Mustang II of 1974-78. Based on the Fox-body platform developed for the compact Fairmont, Ford’s latest Mustang would enjoy a 15-year run (through 1993). This ’87 GT convertible looks to be in good physical condition but needs its engine reassembled and put back into the car. From Steubenville, Ohio, this looker is available here on craigslist for $5,000. Hats off to Pat L. for another cool tip!

Just as the Mustang II had shrunk in proportions to what it had morphed into by 1973, 1979 (and later) Mustangs would have a larger body with an increased wheelbase that grew interior space for passengers, especially in the back seat, as well as having a larger trunk and a bigger engine bay. Through 1986, Mercury would offer a rebadged version of the Mustang called the Capri, and the Mustang convertible would return in 1983 after a 10-year hiatus.

By 1987, the Mustang was still generating respectable sales numbers. Just shy of 170,000 copies were built that year, with more than 10,000 being convertible versions of the performance-oriented GT model like the seller’s Ford. As the story goes, the seller’s father bought the car some years ago and repainted portions of the automobile which still look good. Then the Mustang was passed along to the seller who drove it for a year and pulled the engine at what he/she believes is 104,000 miles. The original plan was to just redo the gaskets because there were some leaks, and then a full rebuild was undertaken and then stalled. That brings us up to now.

Much of the heavy lifting has already been done relative to the engine which we believe is the H-O 302 cubic inch V8. That work includes new rings, rods and main bearings, oil pan, oil pump, cylinder honing, gaskets, and head bolts. We’re told that it will need a new manifold and have the flywheel installed for which the seller has all the necessary parts. Some other stuff is still in boxes, like a radiator, fan, clutch, and brake components. The convertible top has been patched, so the seller is also provided a new one still in its packaging.

Too much time may have passed since the car was taken off the road, so the seller has lost interest and the funding needed to complete the work. It’s now up to someone new to bring a trailer, load it all up, take everything home and bring a completed car across the finish line.

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  1. Wayne

    The car looks good (from what we can see) although I am always concerned about a car from the rust belt. (I used to live in the rust belt) If there is no rust issues, then I believe the car is priced correctly. But at slightly over 100K there should be no engine issues if the car was treated and maintained properly. (I have had several over 200K with only minor oil seepage) What is also a concern as is the quality of the engine repairs. I would personally pull the engine back down or at least inspect as much as possible before installing it in the car. Why does it need a new intake manifold???? I owned and driven many Fox body cars (I have 3 now) and the only thing that i really did not like about the GTs was the tail lamp treatment.

    Like 2
  2. Mike

    The reflections in the paint and the popped hood makes it look like it had an accident in the top picture.

    Like 2

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