Beater Mustangs were once such a common sight; no more. So it’s a trip back in time to see one like this still wild on the streets. And it does evokes a few thoughts and musings.
Having just steeped myself in the Continental Mark II, the first thing that comes to mind are the obvious similarities between these two, especially in the middle section and their hips. And of course the long hood. It was a styling theme that would become a Ford trademark for several decades.
We should really add the second step of that transition, as the ’58 Thunderbird was a critical link between these two. Isn’t fair to say that the Thunderbird was just a cheaper Mark II, and the Mustang a cheaper Thunderbird? It makes the Mustang seem a lot more obvious and rather less innovative or daring, as is often portrayed.
And just like the Mark would undoubtedly have withered even more when the ’58 T-Bird came along, so the Mustang obviously took a lot of thunder out of the ‘Bird, in its incarnation at the time. It had to come back as a much cheaper car in 1977 in order to revive its spirits.
In 1967, when the second generation Mustang came out, it looked…so different! The changes were what the eye gravitated to; the new chunkier, more deeply sculpted and exaggerated front end.
And the same went for the rear end, which had all the same things done to it. And of course, the fastback did have a new roof line. No one back then would ever mistake a ’67 or ’68 for a ’65 or ’66.
Nowadays? All I can see is the similarities. And those are mighty obvious.
The ’67 used a whole lot of the gen1 one body; stating with the floor pans, which were actually used all the way through 1973. The whole coupe and convertible body center sections are obviously the same, except for the changes to the door outer stampings.
Only the front and rears were a bit wider, and track on both axles went up some; 3″ on the front, 2.5″ on the rear. It can be deceptive seeing just how Ford integrated that extra width unto the same main body. The rear fender clearly bulges out quite a bit more, and so does the front, if not quite as obviously. Why am I stating the obvious? Maybe because it was a puzzle I couldn’t quite unravel when I was thirteen.
Sitting in a ’67 Mustang should have made it clear how little had changed, if one avoided the new dash and steering wheel. Which was easier said than done, with that odd elongated safety hub. But everything else was practically identical except for the door trim details. That carpeted tunnel sure does look a bit bare without a console. Yes, it was optional, along with just about every other amenity.
At least it’s got the 289, backed by the C4 automatic. Enough to peel some rubber, with the right technique. As every kid who had access to one learned. Does it have power steering? I give it about 50-50 odds.
Despite all of Ford’s efforts to keep the Mustang freshened up some, sales were in serious decline, although starting from very lofty numbers. 681k were sold in the very long 1965 MY; 608k in ’66. That dropped to 472k in ’67. That would still be enough to be the best selling passenger car today. By 1968, sales were down to 317. And so on, until they melted away to 125 k in 1972.
This survivor looks like a tired old trail horse. But it’s reasonably intact, and quite rust-free, at least from the outside.
What does the future hold for this one? Maybe to soldier on as is. Or maybe to fall into the loving hands of someone who will spend money and time on it. On a plain-Jane coupe? Is Mustang fever still going?
I know you know how I roll, so you know I’d miss seeing this beater Mustang if it were to get gussied up and become a Sunday driver. There’s plenty of shiny ’67 Mustangs corralled away in garages. This one is still free; a rare wild Mustang. Beat it, before you get caught too!