COAL Outtake – 1983 Ford Mustang GLX – A Rare One, Come and Gone


Flipping through a box of old photos this morning, I came across a set of pictures and enjoyed a nice trip down memory lane. I have owned a lot of vehicles in my life, mostly forgettable, but some certainly do stand out for their rarity, such as this classic ‘four-eyed’ Mustang that I owned for a short period of time.

It was the summer of 1998. I was a year out of high school and cruising about the streets in a 1990 Cavalier Z24 and while that particular car offered plenty of punchy excitement, it was a bit of a lemon. I always had a fondness for the Fox body Mustangs and would have gladly picked one up, if I could only find one and for the right price. The occasional opportunity would present itself and always at the wrong time, either when I was happily immersed in another ride or I simply did not have the funds to move ahead. One day, it would happen.


I took a road trip down to Kelowna in July to visit a friend of mine and while cruising the local streets on a hot afternoon, we came across a secondary car lot with all sorts of classic goodies to peruse, including this 1984 Mustang 5.0 which we soon determined was actually a 1983 model as it was sporting the GLX tag on the trunk lid, this short lived trim level making it’s final appearance in ’83.


While it was already 15 years old at that time, it was in good condition, it’s silver paint still shining in the sunlight. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the bright red interior was loaded right up with all sorts of options that I had not seen in a Mustang of that vintage before, specifically the leather seats, which accompanied air conditioning, power windows, delay wipers, “premium” sound system (the actual deck itself was from a later model Ford vehicle) and a console with a fully functioning diagnostic screen.


The 5.0L HO engine in the 1983 Mustang was definitely a step up over the 1982’s 2 bbl offering, with a 600 cfm 4 bbl carburetor standard which helped to increase the hp rating up to 175 and could be mated to the T5 manual transmission for the first time, certainly a quick moving machine in the early 1980s. This particular car definitely got up to speed with no hesitation and would happily toss you back in your seat with a little push of the pedal.

I ended up trading in the Cavalier for the Mustang and a wad of cash and took the car back home. It was a fantastic ride all the way back to Smithers and my young and carefree self was happy to push the car to its limits all along the way, even a quick pull over in a speed trap just west of Kamloops (with a ticket to go along with it) couldn’t keep me from enjoying the power of that engine and the roar from it’s untouched factory single exhaust system, something I never did get around to upgrading as I had once planned.


The ‘turbine’ style wheels are from a later built Mustang GT and were on the car at the time of purchase, so my guess is that this car may have been equipped with the TRX wheel package when it was new, as it was a common occurrence for those early Fox body Mustang owners to upgrade the wheels when the original metric tires wore out given the extremely high cost and difficulty in locating replacements. I am not 100% on that, of course, but that’s always been my theory.


Unfortunately, being 19 years old at the time and not thinking ahead too much, this car became a bit of a hassle to keep straight on the roads in the early snowfalls I encountered in Smithers later that year. Given the fact that I was not making a whole bunch of money and could not afford to have a winter car, I visited the local Ford dealership in Smithers and traded it in for something more suitable for winter commuting, a 1992 Tempo GLS coupe with the 3.0L Vulcan V6, which was another interesting ride that perhaps I will cover another day.

It was a brief relationship, but absolutely it was a whole lot of fun. I’ve often wondered what happened to it and hope that it found its way into the hands of a loving owner who has restored it and kept it tucked away in garage… one can only hope, of course!